The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Last 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 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...

Title:The Last Namsara
Author:
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Edition Language:English

The Last Namsara Reviews

  • Tomi Adeyemi

    The most simple thing I can say is this is the best book I have ever read and Kristen Ciccarelli is now my favorite author.

    Her story and her words have so much beauty, and love, and passion, and adventure. By the end I gasped every 5-10 pages and got goosebumps every 10-20 pages.

    There are not many books I would say this for, but pre-order this now because your soul has been waiting for a story this beautiful.

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    2.5 stars. This one is kind of hard to review because I had a feeling the whole way through that it was a story I

    like and normally WOULD like, but just could

    get into it. And after 2 months of forcing myself to finish it, I'm just... confident that this was not really for me. That's not a judgement on the book itself or the author by any means! Just me.

    I think the author created a complex world and added a lot of elements I adored (like dragons, royalty,

    2.5 stars. This one is kind of hard to review because I had a feeling the whole way through that it was a story I

    like and normally WOULD like, but just could

    get into it. And after 2 months of forcing myself to finish it, I'm just... confident that this was not really for me. That's not a judgement on the book itself or the author by any means! Just me.

    I think the author created a complex world and added a lot of elements I adored (like dragons, royalty, adventure, and girls with swords). The idea of the main character being attracted to the slave of her betrothed was something that stood out more. So there were parts that kept me reading! But the worldbuilding seemed kind of sketchy or elusive in parts (or else turned into an infodump because I didn't care yet). Plus, the writing never grabbed me and other parts just felt... off. I mean, this is a story about DRAGONS and a badass princess on a quest for her freedom!! It should not be that hard for me to get into.

    So this didn't work for me in the end, buuut please don't take that as any sort of condemnation of this book. I can definitely see others liking it!

    Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.

  • Amber Robertson

    This book has basically everything I’ve been looking for this year. I’ve been hunting for a book featuring dragons, a kickass female character who holds a blade and war. I wanted someone reminiscent of a series I read when I was in primary school, where the young orphan girl acquires a dragon and many adventures foll

    This book has basically everything I’ve been looking for this year. I’ve been hunting for a book featuring dragons, a kickass female character who holds a blade and war. I wanted someone reminiscent of a series I read when I was in primary school, where the young orphan girl acquires a dragon and many adventures follow. I promise the series wasn’t as boring as it sounds. It was something like Dragon in the Purple Garden? I’m not sure. But, I wanted something similar.

    The Last Namsara was exactly that. I went into this book with some low expectations. Not because I didn’t want the book to be good, but simply because my life is doing a lot of changes right now (moving, wisdom teeth extraction and visiting a friend) and I tend to not enjoy books as much when I’m stressed. This book, however, slipped through and I loved it.

    The book is intense, to put it mildly. It went in directions I wasn’t expecting and left me speechless. I was shocked by the twists and turns (what I get from not reading the blurb). I simply loved it. I was a bit lost in some parts of the novel, which is why it didn’t exactly hit the five-star mark for me. In some parts, I still don’t exactly get the particular terms either, but I think I worked most of it out by the end. But, I am very excited to read the next two books in this trilogy.

    My favourite part of the novel was definitely the addition of the Old Stories (which are illegal in this world). They really added to the chapters in which they were included, creating a greater depth to the world and an amazing parallel.

    I’m not sure if anyone remembers/read my Before She Ignites review but I ranted about the lack of dragons featured in that novel. The Last Namsara makes up for that tenfold. There are dragons. There is brutality. There is redemption. There is a main character who is morally grey and isn’t the stereotypical YA heroine definition of beautiful (considering a scar runs the length of her body).

    This book made me cringe, it made me cry, it made me smile. I highly recommend it.

    The plot took at least four directions I wasn’t expecting. I was expecting some evil dragons that our main character would have to destroy. That was not all that was hiding behind this beautiful cover. It was such a shockingly amazing. I kept saying I would put it down and go to bed, but I read over a hundred pages and was up way later than I should have been.

