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The Source of Magic (1979)

by Piers Anthony

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Xanth (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,105263,050 (3.53)24
Ordered by King Trent to determine the source of Xanth's magic, Bink and his companions are harried by an unseen enemy determined to thwart them. When even their protector turns against them, Blink still manages to reach his goal and carry out the King's orders ... but the king does not expect Blink's next act--to destroy utterly the magic of Xanth!… (more)



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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
The Source of Magic by Piers Anthony is a Xanth series book that does not disappoint. Enjoyed this fun story very much. Piers Anthony is an excellent wordsmith, and I love his puns. This is definitely a book to place on your "must read" list. Highly recommend! The Xanth series is fantastical and wonderful! ( )
  Alicia_Rose | Jun 5, 2020 |
Even after my listed issues with the first of the Xanth series, I chose to return to the world of Xanth. This novel picks up about 1 year after the first book ends. Still has a strong chauvinistic feel to it. Mostly because the character of Chameleon is written from a rather chauvinistic mindset. But then you don't see her after the first few chapters.

Some of this I mildly agree with. Talents must be used or they atrophy. Some of it is just stupid. Men go on an adventure to get away from difficult mates? They've not learned to communicate? REALLY? *sigh*

For the first book, the puns were few and far between. This book started to show more of the puns that the rest of the series is known for, but that isn't helping the over the top ridiculousness of the story.

The last third of the book felt like one giant cliff dive. Like the author really didn't know where he was going then just took a gamble. Even the last chapter could be seen as a giant deus ex machina. The humor that I remember from the later books is seriously lacking in this book. I'm intending to read more of these early novels, if only to prove how much I've grown away from my old self. Then the books will depart the bookshelf. ( )
  gilroy | Dec 21, 2018 |
The sexism and blatant misogynist attitude I recall from other books I read in this series as a kid comes out more clearly in this book than in the first one. The story is good, and the magical world is creative and unique, but Anthony's treatment of female characters leaves much to be desired. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
I originally reviewed the Source of Magic on the blog in 2009 here, and wrote a series review about Xanth as well.

I'm re-reading most of the Xanth series as part of my Read all the Books challenge: the reviews will be even shorter and pithier than my usual short pithy reviews :) and will serve more as a reminder and a placeholder for which books I've re-read and when.

I know I liked this book a lot before, but re-reading it again as an adult it falls way short. It's just too much sexism/constant dirty jokes/lame puns that aren't even trying to be funny/did I mention the constant sexual jokes?

The plot is really thin on this one, too, and the climax of the novel - a debate about setting a demon free - falls really short. I feel like I'm missing the point of the scene or perhaps the entire novel, but I don't think it's me, I think it's how the scene is written.

It's just lacking the something something that makes most of these books so magical and fun to read - even though there's the constant dirty jokes and the women bashing - and this one really just disappointed me.

The only good thing about these books are how ridiciously fast they are to read. ( )
  anastaciaknits | Oct 29, 2016 |
Bink's adventures begin again with his quest to find out where Xanth's magic originates from, but really, it's an excuse to get away from his pregnant wife, which is so problematic, I had a very difficult time enjoying the rest of the book. I just can't with Piers Anthony anymore. ( )
  EmScape | Oct 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony, PiersAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beekman, DougCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The magic-sniffer ambled toward Bink, its long limber snout snuffling industriously.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Ordered by King Trent to determine the source of Xanth's magic, Bink and his companions are harried by an unseen enemy determined to thwart them. When even their protector turns against them, Blink still manages to reach his goal and carry out the King's orders ... but the king does not expect Blink's next act--to destroy utterly the magic of Xanth!

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Book description
As a ruler of a country steeped in enchantment, King Trent was naturally curious about the source of its magic. It made sense to order Bink, the only one of his subjects immune to supernatural harm, to undertake a quest to discover the wellspring of Xanth's uniqueness.

From the beginning, Bink and his companions Chester the centaur and Crombie, the solider transformed into a griffin, were harried by an unseen enemy determined to thwart them. Even the power of the Good Magician Humfrey, together with Bink's protective talent, scarcely saved their lives.

then when Humfrey and Crombie turned against him, all seemed lost. But Bink's ingenuity and luck prevailed, and he reached his goal. The King's orders had been carried out...

But the King had not expected Bink's next act - to destroy utterly the magic of Xanth!
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Average: (3.53)
1 8
1.5 7
2 47
2.5 17
3 216
3.5 25
4 178
4.5 14
5 97

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