I went to Half Price Books during a slight jaunt away from the office the other day. I was looking for the books for the next Vaginal Fantasy, something I'm finally getting more involved with (by reading the books, at the very least) after just watching the videos since the beginning. But I was super distracted by this book. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jasper Fforde. If you haven't heard of him, read his Thursday Next series. It's a great world that he has created, taking some pieces from classic literature - Thursday Next is a detective who solves literary crimes by entering the books. They're fantastic and so well written. And Thursday is such a strong female character. So good.
So I was distracted by the fact that it was a new Fforde book. I thought, "Oh, a Thursday Next book I haven't read." And then I saw the label at the bottom: "The Chronicles of Kazam | Book One." A new series! And from the cover art, probably a young adult book.
Indeed. This is the first in a new series that Fforde is writing specifically for young readers. I'm a big fan of reading young adult and children's books already, and one written by Fforde?! You got me. I bought it and started reading it immediately.
I can't wait for the second one, which apparently came out recently (with a third arriving shortly as well!). Fforde created a great world, that is not incredibly different from other magical fantasy worlds that we have seen before, but that's not important. One of my favourite things about his writing is that he creates these incredibly empowered female characters. It's so enlightening to see that, especially since I've been reading a slew of Vaginal Fantasy books (as I mentioned earlier) where female characters are not always the bad-assest of ladies. Jennifer Strange, the main character in this book, is two weeks shy of her sixteenth birthday. She's been managing a group of previously powerful magic people, although the magic has been dwindling in recent years. They are hired out for jobs that would normally take a lot more time and money: for example, re-piping a house using magic. And making deliveries via magic carpet. Jennifer is part of this group because she was sent there from the orphanage she had been sent to as a foundling. That's part of the system - foundlings are sent out for apprenticeships at age 12, and are basically indentured there until they are eighteen. She manages all of these people, in addition to the new foundling that's sent to the organization, and juggles her new-found role as as the last dragonslayer.
Such a great addition to my Jasper Fforde collection. Looking forward to reading the others.