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The Source Of Magic
 
by
Piers Anthony
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The Source Of Magic (Xanth #2)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  15,584 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Ordered by King Trent to determine the source of Xanth's magic, Bink and his companions were harried by an unseen enemy determined to thwart them. When even their protector turned against them, Blink still managed to reach his goal and carry out the King's orders...but the king did not expect Blink's next act--to destroy utterly the magic of Xanth!
Paperback, 326 pages
Published January 12th 1979 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1979)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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RachelAnne
The sexist attitudes prevented me from at all enjoying the whimsy.
Sarah Lu
I tried, I really tried. The way that my sister was talking about this book, it sounded like so much fun, and there was so much potential. But... I just can't like this book.

First off, I think that it could have been so much shorter. It takes so much time, trying to sound more important than it really is, that it just sucks pages into bizarre explanations.

Secondly, I can only take so much of reading about nymph's pert little butts, their supple arms, and how female they are. And pretty much th...more
Liz
Hmmm... it's a strange thing to read your childhood favourites as an adult - except with Harry Potter, which for me is timeless. I will never stop enjoying them.

I quite enjoyed 'The Source of Magic', though reading it now, a few things strike me. Firstly an obvious one - the prose are not nearly as good as I remember. But that is to be expected - nobody writes like Ian McEwan when they're writing young adult fiction.

Also, this book in particular (I have yet to see whether the others will follo...more
Jessie
If you loved the first book you may like this one.
I couldn't ignore the commentary on women because it never stops, ever. I don't know if Piers Anthony was bitter but that makes it not worth reading for me.
Also, the continuous lusting descriptions of the centaurs ass. No one needs to read from the inner mind of a man who seems to think a horse's hind end is the most beautiful thing he sees.
Jeffrey
The first three novels of Xanth are classic fantasy novels. In A Spell for Chameleon, we are introduced to a world where everyone has a magic Talent. Some can point unerringly at trouble, others can change their appearance. In order to become a citizen of Xanth, a person must display the talent or they are exiled to Mundania (where we live). In Spell, Bink is revealed to have a talent, but the talent itself is reluctant to be revealed – as Bink’s talent, tries to thwart evidence of its existence...more
Shane
Oct 15, 2011 Shane rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
My 12 year-old really liked -A Spell for Chameleon- so now we're on to the next book (can't say I'm all that excited).

So my reaction to this book is the same as my reaction to the re-read of A Spell for Chameleon. Too much sexual innuendo for kids. Too much "theory" for kids. Not serious enough for adults. Not funny enough for adults. Every woman is defined by her looks and made to be either a sexual object or basically "not a woman".

So again I ask who are these books written for? If I at age 41...more
Josiah
Plot: C
Writing: F
Vocabulary: D
Level: Easy
Rating: R (sexism, adultery, demons, scatological humor, lascivious descriptions of women as objects only)
Worldview: Do what you want to do.

The first of the Xanth novels was somewhat witty, did a decent job of world-building, and established the protagonist as a upright if slightly immature young man. This second novel is a ridiculous bodice-ripper lacking a cohesive plot. All the characters are one-dimensional, and many are written contrary to their orig...more
Jill
Eh. Nope.

This one is another series of mini adventures in the course of a larger quest undertaken by Bink, Chester, Crombie, Humphrey, and Grundy to find out the source of magic in Xanth. I was really hoping it would be less sexist than the first one, but it's not. I mean, there was no infuriating rape trial here, but otherwise it was just as bad.

Every woman in Xanth is described and, to at least some extent, valued in terms of her attractiveness. You get a description of almost every female cha...more
Swankivy
Piers Anthony really knows his audience, doesn't he? I consider myself a fantasy fan, but it has not escaped my notice that most fantasy fans are men and boys. This book speaks directly to them most of the time, and even though I kind of liked some of the silly ideas that Anthony planted in Xanth, I got tired of the constant running description of every single female that appeared. Men would have their talents and attitudes emphasized, but women were described physically (and, usually, lusted af...more
Jessica
Oct 01, 2007 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: humorous fantasy fans
The Source of Magic is the second book in Piers Anthony's Xanth series. This series is usually well known for it's heavy use of puns and the resemblance of the land of Xanth to a certain North American peninsula with an oversized rodent infestation (i.e. Florida).
Bink, a Magician class Talent in a society where everyone has magic, is searching for the sourch of magic in the land of Xanth. He is escorted by two of his friends through the dangers and perils of a magical, but not at all friendly w...more
V.
I liked this series as a child and having read the first one recently, and found it not too bad, I wanted to read the second one to see if he developed as a writer and if he managed to improve on the problems I had with the first one.

