I remember a book leant to me, middle-part of a series (?) in the early-mid 1990's, written in English.

The protagonist possessed the ability to move between the mundane world of his not-especially-exciting life into a magical world. In the real-world, he was no-one in particular, a dull job, single-life, small flat.

In the magical world, he was a wizard/sorcerer of great power, battling forces of chaos/evil. To enact the magics, he'd speak a spell - nothing special, just words which stated what needed to happen, but the condition was that they only worked once, a unique form of incantation per spell. Repeating an old spell's words didn't work.

On one cliff-hanger chapter-ending, in the real-world he received a gunshot, this wouldn't normally be a problem, as he would move to the magical world and transform the bullet/cure the wound - but on this occasion, an enemy from the magical world had made the bullet from a poisonous creature (chimera ?) such that if he moved to the magical world, the creature's touch would instantly kill.

The protagonist came-up with a neat solution which I forget.

  • The magic/mundane and unique incantations sounds a smidge like Piers Anthony's Split Infinity (and subsequent books in the series)... was the mundane world a tad sci-fi? Robots and a colony on planet Proton? LEXIBLE: Does a little Wikipedia reading… HOLY MOLY! Piers published 36 books in the Xanth series—also a magic/mundane fictional world—and books are still being published posthumously.
    – Lexible
    Dec 4, 2021 at 23:02
  • OK, there's a big haystack there, hadn't intended that. I'll see if I can find anything else to narrow it down. @Lexible Dec 4, 2021 at 23:11
  • To be clear (in case I confused things): Split Infinity inaugurates one P.A. series, and the Xanth series is a different one.
    – Lexible
    Dec 4, 2021 at 23:13
  • 1
    @Lexible Piers Anthony isn't dead, there's nothing posthumous about Xanth,
    – Moriarty
    Dec 4, 2021 at 23:14
  • 1
    @Lexible Piers Anthony is still alive. Dec 4, 2021 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


That is definitely one of the books from Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series — the "bullet" plot line clinches it. Let me go look exactly which book it is — < Jeopardy theme music plays > — it's the second book in the series, Blue Adept.

  • 2
    Hi, welcome to the site. Could you edit your answer to specify any other ways in which Blue Adept matches the one described in the question, aside from the bullet plot point you already mentioned? Dec 16, 2021 at 0:27
  • Thanks for this, only just noticed that you'd answered. Nice one. Nov 29, 2023 at 13:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.