In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.
Title: The Last Namsara
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Genre: fantasy, ya fantasy
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Link to buy book here.
I was immediately captured by the detail in this book. Asha’s narration is incredibly descriptive (but it also didn’t bog me down). The dragons were my favourite part, I’ve never heard of dragon fire being poisonous before. SO COOL. I don’t want to give too much away. I’ve not read about anything similar to this before!
The lore was absolutely my favourite part and when I say “lore” I mean the history, the Old Stories Asha tells, the world building and most obviously: the DRAGONS! There is a particular red dragon that captured my heart and heavily influenced Asha’s character growth, which was so refreshing to see. Some things she says at the beginning had me staring at the pages like, “wow gurl”. She hasn’t had to think a lot, but getting away from the castle and her impending wedding definitely gives her a chance to grow.
The Old Stories, an element I touched on earlier, gave such depth to Asha’s narrative. In some instances I really appreciated the context and I know that when a chunk of a book is in italics it’s easy to skim but don’t. Definitely don’t skim. It was so enriching and provided context to certain characters; I wouldn’t have appreciated them without it. I know I’m being vague, it’s deliberate. Just… just trust me, okay?
Unfortunately, while the world and lore and environment felt super vivid to me, the characters… didn’t. I didn’t feel that zing you get when you fully connect to a story? I still loved it, don’t get me wrong. My heart just didn’t thrum like it could’ve with characters all the time. I definitely felt passionate rage though, about Asha’s husband-to-be. What a ponce! I’m not swearing, it’s HARD. Grrr. He’s the typical, controlling male in a fantasy and Asha does a stellar job of sticking it to him. YAS, GO GURL.
Overall, there was a bit I teared up at near the end. Ow, ow ow. Could’ve been avoidable? But something had to stab us in the hearts, right? I wish I could’ve connected to the characters more, because I really loved how badass and resilient Asha was, even if she took a while to connect the dots, sometimes, ha. The Old Stories, the dragons, the WORLD were all brilliant and spurned me on to continue reading. If you’re after a fantasy that’s unique and HAS DRAGONS, then definitely grab The Last Namsara. It was super enjoyable, I just didn’t hold my breath in suspense or fear! Would 100% recommend to YA fantasy lovers, though. ❤
4 / 5 stars