“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.”
-Farah Oomerbhoy, The Last of the Firedrakes
Hey guys! I was very lucky to have recently been sent a copy of The Last of the Firedrakes and The Rise of the Dawnstar; the first two books in The Avalonia Chronicles, by the author, Farah Oomerbhoy.
They came in such an adorable package, complete with a bath bomb and a candle, as well as bookmarks and pins and a notebook. So thanks again for that, Farah!
Check out the 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.
It sounds good, right?
First of all, I adored the world building in this novel. It was beautifully evoked and very magical, and sucked me right in. In fact, the entire book was a faster read than I’d anticipated considering its size (473 pages in my hardback copy), and was very easy to get into. The plot moved along at a good pace and the action was interesting. The magical aspects were often whimsical at times and described very atmospherically.
However, the main issue I had with this book was that it was too similar to Harry Potter for my liking! I am all for similarities, and I know that some of the tropes of Harry Potter do appear again and again in fantasies, but this felt just a little too derivative for me. The world building was so great, and the romantic plot was a nice addition to the story, but the parallels I kept noticing did put me off a little.
I thought that Aurora Darlington showed a lot of potential, and I did like her evolution throughout the book-I’m curious to see how that will continue in the second book! A lot of the guys in this book did seem quite similar to each other, but there was some great tension between some of them, and the romantic arc was fun to read about.
This is the first in a new YA self-pubbed saga, and if you’re interested in exploring new magical worlds, then I’d recommend this one to you! I’m giving it 3/5 stars overall, and I’m interested to see what the second book, The Rise of the Dawnstar, will be like!
Has anyone else read this one? What did you think of it?