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For love of Evil: Book Six of Incarnations…

For love of Evil: Book Six of Incarnations of Immortality (original 1988; edition 1991)

by Piers Anthony

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2,065153,216 (3.73)17
Title:For love of Evil: Book Six of Incarnations of Immortality
Authors:Piers Anthony
Info:Random House Value Publishing (1991), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:1990s, fantasy, fiction, read, permanent collection

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For Love of Evil by Piers Anthony (1988)



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I was excited to pick up this book, to finally learn of how Satan--Incarnation of Evil--told his story (especially considering how Green Mother ended!). I am not sure I got what I expected, but I got an excellent tale.

Here is the tale of a man who had the love of his life taken from him by a powerful sorcerer working for the devil. This starts him on a new life in hiding--and he joins a church to eradicate evil. Seems an unlikely candidate for Evil, right? It was, until Lucifer sends a demoness to corrupt him...and he falls for it (for reasons best left to the book). Well, he tries to still do as much good as he can while doing evil the demoness demands of him, and it shortly turns out that when he is slated to die, he accidentally kills Lucifer instead. With the office open, and the guidance of the demoness, he takes over as Satan. (Every Incarnation of Evil chooses the name he be most known as.)

Much as he did on earth, he tries to restructure hell and organize it to make it more efficient (the bureaucracy is just as terrible in hell as in other places). But he doesn't seek to do undue harm, and in fact only acts ill to the other incarnations because of the way their predecessors treated him.

A very intriguing book that introduced concepts of religious natures and indeed of the concepts of Good and Evil.

I'm afraid that the next book, which I believe is about God will not be nearly as interesting or as intertwined with the rest of the series...we shall see! ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Intriguing view of our greatest incarnation of evil. I love the idea that no evil is pure evil, and evil touched by good can be worse than any other kind. ( )
  Snukes | Jun 14, 2013 |
There was a fashion in the late 80s for fantasy authors, especially those published by Lester Del Ray, to write novels that recapped the series up til that point from the perspective of a different character. These days I find it a cynically commercial practice at best, but I was a total sucker for them when I was a kid. Rereading For Love of Evil, I find... I kind of still am.

The first two thirds of the book is original material about Parry, a 13th century sorcerer who does the Pygmalion thing on a peasant girl to get himself a perfect wife and loses her to the Albigensian crusade (in a scene, incidentally, that puzzled me for years with its offhand description of rape-ready bondage. I still don't think it would work as described.) He then becomes a monk, founds the Inquisition, foils Lucifer a number of times, and then falls to temptation in the form of first his ghostly wife in a willing and nubile body, and then the demoness Lilith. And then he defeats Lucifer and in doing so becomes his successor, Satan.

So. That happens. It's actually the least appallingly sexist book of the three I've reread, despite the ridiculous amount of sex. Partly this is because the time period makes things like arranged marriages marginally more palatable, partly because to make Parry ultimately sympathetic, he has to be an extra-good guy, and partly because the foes are the medieval Catholic church and/or Inquisition, against whom almost everyone looks liberal.

The last third of the book is the aforementioned recap section, where Parry describes his conflicts with the other Incarnations from his point of view. This is handy because the ones he focuses on are Fate and Nature, which always saved me from reading Anthony's unbearable attempts to write female protagonists. This section is chock-full of male-gaze ick, but Parry remains a sympathetic character as he struggles to understand his role as the devil while still being a fundamentally good, compassionate person. (In a series of minor scenes, he befriends the god of the Jews and arranges for the Holocaust to unhappen.) He also approaches God (the prime Incarnation of Good, the Christian god, which is finally justified by explaining that He has the most followers) and discovers that he is locked in narcissistic contemplation and basically out of action. This sets up the final book in the series...

...Which I am not reading. It contains, as I recall, a new female protagonist, Parry's ghostly ex-wife, and an urban prostitute of color. It goes about as well as you'd expect it to.

Really, this is the only book in the series that holds up at all. I'm not sure why it does, to be honest. Despite my crack about Del Rey above, the last two books in the series were published by Avon - perhaps the new editor filtered out the worst of it. It's still not really worth keeping around, but I am somewhat relieved that my 12-year-old self wasn't a complete moron. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
#6 of Incarnations of Immortality-- Wonderful book on the Immortal office of Satan. Excellent story
"Parry, an orphan, is taken in and is accidentally adopted by a wizard who teaches him the benefits of white magic and how it can be used to help others. A musician and adept white magician, Parry plans on following in his father's footsteps when he is encouraged by his father, the sorcerer, to take a bride. Parry selects Jolie, seeing her potential despite her ragged appearance. Using his unique singing talents, Parry convinces Jolie that he means no harm. Taking her in, Parry and his father begin to teach Jolie the ways of wizardry and they begin to fall in love. With his father's blessing, Parry and Jolie wed and are about to start a life of bliss when they are attacked by crusaders of Christianity. Parry's father is killed in the attack and Parry escapes in bird form while his wife Jolie had gone ahead to warn her parents to go to the pre-determined hidden shelter. Unfortunately by the time Parry gets to town to check on his wife, she has been taken prisoner by the crusaders, who capture Parry himself shortly after he arrives. Working in conjunction with his wife, since he possesses a magical second sight, he frees them both but not before Jolie is slain by the dying Captain who was going to rape her. Taking off in horse form with Jolie strapped to his back, Parry arrives at the shelter and tries to heal her wounds but is lacking in medical supplies to save her. Parry watches as his wife dies in his arms. Vowing vengeance, Parry thinks the best way to escape from the villagers is to hide in plain sight, and then the problems start" ( )
  Scoshie | May 6, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Piers Anthonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anthony, Piersmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Crisp, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380752859, Mass Market Paperback)

The Man Who Would Be Satan

Parry was a gifted musician and an apprentice in the arts of White Magic. But his life of sweet promise went disastrously awry following the sudden, violent death of his beloved Jolie.

Led down the twisted path of wickedness and depravity by Lilah the harlot demoness, Parry thrived -- first as a sorceror, then as a monk, and finally as a feared inquisitor.

But it wasn't until his mortal flame was extinguished that Parry found his true calling -- as the Incarnation of Evil. And, at the gates of Hell, he prepared to wage war on the master himself -- Lucifer, the dark lord -- with dominion over the infernal realms the ultimate prize!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Parry, a gifted musician and an apprentice in the arts of White Magic, went disastrously awry following the sudden death of Jolie He was led down a path of wickedness by Lilah but it wasn't until his mortal flame was extinguished that he became the Incarnation of Evil.… (more)

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» see all 3 descriptions

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