David Sarkies's Reviews > Night Mare

Night Mare by Piers Anthony
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's review
Oct 04, 2014

did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy
Recommended to David by: Stewart Wymer
Recommended for: Tweens who liked the Harry Potter Books
Read from March 13 to 20, 1989 , read count: 1

A nightmare is actually a mythological creature
30 December 2011

Well, at this point in the Xanth series we are starting to move away from the main characters from the previous books to single books, set in Xanth, evolving around a new character. In this novel we meet Mare Imbrium, a Night Mare. Nightmares are given the task of carrying bad dreams to the people of Xanth. However Imbrium's problem is that she has obtained half a soul (which she got from the previous book) and this has affected her ability to carry out her task.
Piers Anthony does like playing with words, but then he was not the first person to connect nightmares with horses. I have seen this a while back in the worlds of Dungeons and Dragons, where nightmares are from the nether regions, and are dark demonic horses that travel on paths of fire. However Anthony's nightmare is a little tamer than the nastier creatures that appear in Dungeons of Dragons. However, a little research has revealed that nightmares have been connected with horses long before the development of Dungeons and Dragons, and in fact are demonic creatures in German folklore (as is evident by this painting, so it seems that Anthony's pun has backfired):

John Henry Fusali – The Nightmare

The other thing that I immediately noticed after reading the outline of the book, and that is the name of the nightmare. Mare Imbrium: that is the name of a region of the lunar surface which, for some strange reason, are called seas (even though there is no water in them – Mare is a Latin word that refers to a large body of water). I would have never picked that up when I originally read the book, however it has since jumped out at me from my computer screen upon noticing it this time.
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05/20/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Miriam It's been eons, but if I recall correctly all the night mares were named after lunar features.

David Sarkies It's been ages upon ages since I read this book as well, but you might be correct. I'll have to ask a friend of mine who still has the collection.

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