Blurb: 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.
About the Author: 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.
Review: I am not a fan of fantasy genre, though the great narration does transports to the land it creates, it just doesnt impress me. Books like The Hobbit and Harry Potter series, even Game of Thrones are a big NO. When I signed up to review debut book of Farah Oomerbhoy, the first in The Avalonia Chronicles, it was just to experiment with this genre. The Last of the Firedrakes is the story of Aurora, who is a teenage girl orphaned at a young age. She’s mistreated by her adoptive parents and bullied at school by her cousin. Her life isn’t easy, and it doesn’t seem to get any easier when she’s kidnapped and taken to a world she’s never heard of. That’s the world of Avalonia, where there are mages, fae and other magical creatures. She’s imprisoned at a castle dungeon from where she’s rescued by a mage Rafe, along with the fae Kalen. And her history is explained to her. This book follows her new life in the world of Avalonia, where the self-proclaimed Queen Morgana wants her dead. It was a big lengthy read. The author has very cleverly painted a beautiful canvas with words. There’s love, there is deceit, there’s mystery and there is romance and action. The characters are well developed with all their imperfections. Aurora was nicely written. One can’t help but identify oneself with her at times. She’s confused like most 16 year old girls, is nervous when thrown in a new world just like any ordinary girl. Simple, crisp and lucid language of author Farah Oomerbhoy impressed me a lot. The narration was magical, simple yet engaging. It helps not only to keep the characters developing, but also the world of Avalonia to set in the reader’s mind. The map at the start helps too, of course. If you are a hardcore fan of fantasy genre, you will surely like this book. For me it was just a one time read.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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