A Spell for Chameleon

Book review by Deane Barker tags: fiction, fantasy

I originally read this novel in high school. I think I got 10 installments into the series before I graduated, and it turns out the series has grown to 40+ novels. It was essentially Harry Potter before that was even a thing – grand adventures in a magical world, sheltered from the real world (called “Mundania”).

So, I read it again, in the hopes that it would spark the same wonder in me and prompt me to collect the entire series as a middle-aged man.

Sadly, it just didn’t hold up. The plot was meandering and weird. I kept waiting to fall into it like when I was a teenager, but it never seemed to happen.

I remember some neat wordplay throughout the series. But I didn’t find that (maybe that came later?).

Also, the book is quite sexually charged. There’s lots of nudity and implied sexual innuendo, which is making me wonder if that’s why I was so into the book as a teenager? I’ve since learned that the author has been criticized for his portrayal of women (note: the book was written in 1977).

…I might read the second installment, just to give the series another chance. But I’m a little disappointed right now.

I posted about this to the Fediverse, and a friend responded:

I’ve come to believe that “never meet your heroes” pairs well with “never re-read your middle-to-high-school faves”

Book Info

Piers Anthony
344

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