Chimaera's Copper

( 4 )



Much to his surprise, Kelvin has discovered that being the hero named in the prophecy has made him an epic figure in several alternate worlds. Now he is about to learn that his heroic stature also means facing up to old enemies--enemies that refuse to stay dead...

Zoanna, deposed witch-queen of Zud, and Rowforth, sadistic ex-king of Hud, have returned and join forces to seek deadly revenge on ...

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Chimaera's Copper

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Much to his surprise, Kelvin has discovered that being the hero named in the prophecy has made him an epic figure in several alternate worlds. Now he is about to learn that his heroic stature also means facing up to old enemies--enemies that refuse to stay dead...

Zoanna, deposed witch-queen of Zud, and Rowforth, sadistic ex-king of Hud, have returned and join forces to seek deadly revenge on Kelvin and his kingdom.

Unfortunately Kelvin is otherwise disposed. To be precise, he is trapped in an unknown frame of reality and about to be fed to the legendary Chimaera--a rather malevolent three-headed creature with the body of a giant crab, the tail of a scorpion, and a particularly ferocious appetite for human flesh...

Meanwhile Rowforth has seized the throne of his double, Rufurt of Kelvinia, and launched a senseless war that will drown the kingdoms in blood...

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594261527
  • Publisher: Mundania Press
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 840,354
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet 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.
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Read an Excerpt

Chimaera's Copper

By Piers Anthony, Robert E. Margroff


Copyright © 1990 Piers Anthony
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4976-5729-8



Kelvin was not at all happy about returning to the world of silver serpents, but Kian had asked him to please come and be his best man, and their father was after all going to attend. It was, he vowed, going to be the last time he'd travel there. If Kian and Lonny wanted to visit, let them come here, or better yet, let them move here and live here. This world was the way a world should be, without monstrous silver serpents that could swallow a person or capture his soul. Of course in this world there were golden dragons, who had been known to gulp people down, but that was natural.

He was seeing things more clearly as the five of them rode along. His wife Heln was accompanying them as far as the palace ruins, as was his sister Jon. Heln was getting into the later stages of her pregnancy, but she had insisted, to his mixed pleasure and dismay.

"I still say," Jon said in her argumentative way as her horse pulled up alongside his, "that a pointy-eared person could use the transporter."

"Yes, Jon, once," he replied patiently. "Then there'd be no point-eared person and no transporter."

"You can't know that!"

"I know it certainly enough. Look, Brother Wart, has Mouvar ever lied to us? You know what that parchment says."

"Well, it just doesn't seem right," Jon fumed. "And I've asked you not to call me that. It makes people think there's a big mole on my nose or something. It might have been cute when I was little and dressed up like a boy, but now--"

"Right, Sister Wart."

Jon, as was her custom, raised a hand as if to strike him. Kelvin pulled back on his reins so that she rode ahead and he now rode beside his growing wife.

"Teasing Jon again?" Heln asked, flashing him a grin.

"She started it."

"She always does, doesn't she? Why is it you two can't act like adults?"

"Because we're brother and irritant," Kelvin said, proud of having thought of it.

Predictably, Jon turned in her saddle and stuck her tongue out.

"Now that's really adult behavior. Ladylike, too."

Jon said some naughty words that drew an immediate frown from Heln and a bit of amused head-shaking on the part of Kelvin's father. "Who's a lady, you-- you--" Jon demanded.

"She's got you now, Kel," John Knight interjected. "Ever since St. Helens showed up and talked about Female Liberation she hasn't wanted to be one."

"She never did, Father. You didn't grow up with her as I did. If she could have grown a penis she'd have done it."

"Darn tootin'," Jon said, affecting one of St. Helens' cleaner expressions.

"Somehow I don't think Les would have approved," Kelvin remarked, referring to Jon's absent husband and his own good friend. "But she would have interests appropriate to her anatomy."

"Kelvin, that's enough!" Heln scolded. Jon, seemingly taken aback, merely rode on ahead.

"I'd think she'd get over that," Kelvin said.

"Kelvin, you really have to grow up a little! You and your sister both."

"Yes, Mama," Kelvin said.

