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Wielding a Red Sword (Book Four of Incarnations of Immortality) Mass Market Paperback – November 12, 1987


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Frequently Bought Together

Wielding a Red Sword (Book Four of Incarnations of Immortality) + Being a Green Mother (Book Five of Incarnations of Immortality) + With a Tangled Skein (Incarnations of Immortality, Book 3)
Price for all three: $21.57

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Product Details

  • Series: Book Four of Incarnations of Immortality (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (November 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345322215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345322210
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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....

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've read them all except the 7th book.
Richard
Why down play a natural thing like sex as if it were evil, but glorify an evil thing like violence and war as if it were natural.
B. Skeen
I think this was the most interesting book in the series so far.
Gregory Miller

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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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Zampino VINE VOICE on November 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't know what it is, but in this series, it seems that a weak title follows a strong one. Just like "Bearing an Hourglass" didn't come up to the level of "On a Pale Horse", so "Wielding a Red Sword" does not come up to the level of "With a Tangled Skein".
The basic premise of this novel seems more concerned with finding a permenant love interest for the main character than it does with exploring the role/nature of the Incarnation of War. Also expanded upon are the concepts of the "lesser incarnations"; a plot device which is (probably) necessary to explain the "Four Horsemen" which traditionally accompany War, but introduces a weakness in the integrity of the series as a whole.
Two interesting conventions are either exapanded upon or introduced. The first is the "tying together" of the various characters, hinted at in the first couple of books, but emphasized strongly in this volume. Now we know some of what happened to Orb, introduced in the previous volume as the daughter of Niobe. It certainly appears that Anthony intends to unite all the Incarnations in one family (or love) realationship. The other is the idea of an Incarnation defeating Satan by threatening to bring down the entire world. In the previous three novels, the title character's showdown with Satan never approached this level.
I enjoyed this book -- and enjoy this series -- but this is one of the weaker titles.
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