The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Everything is better with dragons.
The Last Namsara has been on my TBR since I heard about it at YALC last year. My friend Kate had blagged an arc and had been raving about it ever since. Why did I wait so long to read it? Who knows. Usually, anything Kate recommends I end up loving anyway, so it seemed obvious to pick this one up as soon as.
That didn’t happen, but after being able to make a trade and get a signed copy *drool*, I finally got stuck into a story of politics, forbidden love, and of course, dragons. And I loved it!
The Last Namsara is not what I expected. For some reason, I assumed it might be a quest of some sort. You hear dragons, and you think of far away lands. Not just reading about them, but the main character actually going to them. But Asha’s story takes place in her own kingdom, where dragons are slain and the ‘old ways’ cannot even be uttered on the lips of the kingdom’s people. Asha had the capacity to be the anti-heroine that I adore so much, but I’m glad she wasn’t. Her kingdom needed a heroine and it needed to be her.
Asha had (and still does have) a very long and life-changing journey that means she can trust no one but herself. Her character development is incredible, and she goes from feeling so small to becoming the leader she’s supposed to be.
I loved the side characters too. Kristen Ciccarelli is great at writing soft boys, and Torwin fits the bill. He’s capable and strong, yet gentle and self-aware. A pure cinammon roll. We stan.
The dragons are beautiful too. I have a hard time picturing dragons sometimes; I rarely consume visual media with dragons in, and dragons can look so different depending on how an artist depicts them. But The Last Namsara does a great job of portraying them as both dangerous and stunning creatures. I think picturing the Game of Thrones dragons is the best way to think of them.
The Caged Queen comes out in October, and tells the story of Roa, a side character in The Last Namsara. Another female led dragon fantasy! I think it would be better to call The Caged Queen a companion rather than a sequel, but I guess we won’t know until it comes out. I can’t wait!
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.
Release Date: October 2017
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