I just reread this book for the first time in over 20 years. I thought because I had read the first 10 or so books of the series when I was in middle...moreI just reread this book for the first time in over 20 years. I thought because I had read the first 10 or so books of the series when I was in middle school that I knew a lot about Xanth, but the reality is that although I remembered the characters and the locations, I had completely forgotten everything else. That may be because the storyline is forgettable - I won't get into an argument there - but it is probably more to do with me being young when reading it and so much time passing. Honestly, the writing is not particularly good, but the story is fascinating and fun. Anthony is best when dealing with wordplay, and his action sequences are pretty good too. His main failing is in explaining everything the characters are thinking through narrative, something many great authors of fantasy and science fiction are guilty of.
The books is a lot like the great Saturday morning cartoons of old. If you expect time to pass in a realistic manner, or for locations and creatures to appear for any particular reason, then you will miss the joy this book will bring when you just let go and enjoy the ride. The overt sexuality is cast in a light of silliness that somehow redeems it. And the storyline is not without value in its dealing with moral and intellectual ideas.
Transparently, issues of sexuality, responsible relationships, good/bad, redemption, love, ecology, war, and the meaning of one's life are dealt with.
It is a wonderful book for kids and a fun book for adults. Looking forward to rereading the rest of the series.(less)