If there's one thing positive coming from me in regards to The Last of the Firedrakes, at least it has a spine. Cheesy pun intended.
Farah's debut has the bare bones of a novel. Her writing is vivid and there's definitely evidence the world is meticulously planned. The main character, Aurora, is a character who's curious and inquisitive – she wants to learn as much as she can about Avalonia from its residents from the moment she enters the world, which brings back my point of a well-built fantasy world. The residents of Avalonia are colorful – we have an all-too-serious professor, a cheery "old" fairy, a jolly duke. There's high school drama, but it lasts for a chapter or two and isn't a problem.
But lots of things just fell short.
The writing feels too amateur – I'm just not feeling it. It's just not good enough.
Then there's Aurora.
Aurora is an absolute damsel in distress. I don't know if she cried much in her past – Farah brings us from high school drama to Avalonia early on. Aurora doesn't do much fighting – she's saved every single time while doing almost nothing. Every time, it's the same mysterious dude named Rafe who Aurora can't stop thinking about constantly and falls "in love" with.
At that point, I don't buy it. I don't buy it AT ALL.
Have I mentioned Aurora's in love with the bleeping guy? Yeah... she's falling in love with him after all he did was come to her rescue – without her lifting a finger – after so many bleeping times?
I think the only thing I achieved from reading The Last of the Firedrakes is find the new crown holder for Damsel in Distress. Katy Swartz just passed on the crown to Aurora.
I think Aurora is going to have that crown for a very long time.