The Song of the Quarkbeast (Jasper Fforde)

The Song of the Quarkbeast is the second book in the Dragonslayer Trilogy by Jasper Fforde. [Here’s my review of the first book.]

Plot:
After the coming of Big Magic, Kazam – still under Jennifer’s leadership – is doing pretty great. Despite the fierce competition with iMagic, who can’t actually keep up with Kazam. But then the king gets involved and orders a magic competition. And strange things keep happening to Kazam’s sorcerers, making them unavailable for the competition. But bit by bit Jennifer uncovers that there is more to this than a bit of rivalry.

Unfortunately the first thing that I noticed about the book was the bad editing. But if you disregard that it was another really sweet and funny back that I enjoyed a lot.

fforde_songofthequarkbeast

Let me complain real quick about the editing. I read the books back to back and a few discrepancies caught my eye. For example, in The Last Dragonslayer, foundlings are indentured until they’re 20, here it’s suddenly 18. And I’m pretty certain that he described Full Price and Half Price the other way round in this one. There were also a whole lot of typos. And practically on the first page, Fforde writes that the word sorceress isn’t used, apart from sexist fucks and that sorcerers is the gender-neutral expression in this world. And three pages later what does he use but the word sorceress?

But that is mostly nitpicking. The rest of the book I enjoyed a lot. I loved that we got the Quarkbeast back. And that we generally learned a whole lot more about them.

I loved Boo, too. And Jennifer is still awesome. But the whole romantic angle with Perkins did surprise me a little. There was a little hint in The Last Dragonslayer and though I don’t recall it directly, I was left with the impression that it was killed off as soon as it was hinted at. But feelings can change and it was a nicely done arc.

I appreciated the addition of the footnotes. With those Fforde even intensifies his usual talent to make even the most outlandish, weird concept feel like science (like custard powered lines into books. Or magic, in this case). That was fun.

Summarizing: Can’t wait for the third one.

2 thoughts on “The Song of the Quarkbeast (Jasper Fforde)

  1. Thank you!

    I listened to the audiobook on a long drive and the “20, nope, 18” thing kept gnawing at me.

    Tried finding something about it on the internet once I arrived and found you. Things like this irk me, but it helps knowing that somebody else stumbled over this (and the many other mistakes) and that I’m not remembering things wrong.

    • I usually have a rather bad memory when it comes to details like this, but reading the books back to back just really made it obvious…

      I hope you could enjoy the book regardless – because I managed to anyway, and there’s enough brilliance there to outweigh the mistakes, I think!

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