It's Easter in Reading, a bad time for eggs, and no one can remember the last sunny day....
The first in a series of outlandishly clever adventures featuring the resourceful, fearless literary detective Thursday Next....
As long as anyone can remember, society has been ruled by a Colortocracy....
Emily Snow is twelve years old, supporting herself and her younger brother on the streets of Victorian England by selling watercress....
For 12-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it's the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation....
Being able to detect black magic isnt all tea and crumpetsand for Theodosia Throckmorton, it can be a decidedly tricky business....
August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan. Rescued by the legendary sword master Masamoto Takeshi, Jack's only hope is to become a samurai warrior....
Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war? Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage....
Theodosia Throckmorton is in a fix. Allowed to attend a reception given by one of the directors of her parents museum, she stumbles across Mr. Tetley of the British Museum in most unusual circumstances....
In all of Tyme, no one is as lucky as Rapunzel. She lives in a magic tower that obeys her every wish; she reads wonderful books starring herself as the heroine....
Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London....
In the underground city of Caverna the world's most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare....
Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil....
Every year the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch is kind and gentle....
"The Call of the Wild" is a novel by Jack London published in 1903. The story is set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush...
Life is boring when you live in the real world instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world's homework and chores....
In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure....
Xander Miyamoto should be feeling great. It's the beginning of summer vacation, his mother has returned from a long absence, and he has learned that he is a warrior....
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.
I consider myself a fan of Jasper Fforde's. I've now read everything he's published in the US, and I've enjoyed rather a lot of it. I like his weird worlds, his twists on reality that are almost plausible, and I like his sense of humor. This being a whole new series, I wasn't sure what to expect. I wound up liking it, though, and plan to read more.
The Last Dragonslayer is about Jennifer Strange, who's (almost) 16 and is a foundling in a world where magic exists. She runs an agency of magic users in the absence of the manager, who vanished in a magical accident. Her replacement, Tiger Prawns, arrives, and through his eyes we learn of the odd world Jennifer lives in, where there's one surviving dragon and magic has been steadily dwindling for years. Then, all of the world's precogs (seers and psychics, basically) have a vision of the world's last dragon dying, and millions of people converge on the dragon's territory hoping to grab a piece of land when the barrier keeping people out drops.
Jennifer is confused for two-thirds of the book, and, because the book is in first-person, that means the reader is, too. She pieces together the puzzle slowly, but all isn't revealed until the very last chapter. The action of the last third makes up for a lot of the confusion of the earlier sections.
I wondered, for most of the book, why the protagonist was female. She has a lot of traditionally masculine traits, and romance never comes into the equation. It would be a spoiler to say why I felt this choice was a masterful one, in the end.
Jennifer is a flawed hero. She takes on too much, says the wrong things at the wrong time, and often trusts the wrong people. She muddles through a lot of the plot, and she lets her anger get the better of her judgment more than once. She also has agency, sensitivity, and a strong sense of who she is.
This book has a lot less of the quirky humor I've come to enjoy in Jasper Fforde's books. There were some jabs here and there, but the book's tone is mostly serious.
It also lacks a lot of the YA trappings, though it is a YA book. There's no bad language or sex. But then, I don't recall a lot in Fforde's other novels. The biggest thing that marks this as YA is the age of the protagonist.
I listened to this book on audio. For the most part, Elizabeth Jasicki's narration was good and clear, and she sounded like a teenage girl. But, narrating dialogue, she often drawled, whispered, or did some combination of the two that quickly became grating. If she narrates the next books, I do hope she finds a better way of narrating dialogue.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Not complicated, but has all the charm of Fforde's other works. Definitely geared for the young adult market, but still fun to listen to. The narrator did a nice job, although I found her breathy, male voices a bit annoying, but not enough to distract from the story. Worth a listen.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Jasper Fforde is back with his new series 'The Last Dragonslayer.' This series follows a 16 year old orphan as she tries to find her place in the world. It is a promising start to a new series from a great writer. If you expect this series to be exactly like Thursday Next, you will be disappointed. 'The Last Dragonslayer' isn't about a love of books or language. It is about something completely different, and Fforde does a great job making that clear, and giving this series a new voice while maintaining his hilarious and dry sarcasm. So, put Thursday Next aside and read this book with a clear mind. If you do, you will enjoy this new series.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Last Dragonslayer the most enjoyable?