For a moment, just a moment, Heln looked as if she'd stick her tongue out. Little crinkles formed at the corners of her mouth but she managed not to laugh.

Kelvin got her message. She really was annoyed with him and she wanted him to appreciate it. Well, he appreciated. So maybe he'd try not to tease his sister as constantly. He just hoped she was resolving the same about him.

John and Kian had been all but dozing on their horses. Kelvin could imagine that both were thinking of their return to the land of silver serpents and of Lonny. Kian hadn't any doubt he could wed Lonny, and John really seemed smitten with the former queen who so resembled Kian's own mother in outward aspect. But why was he, Kelvin, returning? he had to ask himself. Why when Heln was carrying their baby and might need him, and couldn't use dragonberries to separate her astral self at this time? Why? Because he was John Knight's son and Kian was his half brother. Because each of them had saved the other's life. Because they were roundears on a world where roundears were uncommon, and kin. As his mother Charlain had said repeatedly, claiming it was a saying from John Knight's Earth: "Blood is thicker, Kelvin. Blood is thicker than air, earth, fire, or water. It's stronger than any magic, any witchcraft." So what did that mean? he'd asked, and she had talked about kinship.

John suddenly spoke. "I never knew the ruins were so far away."

"It's the riding," Kian said. "You're not used to it."

"That's for certain," John said. "To ease my backside I'm tempted to use the belt." He referred, of course, to the levitation belt that had been in the Mouvar chamber and was now around Kelvin's waist.

"That wouldn't look right, Father. You know how nervous people get when they see magic." Kian himself had once been nervous about such things.

"Science! Confound it, science! Magic is-- magic is what that witch had and that the Mouvar weapon put a stop to."

"But then it has to be magic, doesn't it, Father?"

"No! At least I don't think so. It's antimagic, so it can't be magic. It has to be science."

"You know," Kelvin said thoughtfully, speaking up and surprising himself, "it just could be we're in some sort of war. Not a war between armies, exactly, but between science and magic."

"Horse droppings!" Jon said. As happened more and more frequently these days it was a slightly more acceptable version of an expression used by Heln's father.

"Now I don't know there, Jon," John said, easing himself up in the stirrups. "Kelvin just might have something. Back on Earth there was sometimes talk about a war between faith and technology. That was not the same as here, in this frame, or in that frame with the silver serpents, but it's close. Mouvar seems to have science, albeit advanced. The citizens of this world, and the one we're going to, don't. Here or there a sorcerer might fly with a spell, but on Mouvar's world or mine it would be with a mechanical apparatus or belt."

"That's different?" Jon inquired. For once there was no sarcasm. She must really be curious, Kelvin realized.

"Well, I'd say so. But then you have to remember that I'm from a world and a culture where magic wasn't. As a boy I often wished there was magic, but then there were cars and radios and TV sets and airplanes. Unfortunately there were also scientific horrors that I don't like to think about."

"Horseless carriages, talking boxes, glass with moving pictures of sometimes living and sometimes dead people in them," Jon enumerated with satisfaction. "Though why anyone should want to listen to corpses talking I sure don't know! Machines that fly and what you called atomic explosions. Gee, Father, what would life have been for you if you had just called it magic?"

"Only Mouvar knows," John said. Then, fast, as if correcting a blunder, "I mean Mouvar's people, of course. And possibly others who have lived with both."

"Both magic and science? You think that possible?"

"That's what I was asking, Sister Wart," Kelvin said. So much for resolutions, he thought. But the seriousness of the subject seemed to nullify the previous conversation. "I mean, you take these gauntlets, for instance." He raised them high, as if for inspection. "Are they one or are they the other or are they both?"

John gave a sigh that seemed to owe nothing to the chafing on his backside. "You know I wish I could decide. The gauntlets seem magic, but then so do many things that are science."

"I personally don't see what it matters," Jon said. "If something works, why not just accept it? Why did people on Earth have to deny magic anyway?"

"There you've got me," John said. "Magic doesn't follow natural laws, we are told. Magic doesn't follow our logic, so we say it has no logic. Magic, simply, unequivocally, can never, ever exist. Why? Because magic is impossible, that's why."

"That sounds stupid," Jon said.

