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Air Apparent (Xanth #31) Hardcover – October 16, 2007

Book 31 of 39 in the Xanth Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this meandering 31st Xanth novel, Hugo, son of the Gorgon and Good Magician Humfrey, vanishes from his cellar, where the body of a murdered man just as suddenly appears. What's worse, Humfrey's book of answers has been scrambled, and blind Wira, Hugo's wife, has no idea how to solve a mystery. Her prayers are answered by 13-year-old Debra, visiting from Mundania in hopes of lifting the curse that makes her name sound like De-bra to any man she meets. Without the book, the curse cannot be cured, so the Gorgon temporarily turns her into a naturally bra-less flying centaur in exchange for her help. As they hunt down Hugo and the killer, Debra and Wira encounter the usual crop of terrible puns and characters both new and familiar. Acknowledging that reader loyalty keeps this venerable series going, Anthony includes an extensive afterword, providing credits for 140-odd (in some cases, very odd) suggestions and updating fans on everything from the state of his health to the length of his hair. (Oct.)
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Review

"The Xanth books constitute Anthony's longest and most successful series . . . . They are intended to be kind-spirited, fun reading, a series of wondrous beasts and beings, and most of all, an endless succession of outrageous puns"--Lee Killough, Wichita Eagle
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765304104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765304100
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Piers Anthony is one of the world's most popular fantasy authors, and a New York Times bestseller twenty-one times over. His Xanth novels have been read and loved by millions of readers around the world, and he daily receives hundreds of letters from his devoted fans.In addition to the Xanth series, Anthony is the author of many other best-selling works. Piers Anthony lives in Inverness, Florida.

Customer Reviews

I have been a fan forever and look forward to every book.
V. Foster
After the first book I read by this author, I went and purchased the complete Xanth series of books, well over 30.
Eric R. Foy
The story line is a typical Xanth quest that roams anywhere and everywhere a pun or bad word joke can be found.
Harriet Klausner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on April 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Air Apparent (2007) is the thirty-first fantasy novel in the Xanth series, following Stork Naked. In the previous volume, the Sorceress Morgan le Fey was frustrated at every turn. Finally, she disguised herself as Surprise Golem, but Che the Winged Centaur was ready for her. Surprise recovered her baby and returned home.

In this novel, Wira is worried about her husband Hugo. He had gone down to the wine cellar to get a bottle of Rhed Whine about thirty minutes ago. He should have returned after ten minutes. So she goes looking -- in a manner of speaking -- for him.

Wira is blind, so the lightless cellar is no burden for her. She snaps her fingers and locates a body lying on the floor. When she touches it, the body is cold and clammy. But it is not her husband.

She screams and the Gorgon -- Hugo's mother -- was the first to respond. She checks the body and believes it to be not dead, but in suspended animation. The Gorgon goes to wake her husband Humfrey, the Good Magician.

Humfrey finds that the Book of Answers is scrambled. Obviously it cannot be used to solve the mystery, so Humfrey decides to send the next querent out with Wira to recover Hugo. He suggests that they tell people that Wira is looking for a way to regain her sight.

In this story, Debra is the next querent. She is a young Mundane teenager who wants to find out how to remove a curse that she has acquired since arriving in Xanth. She agrees to accompany Wira and the Gorgon gives her a magic potion to transform her into a winged centaur.

Debra is rather embarrassed by her disguise, since Centaurs do not wear clothes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tony on March 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I fell in love with Pierce and with all fantasy novels as I read my first fist Xanth novel in Junior High. I learned what a pun was from the master and I loved every one!

AIR APPARENT is simply Xanth filled with horrendous puns that readers either make readers groan or laugh at the wild cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melvin Anderson on April 4, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I ended reading about Xanth with Two to the Fifth due to the utter descent of content in the books. Air Apparent was not the start, it occurred before then, but I had slowed down by Xone of Contention and had trouble continuing to read the stories. It is a shame for the early ones I still find worth rereading now and then but I would never try doing so with the later ones. To prove my feeling I chose "Air Apparent". I was right, I lost interest early and could not recover it. I always hated Piers Anthony Jacob for not continuing with some of his heroes, The beginning, Trent, ws one example, and the succeeding Kings of Xanth were also interesting except Anthony never kept them around for long, he had stories to tell and he needed new characters for these stories and he produced them In the early going this was great, I kept waiting for his fallen characters to be reintroduced in later adventures and sometimes he did, to my satisfaction. But the last two must have fallen prey to his age, seventy is not very old but Piers did not age grqcefully in his writings, the Adult Conspiracy grew too great and sex had trouble hiding, almost violating the conspiracy and what it had come to conceal, Mundane characters with their knowledge knew too much too soon and did not lose their knowledge with their advance into Xanth, they only paid lip courtesy to its existence. This helped ruin the books where two sets of children existed, those who lacked knowledge under the tenets of the conspiracy and those who only pretended to be ignorant of its boundaries.
And Piers Anthony had trouble himself keeping the knowldge hidden, it was practically spelled out in the books, especially when it came to fauns and nymphs, and women's panties.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I anxiously await each new installment of Xanth. The puns are so bad that I cannot help but be highly amused. This book measures up to the rest and I can't wait for the next. Keep it up Piers!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GetxthexPoint on January 30, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been reading the Xanth books for years and with the exception of Faun and Games I'd always had fun reading them. But this book was utter drivel. I used to enjoy his books greatly because while they were always silly Piers did develop characters and relationships and you were enjoying learning about the magical world of Xanth and its people. In this book though, the characters are barely even two dimensional, and there's no building up of relationships. Instead X and Y meet and they're in love and it's magical and that's the end of it. And A and B are around each other for more than 5 minutes and they're in love, oh and C and D are too just for good measure.

But more than that the plot becomes so complex as Piers goes into ludicrous explanations of how various events could happen. The plot is so contrived, so unbelievable and so non-sensical that I almost could not finish this book. I realize expecting a Xanth book to make sense may be a contradiction in terms, but generally the plots are clever and at least understandable.

With the introduction of Ida's worlds I think the Xanth books have taken a decided downturn where Piers feeling I suppose bored with the wonderful standard Xanth he had created is now compelled in all of his latest books to return yet again to the worlds of Ida's moons to create an increasingly complex and utterly unbelievable, non-contiguous concept of stories, where each book requires extensive explanation as to how the plot might be plausible and doesn't actually (or does it?) contradict what we've learned in previous books.

I will never pay for another Xanth book at this point, but perhaps I'll give another one a try if I find it in the library given how long I've stuck with the series. Don't waste your money too.
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