373R: Wizard with a floating kettle

I read a book in the 1980s, or possibly even very early 1990s, but the book may have been published long before then. All I remember about it is that there is a scene where a tea kettle is hovering behind a wizard, and the wizard says something about it keeping the water “just at the boil”. I think the character who stumbles upon this wizard becomes his apprentice, or the two travel together, or something, and I believe the sorcerer/wizard/whatever he was is in a clearing in a forest. Formulaic, I know, could be describing a hundred fantasy books – except for that teapot that is consistently at the boiling point! Help?

2 thoughts on “373R: Wizard with a floating kettle

  1. Amanda

    A kettle like this belonged to the wizard Carolinus in The Dragon and the George series. Jim Eckert, who is projected from our world into the mind of a dragon in the first book (and stays in the world with his wife Angie) eventually becomes Carolinius’s apprentice at some point. The tea kettle is featured heavily in the opening of The Dragon at War:

    The copper tea kettle skittered at its magic-given top speed through the woodland track. It had already polished its bottom shiny on the alternate turf and bare earth it skidded across. Its owner, the AAA+ magician S. Carolinus, had once, many years ago, commanded it always to be three-quarters full of water for tea; and to have that water on the boil. In spite of its mission, it was faithfully three-quarters full and on the boil, now.

    “On the boil,” in Carolinus’s terms, meant that the kettle water was just below the boiling point; so that Carolinus could have his cup of tea when he wanted it, night or day.

    1. Tess

      Oh, how I wish that was it! But, no. Believe it or not, there’s another wizard out there with the same tea-kettle requirement. I did read these books, though, and they’re good – just not the one I’m looking for. The sorcerer in my story is in a clearing in the woods, and the teakettle follows him around. There’s a dialog between the wizard and the apprentice-to-be about the kettle, in which the wizard explains why “just at the boil” is the proper temperature for tea. I do think the book I’m thinking of came out before 1990, too.
      Thank you so much for responding!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.