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The Song of the Quarkbeast

(The Last Dragonslayer #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  8,139 ratings  ·  882 reviews
Jennifer Strange 16 narrates managing wizards for absent Great Zambini of Kazam against Blix in contest to repair old bridge. Once Powerful Boo did no more magic after being kidnapped. Helped by magic carpet, mating Quarkbeasts, Transient Moose, apprentice Tiger Prawns, can Kazam win? Blix and royal advisor Tenbury conspire, cheat, jail mages after others turn to stone.
Paperback, 290 pages
Published August 30th 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2011)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,139 ratings  ·  882 reviews

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Liked this one as much as the first.

While not as mythically rich as YA books by some of my other favorite authors, (Tiffany Aching books from Pratchett, Coraline and Graveyard book by Gaiman.) this book has a playfulness that those books don't.

There's some genuine silliness here, and I can appreciate that.

Simply said, I would be happy to read this to my little boy. And I would be happy to see him reading it himself when he gets old enough for that.

I'll probably wait until he's six or seven th
Fforde's books are always very readable, and enjoyable, but when you've seen an author's best work, you want the next book to improve one what's come before. This is the second 'Last Dragonslayer' book, Fforde's series aimed at kids/teens, following the further adventures of Jennifer Strange. However, she's no longer the Last Dragonslayer (and dragons don't feature at all), so perhaps naming the series after the first book in it was a bad move.

All of Fforde's books so far - the Thursday Next set
Melissa McShane
This follow-up to The Last Dragonslayer has all the charm and randomness of its predecessor. Jasper Fforde seems to have made a career out of...well, interesting prose and clever ideas, but I was thinking more along the lines of "completely random throwaway items you can't believe are part of the story." It mixes up what would otherwise be an interesting but not mind-blowingly original story.

I still say Jennifer Strange doesn't sound or act like a teenager, though Fforde makes an effort (okay, n
The Captain
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: here-be-dragons
Ahoy there me mateys! Yesterday I shared me second reflections of the last dragonslayer and discovered there was a book three in the series that I haven't read! So I decided to remedy that. But of course that meant taking a second look at book two first and giving me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin' it again . . .

This be a fun second foray into the Ununited Kingdoms. Magic is on the rise but there be a fight to see who will control it. And what better way to come up with a w
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
What did I think? I think it grossly unfair that the Hodder territories have had this book for some time, whilst the colonies have been and are yet deprived until September, 2013 of this second installment of The Chronicles of Kazam. Having obtained an ARC through the good graces of my daughter making pilgrimage to BEA, I did not waste a moment in devouring every page like a Quarkbeast ravening the nearest galvanized container.

I refuse to share any part of this book, not from any sense of greedi
"Strange by name, Strange by nature."

This book wasn't quite as enjoyable as the first one was. It just wasn't as hilarious but the plot was just as interesting.

Kazam and iMagic (their only competitors) compete it out to gain control over magic. iMagic isn't nearly as good as Kazam, so there's a lot of underhanded shenanigans going as they try to sabotage Kazam. This led to some very interesting and silly moments throughout the book.

King Snood and his Gracious Useless Brother were my favourit
Fun. The first book was also fun, but the story was a little bit disjointed. This one had better pacing and hung together a little bit better. Not enough Quarkbeast and no dragons though.
What a silly book. Full review later. I'm so behind in my entire life.

[3.5 stars, rounded up]
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super 👍 If you liked the first book of the series, you should read this one. Interesting, sometimes funny and sometimes serious.
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed Elizabeth Jasicki

From the dust jacket - Long ago, magic began to fade, and the underemployed magicians of Kazam Mystical Arts management have been forced to take any work their sixteen-year-old acting manager, Jennifer Strange, can scare up. But things are about to change. Magical power is finally on the rise, and King Snodd IV of the Ununited Kingdoms knows that he who controls magic controls everything. Only one person stands between Snodd and his plans for a magic grab – a
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Really, really fantabulous book that contained everything I expect a Fforde book to have. A lovely, quirky world, a special sense of humor (which might not be everyone's taste, I admit that) and social commentary.
It may have one flaw but I rated five stars anyway because I enjoyed every single word. That one flaw is that it's quite similar to the Thursday Next series and so, the construction of the plot is somewhat predictable. Fforde adds all these details little details that become very import
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely an improvement from the already quite satisfactory first book in the series. There are a lot of dominoes set up for the third and final book, due out this fall in the UK and (presumably) next fall in the US - as, I realize, this book isn't due out in the states til September. I'm excited to see where they fall and what happens in this quirky land where magic is the unit of energy, marzipan an addictive drug, and certain other things (which I'll leave to you to discover - more fun that ...more
Oct 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the 2nd book in Fforde YA series, 'The Chronicles of Kazam'. Once again this was a fun read, maybe even a bit silly in places, but in a parallel world perhaps that's normal. The characters from the 1st book are all there, or in the case of the Great Zambini he isn't, along with various fantastical beasts.
The story once again follows Jennifer Strange, a 16 year old foundling, who is in temporary charge of one of the only 2 mystical houses of magic in Hereford.
Somewhere along the lines Je
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A much more compelling story than the first one. No loose ends and it made sense.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Jasper Fforde is an incredible writer. He's among that very small crowd of adult writers that can also effectively write for a younger audience. The secret, which causes so many other writers to stumble, is that children are people. The characters must have feelings and motivations, and the reader must be treated with respect as well. Failing in either regard will create a bad book; failing in both will sink it utterly. Fforde, thankfully, knows how to do both well.

