Kedrigern is a young wizard of well renown, about 160 or 170 years old (wizards, you see, live to be about 500 years old). Unlike most wizards, he doesn't sport a long, flowing white beard, wear an impressive pointy hat, or go around in robes writ with mysterious symbols. Kedrigern actually looks about 30 years old and often is mistaken for a normal human. He's a solitary homebody who resents visitors and abhors travel with a passion. Unfortunately for him (but good news for the reader), Kedrigern must often undergo plenty of journeying in order to best serve his clients. On one such trip, he encounters an enchanted toad sobbing piteously in the heart of the Dismal Bog. The toad informs him that her name is Princess and that she's been put under a frightful curse. Kedrigern undoes the curse but with the side effect that, while Princess had regained her normal beautiful form, her voice now solely consisted of a frog's "Brereep." The rest of the novel details Kedrigern's many frustrated attempts to rediscover a voice for Princess. Along the way, he confronts brigands, malcontent apprentices, covetous barbarians and malevolent princes. It's really too much to ask of a wizard who only wants to stay home.
This is the book that introduces that grumpy master of counterspells Kedrigern of Silent Thunder Mountain, his lovely wife Princess and their messy but utterly faithful house servant Spot. Author John Morressy excels in this sometimes gentle, sometimes unsettling whimsical fantasy. The scenes he writes vary from the gently absurd, the amusingly farcical to the mildly grotesque (man-eating rodents, anyone?). In reading this book, you'll learn of the mendacity of alchemists, the benefits of raising a troll young, the good fortuity which comes of aiding someone with ingrown toenails, and how, at times, it's actually a good thing to NOT smell a rat.
A wizard must figure out how to get his princess's voice back. A great book.