I found the book light and refreshing. It is a well written pre-teen book but something that an adult can slip into and let the cares of the day fade. If you are looking for something more serious or along the line of Jasper Fforde's other novels this might be the book for you. If you can enjoy a basic story line with only a few minor twits this is a good one.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Dragonslayer?
The description of the quark beasts statue.
Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Jasicki – was your favorite?
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
I want to hear the book as it was written. This is especially important with fforde whose humour consists of
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Jasper Fforde has proven his mastery of the alternate universe with his Thursday Next series (and the related Nursey Crime series), imagining a world where literature is intimately intertwined with reality (his alternate version of reality). With The Last Dragonslayer, Fforde creates an alternate universe where magic, dragons, kings and home improvement coexist uneasily in present-day England, hamstrung by government bureaucracy, an omnivorous media, corporate manipulation, and rising real estate prices.
As original as Thursday Next's world is, humorously applying the conventions of detective novels to a setting where the boundaries between literature and reality are blurred, the idea of placing magical beings in modern day society is hardly a new one -- way overdone, in fact. But Fforde pulls it off thanks to his impeccable sense of humor and comic timing. If you like Monty Python, you'll like Fforde -- he even has a short riff on the ethics of turning people into newts, an almost overt nod to MP and the Holy Grail.
If I have one minor bone to pick -- and why I stop short of going to five stars -- it's that once the plot kicks in, supplanting the detailed background on The Last Dragonslayer's alternate universe that occupies the first few hours, the joke quotient shrinks, and that's a shame, because the jokes are so good. The last few chapters wrap up way too quickly, which may only have been a problem because I wanted them to last longer -- but there are additional entries in the series, so that won't be a problem for very long.
I'm reminded when I listen to a book like this why I love listening to humorous fiction in audio -- why bother with any other genre? (Although of course I'll keep going back to the others.) This is certainly the one type of book where, indisputably, the voice in your earbuds has better comic timing and better dialects than the voice in your head. At least, if the narrator is doing a good job -- and Elizabeth Jasicki does an excellent job as the voice of Fforde's teenage heroine, Jennifer Strange.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Last Dragonslayer in three words, what would they be?
fantasy adventure funny
Who was your favorite character and why?
That's tough. It would have to Jennifer Strange or the precog friend of hers. They seemed to stick in your mind and you wanted to follow their stories.
Have you listened to any of Elizabeth Jasicki’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
The Silent Governess, but they didn't really compare in terms of story. As a narrator, she did a great job portraying the heart of the main character.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Laugh, it was hilarious.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
First, I am a Jasper Fforde fan, having read all of the Thursday Next, Nursery Crimes and am anxiously awaiting the next Shades of Grey book. I was certainly not disappointed in the ideas in this book and would love to have an elevator that swoops me upwards. However, I just didn't feel as satisfied after finishing this book as I have after other Jasper Fforde books. Perhaps it's because it's the beginning of a series but it just seemed to lope along and then suddenly end. Though there was excitement and chases, I never felt like the book properly took off. I still give the book four stars based on the world and all of the fun little jokes. I just wanted a bit more.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
My kids are 5 & 2 and way too young to get the humor in this book, so I continued it without them. Fforde is one of my favorite authors, I adore the Thursday Next books. The humor in this book mostly hinges on government regulations and the absurdity of a dragonslayer being a beleaguered teenage orphan who has been single-handedly running an agency of magicians that is being run into the ground by a reduction in the demand for magic and an increase in paperwork. If you enjoy the humor and novelty of Piers Anthony without the weird misogyny and awkward sexual content, you will love this.
Fforde can write a strong female lead, and Jennifer Strange is a good one. There is no romance here, which is a good thing, it's quirky humor, wordplay, and magic!
Although the story was a wonderful experience with twists, turns, and surprises, a huge round of applause is due to Elizabeth Jasicki who narrated with such flow and style that she made the experience that much better. DEFINITELY a title to recommend to someone who wants to give an audiobook a go