Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (The Last Dragonslayer, Book 1)

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.

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.
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.

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


  1. I understand what you mean by it being depressing when it takes a long time to get through a book not because of dislike for the book rather because you just are not inspired to read in the basic nature. I have been experienced that in November. I finished 2 books and have been reading the same 4 books for weeks.

    This book sounds interesting. I think I would like it. I am going to jot the title down. Thanks for your contribution to my ever growing reading list. :) :)

  2. well I am jealous! I've been wanting this book and I think book 2 is out but they are hard to find in america yet for some reason..but I am glad you liked it. It gives me hope.. in the meantime I will work on my huge tbr pile!!!

  3. I had a hard time getting into the Thursday books..I'm glad that you enjoyed this though!

  4. **ibeeeg: This month I just put everything aside that I was reading and started new books. I needed a clean slate.

    I hope you enjoy this if you get a chance to read it!

    **Pat: Yes, this book has just started to become available around here, so no idea when I will see the sequel...

    **Staci: He probably has an original writing style that might not work well for everyone...

  5. So happy you liked this one! It was really cute, wasn't it! :)

  6. I have to get this one! I love the Thursday Next series so much. I'm glad you're making your way through them also. Literary detectives! Now dragons! Yes, I think Last Dragonslayer deserves a look....thanks for reviewing it, Kailana!

    I hope you have a better December for reading, too.

  7. I was so excited when I saw this book out last year. I bought it straight away but haven't read it yet. I know someone who was just reading the sequel so maybe I need to get onto this one soon. Then again, I think I still have two other Fforde books sitting around unread - and I call myself a Fforde ffan!

  8. This sounds fun! I didn't enjoy the first Thursday Next book as much as I hoped I would, but I do want to give him another try.

  9. I love Jasper Fforde, he has quite a way of presenting things. I enjoyed the Thursday Next series a lot (although I also tend to think it's kind of dragging too long now), I liked the Nursery Crime ones, and I just finished and enjoyed a lot "Shades of Grey".
    I was hesitating about "The last Dragonslayer" because it's presented as YA, but your review makes me want to give it a try anyway - so thanks!

  10. Here's my question though. Were any dragons killed. My daughter loves dragons and this might be perfect... maybe.

  11. **Cat: Yep! Very cute!

    **Susan: I really should have finished the Thursday Next series before starting another one, but oh, well...

    **Marg: Well, I still have several unread books by Fforde, so you are doing much better than me!

    **Ana: I hope he grows on you!

    **Larissa: Well, the main character is a teen and such, but I didn't find the writing style THAT different from Thursday Next.

    **Carol: I sent you an email about it. :)

  12. I've read one of his Thursday books and really need to get back to the series.

  13. Boy do I know all about slow reading months, it's just taken me 2 months to get through The Night Circus, a book I loved nearly every bit of…

    Don't think I've hidden the fact I love Jasper Ffordes books, so I got this one as soon as it came out and really enjoyed it

    Enven though it's quite different from his other stuff, I would have been able to tell it was one of his, even I if I didn't know going in.

    I was in London the other week and discovered the sequel on sale in Foyles and wasn't even aware it was out.

    I think I nearly pulled the shelves over when I snatched it up! ;)


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