Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde - OPTIONAL

Fforde, Jasper  The Last Dragonslayer, 287 pgs.  Harcourt, 2012.  $16.99  

Language: PG (1 swear); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG. 
Jennifer Strange is a fifteen year old who runs an employment agency for magicians.  She is an orphan, and now an indentured servant working off her years to freedom by manning the company.  The previous manager disappeared while doing magic and Jennifer is the only one who knows how to keep the business afloat.  The magicians help with home repair and delivery services, but magic in the world is dwindling and magical services are no longer used by the public at large.  One of the magicians has a premonition that the local dragon is going to die and soon the whole nation is moving in to take over the dragonlands.  Jennifer attempts to understand the connection between magic and the dragon and comes across the old dragonslayer.  He hands the responsibility over to Jennifer, making her the last dragonslayer, and she finds herself in a precarious situation. 
This book is confusing.  Anytime I found myself getting into the story of Jennifer and the dragon, a minor character would go off on a random dialogue that would last a couple of pages and I didn’t feel like it helped the plot move along at all.  Also there would be references to old wars and battles throughout that really had nothing to do with the overall story.  At times I felt like the book was geared more towards adults and was trying to make environmental statements and anti-war sentiments.  It didn’t feel like a kid book and I wouldn’t recommend it to my students which is sad because I liked the character Jennifer Strange and I wanted to like the story. 
MS-OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson. 

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