Gerald Dunwoody is a wizard. Not a very good wizard but enough of a wizard to get him a job at Department of Thaumaturgy as a magical inspector. However when he blows up Stutterly's a premier staff making factory its time to lay low and wait for the scandal down.
He heads off to New Ottosland to become the court wizard. At first everything seems perfect although the King is a vain, self centred, arrogant bastard. However Gerald quickly realises the Kingdom is in danger and it is up to him to save the Kingdom and the Princess. How can he save a nation when he can barely perform a basic spell?
Mills has done a good job creating this new world. The technologies that exist are consistent with having magic at your fingertips. For instance a crystal ball is used as a telephone like device. There is a big contrast between Ottosland and New Ottosland. new Ottosland is a bit of a backwater and has not progressed very far technology wise.
There is a wonderful humour through out the book making it a fun to read. It is not a heavy going fantasy book. Mills writing style flows smoothly and is easy to read. It is not light and fluffy the whole way through as the story does turn serious. I have seen reviews where this is a problem but for me it wasn't, for me it was just the natural progression of the story.
The characters are funny and well rounded. Reg the bird is a crack up. The growth of Gerald and Melissande is realistic and believable. Geralds character in particular has to deal with some heavy issues.
I really enjoyed the book and will look forward to reading book 2 and 3 in the trilogy. I would recommend this book if you don't like your fantasy to heavy.