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Night Mare

(Xanth #6)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  17,326 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Ordinary shelf wear to cover. All pages intact and clean. Binding is tight. SHIPS IN 24 HOURS OR LESS!
Mass Market Paperback, First Paperback Edition, 307 pages
Published January 1983 by Del Rey/Ballantine Books (first published 1982)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  17,326 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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R.S. Merritt
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So nostalgic going back and rating this. I think I still have a few of the Xanth series floating around in my paperback boxes. Really was one of my favorite series as a Young Adult.
David Sarkies
Dec 30, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tweens who liked the Harry Potter Books
Recommended to David by: Stewart Wymer
Shelves: fantasy
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
Imbrium is the main character of this story. She's the author's first female protagonist in this series, and though she is a horse (a night mare to be exact), she's still handled with the same sort of disrespect that Anthony frequently frames his female characters. At one point she is made powerless because a man tricks her into being dominated by him (he gets on her back and fits her with a bit, and she can't escape), and later the same man turns out to be a shapeshifter who dominates her by ...more
Amanda Orneck
Sep 08, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Frustrating though imaginative, mean-spirited and misogynistic, an example of how not to portray women in fiction. It saddens me to say that this will be the last Xanth novel I read for the forseeable future. Once I slogged through Night Mare I no longer wanted to spend time with this writer, and it’s for the strangest reason: This book, featuring a female protagonist destined to save her kingdom from ultimate destruction, is just a diatribe against women.

Imbri is a former Night Mare, a horse
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For someone who hasn’t read any of the Xanth novels, this book was very interesting. In my opinion I felt that the middle was a little boring but the ending made up for it. I do think that if others want to read this book they should read the first Xanth novel to get a better understanding.
Kristen Coffin
"Naturally no human person was a handsome as a horse."


First non humanoid-protagonist in a Xanth novel, Night Mare features mare Imbrium (named after the "mares" on the Moon - a tidbit I had to look up, then found interesting) attempting to help thwart a barbarian invasion from Mundania.

I love prophecies, because I love spending the book trying to figure things out. Anthony is great at creating a story, where, at the climax, everything falls perfectly into place. Eureka!

Plus, a horse as a
Moira Russell
I think this is the only Anthony book I've ever read. I don't know why I never read more of him so I could have the horrific double-vision OH GOD NO experience later in life so many of my GoodReads peers did. I mean, that sounds so appealing! ....I think I was distracted by Le Guin.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

Night Mare is the sixth book in the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. Things take a strange and somewhat disturbing turn for Mare Imbrium. The Night Mare's task of delivering bad dreams begins to skew. What's that got to do with the Barbarian Warriors who have been invading the kingdom? Well worth the read to find out.
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
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Night Mare is one of Mr. Anthony's best early Xanth novels. It nicely ends the first chapter in the ever continuing Xanth trilogy. It brings all the main players from the first five novels together in one major story arc - a new wave of ferocious warriors from Mudania, led by a mysterious figure known only as The Horseman, is making its way through Xanth toward Castle Roogna. Somehow they have been able to incapacitate the King of Xanth, and then his heir, and then the next in line, and so ...more
Renée Fornelli
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series is such a cute, refreshing world to relax in. It is full of lovable, interesting, optimistic characters and creative, hilarious puns.
Like popcorn, this novel can be finished off quickly and with little remorse. I read it over the course of a few hours each night before bed, but only stopped reading because I had to. All the plot twists combined with the riddle-filled prophesies made me wish I could just spend a full day reading to see what happens next!
I was totally wrong in trying
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is something of a departure from the 5 that preceded it, e.g. because the plot departs - at last - from the tried-and-tested formula of the hero or heroine undertaking a lengthy journey as a rite of passage and turns instead to warfare and strategy. I think the author tries (not necessarily convincingly) to make up for the misogyny of the previous books by abolishing the discrepancy in status between the male and female characters and showing that the females actually dealt with the ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Sometimes when feeling down and in need of an escape, I visit Xanth. Again, I am glad I did as Night Mare is a light, fun, fast, enjoyable read.

