Customer Reviews for

The Last Dragonslayer (The Chronicles of Kazam Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Outstanding

I loved this story! The way the author incorporated modern-day technology into the world of magic is just mistifying. Five stars for this! Hint: This is only for those who truly think that fantasy is not always bad, and who love a good story. SPOILER ALERT: Quarky dies ...
I loved this story! The way the author incorporated modern-day technology into the world of magic is just mistifying. Five stars for this! Hint: This is only for those who truly think that fantasy is not always bad, and who love a good story. SPOILER ALERT: Quarky dies ):

posted by Anonymous on December 22, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Jennifer Strange, who will be 16 years old in two weeks, is an


Jennifer Strange, who will be 16 years old in two weeks, is an indentured servant till 18 and, as such, runs Kazam Mystical Arts Management. Jennifer has a knack for handling fractious practitioners of magic and is always accompanied by a loveable critter, Quarkbeast. ...

Jennifer Strange, who will be 16 years old in two weeks, is an indentured servant till 18 and, as such, runs Kazam Mystical Arts Management. Jennifer has a knack for handling fractious practitioners of magic and is always accompanied by a loveable critter, Quarkbeast. Quark is 1/10 Labrador and 9/10 velociraptor and kitchen blender and absolutely adores Jennifer for taking him home when she found him at Starbucks.

Then, one day, Jennifer meets a fellow named Brian Spalding who lives at the Dragonstation and drives an armored Rolls-Royce he calls the Slayermobile. Brian is the outgoing dragonslayer and he is intent upon making Jennifer his apprentice. Apprentice for what? Well, it seems an old dragon, Maltcassion, lives in a sanctuary/wilderness known as the Dragonlands and he is supposed to die next Sunday at noon at the hands of a Dragonslayer wielding a sword named Exhorbitus. Unfortunately, Brian disappears rather precipitously before Jennifer feels quite prepared so she hires her own apprentice Dragonslayer, Gordon van Gordon Gordonson ap Gordon-Gordon of Gordon.

So why does Maltcassion have to die next Sunday at noon? Come to find out there have been three Dragonattacks and that voids the Dragonpact that has protected him. One minor detail—by ancient decree, a dragon’s land belongs to whoever claims it when he dies and that brings out the worst of greed in an awful lot of people. In this world, commerce is mightier than kings and celebrities and The Consolidated Useful Stuff Land Development Corporation is ready to take advantage of the decree.

Jasper Fforde is one of my favorite authors and I so wanted to love this book but I just can’t quite say that I do. There’s not much joy in this story even though there is a lot of humor. Heavyhanded agendas like greed, environmentalism, trashy media and product endorsements got in the way of the pure enjoyment I usually get when reading a Fforde tale and I also felt there were far too many characters, making it difficult to care a lot about most of them. Have I been permanently turned off? Of course not—the author may not have been at the top of his game with this one, his first young adult novel, but it’s just as possible that I read it in the wrong mood. The second in the series, The Song of the Quarkbeast, is already out in the UK so it should be showing up here in the US next fall and I’ll definitely be reading it.

posted by BuriedUnderBooks on February 20, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    Outstanding

    I loved this story! The way the author incorporated modern-day technology into the world of magic is just mistifying. Five stars for this! Hint: This is only for those who truly think that fantasy is not always bad, and who love a good story. SPOILER ALERT: Quarky dies ):

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Strange, who will be 16 years old in two weeks, is an


    Jennifer Strange, who will be 16 years old in two weeks, is an indentured servant till 18 and, as such, runs Kazam Mystical Arts Management. Jennifer has a knack for handling fractious practitioners of magic and is always accompanied by a loveable critter, Quarkbeast. Quark is 1/10 Labrador and 9/10 velociraptor and kitchen blender and absolutely adores Jennifer for taking him home when she found him at Starbucks.

    Then, one day, Jennifer meets a fellow named Brian Spalding who lives at the Dragonstation and drives an armored Rolls-Royce he calls the Slayermobile. Brian is the outgoing dragonslayer and he is intent upon making Jennifer his apprentice. Apprentice for what? Well, it seems an old dragon, Maltcassion, lives in a sanctuary/wilderness known as the Dragonlands and he is supposed to die next Sunday at noon at the hands of a Dragonslayer wielding a sword named Exhorbitus. Unfortunately, Brian disappears rather precipitously before Jennifer feels quite prepared so she hires her own apprentice Dragonslayer, Gordon van Gordon Gordonson ap Gordon-Gordon of Gordon.

    So why does Maltcassion have to die next Sunday at noon? Come to find out there have been three Dragonattacks and that voids the Dragonpact that has protected him. One minor detail—by ancient decree, a dragon’s land belongs to whoever claims it when he dies and that brings out the worst of greed in an awful lot of people. In this world, commerce is mightier than kings and celebrities and The Consolidated Useful Stuff Land Development Corporation is ready to take advantage of the decree.

    Jasper Fforde is one of my favorite authors and I so wanted to love this book but I just can’t quite say that I do. There’s not much joy in this story even though there is a lot of humor. Heavyhanded agendas like greed, environmentalism, trashy media and product endorsements got in the way of the pure enjoyment I usually get when reading a Fforde tale and I also felt there were far too many characters, making it difficult to care a lot about most of them. Have I been permanently turned off? Of course not—the author may not have been at the top of his game with this one, his first young adult novel, but it’s just as possible that I read it in the wrong mood. The second in the series, The Song of the Quarkbeast, is already out in the UK so it should be showing up here in the US next fall and I’ll definitely be reading it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Delightfully Absurd and Absurdly Delightful! This book wasn¿t m

    Delightfully Absurd and Absurdly Delightful!

