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The Dastard

(Xanth #24)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  3,155 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Many malevolent menaces have imperiled the magical land of Xanth in its long and storied history. But none has been as despicably dangerous as the Dastard-a craven miscreant who sold his soul to a detestable demon for the power to erase events. Now the entire future of Xanth is at the mercy of his every whim. Only a young dragon-girl named Becka has the power to stop his d ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 14th 2001 by Tor Books (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  3,155 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Paul Darcy
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
by Piers Anthony, published in 2000.

I can’t believe the Xanth series is now over 30 years old and that I have been reading it since the beginning. Well, if Fauns, Nymphs, puns a plenty and the sight of panties freaking men out is your cup of tea, hop on the Xanth train and party.

“The Dastard” is book 24 in the Xanth series which has well over 30 novels now and counting, and is everything you have come to expect if you have been reading along like I have. There is usually a quest to be performed
Jeremiah Johnson
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a much better book than the previous few. It still had Ptero and it's stupid comic strips and geography, but thankfully not a lot of it.
I really liked the Dastard. He was a unique character whom unfortunately we likely won't see again.
The story was average for the series. More unnecessary adult themes that I still say aren't needed.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

The Dastard is the twenty-fourth book in the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. Xanth seems to face one disaster after another, and this book is no different. The Dastard is the worst yet- and only a young dragon girl called Beca has what it takes to defeat him. But not without facing some dangers herself.
The Xanth Series is quite a really long series that has spanned many decades. I remember reading the first few books back in the very early 1980’s and was totally captivated by the epic fant
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: defenders-vs-wca
If you have read one Xanth Book you almost feel like you have read them all. The puns are still so spectacularly bad they become good again, very convenient characters and magic happens to move the stories on and someone is always trying to get around the Adult Conspiracy.

This one is about a character called The Dastard (I'll let you work out what his name actually should be!), he is travelling around Xnath bringing woe to all by undoing good events. This is a quest to try and stop him made by
Sarah J
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Xanth is a fantasy novel that is based almost entirely on wordplay, specifically puns. The series occupies a strange space between silly and weird. Anthony has some odd opinions on themes, such as sex, racism, prejudice, growing up, and the use of magic in everyday life. The writing vacillates between heavy-handed condescending to extended analysis of magic, science, and the application of the rules of Xanth. Some love it, some hate it; I personally thought it was a strange read but harmless, al ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was a reread. I rediscovered it in a box of my old college things. It was a flat, uninteresting story packed with out of place puns. I learned in the author note at the end that he included every pun submitted by a fam from a list he had kept. It showed. There was constant justification for story elements that wouldn't have made any sense otherwise. Also, a lot of casual racism (surprising for a 2000 copyright date) and the whole story line was very rapey. It's just not cool that seeing a w ...more
Kate H
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Xanth books by Piers Anthony were one of the first SciFi/Fantasy series I ever read. I love puns so I have always enjoyed them. Upon re-reading them I can see that they have some weaknesses but overall they stand the test of time. They are a fun and fast read that keeps me amused without any deep thinking required.
Erica Johnson
Sep 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
If you don't like puns, don't read this. Not so bad that I couldn't finish, but I am absolutely amazed that this is #24. I like the general plotline, but am underwhelmed by the writing. This read to me like a book that was published about 30 years earlier than it was (2000). ...more
Nancy McPherson
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Not the best in the series, but if you've been reading them it's worth your time. ...more
USarmyveteran Castro
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of p8ers Anthony's better Xanth novels. Love reading all the Xanth novels. ...more
Don LaFountaine
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Book 24 of the Xanth series is a fun book and a quick read that fans of the series will enjoy.

The book starts out with two events that are a large part of the story. The first is that Draco Dragon was on spying a delicious female morsel to eat, and both of them end up drinking from a love spring, the result of which was Becka. The second event is that a demon makes a trade with a human man named Anomy - the talent to be able to erase events for his soul. The result of this is The Dastard, who go
Nov 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: purge
Xanth #24: The Dastard, by Piers Anthony

While most people in Xanth have a magic talent, many of the talents are minor - the "spot on the wall" variety. Usually only Magicians and Sorceress' have powerful talents, such as being able to transform any living creature into something else.

Anomy has a useless magic talent - the talent of stupid ideas. Frustrated by this, he sells his soul to a demon for a much more powerful talent - the ability to rewrite history. With his new talent and soulless sel
George Deoso
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the very first full-length novel I ever finished, and I think I made no mistake for choosing this book to be the one.