"I agree. Magic does exist here, now. But on Earth where I grew up things were entirely different. To say you believed in magic was to be laughed at, or worse."

"Well I for one don't believe in science!" Jon said stoutly. She was so emphatic that each of them were forced to laugh. When the laughter died down, and her face was flaming, John gave her a most serious look.

"You have to believe in cause and effect, Jon. That's what science basically is. If something happens it has a cause. I still believe that, only today I often don't know the cause and so I accept with other people that the cause is magic. I admit it took me some time to get this far. Beliefs are hard to change."

"Like the transporter," Jon said. "And the spell on it that will destroy it and me if I try to use it."

"If you say so, Jon. To me it's science, but the results are certain to be the same. You and Heln rest overnight and then go home, once we reach the ruins. I know you'd like to follow, but I know too, as you must, that your trying to follow would be disastrous."

* * *

"I ... know," Jon said. Then in a very small, slightly defiant voice: "Magic."

Late that day Jon repeated her now legendary feat of downing a game bird with her sling. They all enjoyed a hearty meal and a good night's sleep. At least Kelvin slept well, he reflected as they approached the site of the old palace, its blackened stones and burned timbers looking ghostly in the morning mist. He wasn't sure about the others.

"I suppose we'll need to get a boat from Old Man Yokes," Kelvin said.

"Where else, dummy?" his sister demanded, as politely as he felt she was capable.

"Of course," John agreed.

So again they met the old river man who had once indirectly saved Jon's life, and through that action the lives of John and Kelvin and possibly even Kian. Yokes was as before pleased at the company and after he and Jon had embraced like fond grandfather and gentle granddaughter, they had to tell everything that had occurred in the interim. This meant that Kelvin had to relive in his memory the experience of almost being killed by a curse and almost swallowed by a serpent. For Jon and Kian it meant telling of days in a dungeon, among other things. Jon sat fidgeting through the recitals until they got to the part about the witch at home and her own very small part in defeating her. Somehow Jon's part became larger than Kelvin remembered it, but the old man's eyes sparkled so that he forbore interrupting and telling it right.

After the stories were all told over steaming mugs of cofea and a plate of mufakes generously spread with aplear jelam, Yokes leaned back in his old rocker and sighed.

"Makes me feel I was right along with you," he said. "And now you're going back?"

"The girl I met," Kian explained. "We're going to be married. At least we are if I have any say."

"Ah, the only one in either frame for you, eh?"

Kian nodded, face flushed but obviously content.

"It was that way for me once," the old man said, and launched into the tale of an improbable courtship with an improbable young woman who later became an improbable wife. The tale took a long time, and Kelvin was surprised to find his emotions stirring as the gentle, aged voice cracked on the sad parts. He hadn't thought of worn old men as having been young and romantic once; he had pictured Old Man Yokes as being old from the moment he was born. It seemed it wasn't so, if the tale was to be believed.

Much later than they had intended, the men of the party said goodbye to the women of the party and staggered down the long flights of stone stairs with a boat. Before they'd had help, but this was a working day and Yokes had neglected to call in the distant neighbors. By the time they reached the bottom landing and the old dock, Kelvin was sweating. The gauntlets made the lifting easier, but hardly the carrying. The legs that supported the boat's weight were entirely his own, however light it seemed to his arms.

"Look at this!" Kian was pointing. At the dock was an old, worn boat.

"Why that was on the ledge!" Kelvin said, remembering. "The ledge outside Mouvar's chamber!"

"One of those old men probably towed it in," John said. "Now that everyone knows the river is here, there are bound to be people exploring it."

"I hope nobody enters the chamber," Kelvin said. Would any pointy-eared person really be destroyed along with the chamber as the old parchment claimed?

"Anyone who gets down here will have heard about it," John said. "The story's widespread. I wonder that Yokes stood for all our retelling of what even he must have heard."

"He was being polite," Kian said. "Anyway, that's what Jon would have said."

Kelvin smiled, but then he wiped it. Time to think of his sister's annoying ways at another time. Now there was work.

Thus it was that they launched the boat, got into it, and rowed by natural rock walls covered by eerily glowing moss. They bypassed the terrible falls that emptied into a darkness filled with stars, negotiated the bend without difficulty, and were at the ledge. To Kelvin it looked different without that boat there.

