Jennifer Strange’s latest adventure isn’t a quest, but that’s only because quests require approval from the Questing Federation.
Everyone needs Jennifer’s help: Once Magnificent Boo has been arrested in the Cambrian Empire and needs the wizard agency Kazam to pay her ransom; Queen Mimosa needs Jennifer to educate (reform) the spoiled crown princess; and even the Mighty Shandar has an errand for Jennifer. Since Jennifer thwarted Shandar’s plan to render the dragons extinct (The Last Dragonslayer, 2012), he technically owes his clients a refund—and Shandar doesn’t do refunds. Either he will exterminate the dragons (and Kazam with them, as Kazam will try to protect them), or Jennifer must retrieve a powerful mystical item for him, the Eye of Zoltar. Rumor puts the Eye of Zoltar in the Cambrian Empire, so Jennifer can educate the princess, save Boo and retrieve the Eye in one trip. The Cambrian economy depends on “jeopardy tourism,” but their destination is so dangerous that even the risk tours don’t list it. Luckily, they secure the services of an ace guide and are on their way through various puns and perils. The princess’s naturally paced development entertains, especially her passion for economics (never before have options and the stock market been so much fun). The Cambrian wackiness eventually ties together in a cohesive conspiracy, and the ending cliffhanger will agonize fans—but in a good way.
Well-plotted, intelligent hilarity. (Fantasy. 12 & up)