He watched his mother as she put the final touches on the plate of cream cakes she had just laid out for the guests, due to arrive any minute. Nigel laughed. Surely she saw it? Chaucer moved to the front window and peered out. She shook her head.
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Where is it, you say? Before Nigel could respond, the front bell rang—voices rang out, and before he knew it, his aunt and uncle had swept into the room and gathered Nigel into their thick, tweedy arms. But oh! Your mother and father were so worried! And to see you now is so wonderful! A little too tightly, Nigel thought. He desultorily patted Nigel on the arm and poured himself a bourbon.
She took a huge, messy bite out of one. The cream dribbled down her pointy chin just a little. She managed to catch it before it fell onto her bright, floral blouse. She took another bite. A bit of cream stuck to the tip of her beaky nose. Nigel preferred not to think about those horrible days. He had traveled to London at the start of May to visit his cousin Tony for a weekend—they were set to attend a football match and go to a nightclub later that evening. But Nigel never got to do either.
He was struck by a lorry and knocked down in the street, left alone to die. No one knew whether he would survive the frantic ambulance drive to the nearest hospital. Over the next week Nigel had endured several surgeries, blood transfusions, emergency procedures and excruciating pain and suffering. Some days he struggled even to breathe, and the pain from his injuries and from the surgeries threatened to drive him out of his mind. Still, Nigel hung on, clinging to life desperately, unwilling to let himself succumb to what had been done to him.
Gradually, his condition stabilised, and by the end of the second week in hospital, it was clear that Nigel would survive the trauma. But he had broken bones, massive internal injuries and a cracked skull. He would be in recovery for a very long time.
While he fortunately had no brain damage other than a severe concussion, he did have to relearn a few things—several weeks in traction had weakened his muscles, and Nigel had to learn to walk and even to feed himself. That process was slow and extremely painful, but after several more weeks, he had become strong enough and facile enough that he finally was allowed to return home to St. Nigel had made a few friends whilst in recovery, but he ached to be back with his old mates again.
Surely they must have driven right past it. He poured his third glass of bourbon. His nose had turned bright red. Nigel sat there with his uneaten cream cake, gobsmacked. How could they not see it? What was going on? Get your arse out here old man! Jimmy, with his freckled face and his jet black hair, bounded into the room, taking his taller, paler friend into a huge embrace.
Nigel made a face. The only remotely cute person was a thirty year-old male orderly, so I was out of luck with that! Plus he absolutely reeked of stale cigarette smoke! Jimmy grinned and shrugged. After all, four months in hospital has earned him the right to see whatever the heck he wants! Everyone laughed, even Nigel. But later that night, as he stared out his bedroom window at the twinkling lights that peppered the ebony outline of the castle, Nigel wondered. He had been terribly, horribly injured. He had lost blood, been through countless surgeries, been on more drugs than a rock star in his prime, and yet, he was certain that what he saw out there was real.
I just went straight to bed. Aunt Susan smiled at him. Is there a castle? Is there a castle around here? Outside of town! She bit into her fourth cream cake. Chaucer looked at each other worriedly. Chaucer said, thrusting a plate into his hands. He made a face. Post Comment Note: All fields are required. It opened okay. It was "obviously" going to be at least partly a comedy of errors type book. The hapless hero who means well but things always go the wrong way and catastroph This one had been on my "to be read" for a while and it turned up available at the library in audio The hapless hero who means well but things always go the wrong way and catastrophes happen around him.
They are of course no fault of our "said hero" but they somehow always appear to be. That's how it started. As I went on through the opening disaster and followed Gerald Dunwoody on through his drab 3rd level wizard life, I was mildly interested Then I found myself laughing aloud at the description of a "Vampire Butterfly" sitting on Princess and Prime Minster Melissande's nose. From there I settled in and enjoyed the book greatly. What we do have here is an interesting adventure, part thriller, part humor and all urban fantasy that sets up a promising new series. I like it The characters are done very well, light hearted yet at times dark they aren't flat and stay true once they get established.
