marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Last Dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Finally out in America!  Whoot!

Fforde's first venture into YA, and he's still Fforde.  We don't have riots by anti-Stratfordians in this world, but marzipan is mined and is a dangerously addictive substance -- and more in Fforde's deadpan style.  Perhaps it's less weird and wacky than Wonderland, but then Carroll had Alice wake up at the end.  In Fforde you just have to take it as part of fun.

The tale is set in one of the (many) Ununited Kingdoms (of a parallel Great Britain).  Jennifer Strange, our narrator, is a foundling raised by the Sisterhood of the Lobster and indentured by them at the age of twelve.  At nearly sixteen, she has two more years servitude to go, working for Kazam Mystical Arts Management -- where the boss has vanished, and the steady diminution of magic means there is less and less they are able to do.

She gets a new foundling, Tiger, who's only twelve, and is summoned back to the headquarters where, having shown Tiger the elevator shaft where you jump in and shout your room to get there, and that he's getting his own bedroom and bath (with a self-tidying spell), she hears a precog recount that the last dragon is going to die.  And their other precog confirms.

And then she hears that a precog has foretold that she's going to kill it.

Further adventures involve a baby carriage and a Troll War widow raising funds, a Rolls-Royce, a duke determined to stand to the end, a discussion with a dragon, a sword called Exhorbitus, officials who think she and Tiger should be in school, and surges of magic turning lead into gold as their mildest trick.
Tags: fiction reviews: alternate world fantasy, fiction reviews: ya fantasy, genre: alternate history

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