Magic is failing, fading from existence. Oh sure, nearly-sixteen year old Jennifer Strange, foundling and de facto manager of Kazam Mystical Arts Management, is currently quite busy keeping track of the agency's wizards and witches, sending them out to rewire houses and deliver take-out curries (by flying carpet), but the magic is fading, no doubt. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that there is only one dragon left, the ancient Maltcassion, ensconced in the protected Dragonlands, and all the Ununited Kingdoms in Great Britain are itching to get their hands on those lands. Jennifer and her trusty Quarkbeast - he of fearsome visage, dreadful fangs and unwavering obedience - are soon dragged into the political machinations surrounding the dragon's upcoming death, next Sunday at noon, by the last Dragonslayer.
Ten pages into The Last Dragonslayer, I was sure that I'd read it before. I hadn't, as it turns out, but Jasper Fforde's light, clever, funny prose is reminiscent of Terry Pratchett and Ysabeau S. Wilce (she of Flora Segunda and Flora's Dare), with a touch of the self-conscious Lemony Snickett. It's fun and a very quick read - whilst listed as YA fantasy, it's a fairly young YA - with a couple of touching moments sprinkled in to keep it from being completely fluffy.
4 hours ago