I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy
Series: The Avalonia Chronicles,
Published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing on August 15th 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult, Romance
Reading Challenges: 2015 Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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.
The Last of the Firedrakes is a romantic fantasy novel by Farah Oomerbhoy, in which a young woman named Aurora Darlington is a orphan who finds herself forced into another dimension that connects to our reality. Avalonia is a dangerous world populated by magicians, fae, and other sorts of fairy tale creatures. After Aurora begins to travel the land she begins to learn more about her past, and meets the dashing vigilante Rafe.
I had a love/hate relationship with this book. Namely the protagonist, Aurora. Aurora was a sweet girl, but so naive and stupid at times that I would scream in frustration. Yet, she still somehow managed to be likable. In fact, all of the characters were pretty likable. From Rafe to the Pegasus Star, The Last of the Firedrakes had tons of interesting characters that kept me interested in the story. As for the story itself? It was also pretty interesting.
“Everything happens for a reason, and nothing is an accident. It is all part of a much larger divine plan,” Duke Silverthorne said gravely, but in a surprisingly kind voice. “When difficulties come, we must see them as what they are—opportunities and a new path to discover your potential. How will you ever know the magnitude of courage you are capable of if you have never experienced the hopelessness of fear?”
Aurora starts out kind of like a female Harry Potter, in that she was orphaned and forced to live with relatives that hated and mistreat her. Then, Like Harry, she discovers a magical world and learns she’s more important than she ever realized. Once Aurora reaches Avalonia, she discovers that it’s ruled by a wicked Queen Morgana, who will have to be stopped in order to save the magical place from destruction. This book has everything I love in a fantasy story. A heroine who must rise to the occasion. A rakish leading man. A funny best friend. And of course, a big battle between good and evil. However, there were things that kind of put me off the novel a bit.
One thing that kind of annoyed me was how Oomerbhoy would have Aurora repeat things she’d previously said. I didn’t know if the author thought I might have forgotten, or wanted to see if I was paying attention (I was), but it was a bit off-putting. I also couldn’t help but draw comparisons to other very popular works of fantasy. As mentioned above, Aurora’s story arc was a bit like Harry Potter, the land of Avalonia and its politics seemed straight out of A Song of Ice and Fire, while the names of places made me do a double take to their similarities to those in Lord of the Rings. While I know there’s no new ideas under the sun anymore, and authors are bound to be inspired by others, the similarities were so close they gave me pause.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Last of the Firedrakes. Enough so that I plan to read the second book in the series. Even though Aurora was a bit dumb at times, I’ll admit I enjoyed yelling at her. It kind of became like a sport for me. Besides, I really enjoyed all of the other characters, and am interested to see if the series will take the dark turn I’m expecting. I would recommend this novel to fans of dystopian, and magical fantasy. Maybe even a bit of historical fiction as the world of Avalonia almost seemed as if it was in the Middle Ages.