Fantasy

Review: The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde

The Song of the Quarkbeast
Image from Jasper Fforde

Title: The Song of the Quarkbeast (The Chronicles of Kazam #2)

Author: Jasper Fforde

Genre: Fantasy

WARNING: This book is second in a series, so this review might contain spoilers of the first book. If you haven’t read The Last Dragonslayer, I recommend not reading this review.

Magic has been in a sad state in the Ununited Kingdom for years, but now it’s finally on the rise, and boneheaded King Snodd IV knows it. If he succeeds at his plot, the very future of magic will be at risk! Sensible sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange, acting manager of Kazam Mystical Arts Management and its unpredictable crew of sorcerers, has little chance against the king and his cronies—but there’s no way Kazam will let go of the noble powers of magic without a fight. A suspenseful, satirical story of Quarkbeasts, trolls, and wizidrical crackle!

I was on the way out of the library when I saw this on the “new arrivals” shelf, and I made three people look by squealing and snatching it. I had so much fun with the screwball The Last Dragonslayer that I was super excited to get this one.

I still loved Jennifer, likely because she’s so much like me. She’s sensible and organized and is a fabulous manager, plus she’s brave and smart. I wouldn’t want to put Jennifer out of a job, but I seriously want to manage Kazam.

All the other characters were fabulous, too. Jennifer’s quirky semi-apprentice, Tiger; the ridiculous King Snodd and his strong-willed wife; and all the amazing and eccentric wizards at Kazam. I wish I had space to say how much I loved them all.

I described the first book as zany – it means “unconventionally amusing,” and I thought that fit perfectly. The Song of the Quarkbeast was zany, too, but it also had more serious elements, too. After all, the future of magic is in the balance. There’s also a hunter who just likes to kill things, a near-death experience, the sad history of a once-great wizard, and even a semi-death.

It was still fun and light-hearted, just not as much as The Last Dragonslayer. And I don’t want to say much more about the plot for fear of spoilers. It’s so much fun to discover for yourself.

The Song of the Quarkbeast absolutely lived up to its predecessor. And I’m sure that seeing the next book in the series, The Eye of Zoltar, will result in a similar squealing-and-grabbing episode.

The Chronicles of Kazam:

  1. The Last Dragonslayer
  2. The Song of the Quarkbeast
  3. The Eye of Zoltar

Report Card

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4.0 (A) final grade

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