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The Mad Wizard of Slagg
By David G. Hartman
Prologue, Mia’s Stand: Sixteen year-old Mia Murphy finds herself in the magical world of Morrah, where she’s charged with carrying the Book of Life. She’s guided on her travels by the kindly wizard Finnegaff, and Belemeriath, a comedy relief, a hyperactive, talkative, flirtatious, show-off, four-inch tall fairy who Mia can’t stand at first, but later loves. Guided by the magic, she selects teenaged representatives to join their company. Finnegaff is awkward around teens and although they don’t take advantage of this, they do play with it.
The Dark Sorceress Eringaff wishes to seize the Book of Life, which would give her ultimate power. Along the way, they are harassed by Eringaff’s armies of darkhounds: fierce half dog, half humans under the direction of Eringaff. Elements of Morran magic and animals mysterious to Mia also cause the party considerable difficulties.
Mia had the Book of Life. But it was stolen-forcibly-by the greater fairy Storyops, who was under the control of the Dark Sorceress Eringaff. End Mia’s Stand.
In The Mad Wizard of Slagg, Mia and her stand continue their quest. Mia had fallen in love with Carameth the elf; their gentle romance continues. She becomes very close to all those in her company. Occasionally the situations are comedic, sad, or romantic, and always with solid moral lessons, excitement and danger.
A few characters are added to their ensemble, one of which is Geramel, a sassy female Slagg soldier with military brains and brawn. Geramel proves a wealth of information as they pass through the dark country of Slagg, Eringaff’s domain. Therein lives Dilligaff, the mad wizard, mad from having to constantly ward off the dark magic. His antics are insane, but he’s lovable. He joins the stand.
The quest to reclaim the Book of Life takes them to Rock Island, the site of Eringaff’s well-guarded castle. They break into her stronghold and manage to regain the Book of Life, and Eringaff and her army are on their heels throughout the rest of their journey. Mia has powerful allies: Cwyth the dragon, with whom Mia talks telepathically, and the centaur, dwarf and elf armies. But Eringaff has Creggar the dragon and darkhound armies. Full-scale wars ensue, though not too graphic. The tragedy of war is emphasized (as are many other morals).
The dragons battle; they are brothers. Creggar is controlled by the dark sorceress’ magic, and Cwyth wants his release. Mia is indeed a very powerful wizard, the most powerful ever by far, yet doesn’t realize her potential. She finds this potential when she aids in Creggar’s release and enacts the end of the 4,000-year era of magic that controls life on Morrah. She is dramatically changed by the new magic with revelation, and humbly accepts her position as steward and queen of the new magic era.
Mia is from Earth, as are the previous seven carriers of the Book of Life, one arriving each 400 years. Although the wizards from Earth can travel between Earth and Morrah at will, none have been able to trans locate anyone but themselves. Mia is the first, and near the end of the novel, quite by accident, trans locates her best friend Susan to Morrah. Susan proves critical in ending the reign of Eringaff. Eringaff is released from the powers of the dark magic and is ripped with sorrow and regret for all the lives she’d taken. Mia shows her compassion.
With becoming a wizard comes immortality. The timeline flashes to 1500 years in the future to show what became of their happily ever after. Mia is married to Carameth; Susan has a role in the long term, as do all the members of Mia’s Stand. Eringaff is charged with caring for the environment and marries the mad wizard Dilligaff, who is no longer mad. We learn the magic selected them because of their ability to fulfill their stewardship roles in the forever after.

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