Xanth is a magical land located on a peninsula shaped and designed like the state of Florida, as stated by Piers Anthony. It shares many features with Florida, including Lake Ogre-chobee, the Kiss-me River, and The Keys. The main difference between Florida and Xanth, geographically, is the vast chasm known as The Gap which divides the land in two. Florida has a much less interesting highway in a similar location.
Every human in Xanth, and many creatures, have his or her own magical talent. These talents vary widely from the useless 'spot on a wall' variety (creating a pointless and useless discolored spot on the wall) to Magician and Sorceress class magics (ie. Forming life-like illusions and shape-changing). During the reign of The Storm King, it was decreed that anyone not able to demonstrate their talent by the age of 25 was to be banished to Mundania, a dreary and boring place where nobody believes in magic. The decree was removed by King Trent to protect Bink's talent.
Xanth has many species, most of which think they are in charge.
After the time when the waves began to settle down and the population of Xanth began to settle, the humans found that they needed leadership, and so elected a King. The leadership of Xanth is called a King regardless of gender, though most of the kings in the past have been male. The first instance of a female king was the event when Mare Imbrium took the throne temporarily to allow King Trent to deal with other problems.
The King must have Magician (or Sorceress) caliber magic.
The first king of Xanth was Merlin.
The Curse fiends, called by some the Curse Friends, are ruled by a Crone. The curse fiends seem to be human, except that their talents are much the same among them, all having the ability to fling curses.
Centaurs are the result of an instance when a man and his horse drank from a love spring. Centaurs are extremely intelligent, cannot lie, and tend to look down on the magical talents of humans. However, that's not to say that centaurs do not have magical talents of their own. Those that display such talents are normally thrown out of society however. Centaurs also choose to forgo clothing, which is much more obvious when it comes to the female of the species, and they do not appear to be shy about natural bodily functions.
Many creatures fly such as dragons, rocs, alicentaurs, griffins, hippogryphs, and winged goblins. They are ruled loosely by Cheiron, though the Simurgh and her heir, Sim, are the highest of all winged monsters.
Goblins are shorter creatures who live in hoards. The males tend to be ugly and violent, and generally represent the scum of society. The Females however, though soft spoken and often abused by their male counterparts, are pretty and nice. In most hoards it is unspeakable for a woman to lead the goblins. However, recently the feminist movement has found its way into goblin society, and Goldy Goblin has taken over as leader of the Golden Hoard.
There are also Flying Goblins, though these do not happen nearly as often as many of the other crossbreeds.
Xanth is shaped approximately like Florida, but matches up with Mundania at the Isthmus at random times and places. Where it matches up in the current time seems to be approximately where Florida is. Many of Xanth's geographical features have names with puns of names of places in Florida. There are many puns in Xanth, though not nearly as many as there are in the Comic Strips of Ptero.
Much of the early history of Xanth is unknown to modern historians until around year -1000, though some of the early history is known to some of the early species, even if they choose to ignore aspects of it. Until the First Wave, there was little human history of note.
Please see the Human society in Xanth for a more detailed account of human history in Xanth.
Please see the Timeline for a detailed timeline of Xanth's history.
As a moon of Ida
The moons of Ida were at one point a string of worlds leading away from Xanth. When Ilene visited Moondania, she was able to create a Xanth moon for the Ida there. So, now the moons of Ida form a ring where most characters start from Xanth and now can end on Xanth.