This will be funny once you see the next post.
I went to one of Gollancz events about Fantasy in YA and managed to get my book signed which was really great and the talk was fun and it was awesome so I left wanting to read the book and I did.
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
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.
I enjoyed this more than I expected, I guess partly because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Usually I love books with dragons, except for Paolini’s books for reasons I won’t go into in this review, so I knew I would probably like this one.
I am also really into heroines that seem to have a life purpose that distances from others but they also long for a life, and with Asha, it broke my heart that she had to marry someone she didn’t want to marry (and it just was she didn’t want to marry, not that she had a secret love somewhere). It felt powerful.
The tiwsts of the story and how Asha clings to her previous beliefs then slowly the blinds are taken from her eyes and she starts seeing things in a different light, correcting the wrongs becomes so much more important. This was beautifully achieved and the character growth in this particular aspect was a delight to read.
I wasn’t too much into the romance mostly because it feels like it still has to grow but I assume it’ll be taken on on the book since it is only somewhat starting at the end of this book.
The way the slaves aren’t meant to even look at the draksor and can’t touch them was chilling and I just hope it is delved deepr into why it was chosen this way and what had driven the dragon queen to do such atrocities.
And I really liked the secondary/side characters, Asha’s brother, her cousin, the rest of the cast were very well developed (and also the villains, I love well developed villains with layers and motives and wow).
All in all a good fantasy book with dragons, stories and interesting characters. Definitely looking forward to the second one.
If you like dragons and heroines, read The Last Namsara. As I read it, I couldn’t help but find a lot of similarities with The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, which actually at first put me off since it is such a beloved book for me, but the similarities are good and they are different enough that they are each a strong book on their own so my love for them doesn’t conflict.
PS. The book beneath The Last Namsara is Dragonology, I am also taking advantage of Krakow props like the dragon and the coaster because they have their own fire breathing dragon outside the castle.
Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.