Tor, Oct 2003, 25.95, 336 pp.
In the land of Xanth Cube feels depressed and unwanted because as she knows that once you peel away a dimension from her what you have left is a wholesome usable but ugly square. In spite the warning labels, Cube desperately asks the Good Magician Humphrey to help her attain her wish of being beautiful for she thinks that will bring her happiness and contentment.
As is Humphrey's typical response that means nothing yet everything to anyone else but himself including the requestor he tells her to search for the CUBE ROUTE. There he insists she will find her heart's desire. Thus, Cube begins a journey in which she does not understand the instructions, the objective, or the time it will take to complete. Soon with a retinue of characters that can only live in Xanth, Phaze or Mundania, she treks towards the realm of Counter-Xanth where anything can change so just don't blink or miss the transformation.
As is usual with the Xanth tales (this is number twenty-seven), Piers Anthony uses puns and multiple entendres to satirize human frailty within a strong epic fantasy adventure. The story line is the usual epic quest of an individual, who this time seeks beauty. Mr. Anthony does a delightful job with Cube and company as she learns what the true essence of beauty is. Though clearly for fans of the author (can't just say the series as the crew travel to Phaze), CUBE ROUTE is a refreshing witty morality tale that lovingly escorts the audience across the complex Anthony galaxy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner