Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

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 (Good Reads).

The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer, #1)

The cons: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde is definately aimed at kids. The plot moves very quickly and characters are surface deep. The pros: Fforde can write and is the king of hilarious asides that bring a load of charm to this read. 

Originality: 8. I love alternate histories, and this is alternate history/fantasy. The UK exists but so do dragons. Soda companies still endorse celebrities, but also dragonslayers.
Absurdity: 10. And this is a positive score because this book is supposed to be crazy. It seems Scotland has been roughly replaced with Troll territory (the Troll Wars went badly). Also these gems of crazy:
“The Kingdom of Hereford was unique in the Ununited Kingdoms for having driving tests based on maturity, not age, much to the chagrin of a lot of males, some of whom were still failing to make the grade at thirty-two.” 
“Cats aren't really friendly, they're just cozying up to the dominant life-form as a hedge against extinction.” 
Level of Paranormal Romance Friendship: 5. Jennifer is such a nice friend. Loyal and fair. I would hang with her.
Level of Harry Potterness: 4. While charming, this world reminds me more of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for kids rather than the epic perfection of HP. 

If you have not read a book by Fforde this is cute, but I say straight to The Eyre Affaire!


  1. Your comparison to the Hitchhiker's Guide is spot on. The premise of this book is really cute and quirky, but I wasn't too keen on all the plot threads left hanging. Clearly he's planned this as the intro to a long series, which is ok, but sometimes a girl just wants to read a book that stands on its own.

    Since he is a great writer, I'll take your recommendation and try out The Eyre Affaire soon :)

  2. Simply put, Jasper Fforde is brilliant. He has yet again created a wondrous, magical story right amid the everyday mundane. This is a quick and entertaining read with the perfect mix of adventure, humor, and feeling.

    I'm a big fan of the Thursday Next novels but admit they aren't the most accessible books and they are not everyone's "cup of tea." However, The Last Dragonslayer can be enjoyed by anyone!

    1. I think your comment on the accessibility of the Thursday Next novels is spot on, and now that you say it I think "of course!" Good point about this book being easier to get into :-)

  3. ooooh, fun. What do you think about this for a 7 year old (who reads several grades higher).


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