    I don’t want to say too much about the plot because I want you to be as shocked as I was if you choose to read it. Plus, I really prefer to keep all my reviews spoiler free. I just can recommend this book and promise it won’t disappoint you. Especially if you love dragons as much as me.

    Much like the plot section of this review, I want to keep this as empty as possible, if that makes sense. I don’t want you to be spoiled in any shape way or form. So, I apologise for how sparse and rambly this section may be.

    There is a lot I can say about Asha. She is basically a weapon. Seen as a dragon hunter to take down dragons for her father. She never returns empty handed. Not since the most famous dragon, the first one, burnt half her as a young girl. It sounds like it was horrendous (the event itself, not the scars) and my heart goes out to anyone in real life who has experienced something similar. However, Asha believes she is better than everyone because of her job and title, Iskari. It was interesting to see the main character who was self-assured and could fight because they had trained (not just picked up a weapon and magically used it like they had their whole life).

    Asha is ultimately an instrument of her father. She does what he says no matter what. The law is the law and Asha is a loyal servant of it…to an extent. As she grows in the novel she learns more knowledge about herself and the world she knows. It changes her and I really enjoyed seeing that journey she went through.

    The fact her journey of growth was so subtly in the text, having her flip back and forth between her beliefs and what she is discovering, was incredible. The writing for this particular novel is amazing. I am truly in awe that this is a debut novel.

    My only flaw with Asha would be the romance. I didn’t exactly feel it on her part and would like to see it develop further in the next book.

    There are so many other characters, I won’t name them because I am really trying to avoid spoilers, and the depth behind them is incredible. I truly didn’t know that much depth could be placed behind side characters. I was shocked by the actions of some and, overall, loved most of them.

    Overall, this book is exactly what I needed and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have if you choose to pick it up! It has your cliche elements that most YA hold, including a forbidden romance, but I really think they cliches are well down throughout the novel. As well as this being a good representation of female strength.

    Happy reading everyone!

  • Dannii Elle

    The book opened with the intriguing line,

    , and I was pretty much sold from this point forward.

    Asha is the daughter of The Dragon King. Responsible for the dragons that burned her city, murdered her mother, and left her with a disfiguring scar, she is both feared and loathed by her people. It is only her closeness to the throne that keeps her from becoming openly ridiculed, or worse. By once bringing the destruction of the dragons to her city, she now devotes

    The book opened with the intriguing line,

    , and I was pretty much sold from this point forward.

    Asha is the daughter of The Dragon King. Responsible for the dragons that burned her city, murdered her mother, and left her with a disfiguring scar, she is both feared and loathed by her people. It is only her closeness to the throne that keeps her from becoming openly ridiculed, or worse. By once bringing the destruction of the dragons to her city, she now devotes her life to riding her lands of the ferocious and fearsome mythical beasts. And nothing can alter Asha from continuing on this quest. Not even her impending marriage to the cruel Jarek. Not even her brother who has returned to her waning from a mysterious illness. Not even an ancient prophecy that seems to be haunting both her dreams and nightmares. But maybe in the face of the slave who doesn't seem to know his place beneath her.

    I was never not going to be interested n a book about dragons! But what I didn't expect was how much more this book had to deliver. Whilst the dragons continued to play a major theme throughout this book, this fantasy also dwelt on the harsh treatment of the slaves who serve this story's focus. The slaves are subjected to both harsh cruelty and casual degradation, and the protagonist is provided with a steep learning curve of the equally as devastating effects of the two when confronted with one who will not conform to this treatment.

    Through the immersion of these deeper themes the reader is provided with a broader insight to these mystical lands, as all levels to the social hierarchy are covered and explored. This enhanced my understanding of these realm and added an authenticity to, what was clearly, a well-thought out and well-built world.

    The magic system used, in where words can summon myths and stories can drain a human of their health, I initially found a little overwhelming, however. I struggled to understand the particulars of this but, as the story progressed, all my questions were answered. It slowed my pace of reading during the first quarter, as I personally prefer my fantasies to have a solid foundation before the story advances, but didn't continue to impact my enjoyment once I realised all would be revealed in the book's own, sweet time.

