The Wayward Mage: The Adventures of Jack Wartnose is a delightful sword-and-sorcery novel by A.S. Norris that takes readers on a thrilling adventure centered around Mage Jack Wartnose and the consequences of his lifetime of bad decisions. Suddenly saddled with an unintentional wife and child, his summer of adventure leads him on a quest to find an arcane artifact in hopes of carving his name into the history of Magedom.
After running from farmers intent on justice for the theft of a few carrots, a homeless Muriel and her infant, Jack, are saved by Madam Cherry and her husband, who own the Ram’s Head Tavern. Muriel is at home there for the next eighteen years until mage Wartnose, thief Skully, and ranger Brien enter, bickering about the hardships of their quest. Muriel had thought Wartnose dead, so her reunion with the father of her child is heartfelt and passionate, but in all the wrong ways.

Wartnose is a novice mage, which isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. The days are long and dreary, filled with mishaps and misfortune. His unexpected reunion with Muriel and the revelation of their love child results in a hastily arranged wedding ceremony. Reluctant to part ways, Wartnose’s newly formed family insists on joining him on a dangerous quest for the Tome of Time, a legendary artifact that could keep the world from ending. Wartnose faces numerous foes, like assassins and monsters, with only his silver tongue and his incredibly bad luck.

His son Jack follows in his footsteps when it comes to using shrewd tactics to get what he wants. The trio and their companions endure an arduous search for the elusive tome while constantly getting side-tracked by one fiasco after another, like young Jack’s tryst with a farm girl and his insistence on marrying her to avoid repeating his father’s mistake. It is an honorable decision. The only problem is that the farm girl’s father is intent on murdering Jack for defiling his daughter.

This hefty sword-and-sorcery will grip readers with its imperfect heroes and hilarious antics, a mix that leads to unpredictable outcomes. Norris weaves a compelling storyline that will keep fans engrossed and eagerly turning pages late into the night. His ability to strike the perfect balance between gripping action and heartfelt moments gives this story depth and emotional resonance. Despite the fantastical elements of the world he weaves, A.S. Norris creates masterful characters who are both relatable and down-to-earth as they deal with problems both magical and mundane.