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 visions start, predicting the death of the world's last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam - and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as ... Big Magic.
"Fantasy readers with a taste for the silly should appreciate the subverted tropes. Ages 12+" - Kirkus Reviews
"Thoroughly entertaining ... readers will easily sit back and enjoy the fun." - Booklist
"Fforde's fantasy is smart, funny, and abundantly imaginative in its critique of commercial culture." - Horn Book
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Rated of 5
wizards & dragons, Fforde style
The Last Dragonslayer is the first book in the Chronicles of Kazam series by Welsh author Jasper Fforde. Aimed at the Young Adult reader, the heroine is an almost-16-year-old foundling raised by the Blessed Ladies of the Lobster, Jennifer Strange. Whilst her boss, Mr. Zambini (formerly The Great) is absent, Jennifer runs the Kazam Mystical Arts Management, an employment agency for magical arts practitioners, the demand for whom is ever-dwindling with the advent of weather satellites, drain cleaner and motorcycle couriers. But when soothsayers at all levels predict the death of the last Dragon, Maltcassion, Jennifer’s job description seems fated to change. Big Magic is the watchword. This series is set in the Kingdom of Hereford in the Ununited Kingdoms of Great Britain, very much like modern day Britain with its bureaucracy, politics, nepotism and corruption. Fforde creates a cast of Wizards of various talents (sorcery, soothsaying, carpeteering, moving, shifting, birdspeaking, weathermongering) with varying degrees of wizidrical power, a King, a Duke, a Dragonslayer with apprentice, an enchanted lift, a Dragon, an order of nuns, a Childcatcher, a Pollyanna stone, a transient moose and the Quarkbeast (Labrador/velociraptor/kitchen blender). Marzipan is a drug of addiction, magic is highly regulated and the King wants to conquer Wales. As always, Fforde includes some hilarious names : Col. Baggsum Gayme, Yogi Baird and the king’s seer, The Inconsistent Sage O’Neons. The military standoff between the Duke of Brecon and King Snodd is decidedly Monty Pythonish. The dialogue is excellent, the plot, as always, very original and appealing not just to the young adult reader. It has been described as inventive and funny. It’s wizards and dragons, Fforde style, it’s brilliant.
Jasper Fforde was born in London on January 11, 1961. His father was a prominent economist, while his mother did charity work and was a passionate reader. Fforde and his four siblings were raised in London and Wales. At the age of twelve Fforde was sent to Dartington Hall School, a progressive coeducational boarding school near Totnes, Devon, which he attended until his graduation in 1979.
As a child, he shared his mother's love of reading, and by the age of eleven, had become quite interested in film and television. While the young Fforde liked to watch Monty Python, he was particularly influenced by a commercial he saw for milk starring actor Roger Moore. It showed what happened behind the scenes on a production set, and this commercial inspired Fforde's aspirations as a movie ...
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