The Accidental Sorcerer - Rogue Agent: Book One is the first of a whimsical new trilogy. Karen Miller, writing as K.E. Mills, begins this fantasy in a light amusing tone that seems suitable for young adults. But gradually the plot thickens, the atmosphere darkens, the hero finds himself in some serious trouble and the torture scenes may be more suitable for older readers. The characters are colorful, including a feminist, a talking bird, a butterfly keeper and of course an evil villain. It is a world that is magical, yet believable and great fun to visit.
Gerald Dunwoody is a third grade wizard, a civil servant who inspects staff production at factories. Something goes amiss one day and an unfortunate explosion is blamed on Gerald. Now he's out of job with no hope of finding another. The small principality of New Ottosland needs a wizard immediately and Gerald feels lucky to get a position as royal wizard to King Lional. But things are amiss in the kingdom. Princess Melissande is acting as the Prime Minister, Prince Rupert is a dim-wit who collects butterflies and the king turns out to be a dangerous egomaniac who wants to expand his kingdom. He sees Gerald turn a cat into a lion and now he orders him to make a dragon, which is illegal. The king will use whatever force he can to make Gerald bend to his will. Gerald resists but finds he is no match for a man who is much more than a king.
Mills has built an interesting world, magical but with some modern technology. Some of the characters are clichés but they're memorable and great fun. The dialogue is full of satire and wit. There's intrigue, conflict and an exciting finale. It's an entertaining read that sets things up nicely for book two - Witches Incorporated.
Publisher: Orbit (January 1, 2009)
Mass Market Paperback: 560 Pages