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With a Tangled Skein (Incarnations of Immortality, #3)
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With a Tangled Skein (Incarnations of Immortality #3)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  17,557 Ratings  ·  264 Reviews
It seemed to Niobe that Fate and the Devil had conspired against her. And on this world, where science and magic were equally advanced, both Fate and Satan were very real.

So were all the Incarnations—Death, Time, Fate, War, and Nature. They were normal people who had been chosen for their positions and given extraordinary powers. Even Satan was supposed to be an Incarnatio
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Hardcover, 280 pages
Published September 12th 1985 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 1985)
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Community Reviews

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Stephen
Reading Piers Anthony can be a bit of a bumpy ride.
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His books usually feature some minor detours into ploddyville and at least one horrible sightseeing escapade through skeevytown that leaves you feeling soiled and very uncomfortable.

So I grant you that there is definitely potential for some boring and the genuine risk of UGH in a Piers Anthony tale.

However, for all the literary potholes and ICKness he pours into his stories, this pervy old man is also a creative GENIUS who can occasionally sp
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Jess
Dec 31, 2009 Jess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book in part because I'd heard a lot of good things about Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series and in part because it revolved around one of my favourite mythological trios, the three Fates. On both counts I was disappointed.

Misogyny and racefail abound. The Fates, while ostensibly powerful and influential beings, are expected to fulfil 'traditional' female roles: Atropos, the Crone, must perform "grandmotherly functions", while Mother-archetype Lachesis does the
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Marian Willeke
Mar 19, 2009 Marian Willeke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
A Pale Horse (Death) will probably always have a soft spot in my love of this series simply because it was my introduction to it, but With a Tangled Skein will climb on top with my favourite read so far. There were absolutely no lulls in the book, as you are captured with each chapter and driven to read the next one. The connections between A Pale Horse and With a Tangled Skein are very familial with the Magician and Luna being woven into son and granddaughter of Niobe, who took her turns with B ...more
Jana
Oct 16, 2011 Jana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is really a review for the entire series, or at least the first three novels. It's been awhile because I read these books 20 years ago, but I believe it was the third book, With a Tangled Skein, that I closed the book and vowed never to read another book by Piers Anthony again. I have no idea if he's a misogynist. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. But he certainly writes like one.

Not only is it offensive that the few female gods he has have to service sexually the male gods - bad enough! I mean
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Iggy D.
Jun 27, 2010 Iggy D. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah. It was okay.
I keep reading these 'cause I'm fascinated by the plot and I keep hoping that the characters will get better. They don't. They're really flat and unbelievable. There are several points where Piers gets feminine sexuality just plain wrong (see the part where the main character is about to get raped by a demon and says that only emotional harm would come of it *rolleyes*). I know the incredibly cliche female fantasy character should make me angry, but she's so pathetic I just can
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Carrie
May 25, 2009 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I read a few others from this series as a teenager. The series deals with the personages of death, time, fate, nature, evil, etc. "With a Tangled Skein" is about fate, who is actually three people in one--Clotho, the young attribute who gathers threads of life from the void, Lachysis, the middle-aged one who arranges them on the tapestry of life, and Atropos, the old one who cuts the threads.

Niobe Kaftan starts out as a mortal woman who becomes Clotho, then becomes mortal again for a while and t
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Anastacia
Jun 22, 2008 Anastacia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anastacia by: my dad
Shelves: fantasy, 2016
I've read this book a few times over the years, and I'll state the same thing at the beginning of reviewing all the I of I books: this is a re-read, and the first time reviewing the books. I'm reviewing all of the books after I finished re-reading the entire series, which I don't normally do & didn't do deliberately this time, either...

So I always liked this one in the series. Niobe is pretty cool. She's written as a character that is supposed to be a little dumb, but I don't find her really
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Sarah Jane
Feb 13, 2011 Sarah Jane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mythology
This is book #3 in Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. If you've read my reviews of books 1 and 2, you know I'm not particularly impressed by them. The only reason I even attempted this book was that my completely mindless job allowed me to listen to audiobooks on my ipod while I worked and I had run out of other books. I still only managed to struggle through the first few chapters. By this point in the series, it's screamingly obvious that Anthony couldn't come up with an origi ...more
Meighan
Jun 15, 2009 Meighan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read On a Pale Horse and loved it, so I decided to try the rest of the series. However, the skewed way women are portrayed in this book completely killed any interest I had in it. Not that On A Pale Horse didn't portray women a little strangely, but it wasn't at all a big part of the book because that book was written from the point of view of a man. This book is sex obsessed and a bit creepy.
An Odd1
Feb 10, 2014 An Odd1 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Niobe navigates many mazes, not fun, but relevant to Dungeons and Dragons gaming phase of phantasy. Most of the series adds children to network the Incarnations into an annoyingly intricate web. As talented weaver, she makes fibre into thread, spins, and works looms with precision.

