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The Song of the Quarkbeast (Last Dragonslayer #2)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,014 Ratings  ·  744 Reviews
Jennifer Strange 16 narrates managing wizards for absent Great Zambini of Kazam against Blix in contest to repair old bridge. Once Powerful Boo did no more magic after being kidnapped. Helped by magic carpet, mating Quarkbeasts, Transient Moose, apprentice Tiger Prawns, can Kazam win? Blix and royal advisor Tenbury conspire, cheat, jail mages after others turn to stone.
Paperback, 290 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. (first published 2011)
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Liked this one as much as the first.

While not as mythically rich as YA books by some of my other favorite authors, (Tiffany Aching books from Pratchett, Coraline and Graveyard book by Gaiman.) this book has a playfulness that those books don't.

There's some genuine silliness here, and I can appreciate that.

Simply said, I would be happy to read this to my little boy. And I would be happy to see him reading it himself when he gets old enough for that.

I'll probably wait until he's six or seven th
Fforde's books are always very readable, and enjoyable, but when you've seen an author's best work, you want the next book to improve one what's come before. This is the second 'Last Dragonslayer' book, Fforde's series aimed at kids/teens, following the further adventures of Jennifer Strange. However, she's no longer the Last Dragonslayer (and dragons don't feature at all), so perhaps naming the series after the first book in it was a bad move.

All of Fforde's books so far - the Thursday Next set
Melissa McShane
This follow-up to The Last Dragonslayer has all the charm and randomness of its predecessor. Jasper Fforde seems to have made a career out of...well, interesting prose and clever ideas, but I was thinking more along the lines of "completely random throwaway items you can't believe are part of the story." It mixes up what would otherwise be an interesting but not mind-blowingly original story.

I still say Jennifer Strange doesn't sound or act like a teenager, though Fforde makes an effort (okay, n
"Strange by name, Strange by nature."

This book wasn't quite as enjoyable as the first one was. It just wasn't as hilarious but the plot was just as interesting.

Kazam and iMagic (their only competitors) compete it out to gain control over magic. iMagic isn't nearly as good as Kazam, so there's a lot of underhanded shenanigans going as they try to sabotage Kazam. This led to some very interesting and silly moments throughout the book.

King Snood and his Gracious Useless Brother were my favourit
Jun 03, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
What did I think? I think it grossly unfair that the Hodder territories have had this book for some time, whilst the colonies have been and are yet deprived until September, 2013 of this second installment of The Chronicles of Kazam. Having obtained an ARC through the good graces of my daughter making pilgrimage to BEA, I did not waste a moment in devouring every page like a Quarkbeast ravening the nearest galvanized container.

I refuse to share any part of this book, not from any sense of greedi
Apr 13, 2014 Stacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun. The first book was also fun, but the story was a little bit disjointed. This one had better pacing and hung together a little bit better. Not enough Quarkbeast and no dragons though.
Apr 25, 2013 Martine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Really, really fantabulous book that contained everything I expect a Fforde book to have. A lovely, quirky world, a special sense of humor (which might not be everyone's taste, I admit that) and social commentary.
It may have one flaw but I rated five stars anyway because I enjoyed every single word. That one flaw is that it's quite similar to the Thursday Next series and so, the construction of the plot is somewhat predictable. Fforde adds all these details little details that become very import
Oct 10, 2015 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the 2nd book in Fforde YA series, 'The Chronicles of Kazam'. Once again this was a fun read, maybe even a bit silly in places, but in a parallel world perhaps that's normal. The characters from the 1st book are all there, or in the case of the Great Zambini he isn't, along with various fantastical beasts.
The story once again follows Jennifer Strange, a 16 year old foundling, who is in temporary charge of one of the only 2 mystical houses of magic in Hereford.
Somewhere along the lines Je
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed Elizabeth Jasicki

From the dust jacket - Long ago, magic began to fade, and the underemployed magicians of Kazam Mystical Arts management have been forced to take any work their sixteen-year-old acting manager, Jennifer Strange, can scare up. But things are about to change. Magical power is finally on the rise, and King Snodd IV of the Ununited Kingdoms knows that he who controls magic controls everything. Only one person stands between Snodd and his plans for a magic grab – a
Oct 21, 2015 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A much more compelling story than the first one. No loose ends and it made sense.
Jan 18, 2016 Lydia rated it really liked it
Ms. Strange and crew are back! This time they are attempting to deal with the resurgence of magic whilst also fending off iMagic's attempts to "merge" (insert evil corporate take over by any and all underhanded means) their wizarding powers and the fact the general public is still leery of magic. Added to that, one of the precogs has had a vision that Jennifer's mentor, the Great Zambini, is going to appear again, with a precise date and time... but no location. Not to mention a crazy colonel wi ...more
Mar 18, 2016 Derya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wie schon der erste Band überzeugt auch der zweite Teil auf ganzer Linie!

