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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

on 18 September 2017
Amusing and quirky, an original world created with humour and imagination. I am particularly fond of the quarkbeast. Definitely different from the average fantasy novel and worth checking out if you want a chage from grim-faced heroes weilding magic swords etc. etc.
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on 17 June 2017
Humorous, clever and a do-not-put-down read. The characters jump out of the page and the scenery is visible.

If you can suspend your disbelief in magic and an alternative unUK then this is really fun. The ending had me clicking on the pre-order button for the next book immediately ... and, no, I will not spoil the ending.
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on 16 April 2014
I pre - ordered this book and forgot the publication date. So when it appeared on my Kindle, I was delighted!

A great story,so Fforde and yet not so Fforde. I have always liked the subtle anarchy about previous books and this book is no different. But I liked this storyline because there was a difference about characters, which I can't pin down yet,so might reread and revisit this review!
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on 29 November 2014
The Last Dragonslayer books are written for older children and teenagers but any Jasper Fforde fan will enjoy them. His signature mix of comedy, fantasy, and strong female characters are present in this story of a quest into deepest Wales.
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on 2 May 2017
Daughter loved it
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on 15 April 2014
The third and now penultimate book in The Last Dragonslayer series sees the return of Shandar - the greatest wizard that ever lived - which triggers Jenny and a ragtag collection of companions to head off on what is definitely not a quest if anyone's asking.

It's a fun fantasy adventure, with Fforde's usual eye for detail and sense of humour, references flying everywhere, many of which I probably missed on my first reading. It's longer than either of the first two books, but didn't feel overly so - the plot moves rapidly and it keeps the reader's attention throughout.

The book lacks an emotional core though - the peril doesn't feel real (perhaps because of the light-hearted fantasy tone) and the characters' responses generally seem too relaxed. One character I found particularly interesting grew a lot in the book, but rather than being something gradual and building it seemed to come as a rapid shift which I felt detracted from the setup.

While the conclusion is well executed, it didn't feel like a satisfactory resolution and left me frustrated that I couldn't turn the page again, rather than in the desired state of anticipation for the next book. Still very enjoyable, but not quite at the top of Fforde's output.
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on 30 July 2014
I am a big fan of Jasper Fforde. His writing is engaging and witty, even if it is a little bit of a rip off for the Discworld in some cases. Jennifer Strange the last dragon slayer is written with teens I feel but to be honest it is too good and too dark for them. Having saved dragons and saved magic now she has to save a Princess. Not from danger but from herself, A road book with dragons, giants, angels self discovery. Written in the first person always takes away a little of the tension, you are unlikely to read, I died, but this is not cuddly book. People do die, in strange and funny ways. I'm not going to say what the plot is, the book synopsis will do that for you, what I say however, is that if you like wit, danger, magic and fantasy, this is for you. Better than is better known Thursday Next series, not as good as his Nursery Crimes series.
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VINE VOICEon 18 September 2014
Jasper Fforde, I know, his series with Thursday, I am familiar. I did however, come into this third book, cold. Have not read the first two books of this series, so it took me awhile to figure the who's who of the business.

It seems, Jennifer Strange, the protagonist is wanted by many. At this time she is in charge of Kazam, a Mystical Arts Management company. The Mighty Shandar, not really a friend, tells Jennifer that if she finds a jewel named The Eye of Zoltar, he will not kill the rest of her dragons. At the same time, the Royal King and Queen of Snodd have a problem child. Princess Shazzine has had everything her little heart desired, and, she has become the pest and pestilence if their empire. They have heard Jennifer might be able to tame her.

Jennifer reluctantly agrees with Perkins and the princess, and off they go on their course to find the treasure. Many continents away, and with several dark deeds when hilarity ensues, they may or may not find their treasure.

This was not my favorite Jason Fforde books, but I did find it wacky and entertaining. I think the younger crowd will latch onto this series with a great deal of gratitude.

Recommended. prisrob 09-18-14
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 January 2015
Ah, Jasper Fforde. When he isn't churning out tales of parallel worlds where you can literally fall into a book, he produces some somewhat more standard urban fantasy.

And in the third of his Last Dragonslayer books, "The Eye of Zoltar," Fforde provides yet another tale of a plucky nonmagical girl who is neck-deep in magical goings-on. Enjoying this book pretty much depends on whether you enjoyed the last two, because Fforde produces more of the same -- eccentric sorcerers, angel traps, weird wildlife and the occasional rubber dragon. Yes, you read that right.

In the course of twenty-four hours, Jennifer Strange has to deal with a lot of craziness:
1. She has to deal with a runaway Tralfamosaur with a licorice launcher.
2. She has to babysit a spoiled, bratty Princess who has been body-swapped with a lowly servant girl, since the Queen wants her taught some humility and compassion.
3. The Mighty Shazam blackmails her into finding a sorcerous ruby called the Eye of Zoltar, and threatens to kill the young dragons if she doesn't find it for him.

Her best bet for finding the Eye is the possibly-mythical Sky Pirate Wolff in the also-possibly-mythical Leviathan's Graveyard, which is in Cambria (imagine Wales crossbred with the whole Middle-East). Of course, things go horribly wrong in several different ways -- lifesuckers, a Australopithecine, flesh-eating snails, Perkins losing several decades -- before they encounter the sky pirates, and find a very strange tourism-based conspiracy.

The Last Dragonslayer books are fairly amusing fantasy fluff, relying on Fforde's somewhat warped imagination -- he comes up with some fairly majestic ideas (the Leviathans, aka sky whales) and some silly ones (rubber dragon bouncing for hours across Cambria). "The Eye of Zoltar" is not quite as clever as his Thursday Next books, but it is a pretty decent little fantasy story.

Fforde sprinkles the story with clever dialogue ("You must be mistaking me for someone who is shallow and indifferent") and humorous situations (thwarting barbarians with financial expertise), as well as some rather mundane magic (consider the clairvoyant who doesn't give the usual happy-future drivel).

But he keeps it from being too fluffy by inserting some more bittersweet moments, such as when Perkins reveals his true nature to Jennifer. It's very poignant to see a first love end up this way. And the story takes a very dark turn in the final chapters, leading in to the eventual fourth volume of the series -- without revealing too much, things are very nasty now in the kingdom of Snodd, and promise to get worse.

What's the problem? Well, the whole mentoring-the-Princess thing is a bit sitcomlike, especially since we know the Princess will see the error of her ways and become nicer blah de blah de blah.

As usual, Jennifer is the solidly sensible one of the group, which includes a clueless Princess in a royal dog-poop-cleaner's body, a savage guide, a scheming businessman, an Australopithecine, and the aforementioned Perkins. Most of the magical gang -- plus Tiger Prawns -- is mostly absent from this story, but it becomes increasingly clear that Shandar is targeting them for something shady.

"The Eye of Zoltar" is a solid fluff fantasy that transforms into something else about five-sixths of the way through -- and Jasper Fforde shows his talent for both humor and drama there. Hang on for the next story.
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on 7 June 2015
In the greater scheme of the Jennifer Strange series, this probably isn't the best, but still deserves 5 stars. Some (inevitable) repetition from the previous two books in the series & the plot strains itself a bit to retain consistency, but it's all fantastical fiction anyway, so why pick holes in it as long as it's entertaining? Entertaining it definitely is, as well as being not far off the mark in its description of North Wales , albeit in a different dimension. Also a bit derivative, but that's almost inevitable in fantasy-land, which is quite a small world. Monsters, magicians, hippy-dippy hitchhikers & even an angel or two given a guest spot - quite a delightful combination, with a slightly unexpected ending. Let's hope the sequel isn't long in the making.
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