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.
Young Adult Fiction
October 3, 2017
Kristen Ciccarelli’s debut fantasy explores an intricately woven world of deception, inner darkness, and dragons that fantasy fans won’t be able to resist. 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.