So far in the Last Dragonslayer series, we've seen a prophecy story in The Last Dragonslayer, a magical competition story in The Song of the Quarkbeast, and now with The Eye of Zoltar, Jasper Fforde takes us on a quest story. It's like he's treating us to the whole gamut of fantasy stories, told from his particular storytelling style (that is, fun), and I honestly can't complain about it. He's not satirizing or skewering the genre, but he is making it feel a little fresh and original.
This time around, Jennifer Strange and her team of sorcerers have been sent to find the fabled eye of Zoltar, a magical artifact that's more legend than real, in an effort to save the last two dragons in existence. Shandar, another sorcerer who is likely the most powerful sorcerer alive, vowed centuries ago to rid the world of dragons, and Jennifer's vowed to protect them. After a brief meeting, they strike a deal: If she can find the eye of Zoltar and bring it to him, he will recant his oath and leave the dragons alone.
Like every other Fforde book I've read, I enjoyed it immensely. It's not quite as clever as his other books (the literary allusions are missing, as are the puns and referential bits), but the storytelling and plot definitely kept me engaged. I felt like parts of the story were strained to keep the plot moving, and even felt like there was more of a deus ex machina ending here than I usually find in a Fforde novel, but it was still a fun read. Shoot, I even figured out what the big reveal was going to be long before he finally had Jennifer figure it out, but he made up for it by giving me an ending that was completely unexpected. It kind of evened out at that point.
The book isn't available in the US yet, but if you're desperate to keep up with the series, it's available from Amazon across the pond. Fans of the series, or of Fforde in general, shouldn't miss out on it.