|This is the UK cover, not the US one|
For those of you who have already read Jasper Fforde and grappled his books to thy hearts with hoops of steel, you know exactly what I mean. For those unfortunate souls among you who have not yet discovered his genius, please imagine the literary offspring from the unholy union of Lewis Carroll and Terry Pratchett. It's difficult to imagine higher praise or a more precise comp.
Jennifer Strange, foundling, temporary caretaker of Kazam Mystical Arts Management, and non-magical being, is two weeks shy of her sixteenth birthday when she learns she is, in fact, the Last Dragonslayer (it must needs capitals to differentiate from merely the previous, or last, dragonslayer). She drives a beat-up Volkswagen that's more rust than orange, she loves a queer and fearsome little animal by the name/species of Quarkbeast, and she mentors another foundling by the name of Horton "Tiger" Prawns. They both hail from the Sisterhood of the Lobster, you see.
If you're like me, then you're already nodding to yourself and saying, "Yeah. I *totally* dig that. Where can I get my hands on a copy?"
If you're a little slower on the uptake when it comes to grasping Fforde's genius, I'll add that this book is funny and layered and clever and wildly inventive. It slyly lays waste to things like commercialism, merchandise endorsement, double-crossings, and other treacheries. There's no reason I can think of *not* to read this book.
Now I want a Quarkbeast. Though I suppose my mastiff is as a reasonable facsimile as I'm likely to get.
The Last Dragonslayer, first book in the Chronicles of Kazam series, is already at large in the UK. US readers will either have to order it internationally or wait for October, when Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will release it here. I can't speak to other, international rights.