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The Eye of Zoltar

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The Mighty Shandar, the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen, returns to the Ununited Kingdoms. Clearly, he didn't solve the Dragon Problem, and must hand over his fee: eighteen dray-weights of gold. But the Mighty Shandar doesn't do refunds, and vows to eliminate the dragons once and for all - unless sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange and her sidekicks from the Kaza The Mighty Shandar, the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen, returns to the Ununited Kingdoms. Clearly, he didn't solve the Dragon Problem, and must hand over his fee: eighteen dray-weights of gold. But the Mighty Shandar doesn't do refunds, and vows to eliminate the dragons once and for all - unless sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange and her sidekicks from the Kazam house of enchantment can bring him the legendary jewel, The Eye of Zoltar. The only thing that stands in their way is a perilous journey with a 50% Fatality Index - through the Cambrian Empire to the Leviathan Graveyard, at the top of the deadly Cadir Idris mountain. It's a quest like never before, and Jennifer soon finds herself fighting not just for her life, but for everything she knows and loves . . .


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The Mighty Shandar, the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen, returns to the Ununited Kingdoms. Clearly, he didn't solve the Dragon Problem, and must hand over his fee: eighteen dray-weights of gold. But the Mighty Shandar doesn't do refunds, and vows to eliminate the dragons once and for all - unless sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange and her sidekicks from the Kaza The Mighty Shandar, the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen, returns to the Ununited Kingdoms. Clearly, he didn't solve the Dragon Problem, and must hand over his fee: eighteen dray-weights of gold. But the Mighty Shandar doesn't do refunds, and vows to eliminate the dragons once and for all - unless sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange and her sidekicks from the Kazam house of enchantment can bring him the legendary jewel, The Eye of Zoltar. The only thing that stands in their way is a perilous journey with a 50% Fatality Index - through the Cambrian Empire to the Leviathan Graveyard, at the top of the deadly Cadir Idris mountain. It's a quest like never before, and Jennifer soon finds herself fighting not just for her life, but for everything she knows and loves . . .

