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Publisher's Summary

Piers Anthony delivers another tale set in the best-selling world of Xanth, filled with magic, surprises, adventure, and a few puns. Here's what the author has to say about his new book: "Five Portraits is a kind of sequel to Board Stiff in that it picks up where the other leaves off, with the same characters. Apart from that, it's one of my favorites within the series. There's something about Astrid Basilisk that appeals to me: a very pretty girl whose very glance is deadly, yet she's a nice person whose selfless effort to save five difficult children from future Xanth is thoroughly worthy. I also like the theme of the power of unlikely friendship. Not just Xanth, but Mundania, too, would be better if there were more such friendships."

©2014 Piers Anthony, Published in 2014 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Five Portraits

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Rape Threats, Poorly Written

I used to love Xanth novels, but after this one I won't be reading anymore. Anthony seems to think that the only way to push his work into the adult category is by constant threats of rape to characters. Yes, rape and threats of rape can be a valuable plot device, but the way Anthony uses these things shows not only a shocking ignorance regarding such subjects but it also diminishes otherwise valuable characters. In his world female characters are ALWAYS fighting off would-be assailants, and men are either rapists or not-rapists-only-because-it's-bad. Every time I was getting into the story and excited about the characters I was disappointed to hear yet another senseless and irrelevant rape threat tossed in. It's as if he wrote the whole story and then when finished said, "I think it needs more rape. I'll go back through and just pepper in some rape every time a male enters the scene." The dialogue is incredibly naive and almost childish - if not for all the rape I would have thought this book to be a children's book. Very disappointing. It had so much potential, but fell incredibly short. Anthony, sweetheart, do your narcissistic self a favor and PLEASE editors review your work. You can't coast off your 80's high forever. It's just not working out.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Please just stop

Most of the time I can listen to a book all the way, but these are just so bad! I really enjoyed the 1st twenty or so books and wanted to enjoy these too. But these are just so bad! I do not return books often, even a book that is just 'ok' I keep just to try again another time. But I returned these three. Mr. Anthony, you are pumping a long dry well here.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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ADULT FICTION: Xanth is no longer for kids

Xanth novels used to be cute fun books I could recommend to preteen kids. this one, with its focus on nudity and rape is not appropriate for this audience.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Trigger warning!

There are SO MANY references to rape! It’s completely unnecessary, doesn’t play a major role in the story. Portrays all men tone sex starved, violent & mindless. I have really liked this series in the past. This is just a disappointing waste of time. And, the narration is painfully awkward. What the hell P. Anthony & all the editors who worked on this??

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Like the story, iffy about the narration

Would you listen to Five Portraits again? Why?

Probably not

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I almost turned it off. The narrator emphasizing every time someone said something "he said", "Candy said" drove me crazy. I'm sure it read like that but it was read as if "I don't know, Candy said" with emphasis on the "Candy said". After about 15 ".... Saids" in a row, it gets rather annoying.

Any additional comments?

After years of reading Piers Anthony books, the puns never get old. I still find it funny and clever. I just found the narration of these two books to be annoying with the emphasis on the saids. Listen for a bit and you'll get what I mean. It gets old, quick.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Xanth Winner

I have most of the other Xanth series so it was the first thing I looked for when I joined Audible. It was as wonderful as the rest of P. Anthony's books. I loved it.

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thank you for your words

being a mundane in Florida I appreciate the fact that I can escape to A Whole New World and still be right here thank you Pier's

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Rocking forward ideas in a fun way: Xanth.

Piers Anthony is such a fun read. The Xanth series I met in 1982 continues to move forward - I love it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good read/listen

nice follow up to Board Stiff, I was not aware when starting the 1st one that it would be in two parts.