ARC, Book Reviews

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli| ARC Review

Title: The Last Namsara

Author: Kristen Ciccarelli

Series: Iskari #1

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Publication date: October 3rd, 2017

Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 432

My rantingIMG_0196

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.

“Once there was a girl who was drawn to wicked things. Things like forbidden, ancient stories. It didn’t matter that the old stories killed her mother. It didn’t matter they’d killed many more before her. The girl let the old stories in. She let them eat away at her heart and turn her wicked.”

When I first heard about this book I needed to read it! The premise sounded like something I would enjoy, and there was something about that cover that caught my attention (I believed they’ve recently done a cover change, but STILL). But what I didn’t know (or remember) was THAT THERE WERE DRAGONS IN THE BOOK. I love dragons and everything related to them, but somehow I’ve never read or remember reading any book about dragons before, so this was my first experience with them. And I have to say they were my favourite thing in the book! Even though I would have loved to read more about them, I feel it was a nice introduction for the first book in a series (I still don’t know if it’s going to be a trilogy or what).

And another thing that really surprised me was that it took me a day to read it, which in fantasy genres it’s not very common to me. I sometimes struggle to get into the world or learn some names or places, but that didn’t happen with this novel.

“If I’d spent my life believing lies, I wouldn’t trust myself to know the truth when it stood staring me in the face.”

There’s a great diversity in the whole entire book. All (or most) of the characters in the book were POC, and that was great. Also it was set in a desert-y, warm type of place, which I didn’t know previouly, but it was perfect for summertime.

Now let’s talk about the characters, shall we? Because I feel that’s whom I struggled a bit more with. At the beginning I wasn’t a very big fan of Asha. She seemed quite an annoying character who doesn’t care about anyone but herself and treated people not the nicest ways, BUT I have to say her development through the story was so interesting and I really loved it. You could see how she was educated as you kept reading and how her perspective over certain things began to change.

Also there was this romance between Asha and Torwin, which I’m still not sure what to think. I really enjoyed the interactions they had and some things that happened felt quite real, but I’m not sure yet if I ship them as a couple or as friends. I still have to think about it, sorry.

There wasn’t a lot of wordlbuilding, though and I don’t know if it was due to being the first installment so the author decided to focuse on other parts of the story but it will expand in the next novels, or just simply because the book was lacking in that. But I really hope to see more about those places in the sequels.

“Greta used to say,” he said as he played, “that every one of us is born with a song buried deep in our hearts. A song all our own. And our mission in life is to search for that song.”

But my favourite thing by far were the dragons. As I said before in the review, I haven’t yet read any story with dragons, despite really wanting to, so I think this was a nice start to me. The connections forged between the characters and them kinda reminded me to Eragon (even though they had nothing in common, but I couldn’t help but think about it while reading the novel). They felt almost human sometimes, and I connected a lot with them.

There were as well the stories Asha told the dragons to lure them in. I loved those so much and there were such a great and different adittion to the story itself. And also with those stories you get to know the main character’s back story and the history of namsaras of that place even more.

And it was really action packed, so I didn’t get bored whatsoever! Overall I have to say it was a very good first installment and I really want to know how the story developes.

I recieved an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This however doesn’t change my opinion about it. All thoughts are mine alone. 

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