Now that said view spoiler [ don't hold the end against me when masks come off hide spoiler ]. There is only one reason the book fails to get a 5 star rating "from me". That reason is that at times I find Gerald almost terminally annoying. At times I was so heartily sick of his view spoiler [ whining hide spoiler ] I want to slap him and say view spoiler [ will you shut up and think, none of this was your fault and your self flagellation is driving me and everyone else crazy!!!! Apr 18, Liana rated it really liked it Shelves: humour , urban-fantasy , magic. Pretty silly. XD That's all I can say for now.
This book had me laughing so hard. Especially Gerald's talking bird, Reg. She is hilarious. You mean assassinate! Over my dead body, mate! Raise so much as an eyebrow at this boy and I'll be wearing your eyeballs for earrings! It definitely could have been edited down a few hundred pages. That's the only issue I have with the story. Aug 27, Kat rated it really liked it Shelves: urban-fantasy , fantasy , Basic Plot: Gerald Dunwoody goes from government bureaucrat to Court Wizard, and from barely a level three in power to beyond level one after an accident at a staff factory causes his potentia to fully realize itself.
Now he's caught between a desert and a mad king I have to confess, it was the second book in the series that first caught my eye, something about witches, but I couldn't bear to read the second book in a series before the first, so I grabbed this one, despite not being entirely s Basic Plot: Gerald Dunwoody goes from government bureaucrat to Court Wizard, and from barely a level three in power to beyond level one after an accident at a staff factory causes his potentia to fully realize itself.
I have to confess, it was the second book in the series that first caught my eye, something about witches, but I couldn't bear to read the second book in a series before the first, so I grabbed this one, despite not being entirely sure what it was going to be about. I was quite pleasantly surprised. It's sort-of urban fantasy. The world is clearly based on ours, but isn't ours. Gerald is from Ottosland, which bears a strong resemblance to England. The humor in the book is very British-tongue-in-cheek, which kept me smiling.
The writing was clean and direct, and the dialogue felt very natural. I liked the plot, which could have very easily gotten bogged down in the details of world-building, but didn't.
I had never heard of the author before, so I thank the happenstance that caused a librarian to purchase this book and the further serendipity of my randomly finding it on the library shelf. I'm now quite eager to get to that book I originally spotted. Pseudo-wizard Gerald Dunwoody is a weakling, a whiner and a marshmellow.
After getting fired from his third or was it his fourth job, he accepts a position in a far off country as the Royal Court Wizard to King Lional of New Ottosland. His first task transforms a lion into a pussycat and gives crazy King Lional seriously deluded ideas of grandeur. He decides to invade the neighboring country with dragons and magic.
Thus ensues a debacle of immense proportions that puts Gerald and Reg smack in Pseudo-wizard Gerald Dunwoody is a weakling, a whiner and a marshmellow. Thus ensues a debacle of immense proportions that puts Gerald and Reg smack in the middle of chaos. After a while, Gerald and his bird sidekick, Reg, grow on you. Even the King's sister, Melissande becomes likeable when compared to the barmy King.
Accidental Wizard: An Endemic Universe Story by Stefan Lear
His madness is immediately apparent and rather scary. A real slow read as Gerald's whiny poor-me attitude is aggravating as hell. But if you can persevere, the story has merit. It's a totally enjoyable read with madmen, holy men, dragons, talking birds, sorcerer's both good and evil. With a little bit of everything thrown into the mix including a surprise ending. View all 3 comments. Jun 10, Cris rated it it was ok Shelves: magic , dragons , fantasy. The story starts with a light, comedic tone and shifts very abruptly about half-way through. Someone expecting humor along the lines of Asprin's Myth series, or Pratchett's Discworld will be disappointed I think.
