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The story starts with our character getting involved in a big magic accident, some kind of power plant or factory maybe? The result is he goes from being a low level magician to a super powerful magician. He then takes a job as magician for a far away country and fights evil, that sort of thing.

I vaguely remember a talking bird.

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Rincewind? :) – sbi Aug 18 '14 at 12:10
up vote 10 down vote accepted

I think you're asking about The Accidental Sorcerer, by K E Mills

From the summary:

Gerald Dunwoody, a Third Grade wizard and lowly safety inspector for Ottoslands Department of Thaumaturgy, inadvertently blows up a factory while trying to save it. Summarily fired, Gerald takes a job in almost bankrupt New Ottosland as royal court wizard for King Lional the 43rd. To prove his powers to the doubtful king and his put-upon sister, Prime Minister Princess Melissande, Gerald turns a cat into a lion and transforms the dowdy princess into a literally bewitching fashion plate, but preventing war between New Ottosland and Kallarap and making a highly illegal dragon for the king may be beyond his will and abilities

It's been a while since I read it, so I can't remember anything about the magic bird, but it matches the rest of what you recall.

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The Kindle ebook description mentions a talking bird who can't stay out of trouble, so I think you might be right. – Tacroy Aug 18 '14 at 4:00

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