Review: The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Title: The Last Namsara (Iskari #1)
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Genre: Fantasy, Dragons 
Source: Wunderkind PR
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Hardcover, 432 pages

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 am still a bundle full of emotions from this book. The story. The characters. The World. Kristen is a masterful story teller and did not disappoint in her debut novel. I don't know why I waited so long to start the series because it had everything I love in a fantasy novel: forbidden romance, tons of action, amazing characters and intricate but expertly explained world building and lets not forget DRAGONS! Thank you Wunderkind PR for reaching out about reviewing this series (the review for The Caged Queen and The Sky Weaver are coming in the next week!) and moving it up on my TBR. 

When Asha was a child she told the forbidden ancient stories to the First Dragon, Kozu, and when she refused to he burned her. Eight years later Asha is the King's Iskari, a title she has earned by becoming the fiercest and most deadliest dragon slayer there is. No matter how many dragons Asha kills she will never have her freedom. After Kozu burned parts of the kingdom of Firgaard to the ground in his anger of denial of the stories, the kingdom looks upon Asha with disgust and contempt. But one person knows the secret of that night: the cruel commandant Jarek, who the King has promised Asha's hand to. But as the day come closer the King offers Asha a deal: Bring Kozu's head to him and she won't have to marry Jarek. But as Asha starts to unravel the secrets of Firgaard and the secrets of herself with the help of Torwin, one of Jarek's slave everything she has grown to know is questioned. 

Kristen's world building was amazing. It was easy to understand the world she created and I loved the ways she did it. There was no info dump and she added more detail to her world as was needed. I enjoyed how the chapters alternated with the forbidden stories, I found that it added to the world and gave me more of an understand of the culture and why Asha continues to question why they are forbidden and if they truly are dangerous after all.  

I loved Asha's character and her growth through out the novel. I will admit, at first I did not like Asha at all. I found her harsh, mean and in her interactions with Torwin that she believed she was above him. More then half of the book she had referred to him as "slave" even though she did know his name. BUT by the end of the story I loved her character and her growth. Asha opens herself up to love and the possibility that everything she knew has been a lie. I found Asha from the first half of the book and Asha at the books ending to be two different characters and I loved that. I am super excited to see Asha's growth through out the next two books. (Even though she isn't the main character in those, they do take place after this book so I am excited to see.) 

I am a sucker for forbidden romances, so the fact that Asha falls for Jarek's slave sucked me right into the story even more. I ship it and by the end of the book I was crying for both characters. (Happy or sad tears? You have to read to find out!) 

Conclusion: Dragons are air puppies. That is all I have to say. 

Overall I really enjoyed The Last Namsara and I can't wait to read The Caged Queen and to witness Dax and Roa's story. Thank you again Wunderkind PR for the opportunity to read this book, all thoughts and opinions are my own! 

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