I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Published by HarperTeen on October 3rd 2017
Series: Iskari #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
When I started reading The Last Namsara, I had high hopes but wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. As I turned the last page, I knew I had found a new series to add to my favorites. This book is a story about perception and morality, how they shape us and how they can change us. This is a book about challenging expectations in favor of being true to your self. This is a book about the power of stories and the truth. The Last Namsara is an wonderful debut that is full of political intrigue, character growth, and dragons.
Since it’s always hard to write reviews for five-star reads, I’ve decided to make a list of the top five reasons why you should read this book.
1) Asha is a beautifully written, complex heroine. Her character growth throughout the novel was amazing and a joy to read.
2) The world-building. I loved how the history was imparted through stories and how the character’s (and reader’s) perspectives of that history was challenged.
3) The Last Namsara did have a bit of a slow start but the plot overall was engaging, clever, and full of twists.
4) While the romance did develop quickly, I loved that there was such a strong aspect of mutual trust, friendship, and support. Additionally, you don’t often see a princess falling in love with a man of a lower social class, let alone a slave.
5) An absolutely brilliant ending that will somehow wraps this book up perfectly while still leaving you desperate for the next installment. (No, there’s not a cliffhanger).
While it got off to a slow start, the strong foundation that was built ultimately paid off in the end. The second half of the novel had me glued to my seat, utterly entranced and desperate to find out more. There were some minor flaws but The Last Namsara is one of the best debut novels I’ve read this year. Kristen Ciccarelli is definitely an author to watch out for, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I know that I’m already counting down the days until The Caged Queen is released.