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    ON A PALE HORSE by Piers Anthony (Del Rey, 1983)

    Zane has reached the point of suicide when Death arrives too soon to take his soul. By reflex, Zane kills Death and is forced to take on the role of Death himself. As Death, he is one of the powers of the universe, but a power far weaker than Satan himself. Yet it is Satan whom he must confront. In this near-earth where magic is as effective as science, Satan has set plots in motion, plots that threaten to destroy the entire earth. To fight Satan, Zane/Death must sacrifice everything he holds dear.

    Piers Anthony (see other reviews of novels by this author) fans who are familiar only with his Zanth series will be surprised at the strong story line and fully realized characters of this novel. Although Zane 'lives' in a world where magic works, the real magic comes from within the character rather than from the outside. Anthony establishes a convincing world and a convincing character who must recognize his own shortcomings and yet undertake a task that appears impossible even for a perfect being.

    ON A PALE HORSE is the first in the Piers Anthony series Incarnations of Immortality. Each of these books is worthwhile in their own right. ON A PALE HORSE is certainly among the strongest in this series and among the strongest works in Piers Anthony's hundred-plus novel career.

    Five Stars

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