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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

GUEST BLOG: Fantasy Writing in India by Farah Oomerbhoy

 Fantasy Book Critic is pleased to welcome Farah Oohmerbhoy as she continues to make her way through her blog tour. Farah is the author of The Last of the Firedrakes, the first novel in the Avalonia Chronicles.  

About The Last of the Firedrakes:
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.

Farah has provided us with a wonderful insight into fantasy writing in India. There is also a chance to enter into a giveaway for a copy of The Last of the Firedrakes and an excerpt.

Please give a warm welcome to Farah Oohmerbhoy. 


Fantasy Writing in India by Farah Oomerbhoy

India is a land rich in mythology and folklore. The ancient stories of gods and heroes, passed down through generations, have become the cornerstone of Indian fantasy literature.

The epic scope of Indian mythology is vast and has been revisited and explored in countless different and innovative ways, retelling these fantastic ancient stories time and time again. From
the epic quest of lord Ram in Valmiki’s Ramayana, and the fantastic magic wielded by the gods and Maharishis of the Mahabharata, to the glorious battles of the royal Pandava princes. Elements of the fantastic have always been a vital element in the epic stories that have shaped literature in our country through the ages.

Over the years, authors have played with a variety of concepts of Indian myths and legends as the basis for creating their own fantasy worlds. Samit Basu’s Gameworld trilogy is a wonderful example of ways in which an author can play with and incorporate ancient Indian myths into stories that appeal to modern readers. Amish Tripati’s Shiva trilogy has taken over the Indian fantasy market becoming a national bestseller and paving the way for a new era of fantasy authors in India.

Over the years publishers have run with this theme in Indian fantasy, realizing the importance of having stories and characters that readers are familiar with, created in settings that have been imbedded into the collective consciousness of the Indian people. But the face of fantasy writing in India is changing, moving out of the confines of Indian mythology and into a brave new world of modern storytelling.

So far most of the non-mythological fantasy books that dominate the Indian market are all from abroad. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, Susan Collins’ Hunger Games series, and Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, to name a few are all very popular in India, but within the young adult fantasy category there are no Indian authors that stand out and compete with these books on an international scale, until now.

As a fantasy author myself, I can see the change coming. Fantasy writing in India is expanding, becoming more universal, more modern in its outlook and in its varied forms of storytelling.

My own book The Last of the Firedrakes, book 1 of a planned trilogy called The Avalonia Chronicles, is what I would refer to as a universal fantasy. Where civilizations collide and magic and myth are woven together in a fluid web that incorporates diverse aspects of world cultures and ancient mythology. I believe that all fantasy should be universal and inclusive, encompassing stories that transcend boundaries, while taking you on an adventure through the human predicament, in a world where anything is possible.

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. Her first novel is The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles.
Connect with Farah:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Instagram


Add on Goodreads

 Read a Chapter from The Last of the Firedrakes 

Chapter 7
The Midnight Market

Later that night, after I had eaten well and rested, we set out for the midnight market. I followed Kalen along the small path, from Pixie Bush into the very heart of Goldleaf Forest.

It seemed to me that we had been walking for quite a while when I could suddenly hear voices and noises quite clearly in the quiet forest. We came to a large clearing, and the delightful sight left me spellbound. The forest was alive, radiant and subtly lit by pretty, different-colored lanterns hanging from the towering trees. Beautifully decorated stalls and multicolored tents had sprung up all over the place. Some were nestled between the tall trees, and some were haphazardly placed around the edge of the clearing, forming a slightly wonky circle. Fae of all sizes, shapes and colors wandered around, having a marvelous time. There were dryads, naiads, brownies, and little pixies with wings who flitted about the place in groups, laughing and eating at the food stalls.

We came to a stall, which was manned by a small, funny-looking fae with a pointy nose and long ears. Kalen identified him as a gnome. He was selling some strangely colored liquid in glass bottles and was haggling unashamedly about prices with two old ladies, whom I thought were very sweet.

As we walked through the market, Kalen chattered on.

“Although some of the larger towns have shops that sell magical ingredients for potions,” Kalen was saying, “this is the only place you can find some of the really rare items.”

I followed Kalen, who was entering a green tent, where the sign outside read: “Buy a plant for your home and garden.” That sounded quite interesting. Maybe I could buy a plant for Kalen’s mom—she had really helped me, after all—but I remembered I didn’t have any money.

The tent was not what I expected at all. The inside was bewitched to look like a large green house; like the forest, it was much larger inside than it appeared from the outside. The moonlight shone through the glass ceiling, and rows of plants and flowers lined the sides of the tent. We decided to explore.

I walked through the rows of plants, looking at the labels that were written next to them. There were strawberry plants in a small tray, growing wonderful, juicy strawberries, each one of which had a dollop of cream on the top. The sign near it said: “Grow your own strawberries and cream.”

“Try one,” said Kalen. “No one is watching.”

I couldn’t resist; I loved strawberries and cream. I popped the whole strawberry into my mouth. It was delicious and the cream was thick, fresh, and sweet. It was wonderful.

“Lovely, yes?” said Kalen.

“I nodded, since my mouth was full.

“Ms. Herbchild is wonderful at growing things. These strawberry plants with cream are one of her new inventions, but you can only grow them on trays inside the house, or the gnomes lick off all the cream.”

I made a face at the thought of eating a strawberry that had been licked by a gnome.”

GIVEAWAY - Please note, giveaway is hosted by the blog tour company and not by Fantasy Book Critic. 

Giveaway Details:

  1. One Amazon Gift Voucher worth 1000INR
  2. One Amazon Gift Voucher worth 500INR
  3. 3 Signed Copies of The Last of the Firedrakes



Sophia said...

I'm so happy to see a YA fantasy book written by an Indian author! First of all I love the cover, it's blue!💙 Kudos to the cover artist. I'm very excited to read this book!

Sophia said...

I'm so happy to see a YA fantasy book written by an Indian author. Love the the heroine's name�� I'm very excited to read this book and I'm happy to see that it has got many 5 star reviews on goodreads! Thank you for the giveaway. It's too bad I don't have an fb and Pinterest account.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Sounds fascinating! The cover is beautiful too. Thank you for sharing!

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