Published by HarperTeen on October 3, 2017
Series: Iskari #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Romance
Source: Audiobook from Library
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.
The Last Namsara is the first book in the young adult fantasy Iskari series by Kristen Ciccarelli. I loved this book so, so much. I listened to it on audiobook and I highly recommend the audio book of this series. The narrators voice is so wonderful and I felt like she brought the old tales in the story to life. The Last Namsara is a must read for fans of fantasy, romance and dragons. I loved this book and I am super duper excited to continue on in this world, because I need to know what is going to happen next. This series is a set of companion novels that each follow different main characters but they events are all set sequentially, meaning each book takes place after the events of the previous book, so you follow the same main storyline for the events of the world, which is pretty cool. I love seeing companion novels in a fantasy setting, because I feel like the majority of companion novels I read are set in the contemporary world.
In The Last Namsara we meet our fantastic main character, Asha, who is the daughter of the King and who is the kingdom’s dragon slayer, or Iskari. Asha is kind of an outcast because she is the world sees her as the cause of a dragon attack on her village when she was young. Dragons play a huge role in The Last Namsara and I found them to be completely fascinating to learn about. There are so many secrets to unweave in this story, so I will only tell you the basics and let you discover the magic in all of the details of The Last Namsara for yourself. Dragons are attracted to people telling the old stories. Because of this, speaking the old stories out loud is forbidden. (for many reasons, but the most common is because it will attract dragons.) Asha tells the old stories to draw the dragons to her so she can kill them. Through the book there is an event set in motion that requires Asha to hunt down the oldest dragon of them all and bring his head to the king. And that is where our story really gets going.
Kristen Ciccarelli does a wonderful job bringing the dragons, the stories, the characters, and the ancient folklore surrounding each to vivid, vibrant life. I was captivated by this story whole heartedly. I fell in love with every aspect of this story. I love hearing the old stories, I loved learning about the dragons, and the politics and of course the characters and the romance. The romance won my heart completely. I am so in love with the main characters from this story that I am sad to them move into the background in the next book. The next book is going to feature Roa and I have to be completely honest, I am not sure how I feel about that because she was not my favorite secondary character from The Last Namsara. But I am so in love with the story and Kristen’s writing that I need to continue on to find out what is going to happen next in this magical world. I hope there are plenty more dragons and romance. And I am super curious to see if my opinion of Roa will change in the next book.
Bottom line: The Last Namsara is one of my favorite reads of 2020! Fantasy lovers do not want to miss out on this fantastic book. I loved it so much!
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 Audiobooks Challenge
- 2020 Tackle My TBR Reading Challenge
- Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2020