30 review for The Eye of Zoltar

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    I've been listening to this on Audio for the last couple days when I do stuff around the house, sign books for our online store, and (to be honest) when I spend time crafting and building stuff in Fallout 4. First off, the narrator is a good fit. That's something I notice more and more as I listen to audiobooks. The narrator can really make or break the whole experience. I read the first two of these a while back, but I was able to pick the story back up without too much trouble. Jasper Fforde h I've been listening to this on Audio for the last couple days when I do stuff around the house, sign books for our online store, and (to be honest) when I spend time crafting and building stuff in Fallout 4. First off, the narrator is a good fit. That's something I notice more and more as I listen to audiobooks. The narrator can really make or break the whole experience. I read the first two of these a while back, but I was able to pick the story back up without too much trouble. Jasper Fforde has a gentle, delightful sense of the ridiculous that I've never seen in any other author. And it shines through here. This book is billed as YA. And I suppose that Genre fits it as well as any other. But it departs from a lot of what I've come to think of as Standard YA Tropes. The world changes, for example. Bad things happen to people. But it's handled in a light way that doesn't batter you emotionally... The result is an interesting narrative experience. The entire story is whimsical. War and death are persistent elements of the story. But it's not dark and grim like you might expect. But it's not dismissive of these dark things either. As I've said. It's odd. It's a unique combination of elements. This isn't dystopian YA. Or if it is, it's not like any dystopian YA I've ever read before... Would I recommend it? Yes. But perhaps not as universally as I might recommend other books. I tend to step more carefully with books designed specifically for kids' consumption.... I can say this: I enjoyed it. And if the next in the series was out, I'd be listening to it right now.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    Actual rating: 4.5 stars. Sorry, what did you just say? The crustaceans are feeling overly murderous this morning and keep clicking their pincers with homicidal glee, so I didn’t hear a thing. Mind saying that again, at the top of your puny lungs this time? [insert massive barnacled intake of air here] “But Sarah, this is YA,” you shout and squeal and shriek! YA? This? Oh, please, don’t be silly. Of course this isn’t YA, this is Jasper Fforde! *eyeroll* I have no idea who this person named YA is, Actual rating: 4.5 stars. Sorry, what did you just say? The crustaceans are feeling overly murderous this morning and keep clicking their pincers with homicidal glee, so I didn’t hear a thing. Mind saying that again, at the top of your puny lungs this time? [insert massive barnacled intake of air here] “But Sarah, this is YA,” you shout and squeal and shriek! YA? This? Oh, please, don’t be silly. Of course this isn’t YA, this is Jasper Fforde! *eyeroll* I have no idea who this person named YA is, but I can assure you he/she/they/it/whatever is NOT the author of this book. I know my two ever-decaying grey cells are ever-decaying, but the Goodreads page for this book says the author is Jasper Fforde and makes absolutely no mention whatsoever of this YA person you’re talking about, so QED and stuff. See? No harm YA, no foul. Ha. Sooooooo, this book. It is slightly super fun and entertaining and awesome and stuff. Because Jasper Fforde’s book are always super fun and entertaining and awesome and stuff. And also because Jasper Fforde always creates super original, super creative, super witty, super hahahaha, super cool worlds and characters and stuff. Even YA ones (view spoiler)[← I never wrote this and you never read it (hide spoiler)] . This moderate display of fanFfordegirling might make you wonder why I waited four bloody shrimping years to read this book. Because I’m an idiot, that’s why. The thing is, this is the last book Fforde published, and the only work of his I hadn’t yet read before reading it, so I was kinda sorta reluctant to, um, you know, read it and stuff, until I knew for sure another book of his was in sight and stuff. It just so happens that Early Riser will be released in August, ergo the world will not end just yet, also ergo the time for me to um, you know, read this book hath cometh and stuff. Why thank you, Spocky dear! Sooooooo, this book. It’s the third in a series so I won’t bother to recap what happened so far because I’m lazy as fish it would take too long and I know how much you value your worthless time. You’re quite welcome and stuff. All you need to know is that the book is about 16-year-old Jennifer Strange, head of the Kazam House of Enchantment, and her quest to find the Eye of Zoltar, a jewel with Grade III legendary status (meaning its existence is “really not very likely at all”). Wait, I just remembered it’s not a quest Jennifer and her Most Excellent Sidekicks (MES™) are on, it’s a mission. I mean, all quests have to be approved by the Questing Foundation, and believe me when I tell you you do NOT want them involved. Ever. Anyway, Jennifer and her MES™ go off on their quest mission, and stuff happens. Lots of stuff. And I am joyously happy to report that there is much enjoyment and fun and merriment and eccentricity to be had here. Much indeed. So yay and stuff. Let’s dance and stuff. As in all Fforde Books of Totally Delicious Inventiveness and Utterly Fun Freshness (FBoTDIaUFF™), the story is jam-packed with funny, clever, wacky ideas. I could tell you about them, but we’d be here a week or so if I did, so I won’t. Yeah, I’m kind and considerate and charitable like that. Sometimes. Not today though. Ergo, behold the Slightly Never-Ending List of Ffordesomeness (SNELoF™), Lovely Arthropods Mine! ✔ Rocket-propelled liquorice launchers. ✔ Tralfamosaurs (cute, fluffy, cuddly, pea-brained pets that are “a lot like Tyrannosaurus Rex, but without the sunny disposition and winning personality”). ✔ Despot Awards. I’m afraid I wasn’t nominated in the ‘Worst Teeth’ or ‘Despot most likely to be killed by an enraged mob with agricultural tools’ categories this year, but I did make it to the ‘Most Hated Tyrant,’ ‘Most Corrupt King of a medium-sized Kingdom,’ and ‘Best original act of despotism adapted from an otherwise fair law’ short lists. Go me and stuff. ✔ Troll wars that are like Batman movies: “repeated at regular intervals, featuring expensive hardware, and broadly predictable.” ✔ The Blessed Ladies of the Lobster Orphanage. Ladies of the bloody shrimping LOBSTER, my Little Barnacles!!! Crustaceans FTW!! ✔ Jeopardy Tourism (for those seeking life-threatening situations) and Fatality Indexes (“32% chance of being devoured, but good scenery with ample picnic spots”). ✔ The best multi-tool since sliced bread the Swiss Army knife, aka the hairy Helping Hand™. I want one for Christmas!!! Hmmm, a Helping Pincer™ might be more adapted to my special needs, come to think of it. I need to ask the Evil Scientists™ on my payroll to work on it post haste and stuff. Pretty sure threatening them with moderately excruciating bodily harm will get me a Helping Pincer™ before the day is over. Funny how efficient my minions can be when appropriately motivated and stuff. ✔ Undisciplined, infantile, argumentative, barely sane sorcerers whose magic only works when they really concentrate (“which isn’t that often”). ✔ Violent Medieval monarchy vs. benevolent dictatorship. I’m more inclined towards violent dictatorship myself, but to each his/her/their/its/whatever own and stuff. [Sorry for the interruption, but I think we’re in dire need of a celebratory dancing break here. Woo-bloody-hoo, now did that feel great or what?!] ✔ Highly motivated homing pigeons snails (looks like those modified TV fitness instructor spells really are worth the money). ✔ Royal Dog Mess Removal Operatives (don’t ask). ✔ Cannibalistic savages “with an unhealthy enthusiasm for taxidermy.” ✔ The 18.02 teatime ‘Express Battle’ special and the 12.07 ceasefire, courtesy of the Railway militia. Real sticklers for punctuality, these guys. And they have great customer service, too. I mean, if the ceasefire is really late, you can even apply for a refund and stuff. ✔ The spoilt, conniving, cruel, bullying little brat princess option market. ✔ Müller’s Guide to Kidnappable Personages (I’m featured in it, obviously). ✔ Also: Weaponized bacon, the fastest recorded gossip ever (clocked at 47.26 mph), acceptable (albeit mildly simplistic) alliterations, a steam-powered Isle of Wight, “Meals on Wheels” (aka four-storey armoured tracked vehicles, aka a fine example of troll humor) and limited-edition goats for collectors. ✔ Also, also: Awesome stuff, more awesome stuff, and even more awesome stuff. ⚠️ Daaaaaaaannnnnnce alert⚠️ ➽ And the moral of this If All Revoltingly Juvenile YA Was Like This Maybe I Wouldn’t Be So Bloody Shrimping Allergic to the Vile Stuff Crappy Non Review (IARJYAWLtMIWBSBSAttVSCNR™) is: “Death cannot be avoided for ever, but it can be postponed – in that respect it’s very like the washing-up.” (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] • Book 1: The Last Dragonslayer ★★★★ • Book 2: The Song of the Quarkbeast ★★★★ • Book 4: Humans vs. Trolls - to be released. [Pre-review nonsense] I bet you're under the illusion that I just read a novel aimed towards Revoltingly Juvenile Readers (RJR™). Hahahaha. Go home, my Little Barnacles, you're quite obviously drunk. ➽ Full Jasper Fforde Makes Everything Better Even Bloody Shrimping YA Crappy Non Review (JFMEBEBSYACNR™) to come.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alissa

