I do love Jasper Fforde! For Dewithon, I read the first two books in the Chronicles of Kazam trilogy. The third is no longer at my library, and I put an ILL request in for it. These middle-grade fantasy stories are so fun, everybody!
|OK, I haven't gotten that third one yet, but I like this image|
As with the Thursday Next books, at least half the fun is in the details and the oddball world Fforde has invented. This is a Britain un-united, with innumerable tiny kingdoms and plenty of strange creatures. A good deal of Wales belongs to dragons (naturally enough) and the north belongs to trolls. Magic runs the technology, and is written in code -- RUNIX used to be standard but ARAMAIC-128 is more modern.
There were a lot of good moments, but this one in particular had to be read aloud to anyone nearby. Jennifer and the company's messenger, a magic-carpet owner and prince of a neighboring kingdom, are on their way home:
We took the train back to the Kingdom of Hereford. After the afternoon's action, the carpet was in no state to be used for anything -- not even a carpet. The prince had no cash, so he swapped a minor dukedom back in his home Kingdom of Portland for two first-class tickets and we caught the first train out of Stirling station. As a foundling I was not permitted to sit anywhere but third class, but when the conductor questioned my presence in first, the prince said that I was his personal organ donor and traveled everywhere with him, just in case. The conductor congratulated the prince on such a novel use of a foundling and told me I was lucky to have such a kind benefactor.
I'm seriously tempted to give my dragon-loving niece this trilogy for her next birthday. I think it would be right up her alley, despite not being mainly about dragons. I loved them, I can't wait till the third one shows up, and if you like humor in your fantasy, or if you enjoyed Thursday Next, you should definitely read the Chronicles of Kazam.