Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Dragonslayer

(The Last Dragonslayer #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  19,227 ratings  ·  2,762 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, 296 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Dragonslayer, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Daniel Because if the dragon dies of old age they don't double. If it is killed by the dragonslayer two more show up
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)
Eragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienEldest by Christopher PaoliniBrisingr by Christopher PaoliniDragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
1,375 books — 2,347 voters
Graceling by Kristin CashoreThrone of Glass by Sarah J. MaasAlanna by Tamora PiercePoison Study by Maria V. SnyderFire by Kristin Cashore
Best "Strong Female" Fantasy Novels
3,464 books — 18,247 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  19,227 ratings  ·  2,762 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer, #1)
Feb 24, 2014 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
Oct 09, 2010 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
Spencer Orey
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Funny and clever. Pretty tightly plotted too, with some fun twists.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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

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
m a r y l i z
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I've never read a book quite like The Last Dragonslayer.

It was very odd, to say the least, but maybe that's why I liked it so much. Honestly, the first half of it was THE BEST. <3 All the wizards (minus Lady Mawgon) were endearing, and the quirky magic in Kazam was so much fun. I loved the idea of magic "fading" from society. The book was set in modern times (as far as I know??) and magic was used for stuff like delivering pizza, rewiring houses, and charming moles. SO AWESOME.

Okay, sooo...may
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
The Captain
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: here-be-dragons
Ahoy there me mateys! While drawin’ up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing – out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re-read. In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder! And part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends. So I decided to remedy that and thus created me new category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it we ...more
Sara Marks
Oct 31, 2012 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
Peter Tillman
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, at-bg-pa, fantasy
This one started out really, really well -- it's been a few years since my last Jasper Fforde, and it has all his trademark features, and is decidedly Pterryish as well. You can probably see the "but" coming....

At a bit over halfway in, the YA stuff is starting to bug me, I'm sorry to say. For sure I'm not the intended audience. Anyway, I'm going to let it rest for a day or two and start something else.

It's a fast, easy read and definitely worth picking up a library copy to see if it suits you.
Deborah O'Carroll

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*

Okay I took some time away for a bit and I think I figured out the problem, which is that I was rea
"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! Je
I really enjoy Fforde's humor and this was a great escape read, which is exactly what I was looking for. This is the story of a sixteen year-old foundling who runs an employment agency for sorcerers. There was a small battle scene at the end, which I could've done without, but it's a fantasy series; what did I expect? I'm definitely continuing on with it. The laughs were priceless, and there were a couple of surprises I really didn't expect.

The main characters in here are so good, particularly
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
Jun 22, 2016 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
I liked this quite a bit!

And so I've started yet another Jasper Fforde series. I have yet to finish one, either because of my own reading preferences or because, well—actually none of his series are finished. He keeps dangling a ninth Thursday Next (I still need to read seven and eight), the third Nursery Crime book will seemingly never be written (why), we seem to never be getting Shades of Grey's promised two sequels, and this one has a fourth book that who even knows when it's coming. So eve
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
Stella ☆Paper Wings☆
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Quark," said the quarkbeast.
4.5 stars.
WARNING- total isolation is advised while reading. I am so serious, you will not be able to stop laughing.
The plot itself is a bit slow in parts but... the rest is too good.
And if you are wondering if quarkbeasts have anything to do with real quarks, the answer is yes. (You'll find out more in Song of the Quarkbeast.)
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Delightful ya tale of an indentured foundling trying to keep a magical talent agency running in a world rapidly losing its magic.
2nd read:
Britische Schrulligkeit gepaart mit Magie, Drachen und einem Quarktier.. muss man einfach lieben :D

1st read:
This was my first book by Jasper Fforde but definitely not my last. I totally love the magical and slightly odd world he created, the interesting story, the quirky characters and the lively dialogues, which made me laugh out loud more than once. Highly recommended!
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, fantasy, ya, best-2011
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,
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
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
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, ya, fantasy, england
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

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
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a child's book, honestly. There was no tension, not a real problem or struggle.
In this world, magic is slowly dying, but there wasn't an atmosphere of disaster or danger. The characters were not really complex either.
I would say that this was a simple book, too far away from what the title "The last dragon slayer" promised.

Emily Crowe
May 12, 2012 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • What Came from the Stars
  • Isola, Vol. 2
  • A Study in Ashes (The Baskerville Affair, #3)
  • Circus Galacticus
  • Vanessa's Fashion Face-Off (Confidentially Yours, #2)
  • After the Flood (Warriors Manga: Skyclan & the Stranger, #3)
  • A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair, #2)
  • Tennis Trouble (Sport Stories)
  • Make Russia Great Again
  • Untalented
  • The Trove
  • Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2)
  • The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg -- Review
  • The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
  • Worst Case, We Get Married
  • Kodi (#1)
  • Warriors: Cats of the Clans (Warriors: Field Guide, #2)
  • The Way of the Wizard
See similar books…
Fforde began his career in the film industry, and for nineteen years held a variety of posts on such movies as Goldeneye, The Mask of Zorro and Entrapment. Secretly harbouring a desire to tell his own stories rather than help other people tell their's, Jasper started writing in 1988, and spent eleven years secretly writing novel after novel as he strove to find a style of his own that was a no-man ...more

Other books in the series

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

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
24 likes · 13 comments
“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.” 56 likes
“Cats aren't really friendly, they're just cozying up to the dominant life-form as a hedge against extinction.” 36 likes
More quotes…