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

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  5,256 Ratings  ·  34 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.

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 15th 1996 by Tor Fantasy (first published September 28th 1995)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mar 02, 2015 Werner rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of humorous fantasy
Shelves: 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
Aug 08, 2015 Don LaFountaine rated it really liked it
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
Dec 08, 2011 Kirsti rated it it was amazing
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
Conan Tigard
Nov 15, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it liked it
It is not really necessary to have read all of the other books in the Xanth series before reading Roc in a Hard Place, but most of the characters that appear in this book have appeared in other books. Like most of the latter books in the series, this one seems oriented to the younger audience. If you are looking for a serious fantasy novel, don’t pick this one up.

I would almost recommend this for kids, except that Metria has to keep going back to her castle throughout the book to “please” her h
Apr 22, 2013 Swankivy rated it it was ok
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
Jan 22, 2012 Edwin Stark rated it liked it
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
Julie Decker
Jul 26, 2014 Julie Decker rated it it was ok
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
Debra Meyer
Oct 30, 2013 Debra Meyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
May 07, 2013 Jeremiah Johnson rated it liked it
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.
Sep 09, 2010 Izlinda rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Feb 16, 2016 Serena rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Jan 29, 2016 Jasmine rated it liked it
* - failed to finish it
** -finished it, but it was a struggle
*** -perfectly readable
**** -enjoyable read
***** -very enjoyable, would (or have) read multiple times
I love Metria, she's one of my favorite characters, so naturally, this pun-filled book was awesome.
Dave Nichols
Jul 30, 2016 Dave Nichols rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I pretty much like these Xanth books; but they're getting harder and harder to get through. Just too much minutia.
Kyra Dunst
Aug 16, 2013 Kyra Dunst rated it it was amazing
The Xanth series is one of my favorites. D. Metria is one of the more complex, and enjoyable, characters in Xanth.
Pamela rated it really liked it
May 29, 2015
Mark Reis
Mark Reis rated it it was ok
Mar 20, 2013
Teddy Carter
Teddy Carter rated it it was ok
Aug 21, 2012
Josh rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2014
Alikhan Alibhai
Alikhan Alibhai rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2015
David rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2012
Matthew L.
Matthew L. rated it liked it
May 09, 2012
Allie rated it liked it
Mar 29, 2011
Sara rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2011
Bert rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2016
Don rated it liked it
Aug 26, 2012
Evergreen rated it it was amazing
Dec 06, 2013
Julie Akhter
Julie Akhter rated it liked it
Sep 14, 2012
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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
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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)
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  • Night Mare (Xanth, #6)
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  • Vale of the Vole (Xanth #10)

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