But the darkness doesn't start early enough, and isn't consistent enough, to appeal to fans of Martin's Fire and Ice series or the Kushiel series. The setting was a mish-mash of technologies and magic. The changes in conversation and setting from magic portals and the manufacture of magic The story starts with a light, comedic tone and shifts very abruptly about half-way through. The changes in conversation and setting from magic portals and the manufacture of magic wands to cars and telephones were abrupt and jarring. Overall, a somewhat confused and mixed bag of a story.
I may or may not read the next in the series. Aug 19, Jessica rated it it was ok. Not my favorite. I had trouble getting into the book. I was well over half way before I could read more than a few pages at a time. The bird, Reg, is probably the most interesting character but none of them really caught my attention. The book was much better towards the end over pages in and I might give the next one a try based on the end of this book but I'm not even sure of that. Jul 03, Nighteye rated it liked it.
Kind of funny and a loot of "how will Gerald fix this? Feb 01, Gina rated it really liked it Shelves: action , fantasy , mystery , own , suspense , paranormal-supernatural , adventure. Can Gerald get into any more trouble? But while there, an accident occurs, and Gerald is being blamed.
But his friend, Monk, spots what could potentially be a job for him. Seems the king of New Ottosland is looking for a court wizard. At this point, Gerald would be happy to get anything. And off he goes. In any aspect. Princess Melissandre is smarter than most give her credit for. Seems Prince Rupert is also hiding behind a mask. Acting like the dim-witted little brother obsessed with butterflies, he knows a lot more than anyone would think.
But to reveal what he knows could put him in harms way. And King Lional… he wants to take New Ottosland to heigher heights than the previous kings before him. He wants to take New Ottosland out of their relaxed and out-dated traditions and rise to the top.
See, King Lional has gone mad. He wanted so much to be a wizard since he was a kid, and has become obsessed with what he wants. But will Gerald be strong enough to stop him? I enjoyed this story. At first, I thought the story would be a fun, light read, something to breeze through on the way to the next novel. How wrong was I! Deep-seated feelings, thoughts, plot twists, things you never saw coming. A few things bugged me a little, though. For instance, King Lional.
A brother and sister blind to it, okay, I get that. Staff and servants stay way from it, I get that too. All those missing wizards and not one thing is done about it? How can people be that blind? I found Gerald to be a little naive and under confident of himself. No matter how scared he was, he fought to the finish; he used his fear to beat his opponent, and a job well done. Oh, she had me in stitches that one. Dec 24, Marie rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , reviewed , my-books , mystery.
Found this review on my blog and realized it never made it to GR. The Accidental Sorcerer by K. Mills pseudonym for Karen Miller has strong characters that are fully part of their entirely fictional fantasy world. Which is especially interesting because I don't think the world is given a name. I think that indicates how strong a fantasy setting it is. In this book, the first of the Rogue Agent series, three different countries are in play: or rather, primary protagonist Gerald Dunwoody moves f Found this review on my blog and realized it never made it to GR.
In this book, the first of the Rogue Agent series, three different countries are in play: or rather, primary protagonist Gerald Dunwoody moves from Ottosland to New Ottosland, the colony, which is entirely surrounded by the desert country of Kallarapi. Never, in any of these settings, is the audience given a rundown of the political system, the laws, the culture or the population statistics.
Accidental Wizard: An Endemic Universe Story (The Accidental Wizard Book 1)
Instead, the characters move through their surroundings, and like people reflect only on what immediately impacts them. So Gerald doesn't really think about how his government operates, but as a third-grade wizard and cog of bureaucracy, we learn about out it operates on a day-to-day level, and more importantly the attitude the government has to its function. Gerald's whole story begins when, at the factory he was sent to inspect , there is an explosion as a result of lax safety standards. Instead of the illustrious company being investigated, Gerald is fired.
Because he is only a third-grade wizard, several self-important first-class wizards go out of their way to make him further miserable--a very clear class structure that is only emphasized by his absent-minded, genius-inclined best friend Monk who is so far up the social ladder that, while he cannot directly get Gerald out of trouble, he can make the others back off. However, when his own stunts go awry, he isn't immune from the consequences. The focus of the book is Gerald's time in New Ottosland.