    UPDATE: 10/16/2014: AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME and AWESOME!!! Full review here: http://oplteenpicks.blogspot.com/2014... p.s. (view spoiler)[No!!! Not Perkins!!! (hide spoiler)] p.p.s. I still want a pet Quarkbeast UPDATE 10/8/2014: Finally, finally, FINALLY!! The book is in my hands! Tonight, I begin reading!! I am BEYOND excited for this one! I'd even go as far as to say my excitement for it is reaching such a pitch it near matches that which I felt while anticipating the 7th Harry Po UPDATE: 10/16/2014: AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME and AWESOME!!! Full review here: http://oplteenpicks.blogspot.com/2014... p.s. (view spoiler)[No!!! Not Perkins!!! (hide spoiler)] p.p.s. I still want a pet Quarkbeast UPDATE 10/8/2014: Finally, finally, FINALLY!! The book is in my hands! Tonight, I begin reading!! I am BEYOND excited for this one! I'd even go as far as to say my excitement for it is reaching such a pitch it near matches that which I felt while anticipating the 7th Harry Potter book. Jasper Fforde's "Dragonslayer" series is creative, hilarious, inventive, entertaining, and all-around awesome! p.s. I totally want a pet Quarkbeast!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    The Eye Of Zoltar is the third 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 weeks after the events of The Song of the Quarkbeast, and while it is not essential to have read that book, it does help with understanding this one, and it, too, is a brilliant read. Jennifer is summoned by the Mighty Shandar, who is annoyed The Eye Of Zoltar is the third 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 weeks after the events of The Song of the Quarkbeast, and while it is not essential to have read that book, it does help with understanding this one, and it, too, is a brilliant read. Jennifer is summoned by the Mighty Shandar, who is annoyed with her Dragon saving exploits (see book 1). He gives her an ultimatum: either she and all the wizards battle against him for the two remaining Dragons (sure to end badly for both wizards and Dragons); or she finds for him the Eye of Zoltar. A bit of research reveals that this legendary magical jewel was last seen by ex-sorcerer, Able Quizzler, around the neck of the legendary Sky Pirate Wolff. Legend has it that Wolff had tamed a Cloud Leviathan and had a hideout in the Leviathans Graveyard on the mountain Cadair Idris, near Llangurig in the Cambrian Empire, but most believe it highly unlikely. Undaunted, Jennifer heads to Cambria with newly minted wizard Perkins in tow, as well as the very spoiled Princess Shazine (luckily in not quite recognisable form), entrusted to Jennifer for a bit of character-building by Queen Mimosa. Their secondary mission is to retrieve the Once Magnificent Boo from the Ransom Clearing House in Cambrianopolis where she is being held for importing a captured Tralfamosaur. Colin, the Dragon, will back them up aerially. They pose as adventure seeking tourists, Cambria being a popular Jeopardy Tourism destination, and soon acquire the services of young Addie Powell as their guide into a dangerous region where their estimated chance of survival is 50%. This instalment features a riddling gravedigger, a trial that lasts less than 20 seconds, quite a lot of human drones, a Bugatti Royale, a succinct lesson in basic economics, and a slug farm; someone turns to stone; another to rubber, many turn to lead, others are eaten and stuffed and one regenerates into an Australopithecine; a hand is lost in battle; an ornithologist and wizard give their lives to save others; the reader learns about the importance of licquorice, angel feathers, goats and homing snails; about the tenacity of Railway companies; and the Cambrian penalty for share market manipulation. Fforde gives the reader a clever plot with plenty of turns and an ending that leaves ample scope for further books. Readers will look forward to the fourth instalment, Strange and the Wizard. The illustrations by Roger Mason are excellent. Once again, Fforde does not disappoint.

