A long time ago magic faded away, leaving behind only yo-yos, the extremely useful compass-pointing-to-North enchantment and the spell that keep bicycles from falling over.
Things are about to change. Magical power is on the rise and King Snodd IV of Hereford has realised that he who controls magic controls almost anything. One person stands between Snodd and his plans for power and riches beyond the wildest dreams of avarice.
Meet Jennifer Strange, sixteen-year-old acting manager of Kazam, the employment agency for sorcerers and soothsayers. With only one functioning wizard and her faithful assistant 'Tiger' Prawns, Jennifer must use every ounce of ingenuity to derail King Snodd's plans. It may involve a trip on a magic carpet at the speed of sound to the Troll Wall, the mysterious Transient Moose, and a powerless sorceress named Once Magnificent Boo. But one thing is certain: Jennifer Strange will not relinquish the noble powers of magic to big business and commerce without a fight.
"Narrator Elizabeth Jasicki imbues Jennifer's character with the strength and briskness appropriate for a 16-year-old who is entrusted with the financial security of Kazam and the welfare of the world's most powerful wizards. With an accent and surety reminiscent of Emma Watson's Hermione Granger, Jasicki rallies the team of eccentrics against rival company iMagic. She creates charming and earnest voices for Kazam's young assistant and wizard-in-training, as well as an array of fittingly peculiar voices for its wizards. The king and the plotting staff of iMagic are presented with a heavy dose of sanctimony and bravado. The quarkbeast utters only 'quark' but endears himself nonetheless." (AudioFile)
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Fforde is a great storyteller. In this installment, we learn more about quarkbeasts as Jennifer Strange works to foil a coup attempt and keep magic users true to the axioms of their craft. Great listen; can't wait for the next book.
Another quirky, clever story ffrom Fforde.