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.
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.
- What inspired you to write The Last of the Firedrakes?
I started thinking about this story nearly ten years ago. Building the world of Avalonia, whenever I got time. The actual world creation started with a tapestry in my grandmother’s house. One day I stood before it and wondered, what if I could step into the tapestry, where would I end up? And so the world of Avalonia sprang into existence.
From then on, the person who stepped into the tapestry was a young 16-year-old girl who didn’t know who she really was, her name was Aurora, and this is her story.
JK. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles, Roald Dahl’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Diana Wynne Jones’ magical worlds, Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland books, Ursula le Guinn’s Earthsea Quartet and J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan are some of the books that have in some way contributed towards my love for magical adventures and fantasy worlds and inspired me to write fantasy for young people. These books, including many others, inspired me to write a story that would combine the best of all I had learned, and so The Last of the Firedrakes started to take shape.
- In the writing process, who was your favorite character and why?
I would have to say Rafe. He is the quintessential hero, the knight in shining armor, but mysterious and dangerous with secrets of his own. I think the hardest part of writing his character is to show how he feels through Aurora’s eyes. We can’t see into his head and I wanted the readers to discern his emotions just like Aurora has to.
- Did you need to do any research before you wrote this book?
Yes! There is actually a lot of research and hard work that goes into writing a story on this scale. After all, it is 488 pages and this is only the first book in the series.
From detailed maps to notebooks filled with information on all the different kingdoms, their politics, societies, trade routes, race, cultures, etc. Each kingdom has a history, with its own myths and legends, wars and rulers. For this, I visited castles and old manor houses and did extensive research on European medieval cultures.
One of the most interesting parts was creating the magic system used in this world and it was something that took a while. There are so many different kinds of magic; mage, fae, witch, and demon. All have their own qualities and strengths, and work on different principals. In the end it is hard making sure that everything makes sense and is consistent.
- Can you tell us a little bit of what we can expect in the book 2 of the series.
I can’t tell you very much because, even though I have an idea about what is going to happen, it always changes when I get to the second draft. One thing I can tell you though is that Aurora will grow a lot in this next book, and really find out what it means to be a queen and a warrior. She will meet her fae family, but they will not be all that she or the readers expect. In book 2 you will get to see more of the fae world as Aurora tries to learn how to control her magic.
- What do you do when you are not writing?
I have three children so most of my time is devoted to them. I volunteer at their schools and at other charitable organizations affiliated with the school. But when I do get some free time I enjoy reading, swimming, and working out at the gym, but that doesn’t happen as much as I would like.
Award-Winning Finalist in the Best Cover Design: Fiction category of the 2015 USA Best Book Awards
Winner in the Collector’s Dream category of the Wattpad’s 2015 The Wattys Awards
About the Book
The Last of the Firedrakes, book one of The Avalonia Chronicles.
A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.
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.
Read my review here
What everyone is saying about the book
“…the narrative components echo the classics; the Academy of Magic at Evolon could be Hogwarts, while the Shadow Guards are reminiscent of Tolkien’s Ring Wraiths or Rowling’s Dementors…a beautifully drawn fantasy world.” – Kirkus Reviews
“THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES is a magic-filled romp that carries you back to the fantasy stories of childhood…Lovers of classic fantasy will likewise gobble down Oomerbhoy’s scrumptious story.” – Dr Vic James, author of the SLAVEDAYS trilogy
“The world building is beautiful…..That really made the book more complex for me……it is the journey of discovery for Aurora and the reader that makes this an interesting story.” – Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite
“The Last of the Firedrakes has all the elements of popular fantasy – an orphaned princess, Magical powers, an alternate sphere with seven kingdoms, a young girl with a destiny to fulfil. They are all elements of the Narnia Chronicles, The Faraway tree, The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings and a bit of Enid Blyton fun.” – Mitali Parekh for Mid-Day newspaper
Buy it Here