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The Last Dragonslayer (Chronicles of Kazam #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  12,371 ratings  ·  1,991 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

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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
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
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
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
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.
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,
Feb 09, 2013 Beverly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 11-14 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: Indie Next List/
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
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
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥
At A Glance

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

Score Sheet
All out of ten

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!!!!


Continuing the Series:
Recommending: yes

Short Review: This was a cute little read! I loved the MC, she reminds
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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!

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
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
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
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
This author's story slowly grew on me. There were just enough things happening to keep me coming back to read a few more pages from where I had stopped reading previously. There was humor and a mystery that appealed to me. Not rolling on the floor funny, but quirky. Slightly strange but endearing characters that I could almost grow to care about. No real depth to them but honorable. Snide but not mean.

I like Jennifer and the magic company she manages. Useful magic is different than what we norm
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
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.

4 stars

Jennifer Strange is busy. Just shy of 16, she's running Kazam Mystical Arts management while the Great Zambini is indisposed. The heyday of magic is over, and her temperamental charges are reduced to using magic for electrical and delivery services. Then pre-cogs begin to predict the death of the last living dragon, and Jennifer finds herself at the center of attention.

If there was a need to show that Jasper Fforde's still got it (and there was), The Last Dragonsla
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
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
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
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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

Chronicles of Kazam (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.” 45 likes
“Cats aren't really friendly, they're just cozying up to the dominant life-form as a hedge against extinction.” 24 likes
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