The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer, #1)
The Song of the Quarkbeast (The Last Dragonslayer, #2)
The Eye of Zoltar (The Last Dragonslayer, #3)
The Great Troll War (The Last Dragonslayer, #4)
By: Jasper Fforde
My Rating: Four out of five stars.
Best for: 14 and up
Magic, dragons, and a whole lot of magnificent nonsense!
I’ve decided to officially join the Jasper Fforde Fan Club. Except…I don’t think that’s a thing. Don’t mind me, I’m just having a fan club meeting and I’m all by myself.
Jasper Fforde specializes in magnificent nonsense. His stories are far fetched, random, bizarre, and wonderful. I say it takes a special writer to ask you to accept the strange just as it’s written, and when you do, suddenly the odd seems normal–and even has meaning.
I’ve found this to be true in all his stories I’ve read, including The Last Dragonslayer series. It’s YA, has no content concerns, each book in the 4 book series is a perfectly-sized 300 (ish) pages, and is all about magic, dragons, quests, and all the stuff that makes my book-nerd world go round.
The story is set in an alternate, modern day UK, where magic has always existed and is understood to be the force that makes things work–it’s what keeps bicycles from tipping over, it’s what let’s microwaves cook food, it’s what let’s carpets fly, and it’s what protects the world from the terrible and terrifying dragons! Unfortunately, the magic that once was in abundance is fading, and it’s up to Jennifer Strange, the 15-year-old head of Kazam Mystical Arts Management, to find new and creative ways for the eclectic group of wizards in her employ to use their magical skills to make money. Times just aren’t like they used to be! Once responsible for saving Kingdoms, today’s magicians unclog drains and deliver pizzas via flying carpet. Business is plodding along, until Kazam’s resident psychic predicts the death of the last dragon–and along with it perhaps the end of all magic!
These books are as full of heart as they are of fun, and I enjoyed them all tremendously. The cast of characters was colorful, the laughs were loud, and the fun was frequent. If you haven’t tried Jasper Fforde yet yourself, The Last Dragonslayer would be an excellent place to start!
No content concerns, but I found the dialogue and humor often spent more time appealing to the upper end of the YA spectrum. I don’t know that an average 12-year-old would appreciate these books as much as a thoughtful 16-year-old would. I’ll say best for 14 and up.