Synopsis: 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 darkness—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 learning 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.
I enjoyed this books SO MUCH. I have always been interested in dragons, but besides Abraxos from Heir of Fire, I’d never experienced a book about them before. But after reading The Last Namsara, I became OBSESSED. And I am even more excited because I’m nowhere near running out of dragon books. I have an ARC and a couple of other cool novels I really want to read too. My new love for dragons makes me so happy, and it was all thanks to this one!
These creatures play an important role in The Last Namsara. As you may or may not know, this book is about Asha, the most famous dragon-slayer, and the king’s daughter. In the land where she lives, stories have been forbidden because, with each word that was spoken out loud pertaining to one of the old tales, the deadly dragons are lured out of their hiding.
Dragons + badass slayers + a marriage to avoid at all costs = EPIC read you’ll be prone to devour.
The strongest characters in this novel were the two main ones, Asha and the skral (slave). Asha is the type of girl who has lived her life as an outcast, feared, hated by her people for the things she has done. But she is a very forceful, really cunning person, and it was a real pleasure to read about her.
When Asha was burned by a dragon as a child, she was rescued by the commandant’s son, even though she’d been assumed dead and lost in the forest. The boy had lost everything because of her- his entire family during the fire she had caused. To mend things and show the people that the old grudges would be left behind, the King promised Asha’s hand to him.
Asha couldn’t stand the idea of promising herself to this person who had grown to be cruel and sexist. He even tried to extort her in several ways, and it was disgusting. But never once did Asha let herself be disregarded, and she defended who she was as best she could. She would never back down.
Her journey was the most interesting. Because of all the plot twists that were revealed all throughout and by the end, she learned many things, and she grew as a person. She was dominated and isolated her entire life, but not anymore. She’s a truly fierce lady that slays.
The faults of this book were its secondary characters. Besides Asha, there was her brother and heir to the throne, Dax, Safire, her bastard cousin and the daughter of a slave and a prince, as well as the Commandant, Jarek (which sounds like Jerk and therefore FITS), and the King himself. Although each and EVERY ONE of them was incredibly interesting, they are but a mystery. The brother was only present when he was needed to resolve something, and Safire, whom I LOVED and was dying to know more about, was rarely on the page too.
This is a debut novel, and it was notorious that there was some lacking development in the SIDE characters. It is not a lack of ability because Asha was very complex and very well written, but the character exploration SHOULD have been expanded to the rest of the people.
I enjoyed the writing style at all points of the book, but what I loved THE MOST were the stories spread throughout. At the end of the chapters, there would sometimes be a little snippet of an ancient story, such as the ones Asha and the Raconteurs told in secret. They were absorbing and SO well written! They left my heart beating like crazy at the end of each. Kristen Ciccarelli managed to manipulate all of my emotions and feelings flawlessly, and they were a fantastic, engrossing addition to the book that really made a difference!
Overall this story was compelling and gripping. The main character was a pleasure to read about, there was a slow-burning romance that I relished, and the dragons were THE COOLEST. They were not side-attractions, or just elements used to complement- no. They were fully described, developed, creatures and as important as the humans themselves. I fell in love.
Plot: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4.5/5 stars
Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3.5/5 stars
World Building: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Writing Style: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Pace: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Enjoyment: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
Overall Rating: 4.6
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