Question Quest (Magic of Xanth #14)

Question Quest (Magic of Xanth #14)

by Piers Anthony, Piers A Jacob

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Youth is Wasted on the Young

Being grown up is a drag . . . or so thinks Lacuna, one of the michievous Castle Zombie twins. So she makes the Good Magician Grey an an offer he can't refuse. Thirsty for a taste of the Elixir of Youth, she'll help him outwit the evil Com-Pewter if he'll send her to Hell (in a handbasket, no less) to find Humphrey, the missing sorcerer. And while there, she'll learn the True History of Xanth (simplified) and help rescue a blushing Rose from the demon X(A/N) . . . with the help of a gorgon or two.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380759484
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/01/1991
Series: Magic of Xanth Series , #14
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 471,800
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

New York Times-bestselling author Piers Anthony has written over one hundred books. His first fantasy, A Spell for Chameleon, won the August Derleth Fantasy Award for best novel in 1977, and commenced his acclaimed Xanth series.

Read an Excerpt

Xanth 14: Question Quest

Chapter One:

Lacuna was slogging through a blue funk. It clung to her body, making her seem prematurely middle-aged. It infused her clothing, making it dowdy. It smirched her face, making wrinkles start to think of appearing. it washed through her hair, rinsing it dishwater dull. In fact, it permeated her whole life, making her thirty-four years old.

She hadbeen young once; she was sure of it. She and her twin brother, Hiatus, had been genuine mischief as children. She remembered fondly how they had messed up the wedding of Good Magician Humfrey and the Gorgon, when they were only three years old. At that time their parents, the Zombie Master and Millie the ghost, had been sharing the Good Magician's castle,because it dated from the time eight hundred years before when their parents had first lived. It seemed only natural the the cute twins should carry the end of the brides long train. But they had done more than that. Hiatus had made eyes, ears, and noses sprout from things, that being his talent, and Lacuna had changed the print in the manual so that instead of saying things like, "until death do you part, it had said "the few measly years before you croak." For some reason Lacuna's mother had not found that very funny. Well, Lacuna was older now, and could see her mother's point. But it only reminded her how she herself had never married. She would have settled for the worst of weddings, for the -sake of a good marriage. Or for a mediocre marriage, instead of mediocre old maidenhood.

Later they had moved to New Castle Zombie in southern Xanth, which had been fine. She andHiatus had had separate rooms, and had teased the poor zombies mercilessly. Somehow it mewed that the best of her life had been used up in childhood. Once she grew up and joined the Adult Conspiracy, her life had become a time of tedium followed by a period of monotony traded by an age of boredom working into years of sheer unmitigated blah. Finally the funk had jet in, and now she was fed up to her tired eyeballs with it. So she was doing something about it: she was visiting the Good Magician with a Question.

Now she came to the region of the Good Magician's Castle. It was not as she remembered it, because it kept changing. She understood that, and was not put off. She knew that she would have to brave three challenges before she could get in and see the Good Magician. At least they should be interesting.

A low jungle surrounded the castle. The magic path she was on led right up to it, then petered out in a thicket of hands and feet. She recognized the type: palmettos. The Palms were on stems, their fingers splayed, while the toes grew along the ground, covering it up

Well, such plants were generally harmless. The Palms could get a bit fresh when buxom young women brushed by them, but they would probably just ignore Lacuna. Still, it was best to find a path through diem, because dangerous creatures could hide among them and attack the feet of someone who plowed blithely through. So she walked to the side, finding a space between plants.

In a moment her way was blocked again by thickly growing palmettos whose fingers clutched at her plain cloth skirt and whose toes tried to catch her dull shoed feet. She avoided these by turning to the side again. But this -wasn't getting her into the castle; she was actually Bon away from it now

She reversed her course and explored on the other side. But seemingly promising avenues curled their way into dead ends, preventing her from getting any closer to the castle. How strange! How could the magic path hat been overgrown like this? It was supposed to be enchanted to

Then she realized that this was the first challenge! She had to find her way through this thicket of hands and fed, without getting into trouble. It could have been worse; she would really have hated walking over a potato patch and having all those eyes peer up under her skirt and wink at the dull color of herpanties. Men never quite appreciated why women always cut the eyes out of potatoes, , first thing. Or maybe they did, because when men got hold of potatoes they planted those eyes in the ground, where they would grow into plants with mom potatoes and mom eyes.