Sadly this one is a little worse than the first. It sticks to the same episodic template and jumps around all over the place, a book of ideas more than a strong narrative. I can see why I would have liked it as a child, but in terms of story it tended to be full of...more
rytr_1
Like its predecessor, A Spell for Chameleon, this book is a very pleasant diversion from the mediocrity of daily life. Anthony has a special gift for creating characters who in some way go against fantasy stereotypes in the way they act, look, and think. The Xanth books are short enough that you can dive in and get a good sense of the unfolding story within the first chapter. I do wish more attention had been given to the characters of Chameleon and Millie the Ghost, both of whom are largely sid...more
Eric Moreno
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn
I think I liked this book even more than the first one in the series. Piers Anthony gives us our first look at some of the REALLY strange places (and people) in Xanth. It's also a swashbuckling boys-only adventure, (at least until the last quarter of the book) with very little of the moping that went on in "A Spell for Chameleon". At least until near the end when the main character does something unbelievably reckless that you have to admire him for. And also? There's some cute puns, but not to...more
Julie Sondra Decker
Bink is frustrated and overwhelmed by the constant demands and criticism from his pregnant wife, so he's willing to do something, anything, to get himself out of the house. So he decides to investigate an age-old mystery: Why does the Magical Land of Xanth have magic, anyway? Well, watch out, Bink. Not only is the source of magic something beyond your imagination, but once you know the story, you might be tempted to do something to change it. . . .

In this book we get to meet some fun new charac...more
Kirsti
The second of the Xanth novels, and the second book to focus on Bink. In this book he discovers the source of magic in Xanth, and learns more about the land he calls home. I love the adventure in the early novels, they aren't the standard boy meets girl formula (although boys do still meet girls, it just isn't the central quest) A fun read, I can't remember even say how many times I've read this one but I always enjoy it. On to the third!
Jenny
Fabulous and innocent fantasy series. Xanth was my first experience into a magical world of fantasy years ago. Anthony uses puns and clever wordplays as part of the magical charm of the land of Xanth. This whole series makes our life here in "Mundania" seem so... well... mundane.
Brian
I loved these books as a young adult and I'm considering introducing them to my son who is 11. I read the first 7 or 8 but soon got tired of Anthony shoehorning bad puns into everything. Or maybe I just grew up a bit. Good light fantasy.
Jenniffer
Re-reading this series, and I didn't give this a higher rating as I remembered why I this one didn't rate highly out of the others in the series. Binx came off a bit of a hypocrite. On one hand, he has to release a demon as he feels its not right that the demon has been "trapped" for so long, even though he is really playing a game with fellow demons and just going by the rules. On the other hand, he thinks its fine that a friend of his friend wants to make a nymph drink from a love spring so th...more
Don LaFountaine
Book two of the Xanth Series finds Bink, Crombie, and Chester on a mission to find the source of Magic in Xanth. Along the way, they fight a dragon, nicklepeeds, and an assortment of vegetation. The Good Magician Humphrey comes along,and they encounter a village that help spread magic dust, but lose their men to a pair of neighbors! It is a fun adventure that brings this motley crew of friends to the brink of killing one another, with the source of Xanth magic being the ultimate prize. An enjoya...more
Marta
So, I was a bit disappointed with the first book in Xanth series, but I believe in reading at least first three books of big series before the final judgement... and so.

The first part was okey.
Actually found some things funny.

Then...
The story started to drag, Bink started to be annoying again, the comments about women too hard to ignore.

