The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy.
(The Avalonia Chronicles #1)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: August 15th 2015.
16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.
Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.
With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.
Book Review ~ ‘The Last of the Firedrakes’ by Farah Oomerbhoy ~ 3.5 Stars!
I’m going to start off this review by saying to the author; Well done. Fantasy is a tough genre to write, there are so many rules and, particularly as a debut author, Farah Oomerbhoy has done a pretty good job. I enjoyed ‘The Last of the Firedrakes’ and I look forward to seeing where Aurora’s journey takes her in the next book.
This review will look mostly at some of the issues that I feel Oomerbhoy may have come up against when writing this novel, and how some of these may have slipped through into the final novel. But this is all constructive and I really do want other readers to have a look for themselves and enjoy the book for what it is; a very solid, exciting Young Adult Fantasy novel.
World building is hard in fantasy. It’s not so easy as making a land and moving from one place to another within it. There are so many things involved such as the kingdoms, the politics, the different creatures in each land and particularly the culture. Oomerbhoy brilliantly crafts a land where politics is key, and I really had a feel for the different agendas of the people we met.
There were a few parts that felt a little too out-of-reality for me. I love my fantasy for what it is; make-believe, but I always feel there needs to be an element of it that is believable, especially within the context of this world. For example, on many occassions our characters appear so quickly from one kingdom to another, almost outbeating a magical pegasus, and the explanation given is the old fae secret passages. I felt this was almost too easy, and felt let down that they didn’t have to struggle to get to each place. Imagine if Middle Earth had elven passages beneath Mordor. Frodo’s journey would have been a lot easier, and very much less enjoyable to read.
The magical Pegasus ‘Snow’ as mentioned above, also seemed to appear at the most timely of occassions, particularly when our young heroine was in danger. It seemed to give her an out from some of the battles she no doubt would have faced without her there.
The reason for Aurora being brought into the land of Avalonia also seemed too unlikely for me. Her evil aunt Morgana feared that her neice, who knew nothing of Avalonia, magic, fae or even that she had an aunt, so had her brought through the veil to Avalonia in order to kill her and keep the throne her own? Wouldnt’ it be easier to just leave Aurora unaware in the other land where she can do no harm to Morgana anyway?
Character development, however, was what drove the story on. Rafe is a top book-boyfriend and I loved the array of characters that Aurora meets and befriends throughout the book. The author’s writing style was also so crisp and beautiful!
Overall this book was a enjoyable escape into the magical land of Avalonia. I’m looking forward to seeing where Rafe, Aurora and Kalen go next.
*Review copy provided through Xpresso Book Tours Review Opportunities, in exchange for an honest review*