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On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1)
On a Pale Horse - Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1
Author: Piers Anthony
When Zane shot Death, he learned, too late, that he would have to assume his place, speeding over the world riding his pale horse, and ending the lives of others. Sooner than he would have thought possible, Zane found himself being drawn to Satan's plot. Already the Prince of Evil was forging a trap in which Zane must act to destroy Luna, th...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780345305183
ISBN-10: 0345305183
Publication Date: 7/12/1984
Pages: 325
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 111

4.1 stars, based on 111 ratings
Publisher: Del Rey
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
An interesting read. I enjoyed the idea of mythological forces personified by average human individuals, with average sorts of problems. Death is every person's right! I hope he doesn't go on strike when it's my turn to take the plunge.
richlayers avatar reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
For some reason after I first bought this book, it took me almost two years to read it. I read the back cover and I thought it just sounded... weird. Then I finally read it and realized what a dope I was. Although Anthony's writing isn't the greatest out there, this is a fabulous story with interesting ideas. The rest of the series is good, too, but this one is the most surprising and still my favorite.
reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had forgotten how incredible this book is! I began reading it as soon as I opened the package and I couldn't put it down. Now I'm searching for the sequels-- it's a mesmerizing story.

A man kills death then must assume Death's duties while fighting Satan for the woman he loves. You can't get much more interesting than that! There's not any language or "satantic" scenes. Definitely appropriate for high schoolers.
reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fabulous book about humans becoming incarnations for a term of office. It makes you tink about Death in a new way, and to understand how people have to do some things that they might not like to do.
anrkistpengwin avatar reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
Normally I stay from Piers Anthony novels because I despise his Xanth series of books, but a friend recommended it and I gave it a try. This is perhaps one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read. Anthony creates a believable world in which magic and technology co-exist, and the incarnations of Death, Time, Fate, Nature, War, God, and Satan are actually positions which are held by former mortals.

Though the book is fantasy, Anthony weaves his thoughts on life, death, and dying into the story without it seeming obvious (like other authors *cough* Orson Scott Card *cough*).

I recommend this to anyone with even a slight interest in fantasy. I can't read to read the other six books on this series.
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Stasia avatar reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
First book in the Incarnations of Immortality series. These books are enjoyable and I would recommend them to any adolescent reader. If you have or know reluctant readers, this series is one I would recommend. I enjoyed this one so much that I read the rest of the series and have recommended them to many friends!
Onion avatar reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 105 more book reviews
Fascinating and fun read! It really held my interest all the way through, I couldn't put it down. :D
reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
i love this book , it is one of my favorites . The first in the incarnations of immortality series, Zane is going to shoot himself, but at the last second points the trigger at death, and he who kills death must become him. This is a very unique book.
althea avatar reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 774 more book reviews
Book One of Incarnations of Immortality

The story of a 'regular guy,' Zane, who after a run of bad luck, decides to commit suicide - but instead, as Fate would have it, is picked to assume the office of Death. The job comes with any number a perks - a shapechanging Deathhorse, a manor in purgatory, and who knows what powers - Zane needs to figure that out as he goes along, collecting the sould of those whose lives are in balance, neither good nor evil, to be sorted out and sent to hell, heaven, or purgatory.
To complicate things, there's a pretty girl, Luna, whose magician dad has tried to engineer things so that Zane would get together with her - and of, course, an ongoing struggle between god and Satan - and Satan seems to be cheating.
This is an entertaining-enough light fantasy read, but it also has pretentions to "pointed social satire" as Anthony says - which aren't really that pointed. The characterization is slight, and it also seemed slightly sexist. The cosmology is also very simplistic.

Four years later than this book, Terry Pratchett published his humorous fantasy book about Death (Mort), which shares a LOT of similarities with this book - and although it might have come later, it's just much much funnier and better-done. If I hadn't already read Mort, I probably would have liked this much better.

At the end of 'On A Pale Horse' is a rather long 'Author's Note' in which Anthony talks about some of his aims as a writer and his life at the time of reading the book - and it's a really interesting, attention-grabbing essay. Ironically, it might have been my favorite part of the book!
reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
no jacket
confuzzledbooks avatar reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 474 more book reviews
There is a new Death in town. An ordinary man named, Zane ends up as Death in an unordinary way. The Universe has been conspiring to put Zane into the job of Death. As Zane grows comfortable in his role he discovers the failing systems of the otherworlds. The living are mostly damned, the damned have no hope to redeem themselves to heaven, heaven is a mystery and the only sane place seems to be purgatory. Love drives Zane to correct a broken system.

I have read many of Pier Anthony's books before. This is the first time I am delving into the series, Incarnations Of Immortality. It was recommended by a friend that I would like it and they thought that the series was the basis for the tv series Dead Like Me. Well if that is true the book is very different from the tv show. As with most Piers Anthony books it is filled with cheekiness, fantasy, and truth. I love the ideas that the author comes up with, they are so different and I never know what will come next even if I think I do. That is why I enjoy his books so much.

There are those who think his books are sexist. While there are things you could describe as sexist I believe that the author is creating those scenes or dialogs on purpose to make you think. Sometimes the scenes are so over the top in Anthony's books they just can't be serious. That is my thoughts on the negative side of his stories even though I really have nothing negative to complain about this story.

I have enjoyed Piers Anthony books from the moment I read the Isle Of Woman, the first book in his Geodessy Series. I will continue to enjoy when I have time to read more.
reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on
I found the perspective of the reality the book was written very intriguing. I would recommend this book to any true fantasy fans.
amcriner1971 avatar reviewed On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Wonderfully vivid book. Gives a new spin on things!


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