When I was 1st year in high school we were asked to pick a book (any book) and do apply the usual summary/characters/settings/moral lesson shit our teachers love to burden us with. Prior to this, I have no interest in reading whatsoever, so this seems to be a task.

I picked this book up from a garage sale near our house for twenty pesos. Not bad for a near-pristine conditio
Kristen (belles_bookshelves)
"Nothing is predetermined."

Another chance love spring encounter, another crazy crossbreed species that I have to just really not think about too hard because it makes my head hurt. We've got Becka DragonGirl (how? I mean, literally, how?) that is such a cool concept if, once again, you don't think too hard about it. She wants to know her place in the world (don't we all) and, apparently, that place right now is with The Dastard, a once ordinary man who sold his sold to a demon for a stronger mag
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I read this book originally, I admit I was pretty confused. I hadn't at that time read the book about Ida's moons, so the whole concept of the switching of characters didn't really make much sense to me then, but I just went with it. Now though, reading through again I have more of an idea and can appreciate the concept.

I love the layers to Xanth, it is definitely an onion of a series. Just when you think you have it figured, something else crops up and changes everything. Awesome book, fiv
Nathan Johnson
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read many Xanth books as a preteen/teen. I loved them then.
Lately I have been going back and reading the whole series. On the whole I realize now that Piers Anthony is not the great writer I remember, but he is perfectly suited for young adult fiction.

This was actually the first book in some time that I really enjoyed. Certainly some aspects I do get tired of (comic strips are just a way to wedge in more reader suggested puns), but the plot of this particular book was quite fun to read.

No matt
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this author, I have been reading the Xanth series as I can find them, totally going out of order but it really doesnt seem to matter with this series, I love the Puns, they are so funny and give me a laugh whenever I come across one I wouldnt have thought of. I was glad that the Dastard did indeed become dashing in this book and hope he and the princess are very happy together!!!
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: series, fantasy, magic, xanth
Maybe I am just becoming bored with the entire series (I have read them all, starting with A Spell for Chameleon). At any rate, this seemed to me to be a repeat of an ongoing line, with very little variation. It did serve to remind me why I stopped eagerly looking forward to the next XANTH book around the time Ogre, Ogre came out.
While it is a lovely Xanth novel. I just wasn't feeling it. It kicked up a but more towards the end. But I want to hear more about characters I know about. Which at the moment aren't plenty. Too many new characters being introduced in a row for these last few books. ...more
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Xanth turned into the "same old, same old" long ago; apparently the author is just going through the alphabet. There were a few books I enjoyed earlier in the series, but after Dragon on a Pedestal, they just got old. ...more
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
While this book did have a few redeeming qualities, due to a lack of editorial contribution I would not recommend.

My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Joanna Hyde
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: piers-anthony
I thought Piers Anthony had stopped writing Xanth novels and only recently managed to purchase this next book in the series. I am hooked again and enjoying reading these new old books that I missed. Xanth is the place I hide when I need a break from reality.
The Dastard is a man character who is a Dastard. :0 He wants to marry a princess and does wind up meeting one that can't seem to stand him. You'll have to read the book for more. He is a real piece of work in the book. ...more
Nov 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The puns were a bit on overload in this book, and the sexual tension and teases weren't as amusing as they were in previous books. ...more
Kaylynn Johnsen
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Everyone needs to know where they fit in the world and what role they play. Sometimes you need an adventure to figure it out.
Jan 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: piers-anthony
Forgot this book. Made me cry. Sooo sad. Despite the non-bad ending- kinda mediocre- this book made me feel sad. :(
Kyra Dunst
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Xanth series is one of my favorites. Ooh, the Dastard is a really bad boy, and the quest to bring him down has a wonderful ending.
Debra Meyer
not sure why but seem to have a lot of trouble reading this one, had put it down for awhile due to life getting in the way and finally picked it back up recently and finished it off.
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back on form, I was getting a tad bored of Xanth, but this one restored my Xanthlove!
Oct 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Xanth fans
This book certainly contains some dastardly deeds!!
It is a fun read I liked it. I did I did.
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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

Other books in the series

Xanth (1 - 10 of 43 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: A Caustic Yarn (Xanth #8)
  • Golem in the Gears (Xanth, #9)
  • Vale of the Vole (Xanth #10)

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