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Life, Law & Libros

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (4 stars)

Mini-reviews are tweaked versions of reviews I wrote before starting the blog. It's a good way to show some love to older books (and keep me from panicking when I slack off and don't have anything new). The originals remain on Goodreads (unless it was, like, one sentence), and the new reviews get posted here in between reviews of books I'm currently reading. How to tell them apart? The mini-reviews get this cool intro paragraph. :)

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
Series: The Last Dragonslayer #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on October 2, 2012
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Final Rating: 4 stars

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's dragon adventure is magic and snark at its very best. An irreverent satire on all the staples of our society with a healthy heaping of magic and set against the backdrop of the hilariously Ununited Kingdoms.

As I hoped, this novel has a bit of a Diana Wynne Jones feel to it. It is a whimsical, tongue-in-cheek, hang-on-to-your-seat, magical joyride that never takes itself too seriously. The last dragon in the world is about to breathe its last, freeing up its magically protected lands for the land grabbers camped just outside. The tyrant king of Hereford has his eye on money to be made and the premier international corporation looks to take it all. Into this mess, walks Jennifer Strange, an orphan running a hotel full of magicians, most washed up. She's a sensible, no nonsense protagonist in a world of weird, and her snark and the supporting cast's wonk keeps the tone light and the misadventures funny. Even better, romance wasn't a factor.

Fans of Diana Wynne Jones, Eva Ibbotson and dragons will love Jennifer, the dragon and all the denizens of Kazam Mystical Arts Management.


  1. I like books that don't take themselves too seriously! It can be such a nice break from heavier reading.

    1. Exactly! It's a perfect break from the heavy stuff. :)

  2. This sounds like such a fun read! I'll have to add it to my long to-read pile ;)

    1. Yay! You may want to go ahead and break it out sooner rather than later. It's a perfect summer/beach read. ;)

  3. Magic and snark, sounds great! I saw the word "Dragonslayer" and I was intrigued. I've never heard of this one before! I'll hopefully give it a whirl. Fantastic review, Kel!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!