With this book, Anthony continues to inject a more grown-up feel into the world of Xanth. The main premise is the kidnapping of the centaur Che by goblins and the efforts of his friends to find him and work out a deal for his release. Throughout this story, the characters also deal with critical relationships with each other, one in particular being a matter of life or death. The reader will also notice Anthony's continued foray into sexuality, human and fantasy creature alike. The writing contains less puns than previous Xanth novels, but he seems to broach the more mature subjects with an adolescent oft-pun style. I still think this is very clever writing.