Book Review: The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

The Avalonia Chronicles Book Tour

Orphaned, mistreated and bullied; 16 year old Aurora Darlington is endlessly tyrannized by her aunt and her daughter until she is delivered to a powerful mage, Oblek by her uncle and from there, she is transported to a magical land of Avalonia through “the magical, shimmering tapestry”.  And the adventure begins.

Plunged into an unknown magical world, oblivious of her destiny and legacy, Aurora discovers 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.” Dreaming of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest; Farah Oomerbhoy creates one in The Last of the Firedrakes inhabited by fairies, sorcerers, winged horses, evil queen, shadow guards, demons and the like. The Midnight Market deserves special mention as it leaves the readers spellbound much like Aurora, “The forest was alive, radiant and subtly lit by pretty, different – colored lanterns hanging from the towering trees. Beautifully decorated stalls and multicolored tents had sprung up all over the place…Fae of all sizes, shapes and colors wandered around, having a marvelous time. There were dryads, naiads, brownies, and little pixies with wings who flitted about the place in groups, laughing and eating at the food stalls.

Constantly on run, she unravels her past, “”Your father was the king of Illiador, and you were heir to the throne”…”But before your second birthday, Morgana took her chance. She betrayed your father, Azaren, and, with the help of Lucian, killed your family and took the throne of Illiador.”” Passively journeying around on her Pegasus, Snow, Aurora meets her granduncle, The Duke of Silverthrone and to her much surprise, finds that only does she possess magical powers but the most rare and powerful ones at that, the combination of fae and mage magic, ““From the beginning of this world, there have been only six know fae-mages in Avalonia. You, my dear, are the seventh.””

Lying somewhere between Harry Potter and Eragon, The Last of the Firedrakes deploys most of the usual fantasy literature tropes, a wronged heroine (damsel in distress), an evil usurper, a handsome prince, a prophecy and destiny to be fulfilled and that at times, makes the plot a little predictable. Nonetheless, the author weaves a magical story set in a faraway land with great detail and vividness; the seven kingdoms; their history and politics, people and nobility, culture and food which makes this land quite believable and also makes the book an entertaining piece of fantasy literature.

Following on the footsteps of Harry Potter, Aurora also arrives at the Academy of Magic to learn about her powers and control them and the readers encounter; rather a much similar cast of characters as found in Harry Potter. However, unlike Harry Potter, Aurora remains almost too passive at least in one-third part of the book where she lets herself to be repeatedly rescued by The Black Wolf and comes across as a plain, distressed, scared, submissive and a sorry figure, “I shivered at his words”, “He had threatened to teach me a lesson, and this was it, I presumed”, “I hated that my voice was a little shaky; I could feel the fear rush in”, “If you do, they will make my life hell…”  However, as the story progresses and moves towards the climax, Aurora takes her destiny in her own hand and demonstrates courage and bravado expected from her, “And, for the first time in my life, I felt a sense of responsibility. I was no ordinary person. I was the true Queen of Illiador. I was a fae-mage with unlimited power.

In spite of a few flaws, Farah Oomerbhoy weaves a fascinating magical world of Avalonia in The Last of the Firedrakes which manages to keep the readers enchanted and enthralled throughout; thereby, making the book a treat for fantasy lovers.

Title: The Last of the Firedrakes

Author: Farah Oomerbhoy

Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Pages: 403

Rating: 3.75/5

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About the Author

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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.

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

  1. I quite like the promise that the heroine is passive for a third of the book and needing to be rescued by The Black Wolf. I quite like flawed heroes and heroines. Sometimes, I find that makes them more real to me and their acts more attainable to my life.

    Liked by 2 people

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