I have been searching for this book for YEARS. I read this book as a small girl and received sooooo many rainy afternoons of pleasure from its pages.
The War of the Wizards (not to be confused with War with the Newts) by Carol Gaskin is a Forgotten Forest book. It is a classic choose your own adventure type book. I had a difficult time finding it as I had forgotten (haha, the irony…) which series it belonged to, and using War of the Wizards as a search brings back other, better selling choose your own adventures.
The premise: you are the apprentice to the wisest wizard of all. You think he’s an old fart. He and his all powerful buddies (a hot sorceress and a fire wizard who lives in a volcano) are on the verge of war. What do you do???
This is my all time favorite choose your own adventure. I still remember most of the endings (I don’t remember the “good” ending, but those are always boring). In my favorite ending of all, which is why this was dubbed BOOK OF THE MONTH, you go to speak to the fire wizard.
Paraphrased (from my 9 year old self’s memory, so it is not a spoiler):
The fire wizard is, predictably, a real hot head. You sneak into his fortress by using a spell to turn you into a huge fire salamander. He finds you. I don’t remember why, I think your boss already talked to him or something, but he decides peace is a super idea on his own. However, he has been wanting a giant fire salamander for a pet for sooooo long… You are doomed forever to be his big squishy pet.
That made me super happy. I loved that ending.
I recall endings involving turning into toads, involving magical illnesses, involving horrible death… Even if you don’t like choose your own adventures (are you mad?) I recommend this book for the salamander ending. Also, for this type of book, it actually has pretty well developed characters. There were dozens of these in my childhood library, and I can safely say this is the only one I can solidly remember.
Take an afternoon and get lost backtracking through your poor decisions in War of the Wizards!!