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Wielding a Red Sword Library Binding – October 1, 1986


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--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The fourth book in Anthony's popular Incarnations of Immortality series describes the recruitment of an Indian prince to become the latest Incarnation of Warserving alongside Death, Time, Nature and others. Mym reluctantly accepts the office as a way to cut through the tangled political web that has produced famine in his homeland and trampled on his private life. As hard as Mym works to keep earthly peace, however, Satan is ahead of him with snares and lures that lead to hell. Anthony's setting of a world where both science and magic work was charming in previous volumes but becomes troublesome here: demons coexist with biological warfare; two teardrops from an Incarnation are all it takes to end one aspect of the conflict in Ireland. In fact, most of this weak entry in the series is concerned with finding a proper mate for the hapless Mym. As before, though, the liveliest part of the book is the author's note, a 30-page open letter to his fans in which Anthony feels free to be cantankerous, boastful, whimsical and self-revealing. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

Mym was a dutiful son, but rather than agree to his father's choice for his marriage, he took up the Red Sword, symbol of office of the Incarnation of War, in order to ameliorate some of the suffering caused by Earth's constant petty wars. But Mym discovered that Satan was waiting to trap him, and he must now take desperate measures to outwit the evil genius who aimed to destroy the world.... --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Library Binding
  • Publisher: Sagebrush Education Resources (October 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0833510258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0833510259
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,527,907 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 thought this was very creative and a lot of fun.
James Duckett
Not all of them are good reads but I think this one was one of the best.
Richard
As usual, the characters are painfully two-dimensional.
Ryner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Duckett VINE VOICE on May 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was intrigued by the premise of the first book and have been hooked on this series ever since. And, it just keeps getting better!!!
Piers Anthony does a wonderful job developing his characters and in this book, Mym and Orb are no exception. We got an introduction to Orb in the prior book and it was wonderful to have her come back briefly in the beginning. Mym, however, is a new character. From the beginning, it is hard to imagine a pampered, stuttering prince becoming Mars... but Anthony does a good job of convincingly making it happen.
The only thing I did not like about this book was that the character development was a large part of the book and I had to keep asking myself, "Okay, so, when are they going to have Mym assume the office of War?" But after assuming the office, it gets very good.
Mym is a lot like Zane (Death) from the first book as he assumed the office... not afraid to go against the status quo. War is also like Death in that War does not bring on war (much like Death does not bring on death) but instead facilitates and manages it.
My favorite part of the book is when Mym finds himself in Hell and to get out of Hell he builds and army and attacks the forces of Satan. I thought this was very creative and a lot of fun. It was also wonderful to see War balk Satan twice in this book.
If you've liked the rest of the series, I would encourage you to continue reading it with this wonderful addition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "geddysciple" on March 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book wasn't bad by any means, but it lacked the awesome plot themes of "On a Pale Horse" or the intrigue of "With a Tangled Skein." The story was mildly interesting, the office was rather boring, but the characters were (as usual) well developed and deep. If you like this volume, you'll love the rest of the series. Read it only if you are really interested in the series.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S on July 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
i must say that i read this book out of desire to complete the series. mars is an interesting character. but it is rather disappointing story actually.
it begins with mar's life as an escaped prince then drifting to the women he becomes involved with. the style of writing was rather dull and plodding to me. *sigh*
the plot picks up in the second half of the book when satan enters the scene again. i found little of the ironical homour i enjoyed in his other books but overall the book was neither here nor there, neither good nor bad.
if you plan to read this series, begin with thanatos' story in the book 'on a pale horse'. now that was a excellent book...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 1, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book best of 'em all. I'm absolutly crazy about weapons, especially swords, so even the name was exiting. I'm eleven and flying through this series a book a week. If you like this series, read Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. If I were Mars, I would slay all who oppose this book. And to let you know, Mym's former snake-ring now belong to Norton/Chronos and goes by Sning. It was awsome and very detailed. Who would have ever thought a Prince for Mars, I mean a PRINCE to be the incarnation of WAR. Anthony is a genius for writing the series. Even Xanth doesn't compare. I advise this for anyone who CAN identify GOOD si-fies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Oscar on June 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Wielding A Red Sword" resumes the "Incarnations of Immortality" series as the mysterious Mym becomes enamored by Orb, a stunning woman with phenomenal musical skills. The reader experiences the typical vocabulary and extensive logical analysis as with most fast-paced Piers Anthony novels. Exceptional character (especially during the beginning) and Incarnation growth advances the series adequately. A merciless campaign challenging Satan and the mighty force of War could have developed into an extremely explosive novel.

While the prior book introduced a multifaceted Incarnation, Mars executes his duties traveling with four other minor Incarnations. The office of War changes in an unusual yet remarkable fashion. Plus, Mars and the other Incarnations have stimulating confrontations and relations.

Although most non-romantic plotlines evolve effectively, Rapture's conclusion and Mym's impulsiveness concerning Ligeia undermine the overall story. Phasing out of reality has proven effective to avoid most human and spiritual interaction, yet Incarnations do not remain in such a state while challenging the test barriers of fellow Incarnations.

I recommend this series to any fan of the fantasy genre. However those of a highly inflexible religious background or intolerant attitude towards religion might want to avoid the selection.

Thank you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Barnathan on March 3, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like the plots of each of the Incarnations of Immortality books, and this one is no exception, but by this point in the series the formulaic nature of each plot is becoming apparent:

1. Protagonist falls in love.
2. Protagonist and love are separated by circumstance (arranged by Satan).
3. Loss of love leads protagonist to become an Incarnation.
4. Protagonist meets second love, forgets about the first.
5. Satan tempts protagonist, gullible protagonist walks right into his trap.
6. Satan sets up an impending disaster on earth.
7. Other Incarnation(s) show the protagonist how to use his/her power.
8. Protagonist uses unique power to make a desperate but successful bid to stop Satan.

Despite this general structure, the details do make for an interesting story, full of intrigue and plot twists. Piers Anthony has a particular talent for character development, and each character's unique background, personality, and talents contribute to that character's role in the story and to the overall movement of the plot. Often details that seem to have no consequence in the beginning of the story come back to hit the characters full in the face later.

Nevertheless, the limited amount of variation between books puts a limit on the length of this series. Will I have the patience to make it through?
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