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Well-Tempered Clavicle (Xanth, #35)
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Well-Tempered Clavicle (Xanth #35)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  466 ratings  ·  34 reviews

Picka Bones and his sister Joy’nt are off in search of adventure with three creatures newly arrived from Mundania--and not the sort of creatures you might expect!Join them in a madcap quest, in this 35th tale of the land of Xanth.

“Here we go 'Adventuring' in Xanth once more, meeting a horde of the familiar characters while running the gauntlet of a multitide of sins. …Xan

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 22nd 2011 by Tor Books (first published October 11th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,502)
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I guess I've outgrown Piers Anthony. This book was not the pleasurable fun romp that I remember from his earlier books.
Felt like the premise was wearing thin. Lots of random encounters that stretched out the story.
Decades ago, I read a lot of Piers Anthony. Most of his books were fast-paced and didn't take themselves too seriously, which I appreciated. I haven't read his stuff in years, but when I received a review copy of his latest book Well-Tempered Clavicle, the thirty-fifth Xanth book, I decided to check it out. I figured it would be a fun trip to a fantasy world I hadn't visited in a while.

I couldn't finish the book. Heavy-handed puns, constant descriptions of panties, breast gropes, and a "comical"
A Xanth novel...felt like he wasn't really trying, and then I read the author's note and realized he admitted that it was off. The puns weren't the problem; more the recaps to everyone they met being included, almost in full, every time and then the continuing distinctions between skeletons and humans, especially near the end mentioning the eating and ablutions during the camping. Also, it was a bit choppy with characters being introduced and then dealt with in less than half a chapter or even j ...more
David Marshall
It was a terrible mistake on my part to give into curiosity to see whether Piers Anthony could still write anything worth reading. This is dire. Unless, of course, you're a fan. In which case, this is another brilliant addition to the Xanth series.
The Xanth series is such a fun little bit of nonsense that still manages to sneak in a moral lesson. They're all quick, amusing reads. A fast vacation in Xanth is good for the soul.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christi Thomas
To be quite frank, I stopped in the middle. I guess I outgrew them. I was so excited to see a new book in the Xanth series. Done with the pun.
Laura Martinelli
DNF AT PAGE 104. I am shocked and disappointed in myself for not getting a lighter and setting my copy on fire after the first encounter with Attila the Pun.

I was actually very excited to get into this. The back copy sounded interesting, it looked fun and light. Talking skeletons! Quests! And then I get to the first chapter and bad visual puns and this is gonna be fun. And then the book turned into a fantasy harem anime. I gave this a fair shot. But given that every single female character flash
Mar 20, 2012 Monica rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one; It's boring
First off, let me say that this is the first Anthony book I've ever read-- perhaps starting with the latest(?) book in the series has something to do with the result of my reading it.

Secondly, I didn't finish the book. I'm not afraid to stop reading a book if I'm not enjoying it, and this was such a case. I did get about 2/3 the way through, however, and only read that long because I persisted in my thinking that things *had* to get better. They didn't.

