The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy Review










Take fae, mages, demons, and mythical creatures then throw in a healthy dose of an awkward outsider discovering she is royalty and a smidge of Robin Hood and you have The Last of the Firedrakes.  While the premise sounds intriguing, and definitely like something I would adore, the actual novel is far from that.

I feel like I am the only person to have truly disliked this novel.  At one point, I believed it was going to be a DNF.  That is how bad it was.  The writing initially was abysmal, frequently telling the reader what was happening instead of allowing us to see and discover.  Couple that was the most idiotic and self-pitying “heroine” and you have a book that is difficult to swallow.  I am going to assume it was written with younger readers in mind, as it read more like a middle school novel that a true YA.  I believe my 12-year old self may have loved it.  It was juvenile and filled with tons of clichés and tropes, particularly from the Young Adult genre.

Dark “mysterious” love interest – check
Comical villains – check
Plain Jane protagonist – check
Evil popular girls – Check
Insta-love – check
Dead parents – check

Basically everything wrong with the young adult genre was present in this novel.  I became so frustrated at points that I had to put the novel down for a minute and breathe.  I rolled my eyes so many times I lost count.  It became a bit ridiculous at some point for me to even try to read on, although I am glad I did.  The last quarter of the novel was a significant improvement from the beginning.  The protagonist grew, as well as the writing.  While I still believe it is targeted towards the younger side of YA, at least I was able to tolerate the ending.

Characters

Aurora Firedrake

Her name is badass.  Other than that, no part of her is awesome.  She is whiney, hard headed (and not in a good way), self-pitying, and frequently dependent on others.  She is incredibly moldable to anyone’s ideas and is exceptionally naïve.  As in, trusts people based off of looks and a “feeling” level naïve.  And it happened over and over again.  She literally decided if she liked or disliked a person depending on how they appeared.  “I instinctively liked Kalen.  He talked strangely and extremely fast, but I could tell immediately he was a sincere person,” (p. 43).  Lord forbid if a person is unattractive, or overly attractive (unless they are male), they will most definitely be a villain.  Every. Single. Time.  “First I met Lord Larney, the thing one who looked like a crow. He had oily, black hair, which was thinning at the temples…. The second man, who had not looked up from his food, was Sir Gothero, and I thought that he looked like a far, angry toad…I disliked them both at first sight,” (p. 126).  I will give her a little bit of praise in that she grew as the novel progressed.  She stopped the self-pitying (thank goodness!) and started accepting responsibilities.  However, she continuously made poor decisions.  Quite a few times she should have died, except her special snowflake status prevented that.  I believe I could have enjoyed this novel infinitely more if the protagonist was not such a twat.

Rafe

Oh how I wanted to love you.  I did enjoy the fact that for once the love interest had a happy, somewhat pleasant personality.  He was not overly controlling or broody all of the time.  He smiled and laughed frequently, a rarity in any novel.  However, that was where the enjoyment ended.  His character was not well developed at all.  While I understand that the author wanted to maintain some mystery, it is possible to do that while giving the reader a complex character.  In this case, he felt flat and cookie cutter.  He was a hot piece of ass for the MC.  Which was unfortunate, because he had the potential to be infinitely more interesting than Aurora.  Even the big twist involving him <spoiler>being the prince</spoiler> was easily guessed.  I honestly hope for the next novel to be alternating POV with him being one.

Damien

I am pretty sure you could change his name to Draco Malfloy and they would basically be the same character.  I kept waiting for him to sneer, “Scared Potter?” but alas it never happened.  There were quite a few characters that seemed based off of Harry Potter characters (Professor Dekela comes to mind). He was yet again another underdeveloped character (actually majority were).  He was the typical bratty rich boy who casually travels down the path of darkness.

Morgana

Our antagonist of the novel, yet we primarily just hear of her vs witnessing interactions with her.  While this has worked in other novels, it fell flat in this one.  What happened instead was just basic factual information about her, then brief page time, then gone again.  <spoiler>Her fight with Aurora was underwhelming.  An incredibly powerful adult mage thwarted by a teen that can barely use her powers.  A lot of attacks hitting a shield, then Morgana panicking and running away, then Aurora casually murdering people in anger over her horse dying.</spoiler>

Love Story (light spoilers)

Insta-love abounds!  Aurora and Rafe barely spent enough time to become friends, much less develop a relationship.  Yet low and behold, they loved each other from the moment they laid eyes on each other! Gag! It was not a plausible relationship development wise.  They knew nothing about each other besides official titles and that the other person was attractive. Hell, Rafe is engaged to another woman. But alas, that barely matters. Their souls are connected *rolls eyes. At the end, they are holding out on being together, but I do not see that lasting long.

In general, I had issues with this novel.  <spoiler>A main character who feels no guilt after casually killing people bothers me immensely, even if they are the bad guys.  She is 16; she should not handle that well.</spoiler> While I may give the sequel a chance (especially to see how the new villain develops) this book was astoundingly underwhelming as a whole, and did not live up to my hopes for it.

*I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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