Friday, October 24, 2014

The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde

Jennifer runs Kazam, a business that rents out magicians.  She's accomplished several major things already in her young life and she's going on another quest.  After all, there are only two dragons left and they're no problem.  She's willing to take on an impossible quest to keep them safe.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Of course, nothing goes exactly as planned.  When she visits the King and Queen to tell them of her quest, the princess acts out.  She's spoiled and wants her own way and won't even respect her parents.  Imagine her surprise when her mother moves her essence into the handmaiden's body.  She's no long clean, no longer pretty, and she has some bruises, too.  She commands to be changed back.  Instead, the Queen sends her off with Jennifer to learn about life and be a bit more understanding with the people around her.  This is one of my favorite parts of the book.  Commands no longer work, she has to act like a slave, and no one thinks she's important.  It's awful!

Jennifer is thinking of a small party on her quest, but as people keep showing up and joining in, she is suddenly surrounded by friends.  That's a good thing.  She'll need them.  

There's danger, death, and all sorts of monsters and odd plant/animal things in this story.  What I liked was that all the ones who were determined to get there first or to do harm to the questing party found themselves suffering the consequences.  It was nice to see the bad guys punished in some form.

The ending leaves you with an idea of where the next book will be going.  Kazam's business isn't done yet.  Jennifer will be on another quest in the next book.  And I'd like to read that one, too.

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