Asha is a princess, but if you think people look up at her in awe, you’re mistaken. When she was a child, she called a dragon, that burned the city down and left Asha with a big scar. People fear her, and she vows to kill every single dragon. But even dragon slayers are afraid sometimes. In Asha’s case, she fears her arranged marriage with Jarek, the army’s commandant. But her father offers her a way out: kill the dragon that burned her all those years ago, and the wedding is cancelled.
The Last Namsara is Kristen Ciccarelli’s debut novel and she really shows her writing skills. The world has an interesting history, and the concept of telling stories to lure dragons is fascinating. The main story is sometimes interrupted to tell the reader about important events from the past. Normally, this would bother me, but in this case it feels like the right way to do it.
It took me a while to decide whether I liked Asha. She is rather stubborn and looks down on slaves. Of course it makes sense that she thinks slaves are beneath her because of the way she was raised, but at times she was a bit too arrogant. Luckily there’s Torwin, her betrothed’s slave, to balance the scales. He’s not an amazing or unforgettable character, but I really cared about him while reading.
The main problem I had with The Last Namsara was the lack of well-developed side characters. As interesting and well-rounded Asha’s personality was, the other characters all felt a bit flat.This made it difficult to cheer or feel bad for them.
The writing itself was also on the safe side. No elaborate metaphors or anything. No metaphor is of course better than a bad one, but then again, it makes for very “dry” reading. So I would encourage the author to take some risks in the future.
That being said, I loved the story itself and the many plot twists. Some of those were a bit predictable, others took me by surprise. I can’t talk about these in detail of course, but there were feels, so many feels!
I don’t think I would’ve picked up The Last Namsara myself, to be honest. So when I found it in my November Fairyloot box, I was a bit underwhelmed and it went on my TBR shelf. But 2 months later I finally picked it up and I have to admit I was wrong. I really really really liked it. But it didn’t make me go “wow” either.