Friday Book Rave: Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony

(My brain is currently swamped under a ton of different things that belong in a different post. Two of the things will be in Monday’s post. The one that has me refreshing my inbox is other stuff, which will go in a post once I have confirmation if it actually is happening. All this adds up to make my brain not focused on books I’ve read, as it’s been a bit of a whirlwind week, so forgive any scattered brainedness.)

I utterly adore these books. Granted, I’m a bit of a sucker for twists on mythology, willing to give most of it a fair amount of slack, but I give Piers Anthony even more slack than most anyone else. He was one of the first authors I read as an ~eight year old who wandered into the Scifi/fantasy section, lured by the colorful covers and whimsical creatures there. In the back of his Xanth novels, and I suspect others (my copies are stuck at the back of the garage still), he had a letter to the reader. He was the first author I actually realized was a real life, honest to gods PERSON.

I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.

Up til that point, I don’t know what I thought about books. I mean, I probably knew someone, somewhere, somewhen, had to have actually written them. But they’d always been there, in my world, and I didn’t pay attention to who wrote them. I couldn’t have told you the authors of the series I was obsessed with, at all. I just knew what the books were called. I could recite the characters’ names, what they were like, what they did, until you begged me to shut up. Ask me who the author was, or anything about them, and I would have either made up something (I did that a lot), or shrugged.

So needless to say, I looked rather fondly on these books. And then I reread them, not expecting to enjoy them as much as an adult as I had then. A lot of authors (I’m looking at you, David Eddings), especially old white male authors from a certain era, have elements that are problematical to this rather feministic, open minded woman, like misogyny, or racism, or homophobia.

They not only held up, they actually improved. Rereading them, with only hazy memories of what had happened (I hadn’t even read the eighth/final volume, as it wasn’t published yet at that point. It’s still on my TBR list of doom), I discovered that the way the stories weave together, even with that hazy memory, is deeper than I’d thought. And, oh hell, just go read them! Though Xanth is hilarious, Incarnations is the series of his that steals my heart every time.


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