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The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

The Last Dragonslayer (edition 2010)

by Jasper Fforde

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1,113877,423 (3.85)120
Title:The Last Dragonslayer
Authors:Jasper Fforde
Info:Hodder & Stoughton (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 281 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:read in 2012, YA, fantasy, humor

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The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Recently added byMarissa_Baden, private library, mnorris3, frazle, hudsonshuman, kimtaylorblakemore
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Description: 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.

Thoughts: Oh, Jasper Fforde, what rides you take us on! The Last Dragonslayer has been on my radar for a very long time, since it originally came out in the UK. I've been waiting and waiting for it to come out here in the states (although I've come very close to just ordering it from the UK several times). While I can say that it doesn't disappoint in the grand scheme of things, there were some issues.

The most problematic for me is the abruptness, something that I've struggled with in most of Fforde's books. He doesn't usually take what I would deem enough time to set the stage and introduce characters, favoring the approach of throwing readers into the deep end rather than letting them ease in. Sometimes this doesn't bother me so much, but for this book, the first in a new series, a bit more character exploration and explanation would have been nice. Take Tiger Prawns for example: his moral fortitude is clear but his actual personality, physicality, history, temperament, etc, are left as complete unknowns. Which, for me, left him as a rather flat character when I feel like he should be much more fleshed out and important.

And don't even get me started about the Quarkbeast, who should be a wonderfully interesting character who comes off as.... well, just a shape that eats metal. We know nothing about it except it's dedication to Jennifer and it's supposedly terrifying aspect.

All in all, I think the world that Fforde has built is just as interesting and twisty as his others. I think the general plot of this story is compelling. I just wish there had been more development of it all, more time to spend looking around a little and getting acquainted.

But don't let any of my whinging make you think I won't buy the next one the second it comes out, because I will. I have faith that Fforde will delight me again.

Rating: 3.6

Liked: 3.5
Plot: 4
Characterization: 3.5
Writing: 3.5

https://www.librarything.com/topic/142777#3643261 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 15, 2015 |
This is the first in a series of books for young adults by the ever-so-brilliant Welsh author Jasper Fforde. He sets his books in an alternate universe, this time a balkanized Britain the Ununited Kingdom, specifically the Kingdom of Snodd lead by a cruel despot of a king. In this world, magic is real with physical properties, but it has faded leaving many sorcerers near-powerless and only able to perform simple tasks or tricks. Teenage orphan Jennifer Strange is tasked with finding work for a house of sorcerers called Kazam. As the novel develops, it is revealed that Jennifer is destined to be The Last Dragonslayer, although she is not magical herself. The problem is, she does not want to kill the dragons. A brilliant and creative book from the mind of Fforde, it is a recommended read for teens and adults alike. ( )
  Othemts | Jan 7, 2015 |
Fun book with a female main character that gets away with being female without anyone much commenting on it. She's sadly one of few, though she does encounter one or two other interesting female characters in the book. The whimsical nature of the humour is a bit clunky at times and reminds me very, very much of the Thursday Next novels, but since I enjoyed those just as much, I didn't mind so much, even though don't see a lot of difference between Jenny's voice and Thursday's, though Jenny is not romantically involved and does not have a child, of course. Nor a dodo, though she does have a quarkbeast. ( )
  Mothwing | Jan 4, 2015 |
This was a lot of fun. Nowhere near as sophisticated as his Thursday Next, Shades of Grey, or Nursery rhymes books-- I think it's just right for 11-14-year-olds --and adults who will happily read dragon fantasy.
  NatalieSW | Jan 1, 2015 |
The Last Dragonslayer is slightly less Ffordesque than his other books--not quite as zany, not quite as quippy. That makes it an easier read than Shades of Gray, but it's no less satisfying. The denouement doesn't quite hold together on closer inspection, but the characters are charming and the world they inhabit begs for another visit. ( )
  MadameWho | Nov 17, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jasper Ffordeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Janson, AlexCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kettner, ChristineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, Nicola L.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Stella Morrel
2010 -
The grandmother I never knew
The daughter I will
First words
Once, I was famous.
"Quark," said the Quarkbeast.

"Did we really have to bring the beast?" Full Price asked me.

"It jumped in the car when I opened the door."

The Quarkbeast yawned, revealing several rows of razor-sharp fangs. Despite his placid nature, the beast's ferocious appearance almost guaranteed that no one ever completely shrugged off the possibility that he might try to take a chunk out of them when they weren't looking. If the Quarkbeast was aware of this, it didn't show. Indeed, he might have been so unaware that he wondered why people always ran away screaming.

"Quark," said the Quarkbeast.

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"Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs an agency for underemployed magicians in a world where magic is fading away, but when visions of the death of the world's last dragon begin, all signs point to Jennifer--and Big Magic"--

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