The first and one of the best Xanth novels. A strong start which has provided the momentum to carry so many Xanth future novels. I was intrigued by the originality of concepts of this fantasy world even in spite of its blatant appropriation of generic mythology and fantasy. Having read every Xanth novel yet released, (though many I would not rate as highly as this one) I find it hard to separate contextually this book from the rest and its significance to the entire series, but I'll try to review it as story on its own. I have often very much appreciated the simplicity of story context in fairy tales and myths and legends which have been handed down over the centries to our modern culture. Quite often there is the strong desire for complex world building and complex subplotting in contemporary fantasy writing. When reading a Spell for Chameleon I felt I was returning to a simple but elegant plot of a simple hero, unjustly treated but solving a quest nonetheless and achieving greatness.
There was no great history of Xanth or even more than a rudimentary map and I found it easy to focus on a story being told in an interesting jungle fantasy setting. The lack of detail provided, allowed me to envisage Xanth more on my terms than strictly laid out details. It was more like a novel length short story. Sometimes the overuse of puns for the sake of putting them in can be a bit tiresome but its still an easy read. In some ways I am reminded of The Hobbit, which compared to most Middle Earth tales, was simple and a good ripping yarn/fairy tale without pandering as much to world building as JRR's other books. That simplicity I find in A Spell for Chameleon and Bink will always be my favourite character I believe in Xanths no matter how many hundreds are written.