“Two people tried to kill me; I was threatened with jail, had sixteen offers of marriage and was outlawed by King Snodd. Today you will have not heard of me… my name is Jennifer Strange.”
So begins the first book of Jasper Fforde’s young adult series: The Last Dragonslayer. Not quite 16-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam Mystical Arts Management, an employment agency for sorcerers. In the good old days, magic was powerful, unregulated by government, and even the largest spell could be woven without filling in magic release form B1-7g. Then the magic started fading away. Strange isn’t magical, but she is resourceful and extremely responsible, considering her teenage status. She runs a large operation and is constantly surrounded by many magical beings and objects, including the fearsome looking Quarkbeast, which strikes terror in the hearts of anyone that approaches—although the Quarkbeast is actually quite harmless (so far). Though it is aimed at young adults, it’s a great read for not-quite-as-young adults as well. Anyone who likes magic, sorcery, dragons, and hilarity will love it. The sequel is called The Song of the Quarkbeast, and the USA version will be published in 2013.
Besides the Dragonslayer Series, Jasper Fforde’s other works include The Thursday Next Series (which I’ve already reviewed), The Nursery Crime Series, and Shades of Grey: A Novel (Not the one with BDSM, sorry). All fantastic and all works that I will discuss at some time or another. Go and read them before I ruin it for you!