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

by Piers Anthony

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2,137173,061 (3.74)17
Member:herebedragons
Title:For love of Evil: Book Six of Incarnations of Immortality
Authors:Piers Anthony
Info:Random House Value Publishing (1991), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:1990s, fantasy, fiction, read, permanent collection

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For Love of Evil by Piers Anthony (1988)

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Parry was the adopted son to a very competent sorcerer. Even though he was not the sorcerer’s biological offspring he proved to have an aptitude for magic as well as having an uncommonly gifted singing voice. When his beloved wife Jolie and his father die in the Albigensian Crusade (precipitated by the mischief of Lucifer) he joins the Brotherhood to hide and plot his revenge against the Horned One. After thwarting a major plot of Lucifer’s a demoness is sent to corrupt Parry and corrupt him she does. In 1250, just as Parry’s ailing body was ready to give up, Lucifer appeared to claim his soul in person. However, Parry countered the spell Lucifer threw at him and with his dying breath he claimed the Office of Evil taking the name Satan.

After reading the first five books in this series, much of the middle part of this story is recapped from the other books, but from Parry’s POV. Where Parry came from and how he obtained the Office of Evil and became an Incarnation is an interesting pathway that is new though. And what happened to him at the end of Being a Green Mother is revealed. The setup is now complete for the final book in the series and I can’t wait to get to it!

Now, a few words on the story itself. There are a few inconsistencies and at times the writing is a bit simple, but the overall storyline is just as enthralling to me now as it was when I read it two decades ago. I love, love, love this series and I most especially love Parry/Satan. I mean, who doesn’t love a bad boy who isn’t all bad? ( )
  AVoraciousReader | Feb 9, 2016 |
This series has gotten pretty old. There isn't anything special about it anymore. I will continue, but only because I know it is nearing the end. ( )
  biggs1399 | Jan 19, 2016 |
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 |
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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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