Review Type: SPOILER
Title and Author: The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Genre and Subgenre: YA Fantasy
Length: 432 pages
Buy it here.
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.
Hayyyy book fam, it’s ya girl Lauren! I know Amanda is normally our review girl, but I’ve been reading so many books this year thanks to the magic that is audiobooks so I’ve decided to do some since I am in dire need of peeps to fangirl with (looking at you guys).
The Last Namsara was our #BookQueenReads book for the month! Kyleigh will almost always join in on these reads and I tend to jump in and out
because I’m wishy-washy AF depending on if it’s a book I’m interested in. BUT Kyleigh recommended this one very highly so that got it some points AND Pearl Mackie reads the audiobook (Doctor Who Companion), so that got it enough points that I decided to hop on. And boy oh boy I was not disappointed.
There was so much that I absolutely ADORED about this book. Firstly, I thought Asha was a super unique protagonist. Though things ended up changing throughout the story, the idea of a protagonist having wickedness in their soul and naturally wicked impulses really intrigued me right off the bat. Not to mention the fact that SHE’S A FREAKING DRAGON SLAYER!!! This book was perfectly timed with the premiere of the new season of GOT so I was pretty much hooked right away.
If I had one criticism AKA the one thing that kept me from giving it five stars was I felt like some of the conversations at the beginning were a little repetitive. We get it, you don’t want to marry Jarek, he’s evil and horrible, Torwin is giving you some serious EC (eye contact) – like… we get it. The only other small complaint I had was, while Torwin was great and the love story was nice, it didn’t reach like OTP level for me.
But OH MY GOSH GUYS SO MANY FEELS! The level of betrayal from her Dad, finding out she’s been the Namsara all along, and OMG SHADOW *weeps uncontrollably*. May I just say, HOW DARE! I have not felt such emotions about a pet named Shadow since the movie Homeward Bound and I’m not OK.
There were also some really relevant themes, like dictators and/or governments using fear mongering to retain power as well as unjust prejudices of people who you perceive as ‘different’. I also loved that the version of magic in this world was stories, it rings very true to how we all feel about stories. AND it led to a lot of really good writing with little interludes to tell ancient tales (SUPER COOL).
I’m sure it’s fairly obvious how much I loved this book, but it was amazing guys. Ky and I were talking about how we’re shocked more people aren’t talking about it, it def didn’t get the hype it deserves. FYI we’ll be doing a live discussion on our Instagram toward the end of this month so stay tuned to find out when and please join us!
If any of yinz have read it PLEASE comment because I don’t know what to do with myself now that I’m done. Actually yes I do, I’m planning on starting An Ember in the Ashes today (I know I’m late to the game). I’ll be putting up a review for that when I’m done as well as some for other books I’ve read so far this year!
‘Til next time, book fam, I need like three more cups of coffee to get through the rest of my day please and thank you.