Completion Date: November 28, 2011
Reason for Reading: Fun!
In the good old days, magic was powerful, unregulated by government, and even the largest spell could be woven without filling in the magic release form B1-7g. But somewhere, somehow, the magic started draining away.I found this book entirely by accident. I probably shouldn't have started it because I am still making my way through Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, but it sounded entertaining and it was one of the few books I managed to finish in November. That has to be saying something! Jasper Fforde has a very entertaining writing style. You could still hear the voice of the Thursday Next books, but with a younger writing style and different inspiration. The Thursday Next series is very literary in nature, but this series is about magic and dragons. The main character is Jennifer Strange, an orphan who has been given the task of running Kazam!. Kazam! is an employment agency for the magical people still present in the world. This means that Jennifer has lots of strange interactions with some very interesting people.
Jennifer Strange runs Kazam!, an employment agency for state-registered magicians, soothsayers and sorceresses. But work is drying up. Drain cleaner is cheaper and quicker than a spell. Why trust a cold and drafty magic carpet when jetliners offer a comfy seat and an in-flight movie? And now potions are eligible for VAT...
But then the visions start. The Last Dragon is going to be killed by a Dragonslayer at 12.00 on Sunday. The death will unleash untold devastation on the UnUnited Kingdom, setting principality against dukedom and property developer against homesteader. And all the signs are pointing to Jennifer Strange, and saying"Big Magic is coming!"
The Last Dragonslayer is fizzing with all the creativity and genius Jasper Fforde's fans delight in, and will appeal as much to the young at heart as to the younger readers for whom it is written.
November was a VERY slow reading month, so this book actually took me a while to get through. It was a bit depressing because I was enjoying it and it was actually pretty short, but I just never seemed to have the inspiration to sit down and read. I was very happy when I finally finished it. Fforde is just so entertaining. There are a lot of humourous moments in the book that will make you laugh aloud at times. One thing I have to say right now is that I am so impressed with Jasper Fforde and his commitment to writing strong female characters. This is the second of his series I have tried and just like Thursday in the other series we see a strong female character. I really appreciate a male author doing that. There are not enough strong female characters in literature.
I am very happy that I broke away from all reading plans and gave this book a try. I love books about dragons and do not read nearly enough. I think Fforde had an original idea with this dragon story and I look forward to seeing how it progresses with the rest of the series. I think, though, that the book ended fine and doesn't even really need a sequel. The few loose ends are nothing major, but everything is a series nowadays. Don't get me wrong, I do want to read the sequel; but I am not sure how long that will actually take me.
If you are looking for young adult fiction with dragons, magic, humour, and a strong female lead than this is the book for you. There were no love triangles either. It was refreshing! Recommended!
The Last Dragonslayer:
The Last Dragonslayer
The Song of the Quarkbeast