The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli – a Review
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 dark—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 hearing 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 by Kristen Ciccarelli is the 1st book in her new YA fantasy Iskari series. Ciccarelli has created a complex and interesting fantasy world of Dragons, Royalty and a heroine, who is considered a princess, but is hated by many. Asha, our heroine, is considered an Iskari, bringer of death. When she was a young child, she suffered a disfigurement when she accidently hurt Kozu, the first and most powerful Dragon. The town had serious deaths & damage by the fire of an angry Dragon, which the town blamed her for that disaster. From that moment, Asha became the Iskari, and her job was to kill all dragons and bring their heads to her father, the King. Though this is noted above, it is worth reprinting to explain the difference between an Iskari and Namsara.
“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 dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.”
In current time, Asha is determined to find Kozu and kill him, which would free her from having to marry the commandant, Jarek, who truly was evil. While killing another dragon, she returns home to Figaard with a burned hand that can be poisonous. Jarek’s slave is nearby and attempt to help her, but he is not allowed to touch her; he does anyway in order to help her, but she will keep his secret. The slave, Torwin, is besotted with Asha, but knows this is forbidden. Asha herself, wants nothing to do with the slave boy. Things during the course of this story will slowly change, as will Asha’s life.
Because of the burn, or due to her desire to find, Kozu, Asha has dreams during the night about the old one, and is given things she needs to do to be able to find Kozu. First she is given blades to fight; then is given a young dragon that she must protect; lastly she is given fireskin, which allows her to go through fire and not get burned. The key to the story is that Asha would always kill dragons, thinking that is her destiny. But when she must protect the young dragon, Shadow, who follows her everywhere, she begins to have feelings for the dragon. Torwin, who is now on the run from Jarek and death, does everything he can to help Asha and Shadow; and a friendship is born, but one of secrecy.
What follows is an addictive adventure that will have Asha and Torwin running for their lives, especially when she realizes that she has been betrayed from the beginning, when she was burned as a child. Her half cousin, Safire and her brother, Dax try to help her and together they will find the truth that will also save Dax’s life. What was amazing was the Dragons, especially Kozu, who would become a very big part of Asha ‘s life, as we raced to climax, which was an exciting last half of the book.
I can’t tell too much more, as it would ruin the story for you. The Last Namsara was an exciting, captivating story, in a fantastic intriguing new world, which includes villains, dragons, forbidden romance and a great heroine. Kristen Ciccarelli has done a fabulous job writing this story, and I cannot wait for the next book.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publisher