Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Last Dragonslayer, Jasper Fforde

Once I was famous. My face was seen on T-shirts, badges, commemorative, mugs, and posters. I made front-page news, appeared on TV, and was even a special guest on The Yogi Baird Daytime TV show. The Daily Clam called me "the year's most influential teenager," and I was the Mollusc on Sunday's Woman of the Year. Two people tried to kill me, I was threatened with jail, had fifty-eight offers of marriage, and was outlawed by King Snodd IV. All that and more besides, and in less than a week. My name is Jennifer Strange.

Much like The Eyre Affair, The Last Dragonslayer is set in alternate England- this time in the twenty-first century. Magic has long been useful for everything from rewiring the house to larger, grander tasks. But it's fading. Fifteen year old (sixteen in two weeks) Jennifer Strange runs the Kazam Mystical Arts Management, an employment agency for magicians, but since magic is drying up, business is slowing down. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world's last dragon at the hands of the last, so-far unnamed dragonslayer. I bet you can guess who it is. Something known as Big Magic is coming.

This one was an amusing and light read. There's a lot of background history that is explained in the exposition: the history of the Dragon pact, the strange creatures in Kazam's building, etc. But once that's out of the way, Fforde has crafted another funny novel. This one's really easy and short, but I still enjoyed it. And such amusing names, just like in The Eyre Affair. For example, Tiger Prawns, the new foundling at Kazam. I enjoyed the character of Jennifer too; she's smart and not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right. And I loved the Quarkbeast, who is very ferocious-looking, but in reality is a loyal and gentle creature. Thanks to Harcourt for giving me a review copy.

Read The Last Dragonslayer:
  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like alternate fiction
  • if you like Jasper Fforde
  • if you like books with dragons
287 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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