In this series, he created a m
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In many ways I enjoyed this more than the last dragonslayer - Jennifer seems more settled into her role at Kazam, and into being able to stand up for herself and what she believes in, the story of magic slowly returning is interesting, and the magic and politics and rivalries are fun and compelling.

I missed the dragons, obviously, and also wanted more Quarkbeast as it was great in the last book - and I think that’s largely why I think the books are equal.

I also really liked getting to see more
Selvianty Selvianty
What a fun book! *still laughing* I like Tiger, he should be a comedian. Jennifer was still as dependable as always. The sorcerers were still quirky, eccentrics, and unique. The plot was great! Full of action, tactics, and no fillers! The book is only 290 pages but took quite a while to read because it was packed. You cannot skim through it because you'll missed important plot and hints. And it was funny! Oh I love this book!
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am happy to say that Mr. Fforde has redeemed himself over the quarkbeast. What a relief! Jennifer Strange continues to agent her way through the many difficulties at Kazam with unexpected and delightful results. Plus my imagination has now been caught by the Trolls and the possibilites there. The way Mr. Fforde's mind works is extraordinary. I so enjoy it.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I have just found another new favorite author. I really liked The Last Dragonslayer, and the Song of the Quarkbeast was even better. (PS I really would like to have a Quarkbeast.) I can't wait to read Jasper Fforde's other novels!
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like talking to a long lost friend.
Loved this one even more than the first.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, 2012
Original post at One More Page

The Last Dragonslayer was one of my favorite reads in 2011, and I'm not just saying that because Jasper Fforde is my favorite author. I absolutely loved Jasper Fforde's YA debut, and I thought it was a hilarious and smart read. Silly me, though, that I didn't know there was going to be a sequel to this. It totally took me by surprise, but I'm not complaining. A new Jasper Fforde? Of course I want that!

Jennifer Strange, the last dragonslayer in the Ununited Kingdom
Chantal Daigneault
A bit slow and repetitive but entertaining
Geoff Gander
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great sequel to The Last Dragonslayer, which expands on the satirical fantasy world Jasper Fforde has created. I was quite happy as well to see that, in addition to presenting his world in a dryly humorous way as the late Terry Pratchett did with the Discworld, Mr. Fforde likes to add a liberal dose of footnotes.
Andrew Logan
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Drama, intrigue, peril and fantastic beasts. What more could one wish for?

Moral, readable and engaging, I really liked this book. I think it would make a great present for a child one is looking to engage with the simple pleasure of reading and losing oneself in a good book. All that and a good read.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was clever, funny, and entertaining.
An Odd1
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"All in all it had been quite a morning" p 43.
Jennifer Strange 16 narrates many narrow escapes managing house of magicians for absent Great Zambini, with Kazam trainee, fellow foundling Tiger Prawns "tall for twelve" p 4 . She likes "good looking" Youthful Perkins 18 - or is he suggesting? He keeps asking for a date.

Quarkbeast mating song precedes a uniting of opposite quarkbeasts -- and mass explosion. Just what a Master Villain plans. Blix is bad from the start. The roundabout story of how he
Connie Peck
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I read very few books in one day, this was one of them. Very few books have the ability to change my way of thinking or jump out of my comfort zone of reading material, this was one of them.

Because I won this copy, I was driven to first read the predecessor of this story, The Last Dragonslayer. While I enjoy some dragon stories and a few Arthurian novels, I rarely venture outside of the genre of Westerns or horse stories, I have been depraved. I quickly f
S.B. Wright
I was looking forward to this book. In general I find reading young adult novels to be a breath of fresh air and I was hoping that The Song of the Quarkbeast would live up to its press as a magical adventure with a bit of nerdy wordplay.

The Story

Young Jennifer Strange, a foundling, is left in charge of Kazam, the more ethical of the two companies that perform magic.

Their newly renamed competitor iMagic is up to no good, manipulating King Snodd into ordering a contest between the wizards of both
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Song Of The Quarkbeast
Jasper Fforde

My " in a nutshell" summary...

Magic is a mess in the Ununited Kingdom and it is up to Jennifer Strange to deal with it!

My thoughts after reading this book...

This opening paragraph said by Jennifer herself pretty much sums up this book...

I work in the magic industry. I think you'll agree it's pretty glamorous: a life of spells, potions, and whispered enchantments; of levitation, vanishing, and alchemy. Of titanic fights to the death with the powers of dar
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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 Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer, #1)
  • The Eye of Zoltar (The Last Dragonslayer, #3)
  • Humans v Trolls (The Last Dragonslayer, #4)
“Pretty?' I said, swivelling in the driver's seat to face him, 'you want to ask me out because I'm pretty?' 'Is there a problem with asking you out because you're pretty?' 'I think you blew it,' said Tiger with a grin. 'You should be asking her out because she's smart, witty, mature beyond her years and every moment in her company makes you want to be a better person - pretty of face should be at the bottom of the list.' 'Oh, blast,' said Perkins despondently. 'It should, shouldn't it?” 13 likes
“All the great unanswered questions of the world will be answered. Who are we? What are we here for? Where will we end up? And most important of all: Can mankind actually get any stupider?” 9 likes
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