Unlike the mother country, New Ottosland follows Tradition with the capital "T". They speak the same language, every building is an exact copy, and every king is named Lionel and every queen Melisande--as are the first male and female heir.
Gerald's problem is the new King Lionel disbelieves in any need for advisors or anything other than strict obedience. And war is brewing with Kallarapi, the desert that surrounds New Ottosland. Given descriptions of turbans, camels, and very prominent Holy Men and gods, at first glance, Kallarapi might read as the stereotypical middle-eastern backwards country. But holy man Shugat is, well, if not good, especially to our protagonists, at least right.
Kallarapi is a fully independent county--it represents mostly how backwards New Ottosland has become. The beginning the The Accidental Sorcerer is in many ways whimsical. There's a great deal of witty banter, and wry observations on the fabric of society.
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But the strongest part of the book, the most moving, is that there really is evil in this world, and no one can be perfectly good. Evil is human, and there is death--and it actually affects the characters. Someone is tortured, and changed forever. Everyone is actually impacted by the end, and there is no magical healing. Jul 05, Mieneke rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , The sense of humour in this book reminded me of that of Terry Pratchett and Tom Holt , in that it's not your run-of-the-mi What a great, funny read!!
Mar 06, Thara rated it it was ok. Not a bad book but not a great one, either, thus the two stars. My biggest gripe is that the tone was so erratic. I'm not sure what Mills intended her theme to be - a journey of self-discovery, the megalomania of despots, the supremacy of religion - it all ended up in her book. It started out as the story of a lovable but bumbling wizard, turned into political intrigue, then there was some torture, some good-guy reveals The story was just too short to handle it all.
Tolkien managed it, but th Not a bad book but not a great one, either, thus the two stars. That said, if Mills had written 4 books instead of one, I really think she would have nailed it. Not on Tolkien's scale, but enough to give due credit to her ideas.
For the most part, the writing was smooth and flowed well. I liked the characters, I really did. I thought they were all unique and well-developed. It was hard not to root for Gerald, or be fairly spooked by Lional. Most of the major characters exhibited an annoying tendency to bicker and accuse, however, even under supremely inappropriate circumstances when facing a vastly superior military force, for example.
It was an entertaining motif at first, but after a while, it was distracting. By the end of the book, it was testing the patience of this reader. I'll probably read the next book in the series, just to see how Mills continues with her characters. View 1 comment. Aug 23, Robert rated it really liked it. The Accidental Sorcerer is the tale of a likeable loser wizard who discovers, through accident, enormous powers, and then has adventures If that sounds a tad This is cheerfully shallow pulp fiction. It's energetic, fun to read, fast moving, funny in places, and well put together.
It's competent, though never outstanding. Our main hero is accompanied by an acerbic, sarcastic sidekick bird I tend to think it is an owl , befriends an acerbic, sarcastic, p The Accidental Sorcerer is the tale of a likeable loser wizard who discovers, through accident, enormous powers, and then has adventures Our main hero is accompanied by an acerbic, sarcastic sidekick bird I tend to think it is an owl , befriends an acerbic, sarcastic, plump princess, works for a vain, egocentric king, and is gormless amongst them. He's a likeable nobody, whom a great destiny awaits, et cetera.
As fun as the book is, its by-the-numbers story, over the top characters and its tendency to have very similar, entertaining, sarcastic sidekick type characters can be a bit tiring. It feels a bit like the writer can do vaguely amusing, but not truly witty or funny, so we're stuck with vaguely amusing as a default voice. Am I going to read the next book in the series? Honestly, probably not. This was forgettable, pleasant fare, but had nothing that would convert me into a loyal fan. Mills book, or an Esther Friesner book. Jul 09, Jeff Miller rated it really liked it.
