Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Last Dragonslayer Review

Title:  The Last Dragonslayer
Author:  Jasper Fforde
Published October 2nd 2012 by Harcourt Children's Books


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.
Jennifer Strange is acting manager of Kazam Mystical Arts Management, or at least she has been since Mr. Zambini's disappearance.  Jennifer is a foundling, an orphan of the Troll Wars.  At fifteen years old, no one takes her seriously when she says she is acting manager of Kazam, but with no one else to run the business Jennifer is all there is.  What is the business precisely?  Well, Kazam helps wizards who still have some magical powers left to use their magic to help people do things such as rewire their homes.  Since magic is fading, anytime a wizard uses magic a form must be filled out, so that's where Kazam comes in acting as an agent to the wizards of today.  Jennifer's life is a bit hectic, however, when the story begins her life is about to get even more chaotic.

A prophecy has come about that even the weakest magic has picked up.  The last dragon, Maltcassion, is said to die next Sunday at noon.  Most wizards see a link between dragons and magic, so this is a big deal.  Also, the prophecy speaks of Big Magic.  Wizards can regain power when such an event occurs, so this too is a big deal.  However, only a dragonslayer can enter the dragonlands and slay the dragon.  This protects Maltcassion from anyone wanting to profit from his death.  You see the dragonlands are untouched forests and meadows and land developers would swoop in once the spell protecting the lands was lifted upon the dragon's death. 

How does Jennifer Strange tie in to all this prophecy?  Well, Jennifer sees the possible connection between magic and dragons, too.  Even as a foundling without powers, she knows the importance to the Ununited Kingdoms and the world once Maltcassion dies.  Jennifer wants to prevent any unjustified death on the dragon's part seeing as he has not done anything to deserve to be slayed.  So, Jennifer goes in search of the last dragonslayer to find out what is going on.  Once she finds him, her life will be changed forever.

Will Jennifer be able to save magic and the dragon?  Find out in Jasper Fforde's wonderful novel, The Last Dragonslayer.  It's a definite must read!

*reviewed by Casie, YA @ Cpl. J. R. Searcy Memorial Library

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