The Song of the Quarkbeast, the Chronicles of Kazam, Book Two
Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt Publishing Company, 2011
Another Jasper Fforde masterpiece! **WARNING: double ffs ahead!** This is the second of ffour books and like the ffirst it can stand alone on its’ own merit. In this one, the ffocus is on the ffuture of magic – Will it be ffor the good of all people or ffor the ffew who can exploit it ffor money?
- Jennifer Strange, ffoundling, in charge of Kazam Magical Arts Management since the Great Zambini disappeared
- Horton (Tiger) Prawns, ffoundling and quickly settling into his new role as assistant to Jennifer
- The Youthful Perkins, youngest of the sorcerers and who may have a crush on Jennifer
- Wizard Moobin, one of the more powerful wizards and smart to boot
- Lady Mawgon, very powerful sorceress who spends most of the book indisposed
- Ffull Price and his brother Half Price, also known as David and Dennis, both wizards but not nearly as strong as the other two
- The Remarkable Kevin Zipp, a pre-cog, or someone who tells the ffuture, who fforecasts the reappearance of the Great Zambini
- The Once Magnificent Boo (Miss Boolean Smith), fformer sorceress and current Beastmaster
- The All-Powerful Conrad Blix, rival magician who runs iMagic (similar to Kazam) and wants to conquer the Ununited Kingdoms with magic.
- Transient Moose, illusion of a moose that wanders around the building and is very important and self-sacrificing in this book
- The Great Zambini, the missing magician reappears briefly to Jennifer and gives her insight to what is really going on
- The Mighty Shandar, the most powerful wizard the world has ever known, whom I thought was dead but is really turned to granite by a magic spell; he comes out of “stasis” every once in a while ffor a minute or so so his people can give him updates of what is going on in the world
- Mother Zenobia, fformer sorceress who also turns herself to stone (alabaster) so she can live longer
So basically, Jennifer and her group are pitted against Blix and his group in rebuilding a bridge. Whoever wins the magical contest will absorb the loser’s agency into theirs and become Court Mystician to King Snodd IV, ruler of Hereford. Blix does his best to undermine the power of Kazam but somehow Jennifer and her crew ffinish the job and win the contest (you knew they would, right?) Knowing this bit of information does not take away ffrom the ffun of this book. Strange terms and concepts abound but you just have to go with it. It is not a book ffor everybody, but it is ffor me – er, I mean us!
Rating: 5 paws ffor sheer genius and insanity!
Click here ffor the map legend (The Kingdom of Hereford is a very tiny #1 – can you ffind it?)
Different book cover