  5. 5 out of 5

    The Captain

    Well I can say this novel certainly upped the ante! In this one Jennifer is sent on a quest in the neighboring Cambrian Empire to look for an artifact that everyone else believes is a legend. If she doesn't find it the dragons are doomed. The Cambrian Empire prides itself on being dangerous and sells adventure packages for adrenaline seekers. Ye buy packages based on the Fatality Index - the likely number of people in yer party who are going to die. Arrr! Scary things in the Cambrian Empire inclu Well I can say this novel certainly upped the ante! In this one Jennifer is sent on a quest in the neighboring Cambrian Empire to look for an artifact that everyone else believes is a legend. If she doesn't find it the dragons are doomed. The Cambrian Empire prides itself on being dangerous and sells adventure packages for adrenaline seekers. Ye buy packages based on the Fatality Index - the likely number of people in yer party who are going to die. Arrr! Scary things in the Cambrian Empire include Tralfamosaur, slugs, a war between railroad companies, and market economics. But luckily Addie Powell is their awesome tour guide. Seriously I love her and think she is one of the best parts about the novel. No major spoilers but this book was a pure whimsical delight. I want book four! Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    Typical Jasper Fforde fare - quirky, funny and lighthearted. Not quite as brilliant as the Thursday Next series, but close. I thought this was going to be the last book in this particular series but it did seem to end very much in the air with the opportunity for much more to come. I hope so!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Megan (ReadingRover)

    I love this series! It’s so punny and ridiculous. This book was a particularly great adventure. I can’t wait for the next one. I’ll be sad when the series ends. The narrator is excellent too.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Shellenbarger

    I gave this book three stars, even though I really wanted to give it 4 (or 5), as (well, there's no easy way to put this) the book is a severe downer. Don't get me wrong, Fforde's writing is as funny and satirical as in the previous two books in the series, but whereas in those books he balances his morbid humor with a generally up-beat ending, in this book at the end several major characters die and the entire UnUK goes through a sudden dramatic (and brutal) regime change, essentially wiping th I gave this book three stars, even though I really wanted to give it 4 (or 5), as (well, there's no easy way to put this) the book is a severe downer. Don't get me wrong, Fforde's writing is as funny and satirical as in the previous two books in the series, but whereas in those books he balances his morbid humor with a generally up-beat ending, in this book at the end several major characters die and the entire UnUK goes through a sudden dramatic (and brutal) regime change, essentially wiping the slate clean of some awesome world-building (also, there's a severe lack of quarkbeast (or the Kazam crew in general) after the first few chapters). Frankly, after the first 90 or so pages, I started getting a lurking feeling that this wasn't going to end well, and such proved to be the case. It's a sad fact that I told one of my sisters that this book deserved a 5 star rating just for the humor in the first few chapters even if the rest of the book was tripe. Strangely (no pun intended), it wasn't tripe, it was even all really well written with humor throughout, but it kept pushing further and further away from its predecessors, developing a serious side that just didn't appeal to me, and didn't work. Not only did it lessen the fun of the humor but it was hard to fully appreciate the gut-wrenchingly (weird auto-correct side-note, Goodreads wanted me to put "gut-enchantingly" instead of gut-wrenchingly... bizarre) tragic moments when characters are inexplicably cracking jokes moments later. I truly don't know what Mr. Fforde was thinking, this has all the parts of a great book, but between the questionable tonal flip-flops (the sudden convenient shift in the princess from loathsome egocentric hapless brat to helpful economically-knowledgeable self-effacing side-kick for instance), the unnecessary cliffhanger ending, and the brutal offing of central (and well-developed) characters ((view spoiler)[ PERKINS!!!!! (hide spoiler)] ), it almost feels like the author is trying to recast his odd-ball silly sarcastic YA fantasy as some sort of epic, and what we, the audience, are left with is a mish-mash of two very different books that doesn't quite succeed as either. Hmmm... I suppose I ought to give a story synopsis, so the Eye of Zoltar picks up with Shandar the sometimes-living sorcerer contacting our hero Jennifer Strange (teenage manager of Kazam, the only licensed purveyor of magic in the Kingdom of Snood, ambassador to dragons, etc etc) and offering to spare the last two dragons (see book 1) which he was contracted to exterminate (and whose plot she foiled) and for which the kingdoms of the UnUK are now demanding refunds if she will obtain for him the semi-mythical EYE OF ZOLTAR (it needs capitals, it really does). Not wishing to see Kazam crushed by Shandar in some pathetic attempt to fight off Shandar's drakocidal agenda, she agrees and heads into the Cambrian Empire accompanied by her sort-of boyfriend Perkins (the youngest sorcerer in Kazam), a rubberized dragon, and the crown-princess of Snood (whose mage-trained mother the Queen switched her brain into the body of a lowly servant and thrust her on Jennifer in hopes of teaching her responsibility). Cambria is a strange place (even by UnUK standards) as it makes its wealth on jeopardy tourism thanks to its large wilderness area inhabited by all manner of hostile life-forms: human, animal, and monstrous, but it is where the few rumors about the EYE OF ZOLTAR all point (leviathans and sky-pirates are involved, obviously). Along the way they pick up a surprisingly young and competent tour guide, a group of tourist idiots (to balance out their chances of survival since their guide assures them that half of their number will certainly die or be lost), and encounter all manner of fell beasties. Hopefully this is just a bump on the road and the next (last?) book in the series will be a return to the awesomeness of the first two. We can only hope.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jaylia3

