The Time of the Transference (Spellsinger, Book 6)
Alan Dean Foster
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In the talking-animal world of Foster's Spellsinger series, the songs of transplanted rock musician Jon-Tom make a powerful if often misdirected magic. The quests he undertakes for his wizardly mentor send him to distant countries, where he meets whimsical creatures speaking in outlandish accents. With more memorable and dramatic adventures behind him, Jon-Tom is off this time on the fantasy equivalent of a trip to the repair shop. The breaking of his magical duar is the occasion for encounters with pirates, cannibals, talkative porpoises, a flying horse who's scared of heights and the lovely, level-headed otter Weegee, who becomes the love of Jon-Tom's irascible companion Mudge. Though always amiable, this novel sounds more and more like an impromptu bedtime story that has been extended beyond the teller's powers of invention.
Originally published 1986 by Phantasia Press.