19 September 2016

Review #526: The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles, #1) by

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case.”

----Erin Morgenstern

Farah Oomerbhoy, an Indian bestselling author, has penned her debut engaging young adult fantasy novel The Last of the Firedrakes which marks as the first book in The Avalonia Chronicles where the author has weaved a mystical fantasy universe where a young princess has just returned back to rightfully proclaim the throne that belongs to her from an evil queen who killed her parents when she was just a baby, but before that she needs to be groomed and proper training to face that ruthless queen thereby saving the kingdom.


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.

Aurora is a sixteen year old orphan girl who is ill treated by her adopted family. But soon Aurora gets relived from all the bully from both home and school when she returns back to a fantasy world separated by a magic portal from our world, called, Avalonia, where she actually belongs. Her father was the king of such a mythical land, but an evil and ruthless queen Morgana killed him and his wife and took away that kingdom and now Morgana wants to kill Aurora who is the rightful ruler of that kingdom and Aurora needs proper training in magic and skills in fighting before facing that evil queen in order to save the fate of the entire land. But that's not an easy thing to achieve when the challenges welcome her at every turn of her path, can Aurora save her birth land?

No wonder why these fantasy novels are hitting off the bestselling shelves when they are more of an evolved version of the classic fantasy series like Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and Rowling's Harry Potter. There is no way that I cannot give any credit to the author for being so much unoriginal right from the plot development to the character development, everything has a starking similarity to Harry Potter with a Cinderellaish kind of feel. So despite of an unoriginal story line, the readers will slightly feel connected with the story only because of the author's diligently developed fantasy world that is hard to give it a miss.

The author's writing style is coherent that the readers will find it easy to comprehend with. The narrative of the book is okay as the dialogues are somewhat cliched hence the readers might find it difficult to grasp the story from the main character's point of view. Right from the very beginning, the story opens in an arresting manner so despite of the lack of depth in the characterization, the readers might feel glued to the book just for the sake of such a vast and creative universe. The pacing of the book is real slow as the author has included so many unnecessary descriptions in the plot, that make the story bit dull, but near the end, the readers will be pushed to the very edge to find out what happens with Aurora and the kingdom.

The world that is developed by the author is extremely vivid and bright that the readers will be immediately transported to such a mythical land filled with equally enchanting yet dementors like creatures, captivating landscape with magical fae. The alluring backdrop proves that there is no boundary to the author's creativity and imagination that even holds the power to astound the readers with its grandeur.

The characters are very much stereotypical, especially their narratives along with their unbelievable demeanor make the story unstimulating. Not to mention when the main character, Aurora is a typical damsel in distress who needed to be be saved and protected at each and every step of her way. The supporting cast is also not that interesting enough to make the readers feel immersed into the story line. The romance part is cheesy, predictable and extremely tacky.

In a nutshell, this was unfortunately an okay read for me and if you fancy a good fantasy or dystopian novel, then you need o look other way, as this one draws a close line to the Harry Potter series.

Verdict: Boring, dull yet the fantasy universe is a spot on!

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Farah Oomerbhoy, for giving me an opportunity to read and review her novel.

Author Info:
Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master's degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA's Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.
Visit her here

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