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The Song of the Quarkbeast

By: Jasper Fforde

A Last Dragonslayer Novel

Magic is going through a transition period. The big magic has caused few changes, certainly not as many as hoped. Jennifer Strange finds herself still managing Kazam as Zambini has still not returned, though they have managed to chat to him briefly a couple of times. There are plenty of other things afoot though, starting with a request to find a thing that doesn’t want to be found. Then there is another quarkbeast wandering around that looks like it may be the pair to Jennifer’s old pet. As if understanding quarkbeast zooology wasn’t enough of a challenge she still has to deal with wizards of varying degrees of sanity.

While trying to get a young wizard registered she uncovers some disturbing changes in the kingdom’s power base. Once again she finds herself and Kazam standing for how magic fits into society – how and who should be allowed to use it. Blix, from iMagic is determined to use magic for his own personal and very power hungry means and Jennifer simply cannot stand by and let that happen. IMagic and Kazam end up in a magic contest to determine the future path of magic and Blix is playing any way but fair. Zambini, when he briefly appears he tell Jennifer to trust magic, but she is not so sure. In all of this is there ever going to be time for her to go on a date?

Jennifer, Tiger and the wizards from Kazam return for another challenge involving politics, magic and the power of a quarkbeast. Fforde weaves a quirky, appealing and ultimately enjoyable world, that while very different to what we know, is seeded with things that seem vaguely familiar. Fforde’s style is a little abstract and in a market dominated by paranormal fantasy it is nice to leave that behind and read something, light, fun and simply enjoyable.

The characters are filled with their own foibles and peculiarities. Even the characters who have small parts to play seem complete as individuals as opposed to coming across as two dimensional fillers. I think this is part of the appeal of Fforde. His style of writing makes it so easy to escape into this bizarre reality.

If you are looking for a lighter kind of fantasy, quirky and well written, or something for an avid reader who isn’t interested in, or ready for, the relationship weighted paranormal fantasy, then give these a look.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Published: 10 November 2011

Format: Paperback 320 pages

Categories: Science Fiction Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781444707236

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

 

The Last Dragonslayer

By: Jasper Fforde

Magic used to be powerful and unregulated but that was in the good old days. Before the need to fill in magic release forms and before the magic started fading away.

Jennifer Strange is 15 and runs Kazam, an employment agency for those who can do magic, no easy task when the work is drying up. Then the visions start pointing towards the death of the last dragon by the Dragonslayer. The more that Jennifer finds out the more it becomes clear to her that Big Magic is coming and she is a lot more involved than she ever would have guessed.

Fforde has created a wonderful alternative reality full of the familiar and not so familiar. This is a fun and slightly quirky read that made me wish I could spend longer with these characters in this world.

A story that could be enjoyed by all ages.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division

Published: 04 November 2010

Format: Paperback 304 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Contemporary Fiction

ISBN 13: 9781444707182

Purchase here


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