Amber's Pick:It is no secret that I am a fan of Jasper Fforde’s writing; you should see the happy dance I do when an advanced reader copy of a new book is unwrapped in the store!
However many of his first in series books have a single fatal flaw… the first third of the books are slow, seriously slow---but, after you get thru this first third, they zip by and you can’t wait for the next book to come out! (The rest of the books after the first in series do not suffer from this flaw.) It’s proven to be a significant hurdle for less patient readers (I do what I can to reassure them to stick with it).
The Last Dragonslayer does NOT possess this flaw. The book reads like a song; from beginning to end it is graceful and flowing.
Jennifer Strange lives in a world where metal, machines and magic live side by side. She runs the Kazam, an employment agency for wizards, since her boss disappeared a few months back…. add to this the fact that magic has been slowly fading from the world, making her magicians harder and harder to hire out, Jennifer has enough problems on her plate.
Then the visions start.
Around the world wizards with the ability to foresee the future are inundated with a single vision, the death of the last dragon is at hand. With this vision Jennifer’s world tilts, all the signs point to Big Magic and Jennifer is in the thick of it!
While this book is billed as a Young Adult, it is suitable for any age. It would read a bit on the cozy side for an adult, and there isn’t any teen age angst in sight!
This book is all about choice. Choosing to do the right, best or necessary thing, because Jennifer understands the value of this freedom. As a foundling, she works as an indentured servant at Kazam, and will work there until her eighteenth birthday (unless she chooses to stay). So when presented with a choice it is important to her to actively make a decision, instead of just doing her duty or letting it flit away. This theme is repeated through out the book, in great ways, never with a heavy hand.
I seriously cannot say enough great things about this book! If you are a fan of any of Jasper’s series, or need one to cut your teeth on, I would recommend this book for you!