Fair enough. Them was always a solution to the challenges, if the person had the wit to find it. It had been that way in Magician Humfrey's day, and remained so in Magician Grey Murphy's day. Murphy had tried to run the castle without the challenges at first, but had been overwhelmed by folk with Questions, and so had adopted Humfrey's policy. He also now required a significant service for his Answer, which could be anything up to a year of mopping floors in the castle.That tended to discourage frivolous Questions.

Well, she was prepared to map. It wouldn't be any duller than her prior life. But she doubted she would have to, because she had something she believed Grey Murphy wanted very much: the key to his freedom from Com-Pewter. Com-Pewter was an evil machine wide of pewter and glass and crockery and wives and things, who sought to rule Xanth. Com-Pewter had two and a half great assets in this quest. First the evil machine could change reality in its vicinity, merely by printing

Xanth 14: Question Quest. Copyright © by Piers Anthony. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Question Quest (Magic of Xanth #14) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
hermit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book is good. Of course I love reading history as well. And that is what is covered here. A detailed history of the never-before revealed story of Magician Humphrey. His recounting of his life will remind you about all the books before this one. A timeline of the history of Xanth is also provided. A good read, especially if you like background or history.
Scoshie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
#14-- the fact that there are now over 30 books in this series should tell you something-- Enjoy, silliness at its best!!"The book begins with Lacuna, one of the mischievous Castle Zombie twins, seeking a way to fix her "dull" life. To do so she comes to ask Grey, Ivy's betrothed and pro-tem magician of knowledge, for the answer. However, Grey doesn't want to answer her question because he knows that something terrible will come of it. Lacuna decides to make a deal that even Grey can't refuse, a way to outwit Com-Pewter. Lacuna plans to use her ability to change prints and write new ones to help Grey. Seeing no other choice, Grey decides to help her, but he realizes that he can't fathom what the book of knowledge is trying to say. Therefore, he sends her to the anteroom of hell to talk to Magician Humfrey. When Lacuna arrives to the anteroom, she finds Humfrey sleeping. After waking Humfrey up, she found out that he is waiting to talk to the Demon X(A/N)th to free his wife Rose. Humfrey tells her to write down his life story (and most of Xanth's history in the process), on the walls, so that he can get the demon's attention. It turns out that Humfrey has five wives. Humfrey manages to save his wives from the pits of hell (sort of) and Lacuna changes her life."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guess what? My name is Pier. No jokes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is just what the title says gets pretty interesting though. Such as that humffry has had 4 wives and one was a demon. Also that he is Crombie the solider's father and Esk's (smashes son) greagrandfather. This is a very good book worth every doller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's Piers Anthony and this is one of his better Xanth novels where you get to learn about the life of one of it's most curmudgeonly, and enigmatic characters - Magician Humphrey. Don't let the book blurb throw you off, it's really about Humphrey after the first chapters introduction. Very good read as always with a PA book, but more so that Humphrey is detailed about his life and loves - yes - he loves in this book and you find out why he is the way he is. A must read for those who like the Xanth novels.
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z2 More than 1 year ago
Humphrey is a delightful character in the always amusing Xanth world (and Lacuna is far more interesting than the book admits).
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Dude, I had forgotten how great Piers Anthony was until I picked up this novel. Sure, it's bizzare but extremely interesting. It gets you hooked pretty fast. Way better than stuff anyones going to get from Rowling; the Harry Potter series. The plot is catchy and is pretty heavy on humor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is good. Of course I love reading history as well. And that is what is covered here. A detailed history of the never-before revealed story of Magician Humphrey. His recounting of his life will remind you about all the books before this one. A timeline of the history of Xanth is also provided. A good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Xanth novel I've ever read. And i think it was great. I like all the Xanth novels. I should know I've read them all.The cover got my attention, with young Magician Humphrey and Rose of Roogna and the moat monster all in front. I recommend this book to anyone who is just getting started in the xanth series
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book to me was extremely disappointing. The book suggests it is about one of the Zombie Master's children, Lacuna. Yeah, right. It was interesting in the thought of Good Magician Humfrey's five loves, but I wanted to know about Lacuna. I finished reading it, and thought,' Wasn't this book supposed to be about one of the Zombie Master's children?' I do love Xanth. In fact, I added Xanth to my screen name. If you're reading this Piers Anthony, I want you to know I love your Xanth books, but this one just didn't satisfy my lust for Xanth. Better luck next time, Anthony!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you read books Vale of the Vole up to here? Ever wondered what happened to Good Magician Humphrey, or how he got his assorted 5 1/2 wives? This book takes you through the interesting life of the Good Magician, his first love and heartbreak, and his first encounters with characters such as Trent, Iris, and Bink. See the other books from his point of view. I recomment this to anyone who loves Xanth or even just Humphrey.