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Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: THE LAST DRAGONSLAYER by Jasper Fforde




















Title: The Last Dragonslayer
Author: Jasper Fforde
Pub info: HMH Books for Young Readers, 2012
Genre: MG fantasy, 287 pp

This is the first book in the Chronicles of Kazam series. Two are out so far, and thank goodness they don't end on cliffhangers.

Goodreads summary:
In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.
Status: finished 3/13/14

My impressions:
I remember reading and laughing along with Jasper Fforde in his Thursday Next books, a series in which the detective solves crimes that occur within the pages of literature. (It's complicated and hilarious.) Fforde's voice in this new MG/borderline YA series comes through loud and clear: Here are his trademark array of zany characters (wizards with names like the Mysterious X and Full Price), quick satiric humor, and quippy dialogue. The Last Dragonslayer was a fun, whimsical fantasy with lots of real-world references thrown in, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The humor distanced me a bit from the characters--I can't say I was wholeheartedly invested in them, because some seem more like archetypes than real people. Still, for light fun and humor, you can't beat this clever author.

About Jasper Fforde:
Jasper Fforde is a novelist living in Wales. He is the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, whose signature used to appear on sterling banknotes. His published books include a series of novels for adults starring Thursday Next, including The Eyre Affair (2001) and  Lost in a Good Book (2002). Jasper also writes the Nursery Crimes series for adults, in which Detective Jack Spratt solves crimes inflicted by and upon nursery-rhyme characters (The Big Over Easy, 2005). The third book in the Chronicles of Kazam is called The Eye of Zoltar and is coming in October. (Note: Pub dates are for the USA releases; Fforde's books release earlier in the UK.)

Online:
Visit Jasper's very busy website here for fun stuff and news about his books and appearances. His Twitter page is here, and you can find him here on Facebook.


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16 comments:

  1. This series has a great premise. I'll slot this one to read in my summer pile. Thanks for the review and good luck with your TBR Shelf.

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  2. Thank you for this! Was not at all familiar with the author or books (just when I think I know it all!). Added his books to my TBR list. Feel a read-a-thon coming on!

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    1. I'm always discovering "new" authors (who have been around for quite awhile). That's what's great about MMGM!

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  3. The cover is great! I haven't heard of this one, so thank you.

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    1. I like the cover too, Barbara. The hardcover one is nice too (http://www.amazon.com/Last-Dragonslayer-Chronicles-Kazam-Book/dp/0547738471/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1395674759), but I like the paperback one best.

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  4. I'm another noob to this author, but thinking I'll have to fix that pronto! He sounds a bit like readers who enjoy Terry Pratchett will enjoy his stuff? Anyway, between that cover and your review, I'm hooked!

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    1. Yes, I think Terry Pratchett fans would like Jasper Fforde. I believe this series is his first for kids. The others (including the Nursery Crimes!) are for adults, though the voice is very similar.

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  5. Oh, I love this series! And that's a great cover; I think I like it better than the hardcover one I have.

    I still want to finish the Thursday Next Series, but I have to reread the first three (or four, can't remember how many I've actually read) or I won't understand the plot at all (I barely understand it as it is, but that's the great thing about it, that it makes no sense but actually makes sense somehow) and there are too many other books to read!

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    1. That's my problem, Kim. Someone is always saying, "How can it be that you've NEVER read X?" All I can say is, "It's on the list!" Looks like we'll never run out of material. :)

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  6. I can't help but first comment on the cover. I'm totally visual, like that. I adore this cover! It says so much without giving anyway. Plus it's just fun. From what you've shared, it also sounds like it has great voice. Thanks for sharing it!

    Sheri at Writer's Alley

    Home of Rebel Writer CREED 2014
    Mighty Minion Bureau Team #atozchallenge

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    1. I love the dragon tail + Volkswagen--it really fits the story. :))

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  7. I hadn't heard of this series, but I will definitely check it out. I think I'll try to check out some of his adult books as well. Thanks for telling me about these.

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    1. You can always count on a good laugh from Jasper Fforde, Rosi. Thanks for stopping by the blog! :)

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  8. I've never heard of this book and I love the cover, I'm adding it to my list.
    Thank you for the feature!

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