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The Last Dragonslayer (The Chronicles of Kazam, #1)
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The Last Dragonslayer (Chronicles of Kazam #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  9,535 ratings  ·  1,621 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Patrick
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
Libby
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!

Mr. Fforde takes the average "orphan with destiny" plot and turns it on its head. Here is the Am...more
Nafiza
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
Sara M.
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
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
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
Leslie
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
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
Beverly
Feb 09, 2013 Beverly rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
Melissa Proffitt
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
Chris
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
Allyson
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
Lisa
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!
Gary
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.
Jenny  (hades2) (Chocolate Chunky Munkie)
See the full review and many more at Chocolate Chunky Munkie

Magic is dying, years ago magic was very strong and many dragons roamed the land. But times have changed. All the dragons bar one have been slain and magic has weakened. We meet Jennifer Strange, a sixteen year old girl who runs a magical agency. Jennifer has to organise the wizards and soothsayers to do very menial tasks such as unblocking drains and re-wiring houses. In fact magic has gone so weak people are using normal means to do...more
Mel
I just read this book a second time, forgetting that I had reviewed it after the first time. So here are both reviews :)

20 Jan 2011
I love Jasper Fforde's books and his style. The Last Dragonslayer is different to his previous books. It is more of a straight-forward narrative without the in-jokes and puns associated with both the Thursday next and Nursery Crimes series.

The world of the Last Dragonslayer is different to our world, but people like terry Pratchett's Discword, the author shows that p...more
Emily Crowe

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
Hazel West
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
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
Kelsey
What a delightfully charming book of utter nonsense and quirk! Jasper Fforde is a master of tongue-in-cheek humor, skillfully weaving together a seamless tapestry of the mundane and the extraordinary.

Jennifer Strange, the very-mature-for-her-age 16-year old manager of Kazam, the House of Magic that commissions its sorcerers to rewire faulty electrical cables and deliver pizzas, among other mundane tasks, has found out that she is much more special than she thinks.

This isn't one of those stories...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
Last night, as I was preparing to head out, my sister came up to me and put this book in my hands. I had not heard of it before and the author (Jasper Fforde) was one I'd never read, but the reviews looked fairly positive and YA fantasy is almost always a blast (especially after a December chock full of weighty epic fantasy from Brent Weeks, Robert Jordan, and others), so I thought, "why not?"

I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found. The book is told from the perspective of Jennifer Stra...more
Linda
loved this one! my favorite read so far this year. some things i enjoyed:

- jennifer strange, the protagonist. smart, funny, resourceful, kind, capable. i adored her and enjoyed reading about her even when she was just going about her day-to-day life. (view spoiler)...more
Flavia
Una de las historias más deliciosas y de mayor calidad que he leído en mi vida. Es una novela perfecta en todos los sentidos. Me ha hecho disfrutar de principio a fin y ha conseguido que piense acerca de los valores realmente importantes. Es una pena que no sea tan conocida como se merece. En breve subiré la reseña completa.
Skip
Jennifer Strange is a booking agent for misfit magicians, when she inherits the role of dragonslayer. Magic is waning, and the last dragon is in mortal peril as a series of fake attacks is used to force Jennifer into action. Not close to the humor and fantasy of Terry Pratchett. 2.5 stars at best.
Aaron Vincent
Pages were flying and before I know it, I'm already at the end. I think Jasper Fforde, just like John Green, follows a certain formula but works effectively. This novel is nothing short of a brilliant book. I love it.

Mr. Fforde, more YA fiction, please!

Will do a proper review soon.

Quark!
Paradoxical
The Last Dragonslayer was a charming book. Jennifer Strange was an engaging heroine--she was smart and did her best considering the circumstances she found herself in. There was a sense that she was more directed than anything else--for all her protestations, for all that she didn't want to certain things, she was unable to change what was happening and that, I think, more than anything else, made me unable to give the book five stars (well, there were a few other things, but this was the main r...more
Jaylia3
Jasper Fforde can always be counted on for witty world building and The Last Dragon Slayer is no exception. Featuring Fford’s first teenage heroine, fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange, the story is set in the Hereford section of the Ununited Kingdoms, a fragmented alternate universe Great Britain with dragons, though there is only one left, and magic, though its strength has been declining. Until recently. With magical abilities unexpectedly spiking, even the least capable magicians are...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 with the 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 Entrap...more
More about Jasper Fforde...
The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2) The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3) Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4) The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, #1)

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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.” 40 likes
“That's the thing about destiny: It can't be predicted, and it's usually pretty odd.” 21 likes
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