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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 November 2011
The sequel to The Last Dragonslayer just lives up to the promise of its predecessor. Jennifer Strange, acting manager of Kazaam - a magic company - is getting ready to rebuild Hereford's history bridge, but iMagic, their closest competitor, have something different planned.

The book had, I felt, a relatively weak opening. Fforde's recent works, particularly Shades of Grey and The Last Dragonslayer, have been masterpieces, and to be honest this felt like a bit of a let down after those. However once some of the set up had been passed, the pace picked up and Fforde's unique surrealism began to show itself again and for the second half the novel was easily the equal of its predecessor.

The nature of the story though does make it feel more of a children's novel, though perhaps that is by design. The first book in this series appealed to me as an adult reader, in that it dealt with some weightier themes which this book barely brushes against.

Overall though certainly another good book from Fforde and I will continue to look forward to his works with a sense of glee. His mastery of the English language has to be up there with the greats of surreal and humorous writing.
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on 2 November 2011
Vintage fforde. Witty, unexpected, sometimes a bit silly. An easy romp of book to read.In the lighter vein of his, allegedly, younger readers books. Good enough for this adult.
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on 30 March 2012
I've been a fan of Jasper Fforde, for many a year now, and enjoy all his books. This is part of his "YA" range, and is the follow-up to Dragonslayer. As all the ends were nicely tied up in the previous book, I did question hooooow it could be continued, and to be honest the series should be "Jennifer Strange", rather than "Last Dragonslayer".

It's not his best, and the ending is a tad rushed, but Fforde is consistently entertaining
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on 22 March 2015
I really enjoyed these 3 books by Jasper Fforde! They had me laughing out loud and really annoying my partner by reading bits to him, he won't even read the books now because he says he doesn't need to....
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on 29 May 2013
Well paced, highly imaginative, a lovely read-me-again-to-get-out-of-a-black-hole book. Hope my kindle lasts long enough to pass it on to the grandchildren as the classic it is, otherwise real-copy purchase in the offing.
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The Song of the Quarkbeast is the second book in the Chronicles of Kazam series by Welsh author Jasper Fforde. Aimed at the Young Adult reader, the heroine is a 16-year-old foundling raised by the Blessed Ladies of the Lobster, Jennifer Strange. This book is set some two months after the events of The Last Dragonslayer, and while it is not essential to have read that book, it does help with understanding this one, and anyway, it's a brilliant read. Jennifer is still managing the Kazam agency, and as the ambient level of magic builds, competition with iMagic hots up. iMagic's manager, Conrad Blix (the Amazing), grandson of Blix the Hideously Barbarous, is up to no good: he gets himself appointed as Court Mystician to King Snodd and issues a challenge to Kazam that may shift the power of magic into the wrong hands. There are signs that another Quarkbeast is around, and precog Kevin Zipp predicts a reappearance of the Great Zambini (but where?). This instalment has flying carpets, trolls, Quarkbeasts and teleportation. The Youthful Perkins attempts his Magic Licence and sends Jenny a txt msg via suggestion. Tiger Prawns ends up down a well upside down with only sarcoluminescence to light his way. Lady Mawgon and Monty Vanguard are turned to stone. The importance of a sorcerer's index fingers is established. Jennifer is asked on a date, enlists the help of the retired sorcerers in the challenge, discovers the secret of sorcerers' seemingly long lives, is kidnapped, imprisoned and rescued, punches Perkins in the face, gets a vote of confidence from the residents of Zambini Towers and chats with Hector, the Transient Moose. Fforde gives the reader a language for the Upper Classes (Longspeak), plenty of hilarious names (Jimmy Nuttjob the daredevil, Col. Bloch-Draine, sorcerer Tchango Muttney and the Royals: The King's Useless Brother, His Royal Petulantness Crown Prince Steve, Her Royal Odiousness Princess Shazza and the Duck-Faced Dowager Duchess of Dimsmore), and there is a bridge contest without playing cards. Fforde confirms what many people have suspected about mobile phones, and in this book the reader will discover what toddler's shoes, conch shells and giant clams have in common. Readers will look forward to the third instalment, The Return of Shandar. Brilliant, as always.
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on 17 May 2013
I love Jasper Fforde book I think they are all very clever and fun. This book is good but definitely aimed at a younger Audience.

Although I will be reading the third book in the trilogy. Also if you want a quick fun read I would recommend it.
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on 18 March 2012
Jasper FForde has done it again,mystery,magic,mayhem and mirth.Jenny is so grown up for her age (16) and drives a camper van,keeps the sorcerors under control whilst running Kazam,the magic agency.I think this might be a childrens story but well worth the read,I couldn't put it down.
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on 18 February 2013
I'm not sure if a YA book can be eloquently written but that's the word that comes to mind when I think of this book. I absolutely LOVED the 1st book in this series, The Last Dragon Slayer, and I could no longer take the wait for the 2nd book to come out in the U.S. So, I ordered it from the U.K. Best $28 I've spent on a paperback.

Fforde has invented a world that is 100% fantasy and 10000% believable. While both The Last Dragon Slayer and The Song of the Quarkbeast are 'simple' stories they are so eloquently written and so laugh out loud funny, that for me, they have become the standard of which I judge other books by.

The Song of the Quarkbeast picks ups 2 months after the end of The Last Dragon Slayer. Jennifer Strange is a sixteen-year-old foundling and acting manager of Kazam, the employment agency for sorcerers and soothsayers. For the past two months "it was very much business as usual: hiring out sorcerers to conduct low-level, mundane and very practical magic. You know the sort of thing: plumbing and rewiring, wallpapering and loft conversions." But things are about to change. Magical power is on the rise and the king wants control, for he who controls magic controls everything.
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on 29 June 2013
I have finished this book with joy and sadness intermingled - joy because yet again the author's captivating writing style has kept my interest from start to finish, but sadness as I have now read every single one of his books and will have to wait until he writes another. Children and adults alike should read his books, he understands the joy of literature better than most:)
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