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The Last Dragonslayer (Last Dragonslayer #1)

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3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  14,837 Ratings  ·  2,296 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Loading... Any one could like it, but I would judging by the odd (and sometimes random) plot twists, along with the type of humor, that it was meant for 11-14.…moreAny one could like it, but I would judging by the odd (and sometimes random) plot twists, along with the type of humor, that it was meant for 11-14. (Rough estimate.) That doesn't mean that you wouldn't like it if you weren't in that range. Overall, I thought the book was meant for a bit younger than young adult, or at least in the younger area of young adult.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Patrick
Feb 24, 2014 Patrick rated it really liked it
I'd happily read it to my kid, or be pleased to see him reading it for himself.

Fun and quick paced, without any creeping cultural ugliness in it.

Also, it's nice to see a good female lead in a kid's book where there's not a big deal made of the fact that she's a girl. I can't stress that enough.
Becky B
Warning, this book may possibly garner you strange looks if you decide to read it on a bus, a subway, or a coffee shop due to random bouts of sniggering, chuckling, and outright guffawing. There is usually fair warning, though. If the Quarkbeast enters the scene, make a hasty exit and read it where out loud laughter is ok.

Seriously, I can only think of two others who have been able to make me laugh quite as hard with descriptions. 1) Douglas Adams with his Hitchhiker's Guide books, and 2) Brando
...more
Nafiza
Oct 24, 2015 Nafiza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
It takes a special kind of reader to appreciate a Jasper Fforde novel: A reader who is not afraid to believe in the impossible, who is not afraid to accept even the most eccentric set-ups, a reader who revels in the imagination and creativity that stems from the mind of one of the most creative contemporary authors. Fforde’s characteristic satirical style rings true in The Last Dragonslayer that is ostensibly called YA fiction but, in my opinion, is meant for anyone who enjoys a good book. Of co ...more
Bettie☯




Description: In the good old days, magic was powerful, unregulated by government, and even the largest spell could be woven without filling in magic release form B1-7g. Then the magic started fading away. Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for soothsayers and sorcerers. But work is drying up. Drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and even magic carpets are reduced to pizza delivery. So it's a surprise when the visions start. Not only do they predict the death of
...more
Sara Marks
Nov 19, 2012 Sara Marks rated it really liked it
OMG I love Jasper Fforde! He is one of those authors that I know I will enjoy, but for some crazy reason, do not ravenously consume when he has a new book. When I walked the isle's of BEA I paused when I saw his name. Honestly, bless the Welsh for their odd looking names. It never fails to grab my attention. This book is full of whimsy. That's the best way to describe Fforde's work: whimsical. He uses fantasy and whimsy to show the world and mock it. The world of The Last Dragon Slayer is 2011 i ...more
Deborah O'Carroll
Hmm.

Well... I loved the first half? The ending was kind of sudden and not what I wanted... I don't think? Although I didn't know what I wanted. So. I dunno. But it's kind of fun and I really enjoyed most of it, so... yep. :) I thought it was an automatic 5 stars until that all happened so... apparently I was wrong? I don't really know what I think of it right now. :P *wanders off in confusion*

EDIT:
Okay I took some time away for a bit and I think I figured out the problem, which is that I was rea
...more
Beverly
Feb 09, 2013 Beverly rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 11-14 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: Indie Next List/indiebound.org
The Last Dragonslayer is a good YA novel with a simplistic plot best suited for younger teens, but a whimsical style and satirical humor that is probably way over their heads. Like many novels that are the first in a series, The Last Dragonslayer suffers from way too much attention spent on introducing a huge cast of characters most of whom play little or no part in the events of the rising action. All of the characters are original, comical and interesting, but the reader learns little about th ...more
Donna
Jun 26, 2016 Donna rated it liked it
If you like Jasper Fforde, then you probably have already read this. This was a quirky little book. I loved the new world that was unfolding of magic and dragons. I also liked the characters. They ,too, were quirky.

This was a little slow to take off for me, but there was so much new information to glean that it wasn't a hardship. I will read more in this series because I was intrigued by this book. I just wanted a little more detail for both the world building and the characters. I hope I get t
...more
Camille
So very, very, very good!

Excellent! The narration was wonderful as well!

This story is the perfect mixture of cleverness, craft, cute whimsy, intelligence, social commentary, fantasy, and fulfillment of the hero's journey trope.

I loved! This author has a new fan :-)

Haven't been treated to this good a story in a while. And so funny!!

I'm off to Audible for part 2.
Lorenzio Phillibuster Fireworks
I was first attracted to this book by the cover with such amazing colours and illustrations. My favourite chapter is Maltcassion, where Jennifer Strange talks to the dragon Maltcassion. This is where the Jasper Fforde humour really shines. If I could I would quote the entire chapter. Maltcassion and Jennifer discuss the human race and its many failures, like the failure to discover the 600 varieties of floon beetle, one of which turns itself inside out for fun.

