Last of the Firedrakes – #Review and a #Recipe — #MondayBlogs
Working on getting back in the swing of things still. This book brought me so much joy, and i am a month late in posting for the tour, but it is well worth it. A worthy addition to Mama’s Kitchen Mondays and anyone’s book shelf! ENJOY!
The Last of the Firedrakes
By: Farah Oomerbhoy
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Pub Date: August 15, 2015
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
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.
This took me longer than I wanted just due to my life at the moment. But I was really taken back by how phenomenal and beautiful the world-building was. She was able to stir two worlds together even more perfect than my father is able to blend his spices in his paella
. Fantasy has always been a favorite of mine and this is chuck full of all your classic races and characters. She takes the conventions of normal fantasy and ups the game with a solid Young Adult story.
Young Adult stories have a harder time with romance. Where to draw the line (coughing-TWLIGHT…Bella and birth and ewwwww-coughing). But with such amazingly diverse characters and a great male lead (drool worthy Rafe), Aurora, our protagonist, is able to show any young adult reader that love can happen, even at a tender age. Rafe is a magician and is able to keep us on our toes with the exploration within the pages. Aurora is not quite sure what is going to hit her and neither will you be when you read it (and believe me, read it).
Another plus, other than the world-building, is her smooth and ever expanding development of the characters seen from Aurora’s perspective and the authors. I related a lot to the character, even if she is not my age. Her feeling of bleakness and being so alone (at least she feels she is) is so heart wrenching (grab your tissues). I was just taken back. I cried more than a few times. I finished it right after a huge loss, and it reminded me that I have family all over, blood and bonded ones. It will show any young reader the same.
If I had to share one of my favorite passages (believe me I highlighted a LOT in the book) it would have to be the one that made me feel a bit more hopeful:
“Everything happens for a reason, and nothing is an accident. It is all part of a much larger divine plan,” Duke Silverthorne said gravely, but in a surprisingly kind voice. “When difficulties come, we must see them as what they are—opportunities and a new path to discover your potential. How will you ever know the magnitude of courage you are capable of if you have never experienced the hopelessness of fear?”
Don’t pass up a chance for a great read. I would even suggest that a parent and teenage girl read it together and explore the amazing people and places along with Aurora.
I give this a 4.5 star rating, EASILY!
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.
Farah’s first novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles will be published worldwide August 15th, 2015.
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I realize the tour is over, but please check out the rest of the great stops;
August 21st – Book Addict – Guest Post / Author Interview
September 4th –
September 8th –
Aurora’s Cinnamon Swirls – Breakfast at Silverthorne Castle.
This is the recipe that the castle cook uses to make Aurora’s favorite breakfast dish. She loves to eat cinnamon swirls with fresh homemade strawberry butter.
(Cinnamon swirl recipe by Jamie Oliver) – Serves 20
For the swirls
- 1 kilogram strong white bread flour
- 7 grams dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 600 ml water (tepid)
- olive oil
For the filling
- 100 grams almonds
- 100 grams hazelnuts
- 200 grams unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (extra for sprinkling)
- 5 tablespoons honey
- 100 grams demerara sugar (extra for sprinkling)
- You can make the dough in a food processor, or in a bowl by hand. Just put your flour, yeast, honey and slat into the bowl and gradually pulse or stir in your water until the mixture becomes a soft, springy dough. Flours can vary, so if you feel it needs a little more water, ad another splash.
- Dust a clean surface and your clean hands with flour and knead the dough for a few minutes. Lightly oil a bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave for at least 30 minutes in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas4. Spread the nuts over a baking tray and pop them into the oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly golden.
- Meanwhile, mix 150g of the butter with the cinnamon in a large bowl and put aside.
- When the nuts are lightly golden, remove them from the oven, wrap them in a clean tea towel and bash them up with a rolling pin until fairly fine. Let them cool down completely, then mix them into the butter mixture and put aside.
- Generously flour a clean surface and a rolling pin, and roll your roll into a large rectangle about 1cm thick and approximately 50 x 60cm, dusting with flour as you go. Dot the nutty butter mixture all around the dough, spreading it out as well as you can with the back of a spoon. Drizzle the hunny evenly all over the mixture.
- Carefully lift up the longest edge of the doughand roll it over. Keep rolling until your have a thick sausage shape. Slice this across into rounds about 3cm thick. Grease a deep 20 x 30cm baking tray with your remaining 50g of butter, then sprinkle the demerara sugar all over the base.
- Lay your rounds of dough flat in the tray so they are nice and snug and you can see the swirls. Cover with a tea towel, then put them to one side to let them prove for about 20 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in size. Sprinkle over a good coating of demerara sugar and a little extra cinnamon, and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until lovely and golden.
- To serve, carefully run a knife around the sides of the tray, then turn it upside down over a board or platter so that all those lovely caramelized bottoms will be on show (don’t be tempted to touch or taste at his point, though, as the hot caramel will burn you), and tuck in.
ANOTHER AMAZING TOUR BROUGHT TO YOU BY LADY READERS!