Anthony employs the same successful formula as compared to prior installments.. Yet he still manages to keep each forthcoming story fresh and creative.

This particular volume reunited me with several favorite characters from all prior editions. The dream world aspect continues to be fascinating and entertaining. The major mystery revelation is fairly
Charlie Devlin
The story works very well as a culmination of the books that had followed. Seeing most of the main characters from preceding books play, sometimes small, yet useful parts in the story was quite enjoyable. While I didn't find myself to invested in the main heroine, I still found her a fine character and a fine catalyst for the stories monumental war on Xanth.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is his most heart-wrenching Xanth novel. It can't be my favorite but it might be his best written.
Certainly the most intense.
Brittany Foster
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED this one!!
In his way, the author is trying to support women's equality, but it is just a little too condescending from the height of male superiority. The horses are a little too fantasitical for me
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clever, creative. Piers Anthony is brilliant.
Jimmy Warner
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart warming to hear about King Imbri
Connie Stinson
My favorite of the Xanth series, first I read...adventure of Nightmare Imbrium through the magical land of Xanth.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I rate it a great big, meigh.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like the point of view the story follows.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved it, but a little slower then the others.
J Austill
This, the 6th Xanth book, is sort of hit or miss for me. On one hand, it is the first time that we get a female protagonist and it turns out that Piers does just fine writing for the opposite sex. It also continues the new trend from the last book of having a non-human protagonist. She's a horse. Well, more correctly a night mare which is a horse which delivers dreams. Imbrium has found herself changed from the other night mares after gaining part of a soul at the end of the previous book and as ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: young adults, ya fans, fantasy fans
Recommended to Michael by: Seth Klein
Shelves: fantasy, satire
For some reason, this is the only one of my Xanth books which I have kept since my own early adulthood, when I devoured all of them (8 of them, I think, at the time) in a remarkably short time and then lost all interest before the next one had come out. This is the sixth in the series, and it certainly wasn’t the best. I may have held on to it because of the extensive use of the nightmare world of the “gourds,” but I suspect that it was just the luck that in this case the cover never fell off.

Sarah J
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Don LaFountaine
I liked the book, but had trouble getting into the first half of the story. It probably deserves 3 1/2 stars instead of the three I gave it.

For those who read Ogre, Ogre, you will find some of the same characters appear in this story, including the main character, Mare Imbrie. Still carrying a half of a soul, Imbrie has not been doing well as a Night Mare. She has trouble being as sinister as she needs to be, and even dreams of seeing the rainbow. The Night Stallion sends her out into the day,
Sam Lackey
Jan 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Night Mare reads like a lazy attempt to revisit all of the characters from the previous novels in the Xanth series. It will be the last Xanth book that I read, and probably the last Piers Anthony book that I read.

While younger readers might appreciate the childish humor, mainly in the form of puns and wordplay, Night Mare-- like almost all of the other Xanth novels, offers nothing for someone wanting to delve into a good fantasy novel.

There really isn't anything redeeming for younger readers,
Night Mare (and the rest of the Xanth series) sadly didn't hold up to a re-reading as an adult, but as a pre-teen and young teenager, I found these hilarious and wonderful.

Piers Anthony specializes in a kind of subversive and dirty humor that's just on this side of not appropriate for children. They're also almost terrifying, in a way that left me wanting more. That combined with the mythology made for absorbing childhood reading for me.

The one thing that saved the book upon my adult re-read was
Julie Decker
Imbrium is a Night Mare who, like many in her land, gets charmed by the Horseman while investigating the rash of kidnapped Xanthian kings. As more and more of Xanth's royalty are getting transported to a hypnotic state, the next successor must take the throne, and it may be up to Imbrium to break the chain.

This was the only Xanth book that I liked as much as the first one. Mostly because the ideas in the "gourd" world invention were pretty fresh and unique. What I didn't like so much was (again)
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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

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)
  • 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)
  • Heaven Cent (Xanth #11)