Maltcassion also tells Jennifer th
...more
Tina
Feb 27, 2011 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, best-2011, fantasy, ya
Original post at One More Page

If you know me really well or if you've been reading my blog for a while now, you'd know that I tend to gravitate towards contemporary fiction books. It's not that I don't like speculative fiction (I do, very much), but I just prefer reading about real life and the real world because it feels easier to understand than a world full of impossibilities.

However, I make an exception for some authors, and Jasper Fforde is one of them. Before I even got to know John Green,
...more
Fiona
LSG Book Club read, January 2013. If this is relevant to you, the appropriate thread is here. We're not spoiler-free any more (although this review, I hope, is), so be warned. Go forth.

In The Last Dragonslayer, Jennifer Strange (if you can picture Thursday Next without quite as much cynicism, and with a way better pet) is a foundling who looks after wizards in an alternative Herefordshire that borders on the lands of a dragon. By the end of the book, that dragon is going to die. The title knows
...more
Twila
"Magic, as I said, has no intelligence. The choice to use it for good or bad lies with us. All of us."

Jennifer Strange lives in the Uninited Kingdoms, that's right, the Ununited Kingdoms, where she runs Kazam Mystical Arts Management.

Soon, the few remaining seers are struck by the same powerful vision: the world's last dragon, Maltcassion, will die in less than a week, at the hands of the Last Dragonslayer.

I fell in love with this novel almost instantly because of how darn funny it was! Jenn
...more
Leslie
Mar 09, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, england, series
I was so glad to have a bit of Jasper Ffore to read. I greedily pounce on anything he writes, except, well, if we're all be honest here, the Shades of Grey one. I just didn't get that one. But that's another review! This, lovely novel, supposed to be for the young adult crowd, but I am an old curmudgeon and liked it, is pretty cool. It has the same feel as the Thusday Next books. You know what I mean: breezy, carefree style with astonishing bit thrown in to catch you unawares now and then. And o ...more
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥
At A Glance

Genre:
Young Adult; Fantasy; Dragons; Magic
Love Triangle/Insta Love?: nope
Cliff Hanger: nope.
Rating: 4 Stars

Score Sheet
All out of ten

Cover:
7
Plot: 7
Characters: 8
World Building: 7
Flow: 7
Series Congruity: n/a
Writing: 7

Total: 7.5

In Depth

Best Part:
A strong female MC!
Worst Part: Water works happening!
Overall Feels Felt: So much info!; Dragons!; I need magic!!!!

Conclusion

Continuing the Series:
yes
Recommending: yes
Misc.:

Short Review: This was a cute little read! I loved the MC, she reminds
...more
Julie
Ahhh, I'd forgotten how much I love Fforde's worldbuilding. I'm an old-time fan of his Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series, and this third series jots right alongside them with a colourful, eccentric universe that is so typically Ffordesque. There's just so much effortless whimsy, as he tosses you headlong into his world with offhand remarks and tantalising namedrops; you have to take it in stride that marzipan is as to alcohol in this world, or asides like this:
Moobin had prepared for the jo
...more
Chris
Mar 23, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
Jennifer Strange is a very unique young lady. She is a teen, even has those silly teen crushes on people who are the fantasy version of Justin Bieber, but she also is the managing director de facto of a magic service house.



And she is supposed to slay a dragon.



On the plus side, she has a Rolls Royce.



In many ways, Fforde’s young adult book, dedicated to his daughter, is like Terry Pratchett’s work in that the only difference between it and the adult work is the age of the protagonist. All of Ff
...more
Melissa McShane
Jasper Fforde's first young adult novel has all the hallmarks of his books for adults while still being aimed at a younger audience; the story is shorter and more focused, the main characters are teens, and you will find no Jack Schitts here. 15-year-old Jennifer Strange runs a magicians' employment agency called Kazam in a time when magic is at the ebb and people are turning more to technology to solve their problems. Jennifer's problems are more complex; her boss has disappeared, her employees ...more
Ally
Feb 03, 2013 Ally added it
Think Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets Harry Potter. I've never read Jasper Fforde, so I'm glad that my first experience with him involved this quirky, magical, adventure-filled, little book. The characters, world, and language were fun to read, and I often found myself laughing out loud.

My only complaint with this book is that it felt so rushed! There's really no time for the reader to become intimately acquainted with the characters or their feelings, which is an unfortunate thing because ther
...more
Gary
Jun 24, 2011 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK this is a YA outing for Jasper and it's not bad, in fact it's quite sweet and funny. 'Bubbles' the pink comedic dragon's last words were " Is there anyone here from Newcastle?" this made me snort in public which is never good when you want to look cool. I'm going to get my daughter on to it and I think she'll like it but it's not at the great heights of Fforde's adult books. A nice quick read though for a train journey etc.
Jewels Emily
Nov 24, 2015 Jewels Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book has one of the best worlds I have ever been in. The magic system and how everything works is a new and fresh take in magic. At least to me haha. This is a middle grade book but it reads a lot more mature. I am excited to read more by Jasper Fforde.
Lisa
Jul 06, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Snarky and clever, this book is a must for all lovers of magic, dragons,transient moose, prawns and general strangeness.

