January 16, 2011 10:24PM
The Last Dragonslayer is Jasper Fforde's latest - it was out just last November, or thereabouts.

I spoilt myself with the Hodder & Stoughton hardcover, which is delightful just to hold in your hands because the dustcover has a dragon-scale relief on it. I absolutely dig these things. The backcover reads, "The power of magic had been ebbing for centuries and with it, the relevance of Sorcerers. Once a Wizard would have the ear of a king; today they rewire houses and unblock drains." Well, I was hooked up from there.

Aside from that, it was an entertaining, funny and definitely quirky read. It's not as deep or intricate as other Ffordes, because this one is aimed at children, but, like Harry Potter, it is definitely a children's book that adults can love as well, for it is never simplistic or too easy.

Heroine of the story is Jennifer Strange, 15, foundling and administrative worker in Kazam, an employment agency for magicians. She has to deal with finding work for the sorcerers, soothsayers and carpet-flyers, finding money to keep them all fed, filling in the forms that legalise the magic - even the smallest spell has to be logged on a form B2-5G - looking after the fear-inspiring but harmless quarkbeast and looking after fellow foundling Tiger Prawn. And as if that were not enough, suddenly the air is ripe with visions that Britain's last dragon is about to die ... and Big Magic is coming. The story is set in the Kingdom of Herefordshire, part of the un-United Kingdoms. It is even more Alternate Reality than the Thursday Next series, which gives it a very much Modern Fairytale feeling.

I read that a second volume is supposed to come out next Autumn, but I felt that TLD could very well be a stand-alone book; there certainly aren't any cliffies. But then, I wouldn't mind hearing more from Jennifer.




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The Last Dragonslayer

Mari A.January 16, 2011 10:24PM

Re: The Last Dragonslayer

KathyJanuary 17, 2011 02:32AM



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