Sunday, November 9, 2014

'The Eye of Zoltar (The Chronicles of Kazam #3)'

By now, most of you know that I love any book written by Jasper Fforde, he of the immensely popular 'Thursday Next' series.  And you should know that I'm a huge fan of his series for independent readers, 'The Chronicles of Kazam'.

So, Book Hog is a happy camper.  I just finished reading the newest (and third) in the 'Kazam' series, 'The Eye of Zoltar', and while it contains Fforde's trademark silliness, it is a bit more serious than the previous books.  

Sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange, manager of Kazam Mystical Arts, is placed in a very precarious position.  Just as she finds herself on the cusp of a romantic relationship with Preston, a young wizard, the long-absent Mighty Shandar appears and commands her to find the Eye of Zoltar, and if she brings it to him, he will not kill the remaining dragons she saved in 'The Last Dragonslayer'.

But Jennifer has a headache in the person of Princess Shazzine, daughter of King Snodd. Shazzine is spoiled, unpredictable, and used to being waited on hand-and-foot, so her mother, Queen Mimosa (who is still a great magician) decides that Jennifer should take Shazzine with her on her quest to teach her about the realities of life.  

The journey through the Cambrian Empire is full of hardship and hazards, but with the aid of Addie, tour guide extraordinaire, Jennifer and her companions remain faithful to the task at hand...despite the prophecy that 50% of her companions will die. 

Author Jasper Fforde
Fforde's writing never fails to astound me.  Full of wit and charm, he still has the magic touch.  Jennifer Strange is a character I cheer on with every book, and with her servitude almost at an end, I'm anxious to find out just where she ends up.  Although I did miss reading more about the wizards working for Kazam Mystical Arts, this new journey that Jennifer undertakes introduced me to characters that I'm sure he'll include in upcoming books.

Yes, upcoming books.  This new one leaves the series wide open for a fourth book.

Although I really miss Thursday Next, Jennifer Strange is a welcome addition to his line-up of strong female characters.  And, believe it or not, that spoiled princess surprised the hell out me.

Carry on, Jasper, but don't make me wait very long. 

'The Eye of Zoltar', book 3 in 'The Chronicles of Kazam' series by Jasper Fforde, is published by Houghton Mifflin, and is available in your local library and favorite independent bookstore!  ISBN 978-0-547-73849-9

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