Watch out for the Quarkbeast!

QUARK!
Hazel West
Jul 27, 2013 Hazel West rated it liked it
Thoughts on the Overall Book: This was purely a really fun escapist read and actually just what I needed at the moment! While probably not the most epic book ever, or even the most engaging, it was purely a relaxing kind of read that is great for the weekends, or when you have a lot of other things to do.

Cover--Yea or Nay: Yes! I really like this cover for some reason. Probably because it's green and orange, two of my favorite colours. The fact that it's shiny, might have something to do with t
...more
Emily Crowe
May 24, 2012 Emily Crowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Full disclosure: I love Jasper Fforde's novels for adults, and if I happen to love the Thursday Next series and merely like the Nursery Crime series, then love trumps like and I can still say that I love his books. (Did you follow that?) So I was already predisposed to like his first book written for the YA market when my coworker pressed it into my hot little hands. What ensued, however, was not mere liking. My friends, this book provided me with the most enjoyable reading experience I've had y
...more
Michelle
Dec 05, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
I could weep, Jasper. You never disappoint me.

I just finished the last Emily Starr book and Tampa. So I was hating the book I was reading or hating myself for reading it or both, and it was a very troubling time for me. I started Shadows and was feeling physically sick from it. But then you came along, Jasper.

I've avoided this book for a while because I thought our main character was a child, a young child, like maybe 10-ish? And I felt really bleh about taking that up. Not that I have a proble
...more
Megan
Sep 11, 2013 Megan rated it really liked it
This is really a kids book, but, I decided to pre-read it because I wasn't sure for which ages it might be appropriate. I am very glad I did, because i quite enjoyed it.

The mood and tone are similar to the Thursday Next series; it was a light-hearted and amusing book. I appreciate the fact that Fforde can create a world that is both fantastical and mundane. In this case, the protagonist manages a company that sells the services of wizards and other magic users. We get a fantastical world in whic
...more
Chance Lee
This was a quick, fun read, filled with cleverness, as all Fforde ffiction is, but it feels a bit hollow. I know this is the first book in a trilogy, but it comes off like a prologue. The first half of the book is somewhat of a chore, plodding along as the world gets built around you. It's a lot like watching a Lego town being constructed. The actual building isn't that interesting, and I wished I could hit fast forward and just find out what happens.

The book finally picks up almost exactly half
...more
Neil
Oct 08, 2015 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before getting into my review I should point out that this book is aimed mainly at the YA market, but that shouldn't put us old'uns off. He has taken the young orphan makes good scenario, and has produced an enjoyable book from it.
Jennifer Strange was a foundling, and has been indentured to the magical house of Kazam. Unfortunately the Great Zambini has disappeared, effectively leaving Jennifer in charge. Magic in the world is drying up, and what magic is used has to be well documented. To make
...more
Haley
This book is about Jennifer Strange, an orphan of the Troll Wars, who manages a business for wizards called Kazam. She will be a servant until she is eighteen years old, and will stay at Kazam until then. During this novel we come to find out the Jennifer is the Last Dragon Slayer and must actually slay a dragon-if she can.

My first experience with Jasper Fforde was definitely an odd one. I never know what in the world he is going to say next. But I loved reading this book. Miss Strange was a lo
...more
Figgy
The Last Dragonslayer has something in common with Disney movies; no, not the racism thing... This is a book for younger readers, but that I, technically an adult, really quite enjoyed... I don't recall any racism, just to be clear!

I laughed, I cried, I didn't put it down, and as is Jasper's way, there were jokes that some might not get, but that keep those of us who read a lot, and enjoy a good sense of humour, reading and laughing.

With a sassy 15-year-old, female lead, and an assistant named T
...more
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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.

H
...more
More about Jasper Fforde...

Other Books in the Series

Last Dragonslayer (4 books)
  • The Song of the Quarkbeast (The Chronicles of Kazam, #2)
  • The Eye of Zoltar (The Chronicles of Kazam, #3)
  • Humans v Trolls (The Chronicles of Kazam, #4)

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“Don't let anyone tell you the future is already written. The best any prophet can do is to give you the most likely version of future events. It is up to us to accept the future for what it is, or change it. It is easy to go with the flow; it takes a person of singular courage to go against it.” 51 likes
“Cats aren't really friendly, they're just cozying up to the dominant life-form as a hedge against extinction.” 26 likes
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