Tuesday, 10 January 2017

book review: The Last Dragonslayer

Jasper Fforde.
The Last Dragonslayer.
Hodder & Stoughton. 2010

Magic is gradually fading away in the Ununited Kingdom. And the number of dragons is decreasing. Jennifer Strange, a foundling sold into indentured servitude to a wizarding agency, finds herself in charge when its owner disappears, and is having trouble keeping the wizards employed. When a wizard has a vision that the Last Dragon will be killed by the Last Dragonslayer next week, her troubles are just beginning.

I came to this with high expectations, given how much I have enjoyed the clever craziness of Fforde’s other two series: Thursday Next and Nursery Crimes. I was sadly disappointed. Those other two series have a solid underpinning theme (books, and nursery rhymes, respectively) and the overlaying surreality feeds off these, rocketing off in marvellously unexpected directions. The Last Dragonslayer is all surreality, but with nothing underlying it. That removes nearly all the opportunities for cleverness, replacing it mostly with silliness.

A shame. I’ll leave this series, and wait for the next Thursday Next.

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