Farah sits down with Aurora Firedrake in Silverthorne Castle!
(Conversation between Farah and Aurora. Farah will be in blue, Aurora in pink.)The valley ahead is covered in wild, green grass. Sprays of pinks, purples, yellows, and reds undulate down into the waiting meadows of the flower-filled valley beyond. Even though I know what Avalonia looks like, every time I visit, its beauty astounds me. I pass colorful fields, green pastures, working farms, massive estates and small villages that speckle the countryside, as I ride towards Silverthorne Castle, where I will be interviewing Aurora today.
In the center of the valley a little hill rises up before me. At the very top lies a magnificent castle, its tall towers glistening in the sunlight as they stretch effortlessly towards the azure sky. Pristine white flags, each one decorated with a single bluebell flutter from the castle turrets. Around it a huge walled town slopes down the hill in concentric circles and spreads out into the valley below.
Silverthorne Castle! Finally!
I enter the massive wooden gates and ride up the broad cobbled streets of the town of Fairlone towards the Castle. I am a bit tired from riding for the past few hours to get here, and I really hope Aurora has listened to instructions and is waiting for me there.
I pass wide stone archways and whitewashed houses, and marvel at the elegant shops and colorful awnings of the street sellers that brighten the main avenue.
As I ride through the massive gates of the Castle I find myself in the stone courtyard surrounded by soldiers who all want a glimpse of the Author.
I smile and wave at everyone, it’s good to be back. I get off my horse and climb the great white stone steps leading into the castle. I walk down long drafty corridors and up a wide spiral staircase in one of the towers.
I knock on the door and enter Duke Silverthorne’s study. Aurora is already there waiting for me.
She is wearing a flowing emerald green dress clinched at the waist with a gold sash. Her ebony hair is loose and falls about her shoulders in a rich cascade. Her green eyes sparkle as she walks towards me, her arms outstretched.
“Farah, it’s so lovely to see you,” she says, holding my hands and kissing me on both cheeks.
I smile. “It’s wonderful to see you too, Aurora, I am so glad you agreed to this interview, I know how busy you have been lately,” I say as I sit down on a high-backed velvet chair.
Aurora laughs and pulls up another chair. “Did I have a choice?”
I smile. “Of course, you always have a choice my dear. If you listened to my warnings and instructions earlier about how your life was in danger in The Last of the Firedrakes, you would have had a much easier time of it.”
Aurora shakes her head and looks down. “I guess you’re right.”
“I’m glad you have realized you’re mistakes,” I say getting down to the interview. “But the readers would still like to know if there are any decisions that you regret making?”
“Yes!” she says. “There are quite a few actually.” Aurora gets up and starts pacing the room. “I was very confused when I first came to Avalonia. Everything was so different and exciting that in my curiosity to find out more about this world I . . . um . . . didn’t always make the best decisions. I know that now. I should never have gone with Damien to the Lion’s Den that night. But at that point I was more interested in finding out what Damien and the Blackwaters were up to. I couldn’t just sit around waiting for Morgana or someone else to find me and get rid of me, I’m sorry, but that’s just not the way I am. If I had never gone, we would never have known about the book of Abraxas, and we also would never have figured out Morgana’s plan to use the book.”
“But you did still talk to Damien after that, didn’t you?” I ask.
She nods slightly. “Yes, I did.”
“Why? Some of the readers think that was not a very smart thing to do.”
She shrugs. “You know the saying, keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
“What about the day of the final test, when you took off the amulet before you were ready?”
Aurora hangs her head, fiddling with the medallion resting around her neck. “That was probably the silliest thing I have done so far,” she admits. “I don’t know what came over me, I was just so angry with Damien, and also with all those people who were whispering that I wasn’t good enough. I just snapped, and my pride took over. I wanted to prove all of them wrong and to prove that I wasn’t useless, that I was there for a reason. It didn’t turn out how I had planned though, and I didn’t know what would happen when I took off the amulet, I really thought I could control my magic.”
I lean back in my chair. “Even Magdalene, the old fae lady in the woods warned you not to let your pride get the better of you. To be a wise queen you also need to learn humility.”
Aurora nodded. “I’m not really sure if I have it in me to be a queen. I keep giving myself all these motivational speeches in my head but it never really helps.”
I get up from my chair and put my hand on Aurora’s shoulder. “I believe in you Aurora, and I know you are going to achieve great things.”
“And what about your last great act of defiance” I say. “When you disregarded your grand uncle’s advice and decided to search for your mother instead of going to Elfi as you were told to do?”
Aurora smiles at this and gets up from her chair. She turns and rests her hands on the windowsill looking out towards the Willow Woods that lie in wait behind the castle walls.
“My whole life I have lived without my real parents, constantly wishing I had a mother who would love and care for me,” she replies. “When I found out my real mother was alive, at first I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that I actually had a second chance with her. I felt a huge sense of guilt as well and at that moment it overwhelmed me. She was trapped in that dagger because of me. My father died because of me. I could not live with myself if I had the opportunity to find her and did nothing to save her.”
“But you could have waited to go to Elfi, and then when you were ready you could have found your mother.”
“That’s not the way I am. I don’t care if I was in danger. She is my family. I would do it all over again.”
“Well,” I say, “You are immortal, and the only way you can die is if your heart is removed from your body and incinerated to ashes.”
“Eeww gross!” she says, turning and scrunching up her nose. “But good to know.”
I smile, standing up. It’s getting late and muted sunlight filters in through the high arched windows that line the duke’s study. “Thank you for being so honest Aurora, I’m sure my readers will appreciate that.”
“It was a pleasure Farah,” says Aurora coming up and giving me an unexpected hug. “I hope you are not going to give me too hard a time in book two,” she laughs.
“Where’s the fun in that?” I say, chuckling to myself as I hug her back and leave the Duke’s study.
I think about everything she has said as I get back onto my horse and ride back towards the tapestry and Redstone Manor. Aurora has changed a lot since I first met her, and I really hope that she has been practicing to use her powers. Because where she’s going, she’s definitely going to need all of her magic.
About The Last of the Firedrakes...
By: Farah OomerbhoyPublisher: Wise Ink Creative PublishingPub Date: August 15, 2015Pages: 488Genre: 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.
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About the author...
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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