Maybe closer to five stars. The plot of a intelligent but somewhat bumbler that discoverers he has more magical talent than expected and goes on to his potential is certainly not a new plot. But when done right can be enjoyable. That is the case here of Gerald the third rate magician in a government job who has had problems in previous jobs not totally his fault is the setup for this novel. As t Maybe closer to five stars. As the title implies he is no mere third rate magician, but something much more.
Circumstances lead him to applying for a job as Court Magician is some foreign and small country is what sets up the series of events. Add in a sarcastic sidekick and you get the basic setup. The plot was quite well executed and involved plenty of action, intrigue, and guessing at what was going to happen next. Only rarely did I guess correctly what was going to happen next as it kept me in suspense. All the factors I love in a novel were there such as great characters you care about and serious moral concerns as a major underpinning.
Even better it nicely combined the serious and the humorous. Oct 29, Denae Christine rated it really liked it Shelves: listened-to , alternate-reality-fantasy. The world KEM constructed reminded me so much of Terry Pratchett's discworld, except modern, and there's more magic than rational thinking in the witches. Still, the humor and feel of the world the way the countries and people interacted with each other , along with the possibility of divine forces, seemed like discworld. That said, I wouldn't fault the book at all except for how mean and rude the characters were to each other.
Even when they were in the middle of a rescue mission, the main char The world KEM constructed reminded me so much of Terry Pratchett's discworld, except modern, and there's more magic than rational thinking in the witches. Even when they were in the middle of a rescue mission, the main characters couldn't stop nagging. Do friends have to act like that? I know characters don't have to be perfect, and I accepted it from Reg, but Melissande and Gerald were nearly as bad. The plot was not completely predictable.
I didn't expect the extent of Lional's treachery, but I did suspect Rupert. I did expect Gerald to be a special wizard. I did suspect that sort of ending, with a big magical duel, although I hoped it wouldn't happen. There were too many times Gerald could have done something to prevent it, if he'd dared. I hated Lional. Yes, he was bad, but the book was tarnished for having his evil presence. Oh, and Gerald was a neat character.
The plot progressed logically, and the conflicts were suspenseful. May 28, Zivan rated it it was ok. This one was a bit of a disappointment. It starts with a lowly third grade wizard, trying to prevent a magical accident in a wand factory that is being run into the ground out of greed. He is then blamed for the accident by the same manager who caused it.
This is where the book starts and that's how it continues. The characters are simply either too evil or too good. Too much is simply explained by a character in "You know captain The only redeeming character is the talking bird companion, and she too gets repetitive and annoying after a while. It is a coming of age type story, but our young hero stands up against such incredible odds that he needs super powers and a bunch of helpful friends to shepherd him to victory despite himself.
This may be the theme of many other books, but here it just doesn't seem to fit in the seams are showing. Jul 15, K. Plot summary: Gerald Dunwoody is a rather inept wizard. When he loses his job yet again due to a magical catastrophe, it seems like his career is over for good. But when his friend Monk recommends that he apply for the position of Royal Court Wizard to a far way kingdom, his life is about to change forever. Thoughts: I loved this. The supporting characters were a lot of fun, and the dialogue was entertai Plot summary: Gerald Dunwoody is a rather inept wizard.
The supporting characters were a lot of fun, and the dialogue was entertaining. Sure, some parts of the plot could have been trimmed a little more, while others - namely Gerald's feathery offsider, Reg - could have been better explained earlier in the story. But I basically didn't want to stop reading from the moment I picked it up. It has the greatest dedication of ever: I'll definitely be trying to get my hands on the other books in the series as soon as possible. Feb 12, Anita rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy-traditional , paranormal-mystery , fantasy-funny , mystery.
This book was another pleasant surprise. I was engrosed in the story and highly entertained. It's a traditional fantasy set in the s on a different world where wizards are an accepted part of society. Gerald, the hero, is a 3rd rate wizard with a pechant for messing things up. He works for the ministry of magic as a lowly inspector. When he goes to inspect a wand factory, a huge industrial accident takes place and somehow, he avoids being fried and instead keeps the town from blowing up.
Nob This book was another pleasant surprise.