Fantasy novel by Terry Bisson
. I would call it urban fantasy
, only it isn't urban; the story is set in the rural American South
, where Talking Man, a taciturn wizard
who grows tobacco and runs a scrap iron yard, plies his trade. An evil sorceress abducts him and spirits him away to a city at the edge of the world, and his daughter Crystal and an unsuspecting passer-by named William Williams set off on a road trip
through several alternate realities to rescue him.
The wonderful thing about this book is the way magic is portrayed as a craft the way that fixing a car or building a table is a craft. Special effects are minimal -- Talking Man goes about his work with a minimum of fuss, jump-starting cars with his hands and fixing busted windshields by smearing weird crap on the glass.
Bisson also captures the atmosphere of the Deep South very well. If you can find a copy you'll probably dig it, especially if you like fantasy of the Charles de Lint variety.