Help me find an old fantasy book?
July 19, 2008 12:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm desperately trying to remember a fantasy book I read back in the 1980's or early 1990's. This may actually have been part of a series of two or three books.

As I recall, the protagonist was a wizard of indeterminate skill who had secured a position as Court Wizard in a small outlying Kingdom/Duchy. He tried to downplay his 'abilities' as much as possible, but he did have some random skill. At some point he invents something like a 'glass telephone' that more easily communicates with the 'Wizard University' than any other method. My tenuous memory also has this story as something of a murder mystery? A Duke or somesuch dies and Our Hero tries to figure out whodunit. The Court Priest/Monk/Holy Man plays a role as foil to Our Hero too, he's also trying to figure out whodunit, but is morally opposed to wizards. I think I'm remembering them developing some sort of uneasy truce by the end.

The 'glass telephone' device was a part of the book's artwork, which I recall as somewhat cartoony, in bright yellows and greens. Does any of this ring any bells for anybody?

Random snippits of memory I also associate with this book:

The 'glass telephone' was goof made by mixing several spells, but it worked better than anybody expected. You could see an image of whoever you were 'calling' inside the body of the phone, that's why it was glass.

The 'Head Wizard' at the local 'Wizard University' seemed to be involved in some kind of plot around Our Hero. The impression was he believed Our Hero to be much more talented/powerful than he let on, as proven by the glass phone, and there was some kind of conspiracy regarding that.

The wizard's power has something to do with demons?

There was also some jealousy towards Our Hero because of his position as Court Wizard, even if it was a small Kingdom/Duchy.

Our Hero uses his ability at one point as Court Entertainment by making sparkles/lights in the Great Hall as well as moving images of people/things. This was a scene that illustrated his iffy ability, because others could have done the same, but with sound added.

The Queen/Dutchess of the Small Kingdom/Duchy was quite power-hungry and ruthless. (I think I remember *her* as being the one who dun it.)

The Court Priest/Monk/Holy Man had a secret in his past, something to do with a scar or brand on his arm?

Our Hero dies and comes back while saving someone's life, possibly the Priest/Monk/Holy Man? (This was the source of the truce between them.)

Hope these snippets actually help as opposed to muddying the waters. Thanks!
posted by brindel to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A Bad Spell in Yurt?
posted by iconomy at 12:23 AM on July 19, 2008

Response by poster: OMG! YES! THANK YOU! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!

You would not believe how long I've been beating my head against a wall trying to remember that and you gave it to me in what? Under a minute?

I *LOVE* you guys!
posted by brindel at 12:44 AM on July 19, 2008

Yay! I googled "glass telephone" wizard.... :P

If you go to the link that I found, the whole book is there online on the author's site.
posted by iconomy at 12:48 AM on July 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the link to the book from me too - looks like a fun read.
posted by metahawk at 1:05 AM on July 19, 2008

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