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Source of Magic (Xanth) Mass Market Paperback – July 12, 1987

116 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Piers Anthony [Xanth] -- Piers Anthony redefined the fantasy series when he launched his Xanth books--they're(quite simply) pun for the whole family!

--Veronica Chapman, Senior Editor

From the Inside Flap

Ordered by King Trent to determine the source of Xanth's magic, Bink and his companions were harried by an unseen enemy determined to thwart them. When even their protector turned against them, Blink still managed to reach his goal and carry out the King's orders...but the king did not expect Blink's next act--to destroy utterly the magic of Xanth!


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Product Details

  • Series: Xanth (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1 edition (July 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345350588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345350589
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,193 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Peter L. on December 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Imagine yourself in a world where everyone has a magic spell. Now, picture yourself as someone on a quest to find the source of the magic. Now, imagine yourself with a centaur, a griffin, a golem, and a strange wizard. This is what happens to Bink, while his wife is throwing him out. He searches through all of the world of Xanth, with the help of his friends. He runs into all sorts of dangerous traps, but his magic talent saves him. However, where he goes, even all of his magic might not be enough to save him! When I read this book, I at first was just interested in the plot. Through the plot twists, I couldn't put it down. Near the end, where there are even more surprises, I almost burned the book. However, the end more than made up for the part that made me want to scream. All in all, The Source of Magic was a very worthwhile book to read.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Joe Sherry on March 25, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book in Anthony's Xanth series. The world of Xanth is build upon puns, all of the creatures and the landscape is puns taken from real life and used literally. The tone of Xanth is fairly light-hearted, and I've always considered this to be a light fantasy series (as opposed to the more serious and emotionally darker fantasy series).
Bink found his magical talent in A Spell for Chameleon , is now married, and works as a magic researcher for King Trent. With his wife nine months pregnant and very angry, Bink is sent off on a quest to discover the source of the magic in Xanth. Bink will be accompanied by his friend, Chester the Centaur, the Good Magician Humphrey, and Grundy the Golem. Being only the second Xanth novel, this one is has a decent story and is well written. Even though I have read this before (years back), I still cared what happened to these characters. The quest for the source of magic is interesting, and the payoff when Bink finds it (as if he wouldn't) is worth the price of admission. This is an excellent Xanth novel with more drama than later books. This is one of the best in the series.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tung Yin VINE VOICE on January 16, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As you are probably aware, "The Source of Magic" is the second book in the Xanth series. A co-worker turned me on to the series by lending me the sixth book ("Night Mare"), which led me pick up the first 16 books through an ebay auction.
I have heard that, after a while, the Xanth books get repetitive or dull, but "The Source of Magic" is near the beginning of the series, and everything is fresh and tight. What do I mean by tight? Well, the laws of magic in Xanth are well-formed and internally consistent. Lots of fantasy movies, in particular, do not adhere to internally consistent rules, and as a result, they get annoying. A prime example is Michael Crichton's "Timeline," where he babbles on about quantum theory in an effort to demonstrate that his book is not about time travel; yet, a major plot point could only work if in fact a person traveled back in time. That's annoying.
"The Source of Magic" (and "A Spell for Chameleon," the first Xanth book) are not like that. They follow the rules, and once you understand the secret about Bink (the main character), you marvel at how well everything fits together.
Anyway, this is a classic "quest" type of story: a group of adventurers -- Bink, a human with a special magical talent; Crombie, a human soldier transformed into a griffin (part-eagle, part-lion); Humfrey, a human Magician; Grundy, a golem; and Chester, a centaur -- go on a mission to find the source of magic in the land of Xanth. Along the way, they meet a dragon, an ogre, a village of women, a siren and a gorgon (kind of like Medusa), and all sorts of other creatures. Once they find the source of magic, Bink has to make an awfully difficult ethical and moral choice.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Review by Max
Bink, the chief explorer for King Trent and Castile Rogan, lives in the magical world of Xanth. Cut off from any mundania "normal" people. Xanth relies on magic for means of survival. Everyone in Xanth has their own special magic talent. While attending a party, King Trent decides to give Bink the very difficult quest of finding the source of Xanths magic. Aided by a mighty centaur named Chester, a great warrior transformed into a griffin, Cromby, a powerful magician, Humfrey and a golem that can translate any language, called Grundy. They set off on this great adventure knowing not what lies ahead.
I thought this book had a very good plot line and almost every detail in it related somehow with the climax. In the end everything comes together and the author reveals everything. This book has every aspect I enjoy in a novel; comedy, action, mystery, and romance. The fighting scenes become very intense and with the detail Mr. Anthony gives you are put right into the middle of it. The only problem I see with the book is that it gets a little dull and confusing at times.
I would recommend "The Source Of Magic" to anyone who remotely likes fantasy novels and/or action adventure novels. But if anyone thinks they would like to read this book then I suggest that they read "A Spell For Chameleon" first, which is the first in the series of Xanth novels, while "The Source Of Magic" is the second.
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