He was still thinking about the missing boat as they entered the smooth chamber. He almost expected things to be different here, but things were as before. There was the parchment and the book on the table, and the closet with knobs on its outside that was the transporter.

Something struck Kelvin as the three of them prepared to step together into the adjoining world. Those knobs on the outside of the transporter appeared to him to have slightly changed positions. If the knobs had been moved, that might mean that they would not go to their proper destination and might, for all he knew to the contrary, be unable to return.

His gauntlets began to tingle. That meant danger. In fact--

But even as that thought occurred, he was in motion into the transporter, his body not responding in time.

There was a flash of white that covered all existences. The three of them stood in a transporter in a Mouvar chamber, but not the one they had entered. Nor was it the chamber in the world of silver serpents. This one was rounded like the others, lighted by strange ovoids on the chamber's walls. It was definitely not the same. The open door was the giveaway. That and the orangish daylight filtering in, revealing a grouping of large prickly plants and an assortment of rocks and heaps of red sand just outside.

"This is wrong!" Kian said. "We're not where we should be!"

"Someone changed the settings!" Kelvin said. "I thought those knobs were set differently, but I didn't realize it for sure until--"

"Don't panic," John said. "We'll just step out, step back in, and we should be back where we started."

Kelvin felt a great doubt stirring as the gauntlets tingled on his hands. Could the air here be poisoned? No, Mouvar's people wouldn't have built a transporter on a world like that. Still, there was something. Trembling in spite of himself, he stepped out with the others.

"I wonder," John said, walking to the doorway.

"Father! Don't!" Kelvin cried. He felt ridiculous the moment he said it.

But his father was pushing his head out around the rounded edge of the metal door. Curiosity ruling his actions, he was about to see where they were.

Suddenly John gasped. His shoulders slumped, and he dropped there in the doorway.

"Father!" Kian echoed Kelvin's earlier cry. With a quick leap he was beside John, grabbing his shoulders, seeking to turn his face. Then, with a similar gasp he collapsed on top of his father.

Kelvin stared for one horrified moment. Then he snatched out his Mouvar weapon from the hip-scabbard and leveled it at the doorway. If there was hostile magic being used, this would stop it and send it back to the source.


Excerpted from Chimaera's Copper by Piers Anthony, Robert E. Margroff. Copyright © 1990 Piers Anthony. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Travel,
Chapter 2. Summoned,
Chapter 3. Tribute,
Chapter 4. Amb-assador,
Chapter 5. Chimaera,
Chapter 6. Dupes by Default,
Chapter 7. Squarears,
Chapter 8. Battles Strange,
Chapter 9. Fool's Return,
Chapter 10. Sticky, Sticky,
Chapter 11. The Berries,
Chapter 12. Helbah,
Chapter 13. Stapular,
Chapter 14. Turnings,
Chapter 15. Disappearance,
Chapter 16. Charlain,
Chapter 17. New Old Enemies,
Chapter 18. Healings,
Chapter 19. Revolutionaries,
Chapter 20. A Meeting of Kinds,
Chapter 21. Return Journey,
Chapter 22. Apprentice,
Chapter 23. Scarebird,
Chapter 24. Army,
Chapter 25. True Love Runneth,
Chapter 26. Over,
Chapter 27. Return,
Chapter 28. Goodbye Again,
Chapter 29. Antidote,
Chapter 30. Defeat?,

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013


    Oh soon enough, they will get attacked if Ender wills it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013


    (Weeps for his missing friend)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Copper's Story

    Copper looked around for her mother Dusty. "Dusty where are you dusty." Copper was starting to get scared thoughts going though her head. What if Gold and Dusty were killed by a badger or were taken by twolegs. Copper ran fanticly though the forest insearch of her mother Dusty and brother Gold. "Gold, Dusty where are you. I cant find you guys. Stop hiding from me." Copper got more scared as more time went by. Te two moon old kit was LOST! Copper started wailing for them to come and find but nothong happened. They didnt come. Days ad nights came and go. Moons came and went. Three moons after she got lost. Copper stopped looking for her family. Knowing she would not find them. RATE & REVIEW PART TWO WILL COME SOON?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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