**Spoilers Ahead!**

Well, as one may tell b
David Caldwell
This is the 35th Xanth book. It follows the basic formula for the other Xanth books. A group of characters come together by chance to go on a quest. They start by visiting the good magician Humfrey. They travel all over Xanth encountering puns and adventures. One (usually more) member of the party will find romance along the way. Some people might think that since all of the books follow this formula, that the books aren't that enjoyable. But when you think about it, a lot of TV shows that we wa ...more
I've had this book on my to-read list for a long time, while I hunted down a copy. Piers Anthony's books aren't exactly common in Australia, and I live in a small town with one bookstore that sells new books, one second hand bookstore, and four general purpose Op Shops, none of which focus very well on their book areas. The secondhand store is overpriced, badly organized and out of the way. The new bookstore has a few nice staff that go out of their way, but also puts books ordered in specifical ...more
Dec 14, 2011 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Xanth lovers
I liked Well-Tempered Clavicle better than the last Xanth novel, Knot Gneiss. The characters where a little obscure. I miss the original core characters, Bink (although he does make a brief appearance), and Magician Trent. The tension in the earlier novels is missing here. The danger of failure wasn't as great. Where in previous adventures all of Xanth was in peril here the worst that could happen was a Princess had to marry a handsome man whom she did not love although he had a good job, integr ...more
Fredrick Danysh
In search of adventure and personal talents, two skeletons, a dog, a cat, and a parakeet travel through Hades and across Xanth accompanied by a princess in search of her idea mate. Highly loaded with pun inspired characters which does make the story difficult to flow at times.
Beverly Weyer
Princess Dawn married Picka Bone and they settle in Caprice Castle to collect the puns.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lesli Nelson
I think it was a great read. I liked all the characters in the book. I liked how all the characters were friends in the past and reaquitted themselves again in Dawn's quest that the king made her go on to find herself and the pundora box to save the kingdom from the puns. She ran into people she knew that wanted to do her in. I liked where her and Picka fell in love with each other at the end of the book and were happy. I liked where the pets were with them and helped them along the journey and ...more
I have been a fan of Piers Anthony for many years now and this book was a great read. I liked all the characters in the book. I liked how all the characters were friends in the past and reaquainted themselves again in Dawn's quest to find the pundora box and save the kingdom from the puns. She falls in love with her old childhood friend, Picka Bone, by the end of the book,and hopefuly live happily every after...or maybe not!
Another very satisfying Xanth novel. It's Dawn's turn to get hitched, and the story was a delightful, quick read. I especially enjoyed the brief appearance of some old (the oldest?) friends. While the story did little to set it apart from other books in the series, the author's note at the end, where he writes of his daughter's death was quite touching and sad. You're in my thoughts, Mr. Anthony.
Mia Darien
What can I say? It was another fun Xanth romp, though I couldn't help but be quite sad reading it, knowing that Anthony's daughter died while he was writing it. (There is a dedication at the front of the book and he touches briefly on it in his Author's Note.) Still, it was another light breezy read and just what I needed.
Andrew Petalik
It was a typical (later) Xanth novel.

Light heart-ed and filled with the usual plethora of painful puns. ;)

The characters didn't suffer much in the way of development and romantic match-making seemed to happen out of the blue, so be prepared to suspend dis-belief for that.
Another standard Xanth novel, if you enjoyed the last 10 or so of this series then you will enjoy this one too. Was a bit disappointed in the editing, quite a few instances of wrong name for characters and other editing errors in the Kindle edition of this.
This was a fun little typical Xanth romp. It didn't do a lot so far as advancing the series, and it was far from the best I've read from Anthony, but it was a fun light read and considering the circumstances while he was writing it, I think it came out well.
Anthony does have imagination. With bones as main characters another mission in Xanthure goes forth. Another very readable adventure, especially for terary hose of us addicted to words, puns, and other litarary play.
Vicki G
I've felt a lot better about rating his stories since I decided to follow the advice of a friend but, in this case, I would have given it five stars anyway b/c of how imaginative the story was. It really was.
This is my first Xanth book and I loved it! I fully intend to read the rest! I found Mr Anthony by his Anthology years ago at a book sale. Found this one on new arrivals at library. Highly recommend him!
Was not the best I've read, but if you read the Authors Note, it's clear why this book had some of the pizzazz normally associated with it missing. I still love this series and will be sad when it goes.
Holly Leighfield
One of the best books Piers Anthony has written in years. More absorbing plot, deeper characters and interesting subtexts. More explicit than usual for those who are bothered by that sort of thing.
Jan 29, 2013 Lbd rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
I love Xanth stories. This one was up to Pier's usual standard of fun and frolick. Sad about his personal life, but shows the strength he finds in writing for all of his fans.
I submitted several ideas for characters and Piers used them all in this book. He credits all idea submissions at the end of the book.
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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...
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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