Monday, January 14, 2013

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

I've always meant to read Jasper Fforde's books. I actually own a couple of them. I just never got around to it, the daunting task of trying to start an established series (Nursery Crimes or Thursday Next) or in the case of Shades of Grey, distance myself from the other, similar sounding adult series. The Last Dragonslayer was an advanced copy sent to my bookstore, and I snatched it up right away.

It tells the story of a modern world where magic exists, but it has been on the decline. Once powerful practitioners are reduced to home repair and pest control. Jennifer Strange is a foundling who is the acting manager of Kazam, an employment agency for magicians. It turns out that she is also the last dragonslayer, charged with watching the last dragon, Maltcassion. If he breaks the Dragonpact negotiated between the dragons and the Mighty Shandar, then Jennifer will have to kill him. The problem is that if the dragon dies, magic may die along with him.

I'm glad that I can finally say I have read one of Fforde's books. This was a good one, reminiscent of Terry Pratchett. Jennifer Strange is a no-nonsense teenager, one who is sarcastic and tough. My favorite character was the Quarkbeast, the fierce-looking beast she keeps as a pet. He was awesome. Great start to what I hope will be a great series, and I'm definitely looking forward to book two, as it's titled The Song of the Quarkbeast.

I received my copy of The Last Dragonslayer courtesy of Harcourt Children's Books. Thank you for sending it to our bookstore, and I hope that you (and other publishers) keep them coming, as they are appreciated.

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