Parents wed her at 21 to Cedric 16, whose singing is magical. Their reluctant friendship grows to enduring passion, broken when he dies in her place to foil Satan.

She burns on a funeral pyre to meet Death, Thanatos,
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David Sarkies
Jan 10, 2012 David Sarkies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody, unless you like the series
Recommended to David by: Stewart Wymer
Shelves: fantasy
What a tangled plot is woven
10 January 2012

Once again this series seems to be more intriguing that many of Anthony's other books and does show that he has the ability to weave a good story. I may sound corne using the term weave in this context (as I will explain) but while I would hesitate to read it again, I guess my friend was right when he suggested that Anthony had dumped some good series to focus on the Xanth series, which, in my friend's opinion, had become much more depressing after Ant
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Amanda
Aug 21, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I haven’t yet posted on the Incarnations of Immortality series, but book 3 seemed like a good place to start. While I enjoyed one and two, this one is so far my favorite. This could possibly be because I love the idea of fate, and I love the way Anthony portrays it in the book.

Niobe’s husband is killed and she goes to try her luck with the Incarnations at keeping him alive. Instead, they offer her the position of Clotho, the spinner of the threads of mortality and one of three women that inheri
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Michael
Apr 10, 2016 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anthony fans, young adut boys, urban fantasy fans
Recommended to Michael by: Seredipity
This was the third of Anthony’s “Incarnations of Immortality” series, and it was the last one I read all the way through. I was already outgrowing them, just a few years after I’d first discovered Anthony, with On a Pale Horse. In the interim, I had consumed dozens of his fantasy and sci fi novels, so it’s all good.

In this story, a young woman marries during World War One and loses her husband due to an elaborate plot of Satan. She discovers that she is destined to become Clotho, and Aspect of
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Joelle Haskell
Oct 15, 2013 Joelle Haskell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I stopped reading midway in disgust. While the misogyny and preoccupation with arranged marriage, rape, nipple torture, and pointless nudity of minors (the latter also featured in every Xanth book) merely grated on me for the first two books, I tried to soldier on because of the intriguing setting and plot. Unfortunately by this one, I was overwhelmingly inundated, culminating in a racist Japanese caricature attempting to rape a woman the moment she enters his dojo, becoming enraged when she def ...more
Jenny
Feb 06, 2011 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Incarnations of Immortality book, but it got me into them. I do, however, recommend reading them in order, because some of this story was a bit confusing until I back tracked and read the previous books. I really got into them but never got to finish the series, and hope to pick it up again. I might just start the whole series over again. Not a great chore since I liked them so much in the first place. there is just a lot of detail in there, that, if you space the books out, yo ...more
⚜Trea⚜
Thus begins the Renaissance of the Incarnations novels! Here we get more into Greek mythology with the Aspect of Fate, or as they are known in Greek Mythology: The Three Fates. In this story, the three women share one body and their souls "force" it to assume the shapes they once held in life.

In this book, we are taken on the journey of the life of Niobe, and it is a somewhat long and convoluted journey. She's a bit of a cougar, though at a young age, but when her husband dies unexpectedly is wh
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g-na
Apr 12, 2014 g-na rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book three in a series. Here we follow the Incarnation of Fate, well, one of the three Aspects of Fate. Unlike the first two Incarnations books we follow Fate (Niobe) through a longer portion of her life, and more interactions with those other than Satan, and that is exactly why I liked this book more than the previous one. However, the central plotline still revolves around a conflict with Satan, and that is getting old. Also, the fact that Anthony was an older, conservative man is coming out i ...more
Lara
Dec 13, 2014 Lara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the one I liked the most in the whole series, although I'm sure if I reread it now, all my Issues with Piers Anthony's views on women and sexuality would rise right back up again. I enjoyed the older woman/younger man dichotomy, and that their marriage wasn't consummated until there was feeling on both sides. I love badass middle-aged Niobe, I love Asian kickass Clotho (although the cliches about Asian women I can live without...), and I love even the memory of Satan not even recognizin ...more
Wanda
This book is very obvious in the author's exploration of good versus evil. You are hit over the head with his ideas (and in the author's note at the end it happens again, just in case you didn't get it during the fiction portion!) It's pretty obvious that a man is writing--the women are very stereotypical (crying about everything, not nearly as intelligent as the male characters, consumed with housework & child care). At least the male characters are also stereotyped as being all about viole ...more
Matt
Feb 09, 2013 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It’s definitely a step-up from Bearing an Hourglass, but the third book in the series still struggles to match the first. Sort of a prequel, the plot starts a couple generations earlier in the Kaftan family. Fate, meanwhile, weaves and shapeshifts through Satan’s ploys.

