The Last of the Firedrakes (Avalonia Chronicles #1) by Farah Oomerbhoy
[Pic credit Inderpreet Kaur]
The Last of the Firedrakes is a wonderful fantasy adventure, a magical and wondrous journey of a young girl. This is a book that truly takes us to an alternate reality, a new, different world and leaves us eagerly looking forward to the next quest, the next surprise, and the next magical, mythical discovery.
Do I need to write more about the book? This book is written with love, I can see that so well in the words of the book as the story unfolds and transports us along with Aurora. I can see the passion for details, a love for writing that makes this book a fun, intriguing and funny read. The author has indeed put her best into this book and the book stands out and shines. The beautiful cover adds to its charm.
Farah has managed to convert me to reading more fantasy because she created a convincing magical world that took me back to my childhood and reminded of the adventures and a bit of old world charm of Enid Blyton! The different people both magical and fae spin such a wondrous world for the reader that it is difficult to resist. The attention to detail, the description of the new world, its people, places and the magic is perfectly created in this book I see a movie adaptation before the second book in the series is out!
Aurora moves with the flow of the events around her, a beautiful, simple, sweet girl who transforms into the strong, compassionate heroine worthy of shouldering the responsibility bestowed upon her. The book works, the story enchants because the author has penned the characters that feel so human, so relatable.
The characters are well developed and I love the many connections Aurora forged during her journey. Gabriel, Penelope, Vivienne, Kalen, Serena and the beautiful Snow made this book a delight to read. I want to read and know more about them such well etched are the characters.
Rafe as the Black Wolf, the guy sure knows how to play with a girl’s heart. A dashing hero, kind, courageous and a brave warrior I just loved him even with his dark side!
The story is well knit and keeps the interest going. I did find a few paragraphs a bit repetitive at places, especially where Aurora is thinking that I felt could be tightened yet overall the book has great content, fluid language, excellent editing and a crisp narration and a crackling story line.
The author has struck a fine balance between good and evil, neither of them is overpowering the other yet they made me eagerly turn the pages. Damien, Morgana and the Shadow Warriors made me root for the Firedrakes even more staunchly. This book has evoked my passion, rekindled old memories yet forged good new ones – this book is a keeper.
Before the end, I knew that Aurora’s adventure would continue and the only emotion I felt was, “Hope Farah Oomerbhoy has already written the second part, I want to read more – soon!” This is the book all teens and adults will be reading this summer as they want to be a part of ‘fae magic’.
(I received a copy of this book from b00k r3vi3w Tours and this is my unbiased, honest opinion.)
THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES by Farah Oomerbhoy
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.
For a second that felt like a lifetime, everything stopped; I felt like I was floating in nothingness. Then I blinked, and, when I finally opened my eyes and focused again through the tears, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
I found myself standing at the mouth of a small cave situated on a hill and overlooking a quiet, moonlit valley. On my left, a dark forest stretched out as far as the eye could see, treetops glistening silver in the light of the full moon. The hills around us undulated into wildflower-filled meadows that lay sleeping in the dewy night.
Far down in the valley, I could see a little village, its lights twinkling in the distance. To my right, a waterfall splashed playfully into a small river that ran down into a lake, next to which the little village was built. The moon here was fuller and larger than I had ever seen it, and the night sky was awash with a fantastic array of glittering stars.
Had I passed through the tapestry? Where was I?
I looked around, disbelief clouding my judgment. I was still trying to get my bearings after that strange moment when I had been inside the tapestry and nowhere at the same time. It gave me a funny feeling, as though I had been lifted out of my own consciousness and then put back into my body.
A warm breeze brushed past my face and played with my hair. Gonewere the cloudy grey mist and the cold, nipping wind of the English countryside. I drew in a sharp breath—the air was crisp and clear, sweet smelling, and fresh. The moonlit valley was filled with fruit trees, wildflowers, and rolling meadows.
“How did we come here? Where are we?” I asked, still confused.
“You really are ignorant,” said Oblek, glancing at me. “I take it your uncle didn’t tell you anything?”
I shook my head and looked down. Oblek had tied my hands with a rope he had with him while I was still dazed and looking around. It was humiliating, and the rough ropes cut into my wrists, rubbing them raw every time he pulled me forward.
I had to find some way out of this. And, at the moment, the only thing I could do was discover more about where I was. Then, when I got an opportunity, I could escape and find my way back up to the cave on the hill, where we had arrived out of the tapestry.
But then what?
Christopher was probably dead, and Aunt Arianna would doubtless blame me for everything since I had disappeared at the same time. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t really want to go back, and, now that my adoptive parents were dead, I had nothing to return to.
I was starting to panic. I had nowhere to go, and my mind was imagining an array of horrible outcomes of my kidnapping. My palms had become sweaty, and my racing heart was thundering in my chest as I half-walked and half-ran, desperately trying to keep up with Oblek’s giant strides.
“Why are you doing this?” I pleaded with my kidnapper.
But Lord Oblek said nothing. He didn’t even look at me. He just kept walking ahead and dragging me along behind him, with no more explanations as to what he was planning to do with me.
I was terrified, and I had no idea if I was going to survive this. But I tried to be brave. Maybe I could talk my way out of this?
“You do know that this is called kidnapping?” I said, trying to reason with Oblek.
He didn’t bother to answer.
“What will happen to me now?” I squeaked, my voice breaking, as I tried not to cry.
“Queen Morgana will decide what is to be done with you,” said Oblek, finally.
Queen Morgana! The woman from my dream? It was not possible that this, too, was a coincidence. It must be the same Morgana, the one who had tried to kill my real mother.
Who the hell was she?
Suddenly all of this seemed extremely scary. I hoped that I was still dreaming and that there was no way I had actually traveled through a magical tapestry into some strange land. It all seemed very exciting in books. But actually being kidnapped and then hauled around like an animal, traveling deep into a land I knew nothing about, was not my idea of fun.
I had to get away from this horrible man, and fast.
For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.
When she was pregnant with her first child ten years ago, a story popped into her head she could not ignore. “I was at my grandmother’s house, and as I looked at the image of a beautiful forest with a castle in the distance on a tapestry hanging on the wall, I imagined myself being whisked away into another world,” she said. It was at that moment the world of Avalonia, with its powerful mages and fae and the evil Queen Morgana, was born. Farah Oomerbhoy’s debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, was released in the summer of 2015.
Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel is The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles.