Title: The Last Namsara
By: Kristen Ciccarelli
Published: October 3rd, 2017
You can buy it HERE: Book Depository
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.
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Book #4 || The Book Junkie Trials Read-A-Thon || #MAGE
“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 that they’d killed many before her. The girl let the old stories in. She let them in eat away at her heart and turn her wicked.”
I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!. This book has made me feel so many things, it also has everything I usually love in a good fantasy, from complex heroines and female power to a royal family and dragons. Also, I LOVED the romance, can you believe it? OMG, I needed a romance like this in my life, real and credible.
Legend has it that as there has always been a being of light and good, “The Namsara”, created to bring love to the world, there has also always been its counterpart, “The Iskari”, who born of the shadows comes to bring terror and spread panic.
Asha’s the daughter of the dragon 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. Asha has successfully killed every dragon that has hunted, and then take its head to her father, but what she really fears is in the palace, she has been committed to marriage with the Commander, a cruel man who just wants to dominate her, but when her father gives her a way out, she takes it. Now Asha must hunt down the most powerful and feared dragon in order to save herself from a future she doesn’t want. With the help of a slave friend, she must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.
Even when the blurb is pretty good, I think it doesn’t do justice to the book. This book besides being a clear example of an incredible construction of a Fantasy, is also super significant and touches deep themes of each of the characters, it also leaves you thinking with its beautiful stories and myths. I think it’s the full package for me, and I love this book to pieces. I feel so excited to have finally given it a chance, I think it deserves more love and recognition because despite having heard about it before, I don’t think people talks as much as they should. Personally, I’ll be talking about this book for years lol. I LOVED IT
I think the author has created a very interesting plot full of shocking twists that will make you change your mind several times, in the beginning, I was believing and feeling things that changed completely as I progressed through the story.
Personally, I’ve felt so betrayed by my emotions, I really trusted characters that disappointed me and that’s great, I mean, it’s sad, of course, but the fact that the author has created such characters with such deep and well-marked personalities, that managed to play with your feelings and with your head, and have achieved with a simple twist to make me feel so many things, is brilliant to me. I didn’t see any of the revelations coming and I always enjoy being surprised.
I also think it’s a super entertaining concept, it has so many levels of scenes, we have scenes that will make you think and dream a little, and scenes of high-impact, struggle, and tension, and all this is perfectly handled.
I found the writing style very beautiful, I really like how the author expresses herself, makes everything very vivid and magical. We can also enjoy some scenes where tell us legends and stories from the creation of the first Namsara and Iskari, the creation of the dragons and their purpose, to heartbreaking love stories and even betrayals and incredible acts of justice. Simply the fact that these chapters exist makes me so happy, I’d read them all again just for joy. They’re small stories that make you understand a little more the main story, the origin of everything and also allows you to meet other characters from the past.
“Then may Death send his worst. Cold to freeze the love in my heart. Fire to burn my memories to ash. Wind to force me through the gates. Time to wear my loyalty away. I’ll wait for you at Death’s gate.”
There are obviously different races in this world, but two of the ones we know most are the Skrals and the Draksors. The story, in summary, says that when the Skrals wanted to invade Firgaard, the Dragon Queen (Asha’s grandmother) set them up and then defeated them, but instead of giving them punishment and leaving them free, she decided to take them as slaves for her people, the high-ranks Draksors. So in this story, the slaves excite and behind, in the shadows, they’re waiting to be free. There’s a lot of this happening too, and although it’s a story apart from Asha’s personal struggle, I think it’s super interesting and I love how it’s developed. I’d have liked to know more about more slaves and know their thoughts and stories, but I like how everything was executed. I like how the issue of power within society, the kingdom, and its king is discussed.
As always I’ll talk a little about the characters, which I must say I loved them all, although obviously, I have my favorites, so let’s start.
First of all, we have Asha or the Great Iskari, I loved to follow her in this story, she’s the type of character that I usually enjoy because she has a very marked dark side, especially at the beginning, and this is 100% due to how people have treated her throughout her life, her father declared her an Iskari as a kind of “protection” when she was just a child, after an incident in which she called Kozu, this legendary first dragon, with the power to tell the forbidden stories and this destroyed her city and killed hundreds of people. Now the people who one day wanted to destroy her are afraid of her, and no one is allowed to even look her in the eye or have any contact with her, that’s why she has grown to be a very tough, rough and closed young woman. I love Asha, I think she’s a very brave and determined human being, but in addition to the darkness that attracts me of this character, she has an INCREDIBLE growth during the book and in the end, I feel proud of all her progress, especially considering that her life changes completely after some revelations.
