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Question Quest (Xanth #14)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  6,447 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
The 14th installment of the bestselling Xanth series. Lacuna, one of the mischievous Castle Zombie Twins, wants to be young again, so she makes the Good Magician Grey an offer he can't refuse: she'll help him outwit the evil Com-Pewter if he'll send to her to hell to find Humphrey, the missing sorcerer and keeper of the Elixir of Youth.
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Published September 23rd 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Timothy Boyd
Jan 22, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Xanth novels are a quick, fun and funny read. Great starter books for young fantasy readers. There is a ton of them and you can pick up any of them and start. Very recommended
Briane Pagel
This was another of the Xanth books I actually had read in the past. This one was published in 1991. I don't have much to say about it this time; Piers Anthony is Piers Anthony. As I was finishing it up last night, Sweetie asked why I liked these books. I said they were sort of escapist reading, a bit in between the more serious stuff I read; it's easy to read books that are just fun and simply written, and some days -- especially this past week -- I'm just not up for heavier reading.

One thing a
Oct 31, 2009 Leeanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Xanth #14: Question Quest, by Piers Anthony

The Good Magician makes an appearance in every Xanth book. That's how most books start - a character has a problem in their lives that they need to see him about. So they make a journey to his castle, battle through the three Challenges, get their Answer from the Book of Answers, and end up on a journey through Xanth to figure out their cryptic Answer.

But *how* did the Good Magician get his Book of Answers? How does he know what every person ultimately
The puns and reader-submitted ideas started to get really obnoxious in this book. Hah, started? Yes, well, I was able to get past them before. It's slightly overwhelming in this book, either because of the sheer AMOUNT of fluff (Including pages of loving descriptions of a woman's outfits, and a treacly poem from hell. I know Anthony has a lot of love for his fans and uses the things they send in with the best of intentions, but come ON) or because this is a super-fast review of the history of th ...more
Barbi Faye (The Book Fae)
Jan 26, 2013 Barbi Faye (The Book Fae) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
A lot of previous Xanth ground was covered in this 14th Xanthy novel, but still worthy of a perusal...! In this story we join Millie the Ghost and the Zombie Master's daughter, Lacuna, of the twins, needs counsel from the Good Magician. She is now 34 and feels as though she wasted her life. She seeks an answer to where she went awry ; she also uncovers what has happened to Humphrey! We get an overview of the true history of Xanth.
We learn about the grumpy Good Magician from his POV. We learn ab
Debra Meyer
Sep 02, 2013 Debra Meyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some times I wonder if there is someone else writing some of these books in this series as it seems just a tad off, this was one of them. It was ok but a bit of a hard slog to get through
Jun 06, 2013 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
What a bit of insane jumble! Lewis Carroll meets Terry Pratchett? Not quite but it was certainly different and mostly amusing. I strongly disliked the notion that women are dull and worthless if they are not married and they get old. But the whole book was full of crazy puns (like you should sleep on bedrock because its soft like a bed), metaphors and stereotypes (like women are allowed to be any age - it isn't lying and men can't think straight around a sexy woman) and the main character Lacuna ...more
J Austill
Here it is: the book you've all been waiting for...


I read the Xanth books from the beginning and one thing that I always thought that Piers should do is get a story arch which covered multiple books. That is what we got with the 'whatever happened to Humphrey?' plot which began in book 10 and stretched all the way to here. I gotta say, it really was not interesting enough to be drug that far.

In Vale of the Vole, we simply find out that he isn't home and nobody thinks twice about it.
In Heaven
Jul 11, 2010 Blake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've thoroughly enjoyed every Xanth novel so far, but this one got a little tedious. Much of the book is about Magician Humfrey telling his history. I didn't have a problem with that. It was interesting to learn how some things in Xanth's past came to be. But then about 65 of the last 115 pages of the paper back edition of this book (I'm not sure there is a hardback edition) are used to summarize the last 13 books in the series. Some of it was some stuff you didn't get to see in the books from H ...more
Don LaFountaine
Mar 16, 2015 Don LaFountaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful book in the Xanth Series. All the books in the series, this one included, can be read by themselves, and the reader will be able to follow along. However, this is one of the few books in the series that should be read after reading the preceding books first. With all the juicy tidbits that are in this book, the review needs to be vague in order to preserve future reader's joy.

This book starts with Lacuna, the daughter of Millie the Ghost and the Zombie Master, going to the G
Apr 22, 2013 Swankivy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Truthfully I was happy that there was finally some history on Magician Humfrey. See, in all the previous books, if a character had a question or just wanted a quest, this was the process: go to Humfrey's castle, solve three challenges to get in the castle, ask the question, and get the answer. Lather, rinse, repeat. But Humfrey was always just kind of a pool of knowledge with no reason behind him. I liked the fact that Anthony decided to address this and give us some background on the old fella. ...more
Jun 06, 2012 Kirsti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Humfrey, once King of Xanth, now the Magician of Information. It covers quite a number of years, and many questions are answered about Xanth and characters from previous books. It also offers an insight into a character that has appeared in every book, that of Humfrey himself. Some readers have compared Humfrey to Piers himself, and I can see why. It really does feel as if he has a hand in everything, from major to minor characters, and a way of making everything turn out al ...more
Julie Decker
Magician Humfrey has been missing for a very long time, with several previous quests failing to find him. Where is he? And furthermore, WHY is he? In this volume, we learn how Humfrey came to be Humfrey, the story behind all of his wives (yes, multiple), and where he's been.

