Sunday, September 30, 2018

Book Review: The Rise of the Dawnstar by Farah Oomerbhoy


About the Book

The Rise of the Dawnstar (The Avalonia Chronicles #2)
by Farah Oomerbhoy

Description from Goodreads:

Aurora Firedrake returns in the spellbinding sequel to The Last of the Firedrakes.

The seven kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling and evil is spreading across the land like a plague. Queen Morgana is close to finding a way to open The Book of Abraxas and it’s only a matter of time until she uses the power trapped inside its pages to enslave the entire world.

With Avalonia growing more dangerous by the day, Aurora must travel through war-torn lands and deep into the heart of the fae kingdom of Elfi. Her goal is to find a legendary weapon infused with the last of the realm’s ancient magic—the only weapon in the world powerful enough to stop the queen.

Aurora might have survived her first battle against Morgana, but the true fight to save her kingdom and restore her throne has only just begun…


Aurora Firedrake won one battle, but there are many more to come. She travels to the land of the fae, ruled by her grandmother, to learn how to control her fae powers. While she is there, she learns more about the Book of Abraxas, a spell book her enemy Morgana will do anything to open. Only one thing can destroy the book for good - a mythical weapon called the Dawnstar. If Aurora cannot find the Dawnstar and, in the very least, keep the book out of Morgana's hands, all will be lost for the seven kingdoms of Avalonia.

The Rise of the Dawnstar was definitely an interesting fantasy novel. More information about the fantasy world and its subcultures are revealed, which was entertaining. Lords and Ladies, royalty, the fae, pirates, mages, dragons, you name it. I enjoyed that aspect of the story.

What I did not like is paired closely with what I did not. This book had a chosen one/lost princess who is revealed to have more and then more power beyond what anyone has ever seen before in thousands of years. The stakes are incredibly high, and the enemy's almost invincible. The romance is a love triangle, and not only that, but nearly all of the men Aurora meets show attraction to her.

I like most of those elements of a novel. But they are cliche. How many books have I read with a chosen one? Too many to count. I love it, which is why I keep reading it. Themes, plots, characters are cliche because they worked the first time and people want more. But it shows this book is not as original as I would like. I have seen some books accept the cliches and do them well, but this book pulls in many of the cliches and makes them glaringly obvious to anyone who reads it. It is not trying to be subtle or cast the overused devices in a new light; they are just there to accept or discard.

So I did like this book. It was a pleasant diversion for a busy day. But it will not make my favorites list. If you are reading this, are a fan of fantasy, and don't mind reading the cliches again, then you will absolutely enjoy this book - just start with book one, The Last of the Firedrakes.

I received a complementary copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own.