Then we have Safire, she’s Asha’s cousin and she’s a great warrior who’s always there for her cousin, she’s very supportive and I can see that she has a great spirit of justice. I really loved her relationship with Asha, I’m always here for a great friendship, but they’re family as well, so it makes everything even better. Safire’s the daughter of a Draksor and a slave, so she should never have survived so long since such relationships are forbidden, even so, Safire has the support and total care of Asha and that’s why nobody does anything to her, not even the King himself.
Then we have Torwin, he’s the slave of Asha’s fiancée and “love interest”, he’s an incredible character himself, I like how from the first moment he proves not to be afraid of Iskari and how he challenges her and how he destabilizes her is absolutely perfect. On the other hand, I LOVE that he has changed my mind about the typical good guy lol, you know that I’m all for the bad/dark characters, but Torwin has my heart, he’s not just kind but he’s brave and very strong, he has had to going through so many punishments for his freedom, breaks my heart, deserves the best in this world.
Then we have Dash, he’s Asha’s brother, and he’s a rebel, he has never agreed with how his father governs and has much bigger plans that we’ll not discover until the end. I really like him because he has a level of mystery that makes him interesting. He also cares a lot about his sister and that’s just my weakness
And finally I’ll talk about Jarek, he’s The Commander and a horrible person, honestly the level of violence he exercises both in Asha and with the rest of the world gave me chills, I could feel his anger and his eagerness for power, he’s a character that although It’s creepy, it’s very well-created.
I could talk about some more but I prefer to leave it that way, I would not like to do spoilers and I also feel that I may have more of the other characters in the next book.
I haven’t forgotten the DRAGONS! Believe me, it’s my favorite thing about this book. I like them all and I love how they progress as you progress through the plot. .I can’t say much about them because everything is spoilers, I’m just going to say that Kozu and Shadow are my babies and I love them forever It has been a long time since a book makes me cry, this one did it, so you can get an idea of how good it was.
There was a romance happening and OMG, SO BEAUTIFUL!!! I was in need of a romance like that, I just loved it. It’s obviously as I said before, between Asha and Torwin, and although you see it coming, I mean, it’s not surprising at all, it’s a slow and very natural progress, IT’S NOT INSTA-LOVE!!! which makes me more than happy lol. In fact, Asha’s heart is very cold at first, so although she feels that something is happening differently in her, she doesn’t fall in love immediately, in fact, she has a hard time identifying signs, it’s something absolutely new for her and Torwin is a sweetness that support her from the first moment. It’s slow-burn, it has a very interesting past, and a connection I can’t talk about much, and the sexual tension is magnificent, they don’t even have to touch each other to give us the best scene in the book. I really can’t say anything bad about this, maybe that hasn’t been longer lol, I just loved it and it’s very difficult to explain it with words, but it felt like a love story of those worth reading.
The dynamics of the royal family is absolutely interesting and although I can’t speak much because spoilers again, I wanted to mention it anyway. There are so many secrets between them, it’s crazy, and when everything comes to light I was simply in shock, I still can’t believe it
OMG, I almost forgot to talk about the world-building, but first, I want to apologize if my review is all over the place, I’m so excited for this book that I don’t know if I’m explaining the whole thing right, I hope you understand. MY FEELINGS!! LOL.
The world-building isn’t bad, in fact I liked a lot what we knew, although I would have liked it to expand a little more, we don’t know other kingdoms, it’s very focused on Figaard and some free lands, but not much more, what other than we know, we know it by name, but not by description. Even so, this didn’t impede my enjoyment, in fact, I understand that the author wanted to focus on this kingdom since I understand that the next books are about different characters, and we’ll surely visit more territories and different landscapes.
“Iskari let others define her because she thought she didn’t have a choice. Because she thought she was alone and unloved.”
I liked the ending, although I confess that it wasn’t the high-impact conclusion I expected, in fact, there are scenes in the book that leaves you breathless, for its beautiful descriptions and because it has really impressive/impactful moments, the ending hasn’t achieved that effect, even so, it was good, obviously very happy with that ending, I really wish I had more of the characters, though.
A part of me thought that maybe the next book would be about Safire, and I would have LOVED that, but I read that it’s about Roa, and it’s okay, I mean, I didn’t get to know her 100% to know if I would like more of her, but I’ll give her an opportunity. I think that the books that change characters are a hit or miss for me, but hopefully, if there are dragons and more about the world, I end up enjoying anyway, maybe there are small appearances of old characters…, Oh! I hope that happens, it would make me more than happy.
Obviously, I highly recommend the book, it’s not easy for me to give 5 stars to something, I tend to be very critical of the books I read and that’s fine for me, because now when I find a book like this one, that has filled me with feels and It made me cry and laugh, it’s even more special. I hope you decide to give it a try, nothing would make me happier than talking about it with you. I recommend it if you like high-fantasy, dark heroines, complex characters, an intriguing plot, and DRAGONS!
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