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 found this fairy tale fascinating. The story is a heroine’s journey through every cherished fantasy setting and scenario, all pastiched together with a delicate hand. The language flows in a young person’s flighty narrative, as if a teenager were telling a juicy romantic adventure to best friends at a sleepover party, with evil brutes and cute boys, complete with all the asides and inner dialogue. (I so wish an audible version were available. This book cries out for a dramatic read by a young voice.)
The Last of the Firedrakes was first published serially-it won a Watty in 2015-and has much of that chapter by chapter episodic feel, which is perfect for a hero’s quest story.
There’s a sweetness to the book that is utterly adorable–even the names had me grinning: Duke Gabriel Silverthorne, Penelope Plumpleberry, Rafe the Black Wolf.
But underneath the cute settings and lovable cast is an intricate plot, and at the core is the classic growth from girl to woman. The best part, like all fairy tales, is the romance, and the slow building relationship between Aurora and Rafe is is wonderful. Where Aurora is naive, he is protective (and deliciously swoon-worthy).
I recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy an epic saga around a magical world in the head of a wide-eyed teenager.