cover image Zombie Lover

Zombie Lover

Piers Anthony. Tor Books, $23.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86690-7

A brassy 15-year-old, Breanna, stars in this cheeky new installment in Anthony's popular series about Xanth (Faun & Games, 1997, etc.), a quirky magical realm where everything is taken literally. Since she spent most of her life in Mundania, Breanna knows all about stork-summoning, but she needs help to escape the unwelcome attentions of King Xeth of the Zombies, who stirs up his grisly minions to try to make her his queen. Anthony combines Breanna's tale with a sweeter one, that of Jenny Elf's love for handsome werewolf Prince Jeremy. He also revives several engaging characters from earlier novels to spice up the girls' adventures. His punny goings-on, liberally salted with reader-submitted howlers like a barrister/bare aster flower, zip and zoom around his traditional themes: be considerate of other people's feelings, apologize for temper tantrums, learn how to be tolerant even of zombies who shed gobbets of decaying flesh. Xanth devotees should be delighted; others may scratch their heads. (Oct.)