Well, here I am up to book number seven, which means that I have another 5 brief comments of write on these books before I can get out of bed and go and have a shower. Maybe there are better things that I can do on New Years Eve, but then it is about 1:00 in the afternoon, and I did have a big night last night, if one can call it big. This year New Years Eve falls on a Saturday, and I really can't be bothered going out again, not that I am too old - I am not going to be too old until I consider myself too old, but that is beside the point.
In a way the Xanth series are a bit like the Discworld series in that they are not a series of books following a continual plot. Each of the books is what one would call self sustaining. Okay, some of the characters, such as the Good Wizard Humphrey, do appear in multiple books, and the characters are related to events that occurred in the previous books, but it does not necessarily mean that you have to read them in order. However, like Discworld, I do believe that it is helpful.
This book, as in the other books, relates to events that have occurred previously. In this book the heroes return to the Gap Chasm, which in a previous book, had a forget spell placed on it, meaning that everybody had forgotten its existence. However, due to an event in another book (which, ironically occurred before the forget spell was placed) the spell is now breaking apart sending eddies of forgetfulness throughout Xanth.
If that is not enough, Humphrey and the Gap Dragon have had magic placed on them which has resulted in them becoming quite younger. Here, the daughter of Queen Irene, Ivy, goes on a quest to solve all of these problems. Ivy has the power of enhancement, but because she has not fully matured, she has little idea on the extent of this power. However, it is used to make her travelling companion much stronger and braver than he normally would be. This is a little annoying because such a change should come about not through external forces, but because one decides to step up to a place and actually attempt something rather than believing that it is something one cannot do.
Discouragement is a bad thing, I know because I have been discouraged myself. I known people, and have been in the position myself, where we have been attempting to look for work, and if all we get are rejection letters, we get that little bit more discouraged, to the point where we simply decide to give up. However I guess a theme that we should consider is that while it is easy to give up, the proper thing to do is to keep on ploughing on because sooner or later we will get somewhere.