Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Cover image for The last dragonslayerJennifer Strange is a 15-year-old apprentice manager at an agency for magicians, but since the manager has magically disappeared, Jennifer is stuck running the agency on her own.  The business in in danger because the supply of "residual magic" has been dwindling and the magicians who can still do anything, are working with drastically reduced power. Then one day the power starts to spike, and there is a prophecy that the last dragon will die at the hands of a dragonslayer in the near future. When Jennifer, and the rest of the world, discover that she is to play a part in the dragon's death, she finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of power and money as different parties maneuver to claim the dragon lands that will become available when the dragon dies.

This was an interesting premise and setting for a dragon story.  Instead of medieval castles and primeval forests, Jennifer finds herself surrounded by pushy marketing agents, and tacky advertising campaigns.  The author's anti-corporate message is pretty heavy handed, and the whole story gets bogged down with it in the middle.  The story of the dragon and the magic needed to save it is only hinted at through most of the book, and developed, not too clearly, in the last two chapters. The book left a lot of loose ends, but there are two more books, one published and one yet to be published in the series, so maybe they will be addressed later.(287 p)

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