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Harpy Thyme (Xanth, No. 17) Mass Market Paperback – February 15, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With this fairly predictable but nevertheless amusing tale, Anthony ( Alien Plot ) returns to the magical world of Xanth, a place where "appearance counts for most of reality" and nearly everyone has some magical talent, even if it is only the ability to change the color of popcorn. In this installment, Gloha, the only goblin-harpy crossbreed in Xanth, attempts to find a male goblin-harpy to mate with and thus become a member of the Adult Conspiracy. After seeking advice from the Good Magician Humfrey from whom she receives a non-commital answer, she embarks on her quest alone, eventually joining up with a rejuvenated magician, a sultry demoness, a walking skeleton and a formerly invisible giant, among others. The magician Trent finally solves her quest by effecting a transformation. Trent surely could have come up with this solution at the beginning of the tale, but then Gloha would never have learned the meaning of true love nor would Anthony have been able to string out all his puns and jokes (he tells of a painter in the Mundane world who killed himself; named Van Go, he was one of the few there who actually believed in Trent). Fans of the author's trademark humor will relish this latest jaunt through the wacky world of Xanth; new readers too will enjoy the fun.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The latest installation in Anthony's popular "Xanth" series follows the adventures of Ghola, the harpy girl, as she searches for true love against impossible odds.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (February 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812534840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812534849
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like how puns are used by the Author, "Piers Anthony". I love this series so much, I have purchased all the books of this series, as I have of, "Incarnations of Immortality". The Incarnations of Immortality" is the first book of that series, as of "Bearing an hourglass", "With a tangled skein", "Wielding a red sword", "Being a green mother. If you are into fantasy, and reading of literal puns, you should love this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I frequently use this book as an example of how even popular authors often have their covers skewed by the Marketing Troll. Gloha the Goblin/Harpy crossbreed is supposed to be beautiful, especially considering the stock she comes from, but depicting her as a blonde white girl is pretty silly.

Anyway, goblins and harpies don't often, you know, procreate, even in Xanth. So Gloha is lonely. And of course this loneliness takes the form of "OMG I need a mate." So she does what all Xanth characters do when their lives aren't perfect: goes to Magician Humfrey. He sends her on a quest that doesn't necessarily seem like it's going to get her what she wants, but she does meet a winged centaur named Cynthia who isn't actually naturally a winged centaur because she was transformed to be that way and then got preserved in this brain coral thing. I remember her account of being transformed being kind of weird. There was really no such thing as winged centaurs when she was turned into one, so she was basically a monster. And lady centaurs have big boobies, so get ready for her boobies to be described for ya. Always a highlight. (I'm being sarcastic.)

Old Magician Trent, now young again, is a character in this book, and after a very goofy quest wherein Gloha looks for love, they have a Wizard-of-Oz-like ending that results in Trent transforming a goblin so that Gloha can have the winged goblin she wants for, ya know, mating. (Can't be too specific about that! We'd violate the Adult Conspiracy!) The reason I call this a Wizard-of-Oz-like ending is that in the Oz movie, Glinda tells Dorothy to go on a yellow-brick-road-led quest to ask the wizard about how to get home, and she has a grand adventure and gets wonderful companions.
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By A Customer on August 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Piers Anthony book I have read and it got me hooked!
Gloha is a half goblin and half harpy. She wonders if she'll find a half goblin half harpy man to love. So she goes to ask the Great Magician. Instead of giving her an answer the Magician sends her on a wild quest. She meets new friends and adventure is magically weaved throughout the pages! In the end she found friendship ... but could it be love? No, how could it possibly be love if he's her kind of creature???
A fun read, full of puns and adventure!!! Recommended to anyone who likes or loves a nice book to smile about in the end! Have fun! :-)
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By A Customer on May 11, 1996
Format: Hardcover
I know some of you are getting tiered of the Xanth series and even I agree that the last couple of books have started to lag behind Anthony's previous works, but he puts that behind him in this book. Harpy Thyme takes a fresh Xanth-like look at segregation and discrimination in its usual fluffy background. As common with most of Anthony's books its almost impossible to put this one down till your done
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book, it had hilarious puns and an easy to follow plot that was extremely easy to follow. But it wasn't all a no brainer...some things left you reeling because you weren't expecting it. If you like Piers Anthony, this MUST be read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the 17th novel in the Xanth series and it is almost indistinguishable from about a dozen others in the series. The plot involves a young person (woman, in this case, named Gloha) who wants to find the love of her life, so she goes to the Good Magician Humfrey for advice and is sent off on a quest. The quest involves magic, good and bad denizens of Xanth, and ultimately the meeting of Gloha with her "one true love".

OK, so if the plot is so predictable, what's the point of reading this book?

The answer is the puns, of course. Xanth books are full of puns and most of the fun of reading this series is reading the puns and enjoying them. This book was filled with them. The touring of the questing party included many locations that were described in other books, but with enough twists and turns to keep the story going. Did you know that a Sar-Chasm can really stop a party from crossing it? Or that a mound of ants can include Defend-ants, and other kinds? These are the kinds of puns that are the main core and interesting part of this series. If you like this kind of stuff, you will enjoy this book.

Another aspect that is common to all Xanth books is the romantic aspects. The young people here are all under-aged as far as male / female relationships go, but they are interested and are willing to learn. This book does not go too far into a description of how various creatures summon the stork, but it comes close in some other respects, as when the party meets three mermaids who get interested in one of the male members of the party and try to entice him with their abundant womanly "assets". This series is intended for teenagers and young adults so it is not too racy and certainly much less direct than most movies or TV shows these days.
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