cover image Geis of the Gargoyle

Geis of the Gargoyle

Piers Anthony. Tor Books, $22.95 (120pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85391-4

This newest entry in the Xanth series should delight Anthony's (Harpy Thyme) many fans while drawing the usual groans from pun-hating others. Gargoyle Gary Gar, hereditary guardian and purifier of the waters of the Swan Knee River flowing from Mundania into Xanth, wants to make his job easier. The Good Magician Humfrey offers him an idea, but in exchange Gary must teach the wild child Surprise self-control, a task that requires him to assume human form. Agreeing with reluctance, Gary sets off to search for the suggested ``philter'' in the company of the multi-talented Surprise, the Sorceress Iris, demoness D. Mentia and the former juvenile delinquent Hiatus, who is seeking his true love, Desiree Dryad. Nearing their goal in the Region of Madness, the crew is cast back a millennium in time to find their quest tied to serious danger for all of Xanth. Through Anthony's often charming froth an element of wisdom will occasionally shoulder its way. (Feb.)