    This is the third in Jasper Fforde’s YA series featuring Jennifer Strange, the competent 16-year-old running an agency of magicians in the Ununited Kingdom, a highly skewed alternate world UK. Jennifer’s the kind of girl who takes disasters in stride, which is fortunate because just as she is about to have her first date she and her young man have to alter their plans to act as bait for a crazed dinosaur-sized magical creature on a rampage, and almost immediately after they must embark on a ques This is the third in Jasper Fforde’s YA series featuring Jennifer Strange, the competent 16-year-old running an agency of magicians in the Ununited Kingdom, a highly skewed alternate world UK. Jennifer’s the kind of girl who takes disasters in stride, which is fortunate because just as she is about to have her first date she and her young man have to alter their plans to act as bait for a crazed dinosaur-sized magical creature on a rampage, and almost immediately after they must embark on a quest across the border with a petulant self-absorbed princess in tow to find the Eye of Zoltar, though they’re be careful to not refer to their expedition as a quest because that would bring on reams of paperwork and substantial fees. Romance is not Fforde’s strong suit, but brilliant not quite absurd absurdities with frequent enough wisps of truth to make them irresistibly funny are, and that’s on full display here. I’ve been missing the Neanderthals from the early books of Fforde’s wonderful Thursday Next series (a favorite of mine because it’s full of literary references) so I was thrilled to find a new Australopithecine character here. There’s a satisfying ending to Eye of Zoltar, but the good news is it’s a to-be-continued story so there will be at least one more of these books packed with nonstop action, strong female characters, unrelenting wit.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    I received an advanced readers copy (after publication) as my first Goodreads giveaway. YAY!! Jennifer Strange, now Court Mystician to the King, is summoned to the palace and asked to help the rude and spoiled princess become a humble ruler. Then, the Mighty Shandar threatens to kill the two remaining dragons (Feldspar and Colin) that Jennifer has spared from extinction (in an earlier book) unless Jennifer finds the mysterious Eye of Zoltar. She and her assembled team, including the princess, hav I received an advanced readers copy (after publication) as my first Goodreads giveaway. YAY!! Jennifer Strange, now Court Mystician to the King, is summoned to the palace and asked to help the rude and spoiled princess become a humble ruler. Then, the Mighty Shandar threatens to kill the two remaining dragons (Feldspar and Colin) that Jennifer has spared from extinction (in an earlier book) unless Jennifer finds the mysterious Eye of Zoltar. She and her assembled team, including the princess, have to go to the Cambrian Empire, a place where perilous tourism keeps the national economy stable and everything can kill you. Unlike the first two book were an escalating juggling act, this book is linear, as Jennifer's expedition gains and loses members and fights through more travails and dangers than can be described here. Highlights were the princess, who was bright and matured during the quest, and the tour guide, Adele. Other things I liked were: (1) All-Rise, the combined bakery/courthouse in Llangurig, (2) "Being a clairvoyant is 10% guesswork and 90% probability mathematics," and (3) the grading system for reality: Grade I "proven non-existent", Grade II "no proof of existence", Grade III "really not very likely at all", Grade IV "not very likely, to be honest", and Grade V "okay some basis in fact, but still partly unexplained."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Neil

