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Being a Green Mother

(Incarnations of Immortality #5)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  17,829 ratings  ·  243 reviews
Orb plays magic in her harp, but seeks Llano, the song that controls Life. Natasha is handsome, charming, teaches her more spell tunes, but is he Satan? Her mother Niobe, Fate, warns of a prophecy she will marry Satan, and offers her the job of Nature.

~Author's Note 12-pg, bio 1-pg.
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Paperback, LCC 8747742, 314 pages
Published October 1988 by Random House Ballantine Del Rey (first published October 1st 1987)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,829 ratings  ·  243 reviews


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An Odd1
Feb 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Quest. World faces doom. (view spoiler)
Prophecy says Orb will marry Satan. (view spoiler)

First time through series, heroes (men and women) seemed to stretch pre-ordained parameters of roles, grow into best they could be. Death and War were seen in new, surprising, positive lights. On re-read some decades later, maybe dated, maybe worst forgotten, but cannot continu
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Jen
Feb 27, 2010 rated it liked it
I am quite delighted that this did not remain the last in this series as was originally intended. The ending is too abrupt, too crazy to be the ending of this whole story!
That being said, I felt like this whole book was sort of crammed together. A ton of stuff happened, but it felt rather formulaic and crowded until about page 235, right around when the actual Immortality-ness kicked in. THEN it got super interesting. Not to say it wasn't interesting before--all kinds of question get answered, l
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Sara
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Piers Anthony's Being a Green Mother is the fifth book in his Incarnations of Immortality series. It starts out well. Orb Kaftan is on the search for the song behind the magic of the universe, also called the Llano. Along the way she meets gypsies, joins a circus, and later fronts a headlining band. At the forefront of her mind is a prophecy told to her in childhood, that she would one day marry Satan. And then Anthony has to ruin it with his usual “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” sermo ...more
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
Orb Kaftan is born into a special family. Her father can make magical music and her mother was once an aspect of Fate. Her half-brother is a powerful magician and her niece can see auras and paint them. Orb herself has an incredible amount of music magic. As she grows her talent grows with her and when she becomes an adult she sets out to find the ultimate music of all, the Llano. Traveling all over Europe to various gypsy camps, she seeks the elusive music. In India she falls in love, but he’s ...more
Anastacia
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2016
I've read this book a few times over the years, and I'll state the same thing at the beginning of reviewing all the I of I books: this is a re-read, and the first time reviewing the books. I'm reviewing all of the books after I finished re-reading the entire series, which I don't normally do & didn't do deliberately this time, either...

So Orb is my favorite character in the series, so naturally I enjoy this book, though it isn't my favorite out of the series. Orb is beautiful - though not as bea
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Diana
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Re-read 2018

The second book in the series that focuses on a female main character. Orb is a musician who is traveling the world looking for a specific magical song called the Llano She ends up in an old style traveling circus, however, this circus is a bit different being in a land that has magic there are Lamia and wizards as well as jugglers and various animals. Orb brings a twist to the series she is the first main character who knows about the Incarnations, her mother Niobe has become an asp
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Wanda
My first introduction to Piers Anthony--I'm wondering what the fuss is about? I liked it well enough to finish is and to read another in the series. But I don't like his portrayal of female characters as overly emotional, none too bright and easily leaving their children behind with people they don't know very well. You'd think a man with daughters would have a higher opinion of the feminine gender. ...more
Matt Guion
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joan
I just erased my last review for this title since it was discussing another title in the series. This one concerned the headstrong second child Niobe bore, a girl named Orb. Orb has the family magic of incredible facility with music. In her case, such facility that she could use magic to control Nature itself. Being hotheaded, she makes a complete mess of this ability when it got combined with love of Evil. This was extremely well done. The ending is surprising, romantic and beautiful. However, ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I picked up this book at the library at my highschool (having since graduated) I was not aware that it was part of a series, it had simply caught my interest so I picked it up and checked out. I was a bit confused, since it was the fifth in a series, but the story still reads very well on its own, and after I read more Incarnations books, the stories made sense, especially since right after this, I picked up With a Tangled Skein, and it helped me to better understand the relationships between Or ...more
Matt
Mar 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Initially, this fifth book was meant to be the last of the Incarnations of Immortality series. Piers Anthony lets his imagination flow a bit more freely in Being a Green Mother. Most of the loose ends are tied up fairly well and the Kaftan family tree is filled out. The book is much less formulaic than the previous four. The story is not so much about adjusting to the immortal office of Nature as much as the process of assuming it.
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 12, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I couldn't get through this one....if you're a fan go for it.

I read the incarnation of Death book first, and really felt they faded with each book after. So it goes sometimes. For Anthony fans I assume you will like this, but as I said, I just couldn't get into it at all.
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Penny
Sep 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really love this series, but this book I just didn't like. Not because of the writing or anything, but because I just felt the main character never got a break. ...more
Amanda
Sep 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nyssa Walsh
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another female character, and I loved it! This whole series has been amazing, and Green Mother did not let me down! She had a particularly strange life story leading up to her transformation. In fact, I feel like Pale Horse was the most grounded, and each story got more magical and less tied to reality.

