Xanth is a land of magic....and puns. Lots and lots of puns.
Xanth coexists with our world, which the citizens of Xanth call "Mundania". It is most easily accessible around peninsulas, but the actual entrance points can be hard to find. Over the years, there have been a few Mundanes who have stumbled into Xanth, but once there, they're not always able to find the way back. Xanthians have no trouble crossing over into Mundania, but for the most part, they don't want to. Magic exists in Xanth--everyone in Xanth has one magical ability, or talent. There is no magic in Mundania, so why go there?
The land of Xanth is the creation of author Piers Anthony. It started out as a trilogy, beginning with the first book, A Spell For Chameleon. The books proved to be popular, so the "trilogy" got expanded. At last count, there were 34 novels in the Land of Xanth series, with number 35 being readied for a 2011 release, and number 36 being written.
The land is populated by normal people (well, "normal" except for that magic thing), along with all manner of fantasy creatures--Ogres and Elves, Centaurs and Harpies, Golems and Zombies, Fauns and Satyrs, Dragons, and the odd Mundane or two who have taken up residence. It is, for the most part, a pretty innocent place. Children are protected from the "Adult Conspiracy", which includes the secret to summoning the stork.
One thing Xanth doesn't seem to have much of--and here I drag this dissertation back to the overall theme of this blog--is spanking.
Of the 28 books I've read so far, I can vaguely recall one young princess improving her behavior after recognizing a certain look from her mother. The last time that happened, her mother cast a spell on a hairbrush that followed the young girl to her room, doing what hairbrushes usually do to naughty girls.
So it was with some surprise that I found a few small references to spanking in the 28th book of the series, Currant Events.
The heroine of the story is Clio, the Muse of History. She is on a quest and, during her travels, enlists the aid of Sherlock, a man from Mundania. On their journey, they pass a boarding school. In giving it a somewhat wide berth, they discover a tower and a young lady wearing a robe and a small crown calling for help. On page 177 and 178 of the paperback published by Tor Fantasy, she explains her plight:
<<"I'm a princess in distress," she said. "I got bored with boarding school and tried to run away, so the motherboard gave me detention and the fatherboard put me in here.">>
Clio and Sherlock figure out how to free her. The buxom princess, ever so grateful.......:
<<......flung her arms around Sherlock and kissed him resoundingly, her robes trying to fall open.
For some obscure reason that disturbed Clio. "You should return to boarding school," she said. "you don't want to be late for class."
"Oh, that's right," the princess said. "I might get spanked by the disciplinary board." She ran toward the school, drawing her robe back together.
"They probably enjoy spanking her," Sherlock remarked.
"I don't understand."
"Fortunately. It's a Mundane thing. We had better move on.">>
A little later in the story, Clio confesses to Sherlock that she likes him as more than just a travelling companion. He tries to point out a few things that might be a problem, but Clio once again tells him, "I don't understand." On page 193, he replies:
<<"That is perhaps an appealing thing about you. Neither did you understand my remark about the disciplinary board enjoying spanking the princess."
"That's true. Do you care to explain?"
"The princess was a buxom lass. There are men who might like to touch her bottom under the pretext of discipline. Spanking has a special reputation when it applies to big girls.">>
Boy, ain't that the truth!
I have yet to finish the book, but if the other books in the series are any indication, that's probably all the spanking talk there is. However, as I read on, if I discover I'm wrong, I'll be sure to let you know!