★.•**•.★★.•**•.★ The Avalonia Chronicles Book Tour ★.•**•.★ ★.•**•.★About the Book:
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.
Goodreads I Amazon I Flipkart
I was really excited to pick this book up as I found people constantly saying that this book felt like Harry Potter – rather inspired by that world. After all, every Harry Potter fan is still suffering from the series hangover and wishing for more. But at the same time, I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive as well. I hear Harry Potter and my expectations go sky high and I have felt let down by few other fantasy series before this because of my own expectations. So, do you want to know whether this book lived up to it or not?
The Last of the Firedrakes introduces us to the fantastical world of Avalonia. Where there are Fae, Mages and mystical beasts. But wait, I am getting ahead of myself here. This is Aurora’s story. She is your average 16 year old girl who was orphaned at a tender age and taken in by her uncle. Mistreated by her adoptive family and bullied at school, she doesn’t have the best life. Yet when she gets kidnapped and taken into a world where everything is new and different only turns things for the worse. However, as Aurora discovers more about Avalonia, she learns more about her heritage, discovers herself and also finds Rafe!
The character development in the book is tremendous. Towards the beginning Aurora did get on my nerves a bit, but then we see her grow throughout the book and by the end of it I kind of started liking her. In her defence though, she didn’t have the best life or people in her life in the beginning. And then to discover the existence of a whole different world – anyone would need time to get back on their feet, let alone to rise to every challenge thrown at them. Then there is Rafe… wouldn’t I like to know all there is to know about that one ;) The world of Avalonia is really beautiful and the author has done a great job of building it up slowly for her readers. I loved the way she has set up everything not only in this book but for the coming books as well. For someone like me, who is always looking for details, this book is ideal as the author has dished out a lot. Her descriptive narration style creates a vivid image of the world and most of the settings in the mind of the readers.
I cannot believe that this is only the author’s debut novel. Her language and narrative is striking and well structured which was another added advantage of the book. And while I did see why people where comparing it to some other epic-fantasies, Last of the Firedrakes has an identity of its own. While I wouldn’t really compare it to Harry Potter myself, I will say that this book is a promising start to the series.
World of Avalonia
Read an Excerpt:
For a second that felt like a lifetime, everything stopped; I felt like I was floating in nothingness. Then I blinked, and, when I finally opened my eyes and focused again through the tears, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
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. The hills around us undulated into wildflower-filled meadows that lay sleeping in the dewy night.
Far down in the valley, I could see a little village, its lights twinkling in the distance. To my right, a waterfall splashed playfully into a small river that ran down into a lake, next to which the little village was built. The moon here was fuller and larger than I had ever seen it, and the night sky was awash with a fantastic array of glittering stars.
Had I passed through the tapestry? Where was I?
I looked around, disbelief clouding my judgment. I was still trying to get my bearings after that strange moment when I had been inside the tapestry and nowhere at the same time. It gave me a funny feeling, as though I had been lifted out of my own consciousness and then put back into my body.
A warm breeze brushed past my face and played with my hair. Gone were the cloudy grey mist and the cold, nipping wind of the English countryside. I drew in a sharp breath—the air was crisp and clear, sweet smelling, and fresh. The moonlit valley was filled with fruit trees, wildflowers, and rolling meadows.
“How did we come here? Where are we?” I asked, still confused.
“You really are ignorant,” said Oblek, glancing at me. “I take it your uncle didn’t tell you anything?”
I shook my head and looked down. Oblek had tied my hands with a rope he had with him while I was still dazed and looking around. It was humiliating, and the rough ropes cut into my wrists, rubbing them raw every time he pulled me forward.
I had to find some way out of this. And, at the moment, the only thing I could do was discover more about where I was. Then, when I got an opportunity, I could escape and find my way back up to the cave on the hill, where we had arrived out of the tapestry.
But then what?
Christopher was probably dead, and Aunt Arianna would doubtless blame me for everything since I had disappeared at the same time. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t really want to go back, and, now that my adoptive parents were dead, I had nothing to return to.
I was starting to panic. I had nowhere to go, and my mind was imagining an array of horrible outcomes of my kidnapping. My palms had become sweaty, and my racing heart was thundering in my chest as I half-walked and half-ran, desperately trying to keep up with Oblek’s giant strides.
“Why are you doing this?” I pleaded with my kidnapper.
But Lord Oblek said nothing. He didn’t even look at me. He just kept walking ahead and dragging me along behind him, with no more explanations as to what he was planning to do with me.
I was terrified, and I had no idea if I was going to survive this. But I tried to be brave. Maybe I could talk my way out of this?
“You do know that this is called kidnapping?” I said, trying to reason with Oblek.
He didn’t bother to answer.
“What will happen to me now?” I squeaked, my voice breaking, as I tried not to cry.
“Queen Morgana will decide what is to be done with you,” said Oblek, finally.
Queen Morgana! The woman from my dream? It was not possible that this, too, was a coincidence. It must be the same Morgana, the one who had tried to kill my real mother.
Who the hell was she?
Suddenly all of this seemed extremely scary. I hoped that I was still dreaming and that there was no way I had actually traveled through a magical tapestry into some strange land. It all seemed very exciting in books. But actually being kidnapped and then hauled around like an animal, traveling deep into a land I knew nothing about, was not my idea of fun.
I had to get away from this horrible man, and fast.
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.
One Amazon Gift Voucher worth 1000INR
One Amazon Gift Voucher worth 500INRa Rafflecopter giveaway
Three Signed Paperback Copies of The Last of the Firedrakes
Three Signed Paperback Copies of The Last of the Firedrakes