Synopses & Reviews
Although shes an orphan in indentured servitude, sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange is pretty good at her job of managing the unpredictable crew at Kazam Mystical Arts Management. She already solved the Dragon Problem, avoided mass destruction by Quarkbeast, and helped save magic in the Ununited Kingdoms. Yet even Jennifer may be defeated when the long-absent Mighty Shandar makes an astonishing appearance and commands her to find the Eye of Zoltar—proclaiming that if she fails, he will eliminate the only two dragons left on earth. How can a teenage non-magician outdo the greatest sorcerer the world has ever known? But failure is unacceptable, so Jennifer must set off for the mysterious Cadir Idris in the deadly Cambrian Empire—a destination with a fatality index of fifty percent. With the odds against them, will Jennifer and her traveling companions ever return to the Kingdom of Snodd?
"Adult author Fforde's foray into children's books will delight readers who like their fantasy with a dash of silliness. Since the Great Zambini disappeared six months earlier, the job of running Kazam Mystical Arts Management has fallen to Jennifer Strange, a foundling two weeks shy of 16, but sensible beyond her years. Kazam is part boardinghouse, part employment agency for wizards and magicians whose talents are on the decline a high maintenance bunch. Jennifer has just begun her mentorship of another foundling, Horton 'Tiger' Prawns, when she learns she is the Last Dragonslayer (capitalized to differentiate from merely the previous dragonslayer) and that the last dragon on Earth, Maltcassion, is prophesied to die at her hand on Sunday noon. Comedic chaos ensues the news of Maltcassion's imminent death paves the way for a major land grab. There's a lot of setup for later books in Fforde's Chronicles of Kazam, but it's so inventive and charming that readers will happily stick with it (though the tragic death of a major character will hit some of them hard) and be impatient for the next episode. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Fantasy readers with a taste for the silly should appreciate the subverted tropes." Kirkus
"Thoroughly entertaining...readers will easily sit back and enjoy the fun." Booklist
"Fforde's fantasy is smart, funny, and abundantly imaginative in its critique of commercial culture." Horn Book
In his witty first novel for young readers, New York Times best-selling author Jasper Fforde introduces fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange, who runs an agency for underemployed magicians in a world where magic is fading away. But when visions of the death of the world's last dragon begin, all signs point to Jennifer — and Big Magic.
From the author of the Thursday Next mysteries comes this off-beat fantasy, the first in a new series for young readers. In the good old days, magic was powerful and unregulated by government, and sorcerers were highly respected. Then the magic started to fade away. Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, a magic employment agency. Work is hard to come by, and unexciting: These days, sorcerers find work unblocking drains, and even magic carpets have been reduced to pizza delivery. So it's a surprise when the visions start. Not only do they predict the death of the last dragon at the hands of a dragonslayer, they also point to Jennifer. Something is coming. Something known as — Big Magic.
About the Author
Jasper Fforde, the author of the best-selling Thursday Next mysteries and the Nursery Crime books, has a devoted worldwide following for his highly entertaining and original novels. He lives with his family in Wales. www.jasperfforde.com