Thursday, October 31, 2013

REVIEW--The Last Dragonslayer

Happy Halloween!!!!  I have to admit--it doesn't really feel like Halloween to me.  Our city's trick-or-treating got moved to tomorrow night due to weather, so I'll probably feel the Halloween spirit more then.

But today's review is on a book that I thought could inspire a great Halloween costume--The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde.  Doesn't a dragon make a GREAT costume?!

This book is the first in The Last Dragonslayer series; the second in the series just recently came out in the U.S., so I'm sure I'll be reviewing that one soon!  I loved this book!  It was so different than most fantasy books I read, but if you know much about Jasper Fforde, this was right up his alley!

  • First book in The Last Dragonslayer series
  • Fantasy

The Gist:
Jennifer Strange, our protagonist, lives in the Ununited Kingdom.  In this kingdom, magic used to be huge but is now fading away (Have a flying carpet?  That used to be an exciting part of magic but now means you're a pizza delivery boy).  Jennifer manages a magic agency to help the few magic-users find work.
She hears a Prophecy that the Last Dragonslayer will kill the final dragon that exists; and once this is done, everyone will be clamoring to claim the land left by the dragon.  If this isn't crazy enough, Jennifer finds herself caught up in the Prophecy.

What I Loved:
  • This book was SO FUNNY!  Seriously--Laugh Out Loud funny!
  • This is such a unique, unexpected, and quirky world with crazy world-building.  So Jasper Fforde!
  • The book introduces us to some new characters that I've never seen before.  Like a Quarkbeast--what in the world does a Quarkbeast look like?!
  • The characters are so loveable, especially Jennifer and Tiger.  I'm just rooting for them all the way.
  • A very well-paced novel.  Moved at just the right speed for me so that I was constantly entertained.
  • The themes of greed, destiny, and staying true to yourself were so well portrayed!

What I Didn't Love:
  • There was a lot to take in at times--a lot of characters, positions, titles, etc.  If you're not used to fantasy, this could be a little overwhelming.
  • The difference between "Big Magic" and "Old Magic" (and even their definitions in general) was a bit hard to understand.
My favorite quote:  
"But still money was short, and he was forced to do the one thing that sorcerers should never do.  An act of such gross betrayal to his art that if it were made common knowledge, his reputation would be destroyed forever, and he would die a broken man, humiliated and shunned by his peers."
"You mean ---?"
"Right.  He did children's parties."

I just loved this book!   A super-fun read that is about an eighth grade reading level.  Pick it up--you'll love it, too!

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