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Swell Foop
by Piers Anthony

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
300 pages; ISBN: 0312869061

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Cynthia Centaur knows the coast of asking a question of the Good Magician Humfrey, but feels the price is worth the answer. Perhaps she would have reconsidered her pros and cons of visiting Humfrey if she knew that she as his latest visitor is fated to save Xanth (or die trying of course) from total destruction.

She must find the Six Rings of Xanth that only the zombies know anything about. Upon obtaining the six Rings, Cynthia must use them to locate the SWELL FOOP so that she can use that in turn to rescue the Demon Earth from an abductor. Without the Demon Earth, this planet and Xanth will lose its gravity and ultimately vanish forever.

Though action-packed, fast-paced, and loaded with the tons of puns, SWELL FOOP is clearly for those Xanth fans that need word play with every meal. The problem with the tale is that with two worlds at stake and the adventure quite harrowing, the quest seekers spend much of their time exchanging humorous often-sexual barbs (Hans Solo where are you?). Though the jokes are amusing, the plot becomes sidetracked and secondary to the bon mots. This reviewer can understand a shoetree, but the gravity of this story line is too much swill in the soup for those readers who enjoy the simplicity of A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON.

Harriet Klausner


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