A long time ago magic faded away, leaving behind only yo-yos, the extremely useful compass-pointing-to-North enchantment and the spell that keep bicycles from falling over. Things are about to change. Magical power is on the rise and King Snodd IV of Hereford has realised that he who controls magic controls almost anything. One person stands between Snodd and his plans for power and riches beyond the wildest dreams of avarice. Meet Jennifer Strange, sixteen-year-old acting manager of Kazam, the employment agency for sorcerers and soothsayers. With only one functioning wizard and her faithful assistant 'Tiger' Prawns, Jennifer must use every ounce of ingenuity to derail King Snodd's plans. It may involve a trip on a magic carpet at the speed of sound to the Troll Wall, the mysterious Transient Moose, and a powerless sorceress named Once Magnificent Boo. But one thing is certain: Jennifer Strange will not relinquish the noble powers of magic to big business and commerce without a fight.
"Big Magic," which had been in serious decline in the Ununited Kingdom, returned at the end of The Last Dragonslayer, the first installment in Fforde's Chronicles of Kazam. Now that magical power is on the rise again, the despotic King Snodd IV hopes to cash in, specifically by putting the wizards who work at Kazam Mystical Arts Management under his control by proposing they merge with iMagic, the rival house led by the Amazing Blix, a questionable character with a new royal appointment: Court Mystician. "Over our dead bodies," pretty much sums up the Kazam staff's reaction, and no one is more resolute than 16-year-old Jennifer Strange, the foundling who has been running Kazam since the Great Zambini's disappearance. Challenged to a magic duel that will decide their fate, Jennifer and her (mostly) lovable cast of misfits must rely more on wits than on wands to preserve their independence. It's not essential to have read the first book to enjoy this one, but those who enjoyed the witty wordplay and whacked-out humor of The Last Dragonslayer will find the same delights in this sequel. Ages 10 14.
Song of the quark beast
Funny, fast paced, intriguing and very inventive. I read it in one go as I wS unable to put it down. One of my favorite Xmas gifts.
Jasper FForde is a genius. I have enjoyed all of his books so far and was not disappointed by his latest adventure. If you haven't ventured into the world of Fforde yet I strongly recommend you do.