The magical land of Xanth is in peril in this follow-up to Board Stiff by New York Times–bestselling author Piers Anthony. “It occurs to me that you folk are no ordinary group,” the troll said. “We're on a special mission to eliminate the last of the anti-pun virus. We are a bit unusual.” Astrid Basilisk-Cockatrice is the daughter of anonymous parents who whiled away a dull minute by generating her on a warm compost pile, then went their own deadly ways, never to see her or each other again. She found herself a soul, but her gaze is fatal and her touch is toxic. That’s not so strange in the Land of Xanth, where everyone has a unique magical talent, and charms, curses, and enchanted puzzles lie around every corner. Now, Astrid and her companions are finishing the cleanup of a virus that ravaged the puns of Xanth, and new Quests are already popping up. For instance, Astrid is attempting to fulfill her mission in life, if only she can figure out what that is. And then there’s the missing Question from the Good Magician’s Book of Answers. Not to mention the small matter of a Demon Wager regarding the impending destruction of Xanth. But it’s nothing Astrid and her motley crew of lovely maidens and strapping men can’t handle . . . they hope. Piers Anthony delivers another tale set in the bestselling world of Xanth, filled with magic, surprises, adventure, and a few puns. Here’s what the author has to say about his new book: “Five Portraits is a kind of sequel to Board Stiff in that it picks up where the other leaves off, with the same characters. Apart from that, it’s one of my favorites within the series. There’s something about Astrid Basilisk that appeals to me: a very pretty girl whose very glance is deadly, yet she’s a nice person whose selfless effort to save five difficult children from future Xanth is thoroughly worthy. I also like the theme of the power of unlikely friendship. Not just Xanth, but Mundania, too, would be better if there were more such friendships.”
Society was rocked when the Cathedral appointed Allegra, Contessa of Marsina, to negotiate the delicate peace talks between the rebelling mage slaves and the various states. Not only was she a highborn mage, she was a nonbeliever and a vocal objector against the supposed demonic origins of witchcraft. Demons weren’t real, she’d argued, and therefore the subjection of mages was unlawful.
That was all before the first assassination attempt. That was before Allegra heard the demonic shrieks. All before everything changed. Now Allegra and her personal guards race to stabilize the peace before the entire known world explodes into war with not just itself, but with the abyss from beyond.
So much for demons not being real.
Zack Decker wanted only one thing in life: to fight as a Marine Pathfinder. But his temper and his loathing for careerist officers cost him dearly. Forced into early retirement, with a wife who left him long ago, no job, no friends and no future, the former sergeant crawled into a bottle and stayed there, moving from planet to planet, looking for some reason to keep on living. Until, that is, he wandered into a bar owned by an old Marine buddy who offered to help. On the run after killing a corrupt cop, and nowhere to hide, he accepted.
Decker would have done better to head for the hills, or surrender to the militia, however old friends could be persuasive and he soon found himself signing on as security officer of a starship with dubious owners and a dubious crew, doing things for his new employer that tested the old saying 'Once a Marine, always a Marine.' Curiosity was Decker's other major failing and in short order he was on the run, hunted by a shadowy government organisation, and in possession of a secret that could destroy the Commonwealth. It was a secret to die for, and the people on his trail wanted to make sure he did. Along the way, they forgot that he could still fight like one of the Few...
My name is Dharma Parande, God Mother's Child with a strong Water Elemental. In laymen's terms, Witch.
In my world I'm the normal one. Ivan Westerfield on the other hand, is a Cyber Witch. He doesn't need a computer to do a bit of web surfing. He's anything but normal. So I asked him to help me steal a file from the Computer of a Ceremonial Magician.
It seemed like a good idea...
Everyone in Paegeia knows that only one Rubicon dragon lives at a time.
If more than one, they will destroy Paegeia and eventually the rest of the world as they crave that constant power for dominance.
Blake Leaf is this era's Rubicon, and is destined for grate things if his darkness can be won.
Darkbeam Part 1 follows the story of the Rubicon and how he tries to keep his beast, the darkness, at bay.
Rule #1: Never get involved with someone who won't be there for you when the sun comes up.
Once bitten, twice shy, and sexy PI Jackie Morrisey wasn't going there again. Vincent Argeneau may be the hottest guy she's ever met, living or dead, but she's here to stop a killer from turning this vampire into dust, not to jump into bed with him.
Rule #2: Never kiss a vampire . . . it can be a pain in the neck.
Okay, so Vincent's had four hundred years to perfect his kissing skills, and he does look rather tempting when he runs around the house shirtless. He's also charming, protective . . . did we mention he can kiss? Jackie needs to be on her guard, or else she'll have to come up with a new rule: If you're going to fall in love with a vampire, make sure it's a bite to remember.
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