    This book wasn’t my favorite by Fforde – that glorious honor goes to the Well of Lost Plots and the estimable character Miss Havisham. While not quite the crown jewel of his body of work it is still better than 78.6% of the best other authors have to offer and thus quite good.

    I quickly fell under the spell of this book. On the surface the story is fun and light and absurd, but as with all of Fforde’s writing there are layers. He builds a very rich and detailed world in the Ununited Kingdoms, creating an interesting well-constructed mythology, along with the creation of a quirky mundane world. Other reviewers have said this is one of his more accessible books and I have to agree. While I adore his writing, I have to concede- though it makes me a little ill to do so- it isn’t for everyone, but The Lastdragon Slayer does have a more universal appeal, while not losing its Ffordeness. So I say give it a try and let loose your own inner Ffordeness.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Quark! Firstly I will admit to buying this book because A) I lik

    Quark!
    Firstly I will admit to buying this book because A) I like dragons and B) the cover art was just fantastic.
    I absolutely adored this book from beginning to end. It's a quirky, whimsical and exceptionally silly. I could not put it down. I'm highly anticipating the sequel. This book was the perfect thing to read to break up the dark and heavy themes of the books I've been reading.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Strange isn¿t really a female Harry Potter¿she can¿t



    Jennifer Strange isn’t really a female Harry Potter—she can’t do magic for a start. But Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer could be the beginning of similarly enticing series. The story’s set in a slightly alternate world, where magic is dying in the Ununited Kingdom, and magicians are reduced to rewiring houses and unstopping drains. Jennifer’s a foundling office girl, but her boss seems to have gone astray, and now the dreamers and foreseers of the world are claiming the world’s last dragon is about to die. This event could have enormous political consequences as the dragonlands become available for development, and Welsh and English counties threaten war. But the magical ramifications might be even worse—what if dragons are the source of magic? What if magic dies with the last of the breed?

    Author Jasper Fforde creates a great cast of characters, combining the sublime and the ridiculous, adding convincing tones of voice, and giving Jennifer just the right amount of teen awkwardness and subservient common sense. The magic of this alternate world is just close enough to our own—“If you’re thinking of somebody and the phone rings and it’s them, that’s magic,” says Jennifer to Tiger at one point—and just far enough away to keep readers, young and old, entranced. Magical history is given very naturally in conversation, with details that reappear in the plot, lending a nice sense of depth and conviction. And there’s that delightfully English feel of forms filled in triplicate, rules and regulations, and a right way for everything, plus the odd cup of tea.

    And there’s a dragon! What more could you want? Funny, absurd, and delightfully daft, with a clever plot, enjoyable protagonist, and plenty of depth for a series, this is a really enjoyable middle-grade book for readers of all ages.



    Disclosure: The lady in the shop recommended it. Thank you!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Loved it!

    I'm looking forward to the 2nd installment! Great humor and cool way to combine a bit of fantasy with the familiarity of life as we know it. Fun read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    Fun read

    Looking forward to the next installment of this series. You will laugh and possibly growl out loud at the antics in this novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Funny and enjoyable

    This is a funny story with many twists and unexpected developments. It is appropriate for everyone. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    Two words

    Awesome

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2013

    Originally posted at Nose in a Book I have a love/hate relation

    Originally posted at Nose in a Book

    I have a love/hate relationship with Jasper Fforde novels. I love them, but I hate how much they make me think. I know, I know, such a problem! But when one is in grad school, they want to read for fun! Not for thought! This happens to be one of his books that I fell in love with. I love the world he built and I want more of it now.

    This is the story of Jessica Strange, a teenager who lives in an alternate-world 21st century. She works at Kazam, an agency that uses magicians to do the odd jobs around the Kingdom of Hereford. Kingdom of Hereford is located in present day England, which is broken up into small kingdoms that are ruled by commerce more than anything else. Wizards are forced to hire themselves out for small home repairs and any work they can get in general. Thankfully, Jessica can help them out. Jessica has been running Kazam since the disappearance of her boss, Mr. Zambini. How is a teenager running a store all by herself you ask? Jessica is an indentured orphan who is wise beyond her years and actually likes to work in Kazam.

    Jessica lucks out by getting an apprentice, Tiger Prawns, just about the time she gets a fairly lucrative opportunity in her life. She will be given a nice sum of money if she can predict the date the Last Dragonslayer will kill Maltcassion, the last dragon in the land. Slight problem with this, the dragon has done nothing wrong and oh yeah, Jessica happens to be the dragonslayer. Jessica has no interest in ruining this beautiful land so they can build more condos. But what about that lucrative deal? What's best for Big Magic?

    This is an interesting tale by Fforde, mostly because this is one of his first novels in the YA world. He excels at adult science fiction and this isn't yet the same quality as his adult novels. Yet Fforde creates an amazing vibrant fantasy world. I wanted more of it, even though in my brain I already had an awesome visual of it. I also love and adore Jessica and her journey, though there are things I would have liked to change: Jessica having more friends to help her, etc. I like that this was a journey she made on her own. It's nice to see a strong, female, teenager in a YA book.

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  • Posted December 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Very Original

    Great story.
    I am looking forward to reading the whole Chronicles of Kazam, and getting to know the characters a lot better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    Great book for fun

    I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast read that was entertaining and light.

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