In the vast realm of fantasy literature, it is very difficult to navigate through the slurry of magical and heroic titles in the pursuit of a good read. This is where ‘A Spell For Chameleon’ comes in. Published in 1977, A Spell For Chameleon appears at first to be your typical piece of fantasy that slides into a very small and unreadable niche. To some, it would seem that as you meet the main character, an adolescent boy by the name of Bink who lives in the land of Xanth, (which is a typically magical and lovely, albeit extra-dimensional, likeness of Florida), that ‘A Spell For Chameleon’ would be doomed to a shelf life of laughable mediocrity. But to others, (those who I would love to believe are the majority of fantasy readers), a little perseverance beyond the initial chapters widens its capacity beyond any fantasy piece I have ever read before. Initially, the basic plot of the book is a coming of age story, with the oh-so-typical issues of any coming of age story peppered in.
However, as ‘A Spell For Chameleon’ progresses, the story widens into self awareness and confidence with conspiracy, capture-and-rescue, perception redirection, unrequited and true love, and a devastating threat of exile before a triumphant return. Considering the fairly large scope of the novel and the vast land it encompasses, for maximum effect I highly suggest setting aside larger sessions of time for reading. It’s not as if the book is boring – in fact it is quite the opposite – but it helps to keep things straight through the twists, turns, and intimate details of the novel. Although, I suspect that ‘A Spell For Chameleon’ is so good, that any fantasy reader will have a deceptively easy time falling in love with this book by the end of the second chapter. By the end of this novel, I found myself, (quite surprisingly), intimately anticipating the next book in the series, ‘The Source of Magic’, when at first glance I had shunned the entire series unnecessarily.
No matter what your first impressions are when you look at the cover, notice the title, or read about the author, I guarantee that ‘A Spell For Chameleon’ is more than enough beautifully orchestrated fantasy adventure for anyone’s afternoon, and furthermore, I would like to formally suggest this book, to anyone that takes the time to read this review. With ‘A Spell For Chameleon’, Piers Anthony has very strong potential to be both one of the most notable fantasy authors in fantasy literature, and one of the most notable series writers in literature, period.