    Another fun and light hearted read in the Chronicles of Kazam series, and to my mind the best so far. This one is set a couple of weeks after the 2nd book, 'The Song of the Quarkbeast'. In this tale Jennifer Strange actually has an audience with the 'Mighty Shandar', the greatest sorcerer who ever lived. Once upon a time he was paid 18 dray-weights of gold to rid the world of Dragons, Jennifer rather spoilt that plan, and he doesn't give refunds. In a twenty-four hour period, Jennifer Strange has Another fun and light hearted read in the Chronicles of Kazam series, and to my mind the best so far. This one is set a couple of weeks after the 2nd book, 'The Song of the Quarkbeast'. In this tale Jennifer Strange actually has an audience with the 'Mighty Shandar', the greatest sorcerer who ever lived. Once upon a time he was paid 18 dray-weights of gold to rid the world of Dragons, Jennifer rather spoilt that plan, and he doesn't give refunds. In a twenty-four hour period, Jennifer Strange has to deal with a lot of oddness (well, slightly odder than usual): 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 Shandar blackmails her into finding a mythical ruby called the Eye of Zoltar, and threatens to kill the young dragons if she doesn't find it for him. Even though this series is aimed at the YA readership, I am going to miss these characters until the next book in the series is released sometime next year. This is the type of book which I would like my children to have read when they were younger, plenty to keep an imagination alive.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    Loved it more than book 2. Avery is off on a mission (don't call it a quest because there is too much paperwork) in a neighboring kingdom to rescue one of her magicians and find a magical item. What could go wrong? Everything. The action is face paced and well written. These books are a great way to introduce teens to the joys of off beat sci-fi. Loved it more than book 2. Avery is off on a mission (don't call it a quest because there is too much paperwork) in a neighboring kingdom to rescue one of her magicians and find a magical item. What could go wrong? Everything. The action is face paced and well written. These books are a great way to introduce teens to the joys of off beat sci-fi.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah (Workaday Reads)

    Before I wrote this review, I looked up what I said for book #2 in the series, and realized most of my thoughts for this book are the same. This is a super fun, very entertaining read. Picking up not long after the end of book 2, this story sees Jennifer headed to another country on a quest, but don’t call it a quest because that would involve paperwork. She’s accompanied by an eclectic cast of characters, which shrinks and grows as the story progresses. She encounters one adventure after another Before I wrote this review, I looked up what I said for book #2 in the series, and realized most of my thoughts for this book are the same. This is a super fun, very entertaining read. Picking up not long after the end of book 2, this story sees Jennifer headed to another country on a quest, but don’t call it a quest because that would involve paperwork. She’s accompanied by an eclectic cast of characters, which shrinks and grows as the story progresses. She encounters one adventure after another, each one stranger and more entertaining than the last. With such a light hearted feel to the story, it is quite remarkable to still see such well developed characters and plot. This is a solid story, with fully formed personalities. It just happens to take place in a crazy magical world where literally anything could happen. I really liked this latest book in the series, and with the announcement of one final book in the series to be published in 2015 (hopefully), I can’t wait to see what the final adventure holds. This is a very fun series that is sure to delight any fantasy loving readers, young or old.

  14. 4 out of 5

    HeyT

    I always enjoy Jasper Fforde's style of silly and puntastic adventures but this one was kind of a downer. Jennifer Strange is just as responsible as ever heading to a neighboring kingdom on a quest that has ramifications for the future of dragonkind. I still enjoyed my time in this world where magic is computerlike and the absurd is commonplace but I was less happy about the rather shocking cliffhanger ending. I always enjoy Jasper Fforde's style of silly and puntastic adventures but this one was kind of a downer. Jennifer Strange is just as responsible as ever heading to a neighboring kingdom on a quest that has ramifications for the future of dragonkind. I still enjoyed my time in this world where magic is computerlike and the absurd is commonplace but I was less happy about the rather shocking cliffhanger ending.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hyzenthlay

    And now the wait ffor more Fforde begins. :(

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erofan

    A wonderful book! Although the whole series of adventure books about Jennifer Strange is aimed at young people (and I'm not a young girl), I really liked it! I can't wait for the fourth book! A wonderful book! Although the whole series of adventure books about Jennifer Strange is aimed at young people (and I'm not a young girl), I really liked it! I can't wait for the fourth book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gareth Rafferty

