Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Last Dragonslayer, a Knight with Marketing Prospects

  I'd heard about Jasper Fforde's first attempt at YA/Children's literature on a couple of different blogs. The Last Dragonslayer was described on several of them as being a good read for lovers of Harry Potter and Anglophiles. I must admit, I've been missing reading about wands and Hogwarts, so I jumped on this new book with a vengeance, and it didn't disappoint.

Granted, this is not Harry Potter, and you're going to be upset if you go into the first pages scanning for little babies with zig zag scars. The beauty of The Last Dragonslayer is in what it actually is... a bizarre mix of magic, marketing and a beat up orange Volkswagon.

Jennifer Strange is a foundling, an indentured servant working at the Kazam Mystical Arts Management. With the decline of magic, wizards do odd jobs around town like rewiring houses and delivering pizzas. Jennifer struggles to keep Kazam afloat.

Life gets more interesting when a vision flashes across the Ununited Kingdom, that the last dragon will die in a week. And that, is where Jennifer's whole journey starts.

I really enjoyed the pluckiness of Jennifer Strange, her courage to stick up for the right thing, even in the face of greed. Her character had a great story arch. So for any budding natural female leaders you have out there, this is a book to encourage them. It also had strings of hilarious jokes that only the pairing of contemporary culture and magic can bring. It almost makes me think of Douglas Adams in the way it can halt the story to expound on the singing abilities of a somewhat self-centered knight. While it does pull you out of the story at some points, I think it's worth sticking with this book, because it comes together to a real satisfying end.

So since I brought up the topic of books that would satisfy Harry Potter Readers, does anyone else have other books to suggest to for Harry Potter Fans?

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