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    SWELL FOOP by Piers Anthony


    TOR, October 2001

    Cynthia Centaur has a simple request for Good Magician Humphrey--but the quest he sends her on is anything but simple. She must find the Swell Foop to rescue the Demon Earth. Before she can even find the Foop, she must first find the six rings of Xanth--rings so powerful that they are hidden to prevent abuse. Even finding the Foop only gives Cynthia a chance. Should she fail, Xanth, the solar system, and possibly the entire universe are at risk.

    Cynthia gathers a party of adventurers including the Syn, the bird that will eventually know everything, Zombies, and even a girl from Mundania (Earth as we know it), each of whom must find and control one of the rings.

    To the puns and adolescent sexuality that make Xanth run, author Piers Anthony (see other reviews of novels by this author) adds some of the games more common in some of his other series (e.g., the Apprentice Adept series), giving SWELL FOOP a bit more complexity and plot than some of the other Xanth series.

    In each Xanth novel, Anthony combines a huge number of truly bad puns (is there such a thing as a good pun?) with an adventure. Some of these novels (e.g., A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON and CASTLE ROAGNA) are truly wonderful while others are less so (see our review of THE DASTARD, the previous novel in this series). SWELL FOOP is above average in this hugely popular series.

    If you enjoy the Xanth novels, you'll find SWELL FOOP a fine addition to the series. If you aren't familiar with this series, you may start with this novel, but I recommend starting with the first book in the series (A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON).

    Three Stars

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