“I didn't have the desire to finish it; which is rare for me.
As of now, I don't have plans on finishing it. Maybe one day.”
“I almost loved this book. The writing was awesome, few authors of this caliber. Unfortunately, the author half-way thru this book decided to destroy everything. I don't mean literally, but figuratively. By the end of this book the "hero" is a broken shell of a man, who incidentally is going to be the star of several following sequels. If you like that sort of thing feel free to enjoy this book, because up to the half-way point it was an excellent book. Around that point the author included 80-100 pages of unneccesary nothingness. After Gerald blacks out in the forest the first time with Lionel, the author should have ended the scene there and told us later about what actually happaned rather than wasting all that time. I don't know who I hated more by the end of this book Lionel (the evil insane Joker character) or the Kallarap, who watched "heathens" die without caring. I also really hated how this entire story was presented as being preventable if any of the even minor characters had said something like "Hey, this guy is a killer, and here's the proof". I have to say I will never read another book by this author despite how awesome it almost was. If you like stories about Joker-esque people and heros being broken literally, then you would most likely enjoy this book. And no there is no light at the end of this tunnel, or book. It is a terrible shame, this author has a really great writing style and this could have been one of my favorite books.
Edit: Also if you liked how dark and dreary Batman the dark knight was, you might like this one.”
“Even though the book cover says the author is K.E. Mills, it is actually a pen name for Karen Miller. Not sure why Ms. Miller needs a pen name as it is not much of a secret. Anyway, after reading her Star Wars Novel, Wild Space, I went looking for another book written by her. Since this was a first book in a series, it looked entertaining and it involved magic and wizards, I decided to give it a shot.
Gerald Dunwoody is a low level, third grade wizard working for Department of Thaumaturgy. He is sent to inspect Stuttley’s Superior Staff factory due to some prior violations. Stuttley’s manufactures premier staffs for first grade wizards only. Kinda like a Ferrari for well trained race car driver. Through a series of unfortunate events Stuttley’s factory is destroyed and Gerald is left permanently changed.
When he returns the office his superiors are not happy and Gerald is sacked. Without many opportunities left, Gerald decides to take a job as Royal Court Wizard for King Lionel the Forty-Third in New Ottosland. New Ottosland is a city surrounded by desert and far from civilization. Gerald is accompanied by his friend, Reg, who is loud mouth bird that is more than she seems. Gerald’s luck holds, bad luck that is, as New Ottosland is embroiled in a dispute with the surrounding kingdom, Zazoor. King Lionel and his sister, Melissande, who is also the Prime Minister, expect Gerald to help them wade through the crisis by some very unconventional ways and nefarious means. Needless to say, Gerald has a rough time of it in his new job.
The rest of the story involves Gerald jumping from bad situation to the next until he is left to dual it out with ultimate bad guy who is responsible for the terrible events in New Ottosland.
What I liked: Ms. Mills (Miller’s) dialogue is worth the price of admission alone. I really liked reading the exchanges between the main characters as they witty and at times laugh out funny. She is one of the few authors, next to Christopher Moore, that excels at satirical speech and it is a pure joy to read.
I also enjoyed the characters as they had real personalities. King Lionel is driven matriarch out to change the direction / image of his kingdom through any means necessary. Melissande is strong willed female but has a soft spot for older brother. And my favorite, Gerald Dunwoody, is the loveable wizard who is forced to do things against his code but becomes the hero at the end of the day.
What I didn’t like: I dislike the some pretty nit picky things. The title of the book is terrible and the cover art is worse. Put a two Big Giant Dragons on the front slugging it out. Make it more visual exciting, instead of some creepy looking wizard with an itty bitty dragon.
Last word: I am glad I took a chance on this novel as it ended up being a completely enjoyable and fun read. I am really looking forward to Ms. Mills (Ms. Miller’s) next installment in the Rogue Agent trilogy, Witches Incorporated.”
“Can Gerald get into any more trouble?
As a compliance officer (on probation) for the Department of Thaumaturgy, Gerald Dunwoody heads to Stuttley’s Superior Staff factory for a snap inspection. Seems that the safety statements, that are supposed to be witnessed and signed, haven’t been sent in for the last two months, which is a breach of regulations. But while there, an accident occurs, and Gerald is being blamed.
Fired, he slips a little into a depression, sure that he won’t find another, not for a while at least, until the factory debackle has died down. 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.
But things aren’t what they seem. In any aspect. Something happened to Gerald in that factory, and now he can do things that even most First Grade wizards can’t. And by doing something he didn’t think he could do, he unwittingly put himself in a position that he’ll only be able to get out of by the skin of his teeth.
Princess Melissandre is smarter than most give her credit for. She’s deliberately made herself look frumpy; she refuses to end up anything like the long list of Princess Melissandres before her. But as the sister of the king, she’s blind to that Lional is truly up to.
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 has ‘visions’ of New Ottosland being a land to be reckoned with. He wants to take New Ottosland out of their relaxed and out-dated traditions and rise to the top. And the way he’s going about it is all wrong. 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. No one truly understand at what lengths he’ll go to, and Gerald learns it quickly - the hard way.
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. Characters who aren’t what they appear to be. Action, drama, mystery, the dialogue isn’t simple, thoughts aren’t simple, actions aren’t simple.
A few things bugged me a little, though. For instance, King Lional. Seemed like a typical king as I’ve read before. Demanding, superior, arrogant, just like a lot of kings are, but you get a sense right away that something isn’t right, and it bugged me a little that no one could see it. A brother and sister blind to it, okay, I get that. Staff and servants stay way from it, I get that too. Gerald spots something’s off, and yet no one has a clue? All those missing wizards and not one thing is done about it? Wizards leaving messages that they’re going off, but to never been seen or heard from again? How can people be that blind?
I found Gerald to be a little naive and under confident of himself. It felt like he really didn’t have any idea on how to conduct himself, how to be with other people. I mean, sure, the whole job as a court wizard is new to him, but his uncomfortableness around other people made me feel uncomfortable, and I really didn’t like that.
But, in the end, Gerald really does redeem himself, doesn’t he? No matter how scared he was, he fought to the finish; he used his fear to beat his opponent, and a job well done. I think anyone who swears an oath to do no harm, and that choice is taken away from him, would be down on himself, but I think he’ll become stronger for it.
Reg - delightful bird, isn’t she, LMAO?! Oh, she had me in stitches that one. Her comments, her views, how she really doesn’t care of your status… excellent characters - for a bird.
LOL, and I can’t help but wonder if a little ’something-something’ is going to happen between Melissandre and Monk…”