When I first picked up this book there was a spoiler in the very first sentence of the review, so I'm not going to say anything about the plot; if you've been paying attention it all seems to mak
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Terri
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
This is more readable than Wielding a Red Sword, but still a lot of strange stuff going on! Flying whales, grungy rock bands, etc., etc. It was interesting how Orb/Gaea learns to control herself and strengthen her powers, but like the incarnations in books before this one, she almost ends the world doing so. The final scene, with the wedding in Hell, is pretty impressive, though!
Jeffrey House
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jeffrey
Now this one was good a twist in the fact that most of it contains her learning things and a great amount of all the prior books listed into it while still being its own story, if you had not read the other books in some sense it could ruin parts of the earlier books but on the other hand who would read out of order?

Kay
Feb 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ed
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The first three quarters of this book, I would give 5 stars. It is fast paced. The characters, with the exclusion of the main character, Orb , are generally snapshots, but have detail to make them interesing.
Where this book starts to drag is when Orb becomes Gaia, The Green Mother (not really a spoiler, its the name of the book). Anthony does not seem to have as much of a handle on this incarnation as he has had on others. The subplots are actually more interesting than the main theme towards t
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Sergio
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read a review that pointed out that as this series progressed the instalments diminished in quality and I have to say that I agree. In this book our heroine doesn't have to do anything to win the day. Up until this point, all of the other Incarnations, had to use their wits and powers to defeat the bad guy, not so in this case. It felt like she stumbled from place to place, never really doing anything besides being the focus of the entire plot.

Also, I complained that there was a lot of filler
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HoopoeGirl
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-fluff
This book was great! Great for 12-year-old me. Reading again much further down the road and, ugh, so not what I remember. The writing is basic, the characters flat, the dialog banal. Ah, for the rose-colored glasses of youth when Orb was magical, and her story a romantic, fantastical voyage.

Yeah, it's really not. She is whiny, contradictory, weak, and immature. Add to that a constant barrage of convenient plot points, like how there are over 5 billion people in the world (back in '87 when this
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K.D. Reid
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is my second favorite in the series so far. As with all of the others, following the phenomenal first book about Death was just a really difficult thing to accomplish. Gaia's character has been hyped throughout the series, so naturally (pun fully intended), coming into this book was very exciting. The big disappointment was when it became apparent that Gaia's powers and office would not be as elaborated as the others had been, and that the reader wouldn't get to become as intimate with Gaia ...more
Gail
I vaguely remember reading this a long, long time ago, when the book and series were new. I remember, I think, being frustrated with it. And I think this is why: first, Anthony writes in a rather dry, unemotional style, somewhat like being told what happened rather than experiencing it for oneself. I prefer not being kept at a distance. Then, he has a tendency to get wrapped up in symbolism and complex ideas which don't often make a lot of sense to me. The first book in this series, the one abou ...more
Steve R
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
The fifth novel in Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, this work tells the story of Orb, who is on a quest to find a magical song which is the supposedly most beautiful the world will have ever heard. Her encounters with a band of gypsies, a rock and roll band, and many others fill the story, while the prophecy that she will become Gaea (Nature) if she can avoid having to marry Satan provides a lot of her motivation. Things become difficult when Satan assumes the disguise of a man with ...more
LieutBubbles
Review I sort of want Orb's life however, reading this in my thirties I think she whinges too much. Also in a roundabout way this book taught me about leadership and making friends in order to make friends you have to be a friend.

If you want the best experience I highly recommend reading them all in order and then the second time you read the series obviously many years later. read Death, time, and these four books together "for love of evil - start.and stop When Cleo is introduced. Read Fate a
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Adam Duclos
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the quickest read of the series so far. In it we follow Orb, the daughter of Niobe (from With a Twisted Skein) as she travels the world in search of the Llano, a song which encompasses and can affect all of nature. As she follows the music she meets and aids gypsies, an Indian prince, drug addicted musicians, and the Incarnations of Immortality. Being a musician, it's nice to see music be at the core of a fantasy novel and its power be acknowledged. ...more
Sven Oliver
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was the best one of the series, that I have read so far. Despite me putting in a rather long pause after just about a third of it, I was immediately pulled back in when I picked the book up again.

I read this book on Kindle, as I did all the previous books in this series. Unfortunately the next two parts are still not available on Kindle, which is a bit annoying and also a decision by the publisher that I cannot comprehend.
Judi
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-books-read
When he wrote this book, Mr. Anthony stated that it was the last in the series. (From the list here at Goodreads, apparently he changed his mind--what starts as a trilogy turns into nine books (3 trilogies) which later may morph into more...) I'm glad it wasn't; but, it was a satisfying end if it had been the last. And I never saw that end coming! Trust me, it's a good read. (I figured out what Satan was doing before our heroine did; but, she wasn't looking for it and I was.) Recommended. ...more
Lindsey
Jan 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
I really loved this series when I was a lot younger. I was planning a full re read but I had to stop after this book because I couldn’t stomach it anymore. I enjoy the idea and the world behind the book. However, the writing is so inherently sexist that I can’t support this book anymore.

One could argue that these books were written a while ago and that explains the outdated male and female roles in the books. I think that this crosses the line between not knowing better and outright sexism.
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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
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Other books in the series

Incarnations of Immortality (8 books)
  • On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, #1)
  • Bearing an Hourglass (Incarnations of Immortality, #2)
  • With a Tangled Skein (Incarnations of Immortality, #3)
  • Wielding a Red Sword (Incarnations of Immortality, #4)
  • For Love of Evil (Incarnations of Immortality, #6)
  • And Eternity (Incarnations of Immortality, #7)
  • Under a Velvet Cloak (Incarnations of Immortality, #8)

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