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Heaven Cent (Xanth #11)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  8,857 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
In the mind of Xanth's precious shapeshifting Prince Dolph, the perfect was to see the world is to search for the missing sorcerer, Humfrey. Setting off with his faithfuls companion, Marrow, an enchanted skeleton, Dolph will penetrate an island of illusion, escape a goblin kingdom, outwit a husband-hungry mermaid, save marrow from bone-starved harpies, and find romance wit ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Tor Fantasy (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 13, 2008 Werner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Xanth series, and of humorous fantasy in general
Shelves: fantasy
Note, May 23, 2016: I've just edited this review to correct a couple of typos, and simplify a sentence.

I first encountered the Xanth series years ago with Dragon on a Pedestal, which I read out loud to my wife. We both liked it, which encouraged us later to read several more books in the series.

Anthony is a profoundly morally-grounded writer; his main characters are all fundamentally decent persons who want to do the right thing, and his plots tend to feature various large and small ethical choi
Dec 22, 2011 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
After a long period away from the Xanth series, I came across Heaven Cent and couldn’t remember reading it. I hadn’t and I had evidently missed several episodes since the last one I consumed. If puns are the lowest form of humor, the Xanth books are the lowest form of fantasy. I don’t happen to believe that. I believe these pun-filled stories are like ice cream and candy—delightful in moderation, sickening in over-indulgence. Today, as I read Heaven Cent, I still groaned at the familiar puns lik ...more
David Sarkies
Dec 30, 2011 David Sarkies rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An the Xanth series continues
30 December 2011

It is fascinating read what other people's opinions on the various books on Goodreads, particularly those that I myself have read. A lot of the reviews suggest that these later Xanth books where the first that they read, and there is obviously the extensive use of puns. I never really found the puns hugely funny, and it was something that I put up with in the books.
I noticed as I read one of the reviews of this book that Anthony had borrowed from a
Stephen Herfst
Feb 20, 2012 Stephen Herfst rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Piers, Piers, Piers. You are such a guilty pleasure.

I love the Xanth books because you do what you do so well. No mindless exposition and no dreary descriptions. The 'only' thing you give us is a clearly-defined 'save the princess' and a set of obstacles that the hero needs to negotiate. Oh, and a mountain of puns and creative animals / plants.

I could use this to describe almost all your books - they're cookie cutter, but my god are they addictive. I'm not sure if I were to re-read them now they
Julie Decker
Dolph, Ivy's brother, wants to see the world, so he goes off to look for the Magician Humfrey--who's still missing. He's got a sentient skeleton to help him, and feels pretty safe; he can shapeshift into any animal, so he's unlikely to get into trouble. That is, unless you count lady trouble. He is faced with rescuing not one but two women, and must also escape evil ladies who want to marry him or devour him. But when unavoidable affairs leave Dolph betrothed to two women, what will he do to res ...more
Briane Pagel
Piers Anthony's books hold a strange appeal for me. They have a strange sort of inartfulness, a juvenile feel to them that nonetheless hides a fair share of headier intellectual stuff.

It's not that Anthony's a great writer; he has some really very good ideas -- the Apprentice Adept series remain a high point of fantasy/scifi -- but they're presented in a kind of clunky writing style that's reminiscent of 9th grade literary efforts.

Take Heaven Cent. The protagonist is Dolph, a 9 year old shape-ch
Apr 22, 2013 Swankivy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Good Magician is still missing, and Ivy's younger brother Dolph decides it's his turn to go on a silly quest. He's pretty young, though, so the King and Queen assign him a skeleton companion. Both Dolph and the skeleton--Marrow Bones--can shapeshift; Dolph can turn into animals, and Marrow can turn into any arrangement of his bones once he's kicked. (Weird.)

So off they go on their quest, but of course something else happens and Dolph has to save women. (That's what they're for!) First he sav
Mar 26, 2008 Illyria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2008
As an introduction to Piers Anthony works, "Heaven Cent" offers quite a delightful foray into Xanth as well as a glimpse of its populace, from the creatures of the gourd who create dreams (e.g. the skeletons who abhor flesh, the nightmares who carry bad dreams, and the formidable White Stallion), the domain of the merpeople, dragons and all manners of winged beings, and an assortment of other creatures commonly found in fantasy literature.

The story itself, that of a young royal shapeshifter nam
J Austill
Heaven Cent is the 11th book of the Xanth series and one of those that I liked the least when I read them (back in the 6th grade). It has a few flaws:

- The protagonist's talent is much too powerful and he is never really in danger. This destroys any real suspense. Ultimately, it is a bit of a Superman problem where Kryptonite (reverse wood) needs to be introduced and appear randomly in order to create any danger at all.

- The protagonist has no real investment in the quest (he was just bored, rea
Don LaFountaine
Nov 18, 2014 Don LaFountaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 11 of the Xanth series focuses on Prince Dolph. Determined to have an adventure, he decides that the best adventure he could go on would be to find Good Magician Humphrey, who has been missing for 3 years. He takes Marrow Bones along with him as his adult guardian, though that was not quite his plan. Going to the Good Magician's castle, he find a clue that says "Skeleton key to Heaven Cent". From there, the adventure takes off. He meets Mela Merwoman, Nada Naga, goes into Mundania, and defe ...more
Sebastian Bryant
Nov 15, 2015 Sebastian Bryant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xanth
Everyone wants to marry Dolph in this one even though he's only nine years old. Now that all the first main characters have kids and grandchildren, the stories are pretty heavy on the kids, but they're not even so much interesting kids like in South Park or Bob's Burgers. The skeleton dude reminds me of Grim from Billy and Mandy so I give him a Jamaican voice in my head. I compare it to cartoon shows because these Xanth stories are much like cartoon animation. I just realized that the Dolph didn ...more
Jun 06, 2012 Kirsti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book we follow Dolph as he quests to find the missing Magician of Information, with his friend and adult protector Marrow. Somehow, despite being only 9, most of the Xanth female population re out to snag a prince, and Dolph ends up with not one but two betrothals.