    It’s always a pleasure to visit Jasper Fforde’s Last Dragonslayer world. With its satire and funny wizards it will always face competition from Discworld, but there is a certain matter-of-factness that sets it apart, and a sense that Fforde is more invested in his world and how it works than in using it to satirise ours. Jennifer Strange, long suffering employee at Kazam (a low end magical service who mainly fix people’s plumbing) this time finds herself working to appease the dubious wizard Shan It’s always a pleasure to visit Jasper Fforde’s Last Dragonslayer world. With its satire and funny wizards it will always face competition from Discworld, but there is a certain matter-of-factness that sets it apart, and a sense that Fforde is more invested in his world and how it works than in using it to satirise ours. Jennifer Strange, long suffering employee at Kazam (a low end magical service who mainly fix people’s plumbing) this time finds herself working to appease the dubious wizard Shandar, who threatens to follow through on his original threat (see Book 1) to kill all dragons unless Jennifer locates the mythical Eye of Zoltar. She accepts and pretty much the whole book is her search (for legal reasons, it’s not a quest) to find it. Much danger and excitement is had, and the plot (as is usual for Fforde) comes together very neatly. It’s a good story for Jennifer and the rest of her hastily assembled gang, with some surprisingly grim and emotional pitfalls. But there is something a bit middling about taking a whole book to essentially run an errand. The feeling nagged at me throughout this good but rather long-for-what-it-is entry, as Jennifer is repeatedly informed that bad things are happening at home which presumably we want to know more about. Sure enough, this book isn’t a complete story, and with few pages to go the status quo is very different, the stage set for what is apparently the final Dragonslayer book. Given this was published about 7 years ago and there are no immediate signs of book 4, I feel a bit sorry for anyone who read it on release! The Eye of Zoltar will probably work better when it’s part of a complete set. As it is, necessarily leaving out several major parts of the Dragonverse because Jennifer isn’t with them (the books are first person), it’s a polished, entertaining bit of unfinished business. Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    I have docked this book half a star (to 3.5) for leaving us hanging - I found the ending a little lacklustre. It’s obviously to set up the fourth book but given this has been out for 4 years it’s just mean ;) it’s not actually a cliffhanger really, more of a “and now what happens??” moment. With that said, I really loved the search/quest. I liked all the new characters too - the princess seemed to acclimatise a little quickly, but she rocked and Addie was awesome. And there are a couple of momen I have docked this book half a star (to 3.5) for leaving us hanging - I found the ending a little lacklustre. It’s obviously to set up the fourth book but given this has been out for 4 years it’s just mean ;) it’s not actually a cliffhanger really, more of a “and now what happens??” moment. With that said, I really loved the search/quest. I liked all the new characters too - the princess seemed to acclimatise a little quickly, but she rocked and Addie was awesome. And there are a couple of moments of obvious sadness. I love the devious craziness of Shandar and I’m looking forward to seeing all that play out in book four. And Jaspers brand of awesome nonsensical reality really does continue to work brilliantly. It’s fun getting to see another of the ununited kingdoms too There are just so many unanswered questions in this book about what happens off page while Jennifer is off on her quest. It makes the whole book feel like a massive set up to a sequel, which I found a bit of a shame, as up until then I’d enjoyed the adventuring nature of the story.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor

    Good silly fun, written for young adults, but I enjoy anything by Fforde. Excellent for reading during lockdown. It finishes with a great cliffhanger, so no doubt his heroine will have another outing before too long. I love Fforde's absurd juxtapositions: a Quarkbeast is described as being a creature "often described as a cross between a labrador and an open knife drawer, with a bit of velociraptor and scaly pangolin chucked in for good measure. Despite its terrifying appearance and an odd habit Good silly fun, written for young adults, but I enjoy anything by Fforde. Excellent for reading during lockdown. It finishes with a great cliffhanger, so no doubt his heroine will have another outing before too long. I love Fforde's absurd juxtapositions: a Quarkbeast is described as being a creature "often described as a cross between a labrador and an open knife drawer, with a bit of velociraptor and scaly pangolin chucked in for good measure. Despite its terrifying appearance and an odd habit of eating metal, the Quarkbeast was a loyal and intelligent companion." Another example is of two young dragons who play their part in the story: one has the very dragonlike name of Feldspar Axiom Firebreath IV, but the other is called Colin.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    It seems this series is going on, which is good because this one leaves you up in the air on many fronts. I usually try to wait until all books in a series have been published so I read them back to back. I hate this waiting to find out what comes next. I had sveral issues with this one, but only because, like the first, I don't like to lose anyone or anything I have grown attached to. The events go downhill rapidly right from the beginning and unlike the first two, pretty much stays down even a It seems this series is going on, which is good because this one leaves you up in the air on many fronts. I usually try to wait until all books in a series have been published so I read them back to back. I hate this waiting to find out what comes next. I had sveral issues with this one, but only because, like the first, I don't like to lose anyone or anything I have grown attached to. The events go downhill rapidly right from the beginning and unlike the first two, pretty much stays down even at the end. The "quest" ends satisfactorily, with one or two quibbles over losses, but you are left on the cusp of anxiety over what happens next.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I am still enjoying this YA series, although I'm sorry I caught up with the series and now have to wait for the next book which apparently is coming out sometime in late 2021. Mr. Fforde certainly takes his time between books! This one is about a quest (but we can't call it that because there's too much paperwork involve in questing) to the neighboring kingdom. Since most of the book takes place there, we don't have many of the usual characters (and beasts). Still, there's lots of action and mag I am still enjoying this YA series, although I'm sorry I caught up with the series and now have to wait for the next book which apparently is coming out sometime in late 2021. Mr. Fforde certainly takes his time between books! This one is about a quest (but we can't call it that because there's too much paperwork involve in questing) to the neighboring kingdom. Since most of the book takes place there, we don't have many of the usual characters (and beasts). Still, there's lots of action and magic and it's a rollicking good story. Sadly the end includes a new crisis which won't be resolved until the next book. Still, it's a fun and quick read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jacqui

