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Roc and a Hard Place (Xanth, #19)
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Roc and a Hard Place (Xanth #19)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  4,833 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Seeking a solution to a perplexing personal problem, the delectable Demoness Metria asks for help from the wise Magician Humfrey. But before he will help her, she must perform a perilous mission: Rove the length and breadth of Xanth in search of a suitable jury for the trial of Roxanne Roc--a notably noble and virtuous bird charged with a most improbable offense.

Published August 15th 1996 by Hodder Paperbacks (first published September 28th 1995)
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Mar 02, 2015 Werner rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of humorous fantasy
Shelves: books-i-own, fantasy
My wife Barb and I have read a number of books in the author's Xanth series; I've only reviewed a few of them here, but the general observations from those reviews would apply to this installment as well (and probably to all or most of the Xanth novels --it would be fair to say that in many ways, if you've read one of them, you've read them all!). We've been away from the series for about six years, but picked this installment to read as a lighter change of pace, and it didn't disappoint in that ...more
Don LaFountaine
Book 19 of the Xanth series is one of the most fun in the series so far!

The reader finds that Demoness Metria has been making her husband deliriously happy since they became married and she got half a soul. Yet though they have summoned the stork over 700 times, they have not yet had a little one delivered to them. So, Metria does what any other person in Xanth does when they have a question they need answered...she went to the Good Magician Humphrey. Once she made it into his castle to ask her
Julie Decker
The Demoness Metria is tasked with gathering a jury for the trial of a lifetime: A Roc is going to be judged.

Metria was generally a non-compelling character for me, and again the quest she's sent on appears to be an excuse for her to wander around falling into the triggers for puns. Revisiting a couple of characters from the older books was kinda fun, but they played bit parts for the most part and I wished there had been more to love about Metria. Since I realized at this point that the books w
Read in 1995 when it was new.

This is where I gave up on Xanth, because I knew if I kept trying I would lose even the nostalgic affection I had for remembering enjoying it as a tween. This coincided with a couple other disappointments and the creeped-out feeling Anthony gave me generally as a dirty old man, so that this was pretty much the point at which I gave up on his books entirely (I did buy and read the final book in the Mode series because I'd been waiting so long, but aside from that 199
Another of my favorite Xanth books, this one sees Metria/Mentia trying to find out why the stork is ignoring her signals, as she longs for a child since getting half a soul. The visit to the Good Magician leads to her organizing a trial for Roxanne Roc, the bird guarding the Simurgh's egg for the past few centuries. We see tests of Metria's morals, new friendships and of course the puns and usual Xanthian oddities. I really liked the adventure aspect of this one, and the group dynamics are some ...more
I never liked Demoness Metria. She was kind of obnoxious every time she showed up. This book being about her annoyed me, of course. And her quest just seemed totally contrived. I'm even saying this on the context of knowing Xanth is silly on purpose. A Roc is on trial for something or other and Metria's given the duty of . . . gathering a jury. So she can wander around and dig up puns, I guess. I liked seeing some of the old characters pop up, and I like the question of grappling with morality w ...more
Edwin Stark
I'm a great fan of Demoness Metria (the main reason I bought most of Anthony's books after he wrapped up his original "trilogy"; I even wrote a small homage to her in one of my books) but I was sorely disappointed after reading "Roc and a Hard Place". I was expecting something very unusual after my favorite Demoness got split up into two different identities (D.Metria and D.mentia) in "Gargoyle Geis", but all I got was a tale (which devolves in to a courtroom drama) that merely reduced her to a ...more
I have to say once you have read a certain amount of Xanth books it almost feels like you might as well not bother reading any more. I found this one a bit boring although the story line was interesting and it does explore a lot of Xanth and many of the characters from previous books. I Suppose I just feel that the series is not really going anywhere. I wouldn't really recommend reading it, which is kinda sad.
Jeremiah Johnson
When I first started reading this book I dreaded the thought that Metria was the main character. Thankfully, she wasn't as annoying as she could have been. The idea that she can't remember simple words is just plain stupid in my opinion.
This wasn't nearly as fun as the last two books of the series were. It was interesting to see so many returning characters, but it was honestly somewhat hard to remember all of them from the previous books.
Debra Meyer
He's back LOL. Quite a number of the past books in this series, I had serious doubts that they were actually written by Peirs Anthony and if so he was tired or something. They just lacked something but this book was back to normal and thank heavens. I ran through it as fast as I could considering all the stuff that kept me away and laughed and groaned right to the end. Hopefully the rest continue.
When you're sick, but have insomnia, a very fluffy Xanth book by Piers Anthony is the way to go. As usual, his riddles are quite clever. I also liked the maturation of plot regarding some characters and their destiny.
You have to take Xanth novels collectively because they're all very similar. Full of neat characters, puns and imagery, they all sort of mesh together in your head.
My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Kyra Dunst
The Xanth series is one of my favorites. D. Metria is one of the more complex, and enjoyable, characters in Xanth.
I love Metria, she's one of my favorite characters, so naturally, this pun-filled book was awesome.
Not really my favorite, particularly since it breaks so many rules and the fourth wall.
Kaylynn Johnsen
Yeah, back to some good old puns and story telling. Wahoo. And a trial no less.
Oct 04, 2007 Aaron rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of...Xanth
Demons magicians and rocs...
I enjoyed this book and think its a good one. there!
This and "Man from Mundania" are my two all time favorite Xanth books
Vicki G
I especially liked the plot in this book. It was refreshingly unique.
I enjoyed this re-reading a lot better now that I know the ending. :)
the story of how to overcome the worst in puns
Ticklish Owl
What can I say, I have a thing for puns.
Mary Arkless
I love Piers Anthony's stories.
What a delight the Xanth series is!
See my review for A Spell for Chameleon
Erica Barnes
Second favorite
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Though he spent the first four years of his life in England, Piers never returned to live in his country of birth after moving to Spain and immigrated to America at age six. After graduating with a B.A. from Goddard College, he married one of his fellow students and and spent fifteen years in an assortment of professions before he began writing fiction full-time.

Piers is a self-proclaimed environm
More about Piers Anthony...

Other Books in the Series

Xanth (1 - 10 of 39 books)
  • A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, #1)
  • The Source of Magic (Xanth, #2)
  • Castle Roogna (Xanth, #3)
  • Centaur Aisle (Xanth, #4)
  • Ogre, Ogre (Xanth, #5)
  • Night Mare (Xanth, #6)
  • Dragon on a Pedestal (Xanth, #7)
  • Crewel Lye (Xanth, #8)
  • Golem in the Gears (Xanth, #9)
  • Vale of the Vole (Xanth, #10)
On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, #1) A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, #1) Castle Roogna (Xanth, #3) Bearing an Hourglass (Incarnations of Immortality, #2) The Source of Magic (Xanth, #2)

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