Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde

Cover image for The song of the QuarkbeastThis is the second adventure of Jennifer Strange who is a teenager who runs an agency for magicians in an alternate England.  In the first book, waning magical power is regenerated when Jennifer faces the last dragon.  Now the greedy King Snodd wants to control the burgeoning magical power for his own benefit.  He proposes a winner-take-all contest between Kazam and their rival agency, controlled by the evil wizard, Blix. Then the king proceeds to put all of Kazam's wizards in jail.  It is up Jennifer to make sure Kazam does not lose the contest, i.e. the right for wizards to practice magic freely, no matter what.

For those who liked The Last Dragonslayer, (and many did, including me)  this is more of the same.  Jennifer is still industrious, clever and long suffering.  The different wizards have quirky personalities and abilities and they all get into funny situations.  The portrayal of the "Un-united Kingdom's" politics and bureaucracy is amusingly satirical. My only beef with this book was the reader on the recording. (I listened to it on CD).  The reader exaggerated some of the different character's voices so much I couldn't always understand what she was saying.  Still, I enjoyed the book and will probably get the next one in the series at some point in the future. (289 p)

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