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Battle Circle (Battle Circle, #1-3)
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Battle Circle (Battle Circle #1-3)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,172 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Battle Circle is a trilogy of science fiction novels by Piers Anthony. Originally published separately, the trilogy was later combined into a single volume. The three novels are:

1. Sos the Rope (1968)
2. Var the Stick (1972)
3. Neq the Sword (1975)

The novels take place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The history is not given in detail, but the landscape is filled with the ru
Paperback, 537 pages
Published September 1st 1986 by Avon Books (first published 1978)
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Andrew Neal
I got this book by trading a stick or a honey bun wrapper or something on

I then left it in the bathroom and read it there over the course of several weeks. [It's important that you now check out the cover of this book by clicking on it. There are several editions, but the one I have pinned this review to is the one that was sitting on the toilet. Go ahead, click on the cover.:]

Two wonderful things happened because of this:

1. Anyone who visited our house and used the bathroom inevit
I am not sure what I learned from this book except that I can like a book enough to read it twice cover to cover.

Post apocalyptic Earth where tribes of survivors meet in the "circle" to determine anything from who gets what woman to who gets the top bunk. They only use six different kinds of weapons (Sword, staff, sticks, daggers, club, or morning star) and never fight outside the circle.

Until along comes a warrior that no one can beat. He builds an empire and everything changes.

I read it once i
A friend of mine told me that this was the worst book he had ever read. I decided to read it myself, because I was certain that no book could be as bad as what he had described to me. I was wrong. This book is absolutely terrible. Every Piers Anthony cliche' is here, from the puerile sexuality to the flaccid attempts at social commentary. And the finale' of the book involves the sword-swinging hero replacing his hand with a glockenspiel. Seriously. Simply a wretched book by any measure.
Oct 24, 2011 Conspiracychic rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: post-apocalyptic junkies
Recommended to Conspiracychic by: friend
When I began reading the Battle Circle series, I knew not to start off with preconceived notions of a Piers Anthony novel. My introduction to Piers Anthony was through his Xanth series as a pre-teen, but since then I had read bits of his Adept series, Firefly, and even the lesser known Pornucopia. That said, I wasn't expecting the style or tone of his post-apocalyptic Battle Circle books.

The series centers around a formal weaponized ritual duel, whether for honor, for women, or for practice. Ant
Stuart Parr
Another example of things you remember from your youth which are, in reality, a bit crap and you only realise this when you come back to them when older (and perhaps wiser). This book is fantasy/sci-fi pulp from the late 1960s replete with slightly dull characters, unbelievable plot twists (and not in a good way) and uncomfortable sex references (again, not in a good way). Anthony's post-nuclear holocaust world of wandering warriors bound by honour to settle everything in the battle circle, a so ...more
Xanth fans, be warned. This is not a book full of colorful magic, bosoms, and puns.

If all you've read of Piers Anthony is the Xanth series, you may not know this, but Piers hates his protagonists. He enjoys hurting them, and then hurting them some more, and then hurting the people they love just for good measure. Sometimes it's hard on the reader. Or at least it was on me.

That said, this trilogy is excellent. The titular Battle Circle is the foundation of a postapocalyptic society where victory
Levi Muller
I really loved the concept of a barbaric culture being supported by a group of intellectuals hiding in a mountain. I've been told by Piers himself that this book is nothing like his other work.

This book lead me to the Conan stories by Robert Howard because I loved the fighting and reading about the barbarian culture.
Specifically, I didn't read the entire book, since I'd already finished Sos the Rope. I just picked this up with Var the Stick and trundled on through the rest of the series. Well ... I guess "trundled" is a bit of a loaded word, and one that really belies how much I sped through the last two books. I finished them in three days, and actually felt some eagerness to finish them. Var the Stick actually developed a bit more than I would have expected from Mr. Anthony, based on the sexism of the fir ...more
Tom Liotta
Strange book. Others have said 'guilty pleasure' and I can't think of a better description.

I started reading it one evening and didn't put it down until finishing the first book of the trilogy. The next evening I read the second book, and the evening after I read the third. I had three straight days of work in a slightly foggy state of mind.

