In the course of their journey, they stumble upon a large bag of merchant goods, among which is a duar (a guitar-like instrument). Jon-Tom longingly begins to strum it -- it's not too different from his old guitar back home—when lo' and behold, magic stuff starts to happen!
Turns out Jon-Tom is a Spellsinger, a special type of wizard who manifest magic through music. Except he's not very good at controlling it. Still, excited by his newfound abilities, and thinking he might be able to offer some assistance to Clothahump as far as sending him home, the trio sets out back to Clothahump's place with the news, and, obviously even more adventures. Adventures, alas, that don't' end with Jon-Tom back on his native Earth.
Spellsinger is the first book of eight in the Spellsinger series by Alan Dean Foster. It has all the elements of a young adult fantasy, although I don't think the specific genre was isolated back in 1983 the way it is now. It's a story about a young man discovering himself and his role in the world. It just happens to be a world full of anthropomorphic animals.
I enjoyed the trip down memory lane. However, the book lacks a resolution to the greater problem confronting Clothahump, Jon-Tom and company. Reading further volume is required to find out how the adventure ultimately ends.
Despite the occasional (and unnecessary) profanity, as well as marijuana use, this is a worthy book to introduce to a kid beginning to cut his teeth on speculative fiction. Because of the aforementioned profanity, I'd recommend 14-15+ as the age group, and, of course, 50 year-olds wanting to feel young again.
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