    A bit slow to start, but the story eventually picked up its pace and really hooked me (even if that did mean through tragedy). I loved Addie, and by the end I really liked the Princess too, but did think the start of the Princess' character shift could have been fleshed out more (or perhaps she could have been less comically obnoxious to begin with). As usual Fforde's snark and humour is awesome, and I can't wait for the next book in the series.... A bit slow to start, but the story eventually picked up its pace and really hooked me (even if that did mean through tragedy). I loved Addie, and by the end I really liked the Princess too, but did think the start of the Princess' character shift could have been fleshed out more (or perhaps she could have been less comically obnoxious to begin with). As usual Fforde's snark and humour is awesome, and I can't wait for the next book in the series....

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Seriously the most fun contemporary YA series I have read. Charming, brave, punny to the extreme. And a teenage heroine with smarts and heart? Yes, please! I love these books. And it's rare to find a YA series that I can give my 5th - grader to read with no worries about icky content. She is giggling her way through the first one right now. Now to sit with fingers crossed waiting on book number 4. ;-) Seriously the most fun contemporary YA series I have read. Charming, brave, punny to the extreme. And a teenage heroine with smarts and heart? Yes, please! I love these books. And it's rare to find a YA series that I can give my 5th - grader to read with no worries about icky content. She is giggling her way through the first one right now. Now to sit with fingers crossed waiting on book number 4. ;-)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Kinda miffed they ended with a cliffhanger and the next one isn't out yet. The other two in the series could (more or less) be read as stand alones. Now I'm stuck waiting for #4 to see how this story line ends. Harumpf. Kinda miffed they ended with a cliffhanger and the next one isn't out yet. The other two in the series could (more or less) be read as stand alones. Now I'm stuck waiting for #4 to see how this story line ends. Harumpf.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Not quite as good as #1 and #2, but still pretty good. Eagerly awaiting #4.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mkb

    This is very silly, but good fun. Douglas Adams meets the wizarding world. I'll read the next one. This is very silly, but good fun. Douglas Adams meets the wizarding world. I'll read the next one.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    I like his Jennifer Strange series, but don’t like half stories. New interesting character development. But leaves me anxious that it didn’t seem a full novel. No resolution to the conflict.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    I was so sad to finish this book because I know that he hasn’t written the series finale yet. Sigh. I will be thinking of you Jennifer Strange!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Helen White

    Genius weirdness. Not a quest

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    “A sort of romantic uncandlelit ‘recapturing a dangerously savage beast for two’ sort of date — but no dressing up and we split the cost.” So far I’ve enjoyed every book of Jasper Fforde’s that I’ve read, and this one is no exception. This series definitely skews younger than his other books I’ve read, but they make for easy reading and are humorously written. I really enjoy the amusing world Fforde’s created in this series and I’ll be sad to see it conclude in the next book, but I’ve liked my ti “A sort of romantic uncandlelit ‘recapturing a dangerously savage beast for two’ sort of date — but no dressing up and we split the cost.” So far I’ve enjoyed every book of Jasper Fforde’s that I’ve read, and this one is no exception. This series definitely skews younger than his other books I’ve read, but they make for easy reading and are humorously written. I really enjoy the amusing world Fforde’s created in this series and I’ll be sad to see it conclude in the next book, but I’ve liked my time with this lovable cast of characters and after how this one ended I’m excited to see its conclusion.

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