Writing the book through the eyes of Niobe won’t win Piers Anthony any gender or cultural sensitivity awards. Even I cringe at the stereotypes he freely uses.
Lynne
Sep 08, 2011 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Niobe, I encountered an interesting woman who has to come to grips with challenges and tragedies. By the end of the book, I found that I liked her. While it isn't necessary to like the protagonist to enjoy a book, my engagement with Niobe was a measure of how well rounded and interesting the character was that Piers Anthony created. Also, it was nice to read about a strong and intelligent female incarnation.
Jeanne
Mar 17, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, George Guidall puts an interesting "spin" on this story with his amazing narration skills!! Really liked this third installment in the incarnations of immortality series, but got a bit long near the end, with too much logic involved. Kind of takes the pleasure out of a fantasy novel when you have to start thinking about what you are listening to. Good overall--8 out of 10 for me.
Angi
Sep 24, 2015 Angi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
No serious review here. I'm just stopping by to say how validating it is to read the reviews that state how creepy and sexist this book was. I read this when I was a teen, and thought maybe I was just a prude then, and should maybe re-read it. But nah, I'm good. Thanks, Goodreaders! (I loved the first book of the series, btw. He should have just stopped there.)
Meredith
Oct 21, 2010 Meredith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the story of the incarnation of fate. Having all three Greek goddesses of fate -- Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos -- share a single body was an interesting twist. Unfortunately, the women in this book were stereotypical, flighty, and not very bright.
Kylara Jensen
I remember absolutely nothing about reading this book or my feelings about it, except that it happened.
Fefi
Finalmente l'ho finito! Sarà a causa delle vacanze o forse al fatto che sto leggendo 2 libri contemporaneamente, ma che fatica arrivare alla fine!
Niobe è una mortale,come tutte le Incarnazioni, che si ritrova ad occupare l'ufficio del Fato e pure in tutte le sue tre rappresentazioni (Cloto,Lachesi e Atropo),il suo scopo è quello di bloccare Satana che vuole invadere il mondo attraverso le Nazioni Unite(?!?) e,come sempre con l'inganno.
Per farlo, scenderà direttamente all'Inferno, che qui è come
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Joy
Jun 02, 2017 Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great, pro female book

I loved this book, and it's narrator Niobe is a force. I am also surprised by the strong, pro female tone of the book, especially having come from a male writer in the 1980's
James Alston
May 07, 2017 James Alston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
I have enjoyed this book. I am moving on to the next book!
Matt Guion
Sep 07, 2013 Matt Guion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tend to like stories that have long narratives that cover a pretty lengthy period of time, which I think is probably why I like this book as much as I did. We meet Niobe, our protagonist and the woman who would become an aspect of Fate, when she is a young, headstrong woman of twenty-one, and we stay with her for several decades as she marries, is widowed, becomes an aspect of Fate, and then . . . well, actually, does the whole thing all over again.

But when you're telling a story about Fate, y
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Ryan G
Jul 02, 2011 Ryan G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third book in the Incarnations of Immortality series is one of my favorites, one that I've read tons of times. We finally meet one of the female Incarnations and she is awesome. Born to a semi wealthy family and a skilled weaver, she is forced into an arranged marriage with a much young man, a boy really. He is just starting college and Niobe, at first, wants nothing to do with it, even though it will bring her family the proper connections. Over time though, she quickly finds herself loving ...more
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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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More about Piers Anthony...

Other Books in the Series

Incarnations of Immortality (8 books)
  • On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, #1)
  • Bearing an Hourglass (Incarnations of Immortality, #2)
  • Wielding a Red Sword (Incarnations of Immortality, #4)
  • Being a Green Mother (Incarnations of Immortality, #5)
  • For Love of Evil (Incarnations of Immortality, #6)
  • And Eternity (Incarnations of Immortality, #7)
  • Under a Velvet Cloak (Incarnations of Immortality, #8)

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“Is it foolish to care for non-existent folk?
Then, leave me to my foolishness.”
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“Enough , you hens!" Niobe exploded. "It's tentative!"

Lachesis snorted "As tentative as a pregnancy,girl!”
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