Skeeve and Aazh were minding their own business in an inn they ended up owing as a result of the events of the first book. Their leisure time was interrupted by a soldier who brought an invitation to the great and powerful magician Skeeve (ha!) to accept a position of a court magician in a nearby kingdom. As everybody is well aware a government job is the best one there is: it is stable, secure, and usually little or no work is involved; do not let me started on benefits.
Aazh talked Skeeve into accepting the job. The first thing they realized upon arriving is that they are not the only applicants for the position and a job interview is in order.
After successfully passing the latter due to Aazh skillful coaching the duo realized they ended up with the job and a problem which would put such powerful magicians as Gandalf, Allanon, Dumbledore, Lady, Macros, and Rand al’Thor taken together
in a very tight spot. Let me remind you that Aazh had lost his magic powers and Skeeve was just a novice apprentice. Not a problem for the two, right?
I cannot think of much to say here except that I laughed reading the book. Hard. It was a reread by the way, and not the first one. This series belongs to a dying breed of humorous fantasy which is funny and which does not require a bunch of people to die or bad puns to be funny.
The dialog between Skeeve and Aazh never fails to deliver. Even when it does not make you laugh out loud, it makes you chuckle. The characters – new and old – are colorful and interesting (how is about a mercenary who is so old he falls asleep all the time including during his guard duty, but whose skill with a bow would make William Tell die of envy?) Skeeve and Aazh both have good development and feel like living beings and not just caricatures.
To make a long story short this is a really underrated humorous fantasy. If you have not read it yet and are in the mood for something lighthearted: the first five books provide excellent mindless entertainment. This installment is not a 5 star classic, but it firmly stands in 4 star rating range.