The Last Namsara

The Last Namsara

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: New York, New York : HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780062567987
Characteristics: 421 pages ;,24 cm.

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I put off reading this for some reason - I remember passing it by in the book store SO many times, and then, when I found it used for ten bucks, I thought it had to be a sign. And it absolutely was. This book is incredible. Not only is it YA that includes badass girls, dragons, worthy villains, and a love story to make you melt, but the author is Canadian. In a word? Perfection.

Asha is such a great protagonist. She's smart as a whip, tough as hell, and unafraid to let her voice be heard. She's the victim of her circumstances in so many ways, but the way she fights that and finds her true voice gave me chills at numerous points. She's just so well-rounded.

The supporting cast of characters is just as strong, from the dragon king to Jarek (ugh) to Dax and Roa and Torwin (*major heart eyes*). The romance is subtle, slow-burning for a good part of the novel, but once it gets going, it literally had my heart pounding and my eyes burning with tears at numerous points. My favourite kind of romance is the one that takes a while to build, and this one felt believable and heart-aching.

The plot itself was strong as well. There were a few plot points that actually had me going "OHHHHH" out loud and I absolutely LOVE IT when books do that. The connections and the realizations and everything coming together all worked so well.

Now, the best part of this whole thing was, undoubtedly, the dragons. Kozu and Shadow were absolutely amazing. I want entire books about their lives before Asha. I want to know what they do when she's not around. Basically I want a dragon cam on non-stop so that I can keep up with them forever because my heart cannot contain the love I have for them.

So, to sum up: a creative dragon fantasy with soft girls with hard shells and soft boys with stars in their eyes by a Canadian YA author. I couldn't ask for anything more.

HardestyLibraryReads Apr 16, 2020

A lush fantasy world with high stakes and a strong female protagonist, The Last Namsara is a thrilling read. It's not just another dragon story. Ciccarelli's unique system of magic and riveting action keep you entranced the whole time.

sarahbru17 Feb 11, 2020

Characters: 8/10
Plot: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Audiobook Narration: 9/10
This was a surprising find for me--I had put it on my to-read list ages ago and forgotten about it, and then it became available on Hoopla for me to checkout on audiobook and I went for it. I was not prepared to get so engaged in this unique magic system and fantasy worldbuilding. I absolutely loved the use of storytelling in this novel, and the characters' growth and change was obvious throughout the book. Really engaging read, though I'm not sure I'll read the companion novels just because this one was really satisfying by itself.

RandomLibrarian Aug 14, 2019

Review excerpt: "'The Last Namsara' is a YA epic fantasy that I think will appeal to a lot of readers, including those who are a little leery of the genre. First of all, there’s no cliffhanger ending. We get full resolution, although I can certainly see the book being part of a larger series. There’s also a romance, but no love triangle. Add to that a completely badass warrior heroine, a forbidden love story, dragons, and storytelling depicted as a powerful magic. Win!"

https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/reviews/last-namsara-kristen-ciccarelli/

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Oct 13, 2018

The Last Namsara, by Kristen Ciccarelli, is an excellent fantasy book, and possibly my new favourite book. It starts off quickly, and keeps the fast-pace steady throughout the book. The world building is elaborate and detailed, revealing unknown details until the end as Asha unravels the past. The plot is deceptively simple at first, but has side plots seamlessly woven in, adding the mystery, character development, and suspense. Though the twist ending wasn’t entirely surprising, and somewhat cliche, it had new aspects and the perfect amount of foreshadowing. Asha, the main character, is multi-faceted, and nowhere near perfect. She seems very human, and she is, though not exactly likeable, a character that you want to succeed. Torwin, though a side character and the love interest, has dimensions and purpose. He is essential to the storyline and an amazing character. The refreshing twist on soulmates is wonderfully done, as it still needs leaves the element of choice. Both the major antagonist and the “side” antagonist’s motives are slightly unclear, but otherwise well-rounded characters. The story ends dramatically but conclusively, even as it leaves questions for the readers. Overall, The Last Namsara is a wonderful book, filled with excitement, betrayal, and love. 5/5
- @SoleilAngel of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

The Last Namsara, is a fantasy novel with intricate relations not just between humans, but with dragons as well. From this novel, Ciccarelli showed that sometimes, it’s not always blood over love. Sometimes, even the people closest to you can still betray you. I absolutely loved the balance of good and evil, comparing the sky to earth. The Namsara seen as the hero, the Iskari as the destructor, as she felt no pain when she brought death upon her people. The concept of balance is stunning, and I love how the author connected with her audience. The novel felt very relatable, being told what to say, and never having our own freedom as young adults. The author does not portray the dragons as pets, but well respected, cunning creatures equal to humans, with strong personalities. Asha’s character shows that women can dominate just as much as men can. Women can be heroes too. She was not the typical weak-willed girl you would expect. As her story continues, her viciousness and the connections she holds with history form a story that you can’t resist! Ciccarelli really linked the past and present to create a wonderful story. I would recommend this novel for teens between 12-16, although I’m sure some adults would enjoy it as well. I would say the storyline isn’t as intricate as let’s say, Hunger Games, and I’m sure some adults would prefer something that they relate to more, other than self-worth. Overall, it was absolutely amazing! Well done Ciccarelli! 4/5. @LoveoverBlood of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board.

e
eleonoraikp
Jun 10, 2018

Just finished reading this one. I have enjoyed it so much. Can't wait until second one that is planned for release this Fall.

Great plot. I really like the characters especially Asha and Torwin.

k
koiishi22
Dec 05, 2017

DNF, stopped at page 143. I like a lot of the plot but this seems very scattered and is super drawn out.

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