Title: The Last of the Firedrakes
Author: Farah Oomerbhoy
Published by: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Publication date: August 15, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I got this book free for Kindle on Amazon.com, because it sounded like a fun fantasy adventure. I like to read these kinds of stories, so I was hopeful. What I discovered is a story with borrowed themes and a winey, immature protagonist.
None of the characters were very developed. I wanted to like Aurora, but she was a body of contradictions—capable and powerful one moment, unable to hold her head up against a bully the next. She didn’t make sense to me. I wanted her to be bold and confidant, strong and worthy, but even when she comes into herself she doesn’t take counsel from those around her, but makes rash decisions.
I was more interested in Rafe’s Robin Hood-esque adventures than Aurora’s coming-of-queen story. Rafe was not a bad character, but a little cliché. The romance with Rafe was too fast and underdeveloped. They hardly spend any time together, but he’s handsome and rescues her multiple times and makes her heart flutter and smirks…he’s a smirker—UH! And Aurora spends most of the book making assumptions about Rafe’s feelings with little context. How can she know anything about how he’s feeling? They don’t know each other!
The world building in the book relied heavily on borrowed ideas from Lord of the Rings about elves, dwarves, and wizards, and their multiple kingdoms.
I thought Farah Oomerbhoy’s story could’ve been more unique. The heroine could've been stronger the the characters more developed.
Would I let my teen read this book?
I’m not giving this book one star, because on the positive side—the book is free on Amazon and it’s totally clean. If you’re young daughter likes fantasy and struggles to find appropriate books, then this is an option. I just can’t promise a lot of substance.
Age recommendation: 12
Language – None
Drugs & Alcohol— One character had been drinking
Sex – One kiss
Violence – There is mention of magical, stuns, burnings, and killings, but it’s stated, not depicted.
My Goodreads rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.