Die Geschichte ist sehr spannend und humorvoll und vor allem ist der Verlauf der Geschichte nicht vorhersehbar.
Es handelt in erster Linie von dem Wettstreit zwischen den Agenturen Kazam und iMagic, welcher über einige unerwartete Wendungen zu einem überraschenden Ende geführt hat.
Wie auch schon im ersten Band war insbesondere der abschließende Teil der Geschichte ein wahres Feuerwerk. Das Ende war schon mehr als zufriedens
Mar 25, 2016 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An Odd1
Feb 10, 2015 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"All in all it had been quite a morning" p 43.
Jennifer Strange 16 narrates many narrow escapes managing house of magicians for absent Great Zambini, with Kazam trainee, fellow foundling Tiger Prawns "tall for twelve" p 4 . She likes "good looking" Youthful Perkins 18 - or is he suggesting? He keeps asking for a date.

Quarkbeast mating song precedes a uniting of opposite quarkbeasts -- and mass explosion. Just what a Master Villain plans. Blix is bad from the start. The roundabout story of how he
Second book in the Last Dragonslayer series. After the events of the first book, magic is seeping back into the country, but it can't be fast enough for Jennifer and the rest of the folk at Kazam wizard agency, as they're still little able to do more than basic errands. Their battery's getting energy, but it's locked up tight, and attempts to decrypt it have turned all comers to stone. That's particularly a problem because they've been challenged to a magic bridge-building competition by their r ...more
Ty Matthews
It was writing of someone who perhaps doesn't think they are SO great, but at least think they are so attuned to writing they think the can just write a book with their least dominant hand. Or to ambidextrous, their foot. Write it thus, and occasionally have a little thoughts, and write the same stuff again. It was like you were reading an American television series with all the repeats on background info. It wasn't a bad plot. In fact it was a very good fantasy world, very good plot, very good ...more
Jennifer Strange, non-magical manager of Kazam Mystical Arts, accepts a high-paying job for the firm to retrieve a ring that does not want to be found. They manage to pry it out from among the stones and spells at the bottom of a well, but Jennifer suspects their client is up to no good and refuses to hand it over.

Meanwhile, King Snodd and his new Court Mystician, the All Powerful Blix, are plotting to end the helpful ways of Kazam and turn Blix's magical firm, iMagic, into a highly profitable
Wahyu *alternate me* Nurasman

Too many funny things and words on this book that made me smile in every pages (well, not all of them to be honest but most of them)

Masih mempertahankan gaya bercerita yang serius setengah goblok, buku ini berhasil membuat saya tersenyum. penggunaan istilah yang lazim tapi tak lazim, dan nyata tapi aneh, seperti itulah yang saya nikmati dari buku ini. meski dari segi cerita bisa dibilang biasa dan standar...tapi penulisan kata-kata Jasper Fforde-lah yang berhasil memikat hati saya dengan memb
This was wonderful!

Excellent narration again!

It was not as great as the first as a result of the energy being different, the plot being less dramatic and because there was quite a bit of explanation of that which had transpired in the first book -- I assume for those new to the series -- which slowed it down somewhat, but still a great and fun story!

Funny, intelligent, and lots of undidactic social commentary. The trolls alone made this worth the Audible credit :-)

I loved...and am firmly a Jas
Terry Woodson
Apr 02, 2014 Terry Woodson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this novel, sequel to "The Last Dragonslayer", magic is starting to finally come back into the world much stronger than it previously had been. Now that the last Dragon has become 2 Dragons, magic is on the rise. Jennifer Strange, the sixteen year old foundling who is acting manager of the Wizards of Kazam Mystical Arts Management, is having no trouble finding jobs for her Wizards to do - everything from finding lost objects (that don't want to be found) to participating in the rebuilding of ...more
Sep 03, 2013 Jaylia3 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s witty world building, deadpan absurdities, and physics-based/paradox-laced humor galore in Jasper Fforde’s The Song of the Quarkbeast, his second YA novel in The Last Dragon Slayer series, but surprisingly all that funny stuff doesn’t get in the way of its heart pounding suspense--I read the last chapters of the book at a gallop--and it didn’t prevent me from deeply caring about what happened to Jennifer Strange, all her quirky cohorts, and the state of magic in the Ununited Kingdom.

Jan 11, 2012 Tina rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2012, ya
Original post at One More Page

The Last Dragonslayer was one of my favorite reads in 2011, and I'm not just saying that because Jasper Fforde is my favorite author. I absolutely loved Jasper Fforde's YA debut, and I thought it was a hilarious and smart read. Silly me, though, that I didn't know there was going to be a sequel to this. It totally took me by surprise, but I'm not complaining. A new Jasper Fforde? Of course I want that!