I've always enjoyed this one because I know how the romance winds up, but I imagine reading it through the first time and shudder. Both girls are likeable characters, and both go on to have impact in later novels. The quest fo
Mar 24, 2009 Keegan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I love the idea of the Xanth stories. My husband started reading them since he has a bit of time between graduation and law school and I was cuddled up next to him and read a page or two. I love the puns and the twists. I enjoy the characters and the connections. The Adult Conspiracy gets a little old as does a nine-year-old's obsession with legs. I also got a bit tired of naked women trying to seduce him. Other than that, though, it was a fun story. I could see myself retelling it to my kids as ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
enjoyable quick read. I enjoyed reading a story about Dolph and Ivy as children. I have read other books in the Xanth series which have a lot more puns than this one. I missed the puns and found the puns in this one forced. The story itself was interesting, but only gets three stars as the other Xanth adventures had more action and adventure. It was hard to believe the romantic elements of this tale with the main character being only 9.
Ward Bond
Jun 25, 2012 Ward Bond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the mind of Xanth's precious shapeshifting Prince Dolph, the perfect was to see the world is to search for the missing sorcerer, Humfrey. Setting off with his faithfuls companion, Marrow, an enchanted skeleton, Dolph will penetrate an island of illusion, escape a goblin kingdom, outwit a husband-hungry mermaid, save marrow from bone-starved harpies, and find romance with a slinky snake princess--all on his way to discovering a magic coin with all the answers!
This is a turning point for Piers Anthony - in which he ceases his atttempts to write good plots and becomes a dirty old punster. I've read many of the books after this on in the series in the hopes that he would return to his roots, but he never does. While they're entertaining, they're no longer the same genre at all, and decend further and further into collections of dirty jokes, innuendoes and bad puns strung together with a loose plotline.
Jan 11, 2013 Doe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Xanth books were a hoot the first time through (many years ago). I attempted to reread them again recently, but they don't work for me now. It's probably not a maturity thing, because I still think Gilligan is funny! Hmmm. If you haven't read them yet, go for it. If you've read them once, remember them fondly.
B. Jay
Oct 19, 2015 B. Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I devoured the Xanth books in my youth and enjoyed taking a return trip to the fantasy land of puns and adventure. Heaven Cent is a bit dissatisfying in terms of story resolution and the themes of pubescent love get pretty tired by the halfway mark, but there is enough fun and good characterization to make the trip worth while.
Feb 12, 2013 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another quest and find love tale from Anthony. Luckily, he makes his characters somewhat interesting and one is able to enjoy different details and plot elements from book to book. This one is the start of a trilogy so approaches that plot machine from a slightly different angle. Poor Dolph, future King of Xanth, has all the female characters throw themselves at him. Life must be tough...
Jan 02, 2015 Carolynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one! It feels like a return to the authors original story line. I liked the characters and his thoughts and the quest. That may sound vague but I barely made it through the last book at all. This one held my interest!! Loved the twist at the end and can't wait to see what happens next! Glad to see the next book is about ivy. I miss her from reading dragon on a pedestal.
Apr 13, 2013 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
love it! loved reading the beginning of the dolph, nada, and electra triangle.

The was so much I loved in this book. I loved Chex and Cherion's wedding and the surprises. I loved watching Marrow try to watch out for Dolph through all of the trouble he found.

There are so many characters in this book and that's the exact kind of book that I love. The more character interaction the happier I am.
Jul 14, 2013 Zack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of the clever wordplay ubiquitous in Xanth novels and a cheesy, moral message, Heaven Cent is a delightful read that does everything right while being composed around a plot that, in retrospect, doesn't really make cents.
Nov 19, 2008 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Xanth book I ever read, many years ago, and I've just re-read it as part of my 2012 this year I will read challenge, to read the Xanth books in chronological order, 1 per month! I enjoyed it just as much 2nd time around, Dolph is one of my favourite characters in Xanth!
Michel McDonald
Sep 30, 2011 Michel McDonald rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xanth
I have loved all of the Xanth novels because they are easy enough for me to read. This was 11th in the Xanth series, but also the 2nd book in a trilogy, I didn't know that it was part of a trilogy lol. Anyway, great book in a great series.
Walter Ballion
Nov 09, 2012 Walter Ballion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was by far the best novel of the xanth series! This story was so captivating, successfully made me fall in love with these characters and feel their heartbreak unlike any other of Anthony's books. I encourage all to read this an revisit their boyhood.
Aug 05, 2012 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't remember the outcome of the double betrothal, but this book made laugh and brought me tears. Piers Anthony's ability to weave a complicated story in under 500 pages is legendary. I am looking forward to completing the series again. On to the next!
Book Him Danno
Another great book from this fun sci-fi world that Piers has created. I enjoy the on-going story and the puns after puns after puns. This is fun for any age and I hope to have my kids read this series.
Mary Arkless
I love Piers Anthony's books.
Feb 26, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Anthony's Xanth book that got me addicted to this hilarious series.
Elisa Kay
Although I enjoyed this book I was disappointed with the ending which left a massive problem unresolved. One way to keep us hooked on the series I suppose.
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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 41 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)

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