And here comes the peak of whole suspension and fallout, the find of the source of magic. What does Bink do? Against better judgement, against advice of smarter...more
David Sarkies
Jul 25, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody really
Recommended to David by: A friend at the library
Shelves: fantasy
The second Xanth book is obviously a sequal
24 September 2011

This book doesn't actually seem to be much at all. It is a sequel to Spell for Cameleon and the second in the Xanth series. It appears that the Xanth series probably should be read in order because, unlike Discworld, it appears that it moves around the same characters (though considering that this is only the second book in the series that is probably a pretty tough call). In this book Bink has discovered his magical power, which is de...more
John
This book picks up approximately a year after the first book, and details the continuing adventures of Bink and his friends in the land of Xanth. This time, however, we know exactly what Bink's talent is, and he makes conscious and intentional use of it. I felt like I was returning to a well-established world, being aware of how many things work in Xanth, but also eager to learn more about the unknown. In this case, the story is about the very Source of Magic in Xanth.

This story did well to fort...more
François Declercq
Unlike Bearing an Hourglass for On a Pale Horse, The Source of Magic is a worthy sequel to A Spell for Chameleon. It picks up only a year after Bink's prior adventure. He is now married with a child almost due and King Trent decides to send him off on the before scheduled quest to find the source of magic.

Bink is joined by other characters from the first novel, Chester, Humphrey and Crombie as he leads them on a difficult adventure into the unknown regions of Xanth.

Once again, Piers Anthony spri...more
Andrew
The sequel to A Spell for Chameleonby Piers Anthony, this is the 2nd book of the Xanth saga. It follows Bink (the main character from the previous novel) through his quest to find the Source of Magic in Xanth. This book is paced much quicker than the previous novel simply because it takes very little time to explain what everything is. This makes it a bit difficult for someone to read this without reading the previous book.

Aside from this, however, the book itself is much like its predecessor i...more
J Austill
I said previously in my review of A Spell for Chameleon:

"As a general rule, Xanth novels are about a protagonist who doesn't really fit in and has no idea what their purpose in life is or what group they would fit in with. That is, they are a normal young adult. They decide to go on a Quest and over the course of said Quest they discover who they are, where they belong, and fall in love."

This is the book that breaks that general rule, and that is likely it's biggest weakness.

Bink, the protagonis...more
Nola
The Xanth novels, like most of Anthony's, are light-heated, funny stories with characters on fantastic quests and magical adventures. The tales are enjoyable to read, and if you are relying on a Goodreads to learn that a decades-long best-seeking author can craft an excellent narrative well...he can.

I hate to follow the general custom, but I can't not allude to Anthony's blatant sexism and simplicity of thought. Particularly given Bink's moral stand in this novel. Anthony's condescension and ste...more
Tom

This is the second in a series of fantasy novels by Piers Anthony set in the mythical world of Xanth and stars the protagonist from the first novel, Bink

The story begins with Bink on his way to a masquerade ball hosted by Iris who is the wife of the newly appointed king of Xanth, Magician Trent.

Bink has several attempts made on his life and eventually it is decided, as a way to safeguard him, that he will travel the lands hoping to find the mythical Source of Magic.

Bink is accompanied by his fri

...more
Steve Kunitzer
A decent read from Piers Anthony; the second book of the Xanth series that has the main characters from the previous book on a quest for the source of magic. Although the book was originally released in 1979 it doesn't feel dated as the world of Xanth is completely magical with many of our real world -isms alive and well in their pun form; such as a sword fish, or a bread fruit tree, or brain coral, ...

These books seem geared for the adolescent male as buried in the magic and adventure are ample...more
Alex Black
I found this book very intriguing. Not only did the constant aspect of adventure and action keep me turning pages. I do however feel as though women were not discriminated or deliberately insulted but were rather frail characters, aside from those in the magic dust village. Not to say I found Anthony's references to women "insulting" or "disrespectful" despite the many descriptions of female anatomy. The involvement of various new and familiar characters kept me interested. I am very satisfied w...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...more
More about Piers Anthony...
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) With a Tangled Skein (Incarnations of Immortality, #3)

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