The sheer volume of the puns in this one nearly drove me to madness. It was like someone had made a bet with Anthony that he couldn't use every single pun sent to him in the mail for the last year. Although it took fourteen v
May 12, 2015 Pj rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the literary version of a clip show. Don't know how to fill the pages of your book? Just tell the previous stories over again in abridged versions. I understand a little recap to make sure new readers understand some obscure reference or minor character but this book just felt lazy to me. The actual story was fun, I enjoyed learning about Humfrey's youth and the ending was also interesting but it really seems like he mailed this one in. And the number of puns has reached critical ma ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basically to me a review of the world of Xanth through the eyes of Magician Humphrey, although very cleverly done. I felt as if I was briefly touching on each book I had read in the Xanth series to this point. Anthony manages to basically bring all of the quests that require an Answer, and thus a year of service, through the perspective of Humphrey. Lacuna, one of the Castle Zombie twins, figures prominently in the end as she rescues Humphrey from Hell (literally) and learns his history as well.
Nov 19, 2008 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great read! I've read this one before, but couldn't really remember much of it, probably because it recaps the previous books in the series, most of which I hadn't read the first time round!
A recap style book, basically telling most of the previous books in brief from the point of view of Humfrey the magician of Information, it's a fascinating read, he has an interesting take on most of it!
Great to finally know more about him too, learning his history, and bits of Xanth's history previou
Jan 18, 2008 Kitsune is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes fantasy and magic, and a bunch of awful puns! ;o)
book #14 of 30+ in the Xanth series.

I found out about piers anthony from my friend, she reads many of his books. I happened to find book #7 in this series, unaware of how many I would be commited to reading. I love the series, it has been an ongoig story, some of the books are "flashbacks". I am just lucky that he started writing these in the 70's and though he (I believe) is still writing them today, I have awhile to go before I catch up.
Yet another Xanth goes by.

The interesting story, of... What has Magician Humphrey been up to? The story may get a little boring at times as Magician Humphrey summarizes all the happenings in Xanth during his lifetime. A long story, but one worthwhile. You find he's more involved in the story of Xanth than you would believe.

Well, you have to believe it. Anyway Humphrey begins a young man like any other, and ages to become the gnomish being you recognize.
For being the 14th or 15th book in the series, this basically serves as a quick rehash of the previous books plus some unknown parts (like Crombie being the son of Humfrey). The framing story is resolved in the final chapter and it's a quick and obvious story.

Look, if you're reading the Xanth series still by this book, you know what the heck to expect and this book is all of that.
Mar 29, 2013 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
I wish this book was more about Lacuna and her story and less about Humphrey but still I enjoyed seeing all of Xanth through his eyes.

I really enjoyed all the different "romances" of the good magician but I liked the Gorgon the most. I think perhaps I was supposed to like Rose the best, but the Gorgon stole my imagination.
Jeremiah Johnson
I really liked the first part of this book dealing with Humfrey's back story. Then came the chapters retelling the earlier books in the series. While some parts were from a different perspective than was received in the original telling, most of them were just summaries of the books. I really didn't enjoy these chapters and they are what kept it from a 4 star book for me.
Jul 13, 2011 Carole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favourite of the Xanth books, but if you want a quick "catch-me-up" this would be a good place to start. This one is basically a history of what has happened before, but through Humfrey's eyes, specifically, as how it relates to his own life. You do get to learn a few little extra facts, such as why Crombie is such a woman-hater.

It's good, it's just not one of my favourites.
Kristen Darienzo
"May you live in boring times."

Coming off Carl Sagan's Cosmos, I wanted a light, quick, easy read, so I turned to Piers Anthony.

Question Quest is just that: straightforward plot, puns, borderline raunchy jokes, nice summarized everything-falls-into-place ending. A quirky, quick read for anyone who wants a funny book to kill time with.
Oct 09, 2010 Cara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This read like a personal history of Humphrey, how he came to have 5 wives, how he became the Answer guy, and most importantly (to me) where he disappeared to. I find that I tend to like the books that go back into the history of Xanth. I liked Crewel Lye quite a bit too.
Lisa James
Jun 24, 2011 Lisa James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Lacuna doesn't like being an adult in this visit back to Xanth. Her adventures start when she makes a deal with the Good Magician for a youth potion in return for getting some answers for him, which takes her to Hell in a handbasket :)
Melva Clark
It catches you up on the history of Xanth.
Jo and Hali
May 18, 2011 Jo and Hali marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
ok guys if we have an questions look up this book and tyip one and when it shows up we will know that someone has a question.
Sep 14, 2010 Jeffrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Just a guilty pleasure, but just corny enough to be decent.
Chris Bombaro
Jan 22, 2008 Chris Bombaro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When we were in high school, my friend and I wrote to Piers Anthony and ended up inspiring the chapter, "Mountain of Change." We were credited as "Chris and Natalie."
Elisa Kay
Most of this book was taken up with retelling events from previous books with only a smidgeon of new detail. A little disappointed with this one.
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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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“Information is power.
“At first I was exhilarated by my freedom from the responsibility of the kingship. This lasted about seven minutes. I was also depressed by my freedom from marriage, for I had become accustomed to the attentions of a woman. This lasted about nine minutes. Then I was bored.” 3 likes
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