cover image Chimaera's Copper

Chimaera's Copper

Piers Anthony. Tor Books, $17.95 (311pp) ISBN 978-0-312-93213-8

In the other volumes of this series, hero Kelvin Knight Hackleberry had finished ``Ridding his Country of a Sore'' and ``Joining Two,'' so he is now ready for ``then Uniting Four,'' the next line of the prophecy. Unfortunately, the authors seem to have run out of ideas and have fallen back on the old device of resurrecting dead enemies. So evil Queen Zoanna from Dragon's Gold and evil King Rowforth from the alternate world (frame) of Serpent's Silver team up to take over the country. Kelvin and his father and brother stupidly stumble from one misadventure into another in two new frames; this activity keeps them out of the way while the evil duo consolidates their power. All the other good guys seem unable to do anything about their suspicions of the villainous pair, passively waiting for Kelvin to return and rescue them--which makes for so weak a plot that even the characters comment on their lack of motivation. (May)