It's been fifteen years since then. I still can't explain why I let myself get so absorbed in it.

How do you rate a book from an experience like that? I guess
See the individual books for slightly better reviews. This is one of the few omnibuses where I read both. If you get this, just rip the 3d book, Neq the Sword off the back of the book immediately. Do NOT read it. The other two are excellent, 4 star books as I recall, though.
Very different from the stuff Anthony normally produces, these tales are pretty dark and violent, focusing on a small number of barbaric survivors in a post apocalyptic wasteland. This is actually a trilogy of short stories that comprise one full length book. It starts very strong, but the last story is the weakest of them, which diminishes its lasting impact. Entertaining pulp.
I actually really liked this book. It's an interesting post-nuclear-holocaust nomadic society epic. Three books in one that starts out strong, gets really weird in the middle, then recovers nicely. A fairly strong departure from the usual pun-ny xanth crap. Represents good character development and interesting storyline.
This was Anthony at his schlockiest and most sexist. (Well, no, he actually gets more sexist than this, believe it or not.) And yet this is another book that could qualify as a guilty pleasure -- completely ridiculous, swords-and-sandals macho silliness, yet fun in its own perverse way.
May 19, 2007 Olin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Erik the Book
The greatest shame is that there is no picture for the cover of this/these book(s). The rugged depictions of Var the Stick and Sol the Rope are worth any purchase price. If that doesn't entice you see the aforementioned character names; can you resist such a literary onslaught?
Peter Lowe
A guilty pleasure. It's tripe, and never pretends to be otherwise, but it's also hard to put down. I've come back to this book at different times on my life, and while I haven't exactly been educated or bettered by reading it, I was always entertained.
Good book. Very unlike a lot of Piers Anthony's other books (read: Xanth). A little gratuitously violent and sexual at time. And rather unnecessarily sad. Be prepared - everyone dies. This is not a spoiler. Everyone dies. Ok, almost everyone.
Really hard to find in libraries, but a great story. A post-apocalyptic world is now a world of nomads, with only the battle circle for social rule. An interesting 3 novels in one. Very entertaining, I would recommend the book to anyone.
An Odd1
As fast and funny as I remember? Stephen's review of SOS reminded me I read all three of the series. Could even have been just after first published? I thought I re-read, but can't find review. Out of print hard to find.
Marc Strozyk
I read this when I was in highschool and really liked it at the time. I'm sure it probably didn't age well but we were talking about Piers Anthony last night and I remembered reading this book many years ago.
Gary Greysonet
A crazy idea implemented with crazy results. Battle Circle is the story of a post-apoc society split into nomadic tribes and technologist overseers. It is told with Anthony's usual wit and innovation.
Great action sci-fi book about a post-nuclear world where 'battle circle' fights decide the social classes. I first read this in junior high and it was a good introduction into the sci-fi/fantasy world.
I don't read much science fiction, but this book is a great read. I first read it when I was in high school. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure story.
a post-modern "greek tragidy" in three parts. this story takes the LHS (Let Him Suffer) concept to epic proportions. For mature readers due to adult themes. Worth the read, IMO.
All I can say about this book is:

NEQ the Glockenspiel = GENIUS!!!!!

with special thanks to J Rossi for having a better memory than me....
This is one of my ALL TIME favorite books. I have read this book about 10 times!!! It is excellent! Nothing like his Xanth books. Heavy stuff!
Genevieve's Human
“Classic fantasy with mythological themes. Simple plot, not bad writing, for Anthony, and something of a flashback to the eighties.”
Jan 16, 2009 Steel added it
Actually loved this trilogy... Loved the post WW3 type story... but he gave up last 1/3 of Neq the Sword... just my opinion...
John Davies
I'd read Sos the Rope several times before I finally found this version that allowed me to read the other two books.
Battle Circle displays a surprisingly cruel Post-Apocalyptic world by the usually light hearted Anthony. I loved it!
To me, this is the best fantasy Piers Anthony ever did, and far better than the Xanth books.
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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

Battle Circle (4 books)
  • Sos the Rope (Battle Circle, #1)
  • Var the Stick (Battle Circle, #2)
  • Neq the Sword
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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