Jennifer Strange, the last dragonslayer in the Ununited Kingdom
Jul 07, 2013 Drew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bea13
Definitely an improvement from the already quite satisfactory first book in the series. There are a lot of dominoes set up for the third and final book, due out this fall in the UK and (presumably) next fall in the US - as, I realize, this book isn't due out in the states til September. I'm excited to see where they fall and what happens in this quirky land where magic is the unit of energy, marzipan an addictive drug, and certain other things (which I'll leave to you to discover - more fun that ...more
Aug 16, 2013 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Song Of The Quarkbeast
Jasper Fforde

My " in a nutshell" summary...

Magic is a mess in the Ununited Kingdom and it is up to Jennifer Strange to deal with it!

My thoughts after reading this book...

This opening paragraph said by Jennifer herself pretty much sums up this book...

I work in the magic industry. I think you'll agree it's pretty glamorous: a life of spells, potions, and whispered enchantments; of levitation, vanishing, and alchemy. Of titanic fights to the death with the powers of dar
Sean the Bookonaut
Dec 11, 2011 Sean the Bookonaut rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to this book. In general I find reading young adult novels to be a breath of fresh air and I was hoping that The Song of the Quarkbeast would live up to its press as a magical adventure with a bit of nerdy wordplay.

The Story

Young Jennifer Strange, a foundling, is left in charge of Kazam, the more ethical of the two companies that perform magic.

Their newly renamed competitor iMagic is up to no good, manipulating King Snodd into ordering a contest between the wizards of both
Connie Peck
Aug 03, 2013 Connie Peck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I read very few books in one day, this was one of them. Very few books have the ability to change my way of thinking or jump out of my comfort zone of reading material, this was one of them.

Because I won this copy, I was driven to first read the predecessor of this story, The Last Dragonslayer. While I enjoy some dragon stories and a few Arthurian novels, I rarely venture outside of the genre of Westerns or horse stories, I have been depraved. I quickly f
I don’t know if this is the last Jennifer Strange novel, but if it is, it’s a good ending. If it’s not, it still works.
Strange finds herself caught up in a mystery dealing with a ring, her boss, and building a bridge.
And she has to decide whether or not to go on a date.
This installment is still funny, and still pokes fun at the Royals. There is also a nod to end of the story reveals that had me choking on my laughter.
I love the resolution and the use of Boo.
Jan 15, 2016 Nicol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second installment in the Chronicles of Kazam, The Song of the Quarkbest is just as witty and fun as the first in the series. Unfortunately, dragons are not in this book and contrary to the title Quarkbeasts are hardly here as well. "Quark" is all I have to say. Fforde is able to meld magic and modern in such a funny way that almost reminds me of Terry Pratchett. (Calm down hard core Pratchett fans I said almost.) If you enjoyed the first book then you should continue with the series, if you ...more
We are following the magical tale of Jennifer Strange. Miss Strange is an orphan and where she lives orphans are like servants until their time is paid out at 18, so she manages Kazam, an employment agency for magicians, which is kind of hard because magic is drying up. This book deals primarily with trying to keep Kazam up and running and also dealing with the local powers that be, who are trying to overthrow her little kingdom.

This was a lovely little novel. The first think that I have to sa
Nov 26, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just love a good Jasper Fforde book. He has a very distinct style and he uses similar plots and characters in many of his books, but I love them and think they're just the kookieness I need to read right now. Fun YA book. My favorite part of the book was the following:
"I liked [Perkins], but since his particular field of interest was Remote Suggestion - the skill of projecting thoughts into people's heads from a distance - I didn't know whether I actually liked him or he was suggesting I like
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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, and is cousin of Desmond Fforde, married to author Katie Fforde. His early career was spent as a focus puller in the film industry, where he worked on a number of films including Quills, GoldenEye, and Entrapment.

More about Jasper Fforde...

Other Books in the Series

Last Dragonslayer (4 books)
  • The Last Dragonslayer (The Chronicles of Kazam, #1)
  • The Eye of Zoltar (The Chronicles of Kazam, #3)
  • Humans v Trolls (The Chronicles of Kazam, #4)

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“Pretty?' I said, swivelling in the driver's seat to face him, 'you want to ask me out because I'm pretty?' 'Is there a problem with asking you out because you're pretty?' 'I think you blew it,' said Tiger with a grin. 'You should be asking her out because she's smart, witty, mature beyond her years and every moment in her company makes you want to be a better person - pretty of face should be at the bottom of the list.' 'Oh, blast,' said Perkins despondently. 'It should, shouldn't it?” 10 likes
“All the great unanswered questions of the world will be answered. Who are we? What are we here for? Where will we end up? And most important of all: Can mankind actually get any stupider?” 7 likes
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