Sarah (saz101)'s Reviews > The Last Dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
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's review
Apr 20, 11

bookshelves: children-s, magic, absurdist, humour, dragons, 2010-releases
Recommended to Sarah (saz101) by: Lorenzio Phillibuster Fireworks
Recommended for: Fans of Artemis Fowl, and fans of Harry Potter and The Philospher's Stone
Read from April 18 to 20, 2011

And Jasper Fforde does it again. What a book.

The Last Dragonslayer is the tale of 'foundling' (orphan) Jennifer Strange, and a re-imagined 'Ununited Kingdoms', a UK much similar to one we know, but divided into feuding kingdoms; a place where magic exists, but is dying.

Jennifer works at one of the last two remaining wizard agencies: talent agencies representing wizards. It's a bizarre place, filled with hilarious characters, unpredictable magic, and a Transient Moose.

The world, the characters--the creatures--are characterised by Fforde's typical brand of charming absurdism, and The Last Dragonslayer is genuinely one of the best children's novels I've encountered in a long time. Imagine you're a 12 year old, and Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett (both of whom I'm forever comparing with Fforde) write about a UK where dragons and magic still exist, adults are even weirder than they already are, and you can have a pet that's one part velociraptor, one part kitchen blender, one tenth golden lab, and eats tin cans for breakfast. Wow.

Fforde tells a magical story of corrupt government, corporate (and individual) greed, lobsters, personal sacrifice, values, and it's one where the good guy wins--but at a cost. The story is intelligent, yet never condescending. There's a very strong moral message in the book, butit's not at the cost of a marvellous story.

I often find Jasper Fforde's writing quite dense (not a criticism--just an observation), so it was very interesting reading this, as, while his trademark humour is still there, his writing is much changed for a younger audience.

The Last Dragonslayer deserves to be up there with Harry Potter and The Philospher's Stone and Artemis Fowl--and should appeal to fans of both.
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Reading Progress

04/18/2011 page 45
04/19/2011 page 116
41.0% "The Red Setter is so stupid even the other dogs notice, and cats aren't really friendly, they're jut cosying up to the dominant life-form as a hedge against extinction."
04/19/2011 page 155
55.0% "Malticassion is hilarious! Can I quote the entire chapter?"
04/19/2011 page 185
66.0% "I think you have beguiled, my dear. Everyone knows that Dragons are evil reptiles with no sense of reason and exist only to steal livestock, frighten small ladies and little children and make us vote Marxist."
04/20/2011 page 258
92.0% "Money is a form of alchemy: it turns kind, normal people into greed-mongers, intent only on acquisitiveness."
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