    My only slight point of contention was with how large a part the budding romance, between Asha and her unintended, played in the story. I found Asha to be such an independent and feisty female who, in my opinion, could have remained just as strong without the additional complications of love. It wasn't an over-blown or hastily written romance, but a slow-building and believable one. But one, nevertheless, that added nothing much to the story for me, as sweet as it was.

    In all, this was a thrilling kingdom fantasy that provided a unique world, an intriguing magic system and a story-line I am interested in seeing continued in the series' following instalments. Now, if the romance would only take more of a back-seat to the action, this would become perfect!

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Kristen Ciccarelli, and the publisher, Gollancz, for this opportunity.

  • Nadhira Satria

    Oh wow oh wow oh wow 4.50 Stars!!!!

    Can I just say that it’s been awhile since I’ve read a ya fantasy book with such rich world building and complex history??? I mean shit the world building is as rich as Bill Gates I am SHOOK

    I was instantly drawn to the story and the world by the first few pages.

    ✨What I loved✨

    -THE STORIES!!!!

    In this book, stories are illegal and deadly. Every once in awhile we get these beautiful short stories in the book and can I just say that they are just absolutely mesmer

    Oh wow oh wow oh wow 4.50 Stars!!!!

    Can I just say that it’s been awhile since I’ve read a ya fantasy book with such rich world building and complex history??? I mean shit the world building is as rich as Bill Gates I am SHOOK

    I was instantly drawn to the story and the world by the first few pages.

    ✨What I loved✨

    -THE STORIES!!!!

    In this book, stories are illegal and deadly. Every once in awhile we get these beautiful short stories in the book and can I just say that they are just absolutely mesmerizing. I lived for the stories and the history of this complex and intricately well made world.

    -ASHA

    A queen. It’s no secret that I have a thing for hating on main characters lmao but Asha oh my she is everything I ask for a main character to be: flawed, unemotional, strong, and don’t give two shits about hurting other people’s feelings. Her growth and development is just 👌🏼

    -THE WORLD

    I told y’all this is one of the most well written, richly imagined, complex world I came across to in YA. This is not for people who are not into high fantasy because iss rich .com

    -THE TWISTS

    BOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY IT GOT ME SHOOKETH

    💫What I didn’t like 💫

    -Pacing

    It can get a bit slow in the middle of the book but boy was it fucking worth it tho because damn

    -Dax and Roa and nice side characters

    Meh. Meh to all boringly nice side characters from every book in the world like get a personality and be more appealing

    -Lack of details

    I NEED MORE DETAILS! more boom boom pow kaboom tshhhh and less asha ran asha do this asha do that.

    So overall: 4.5 fiery stars because I LOVED IT AND I WANT MOREEEEE.

    Thank you Fairyloot for the exclusive cover and this brilliant book!

    Honestly guys, you should get this from a bookstore / library/ or wherever you get your books and read it nowwwwww

  • Ishmeen

    RTC

    Can’t say I wasn’t hesitant about this book at some bits but that ending was lit and I want more so gimme 👏🏻

  • Lola  Reviewer

    3 1/2 stars. Finally, a dragon fantasy YA book that doesn’t s—smell bad. It does show that this is the author’s debut novel, from how careful she is being in her writing (take risks, madam!), but it’s a worthy debut.

    The idea of telling stories to dragons fascinated me. I mean, the dragons listen! They even speak. They have a brain, like there could be a whole community of them living next to the humans.

    Except Asha—the dragon slayer—wants them all to die. Indeed, if she destroys Kozu, they will

    3 1/2 stars. Finally, a dragon fantasy YA book that doesn’t s—smell bad. It does show that this is the author’s debut novel, from how careful she is being in her writing (take risks, madam!), but it’s a worthy debut.

    The idea of telling stories to dragons fascinated me. I mean, the dragons listen! They even speak. They have a brain, like there could be a whole community of them living next to the humans.

    Except Asha—the dragon slayer—wants them all to die. Indeed, if she destroys Kozu, they will all die, and so will the Old One, which the dragon king (her father) despises. Most important of all, if she brings Kozu’s head to her father, she won’t have to marry jackass Jarek.

    You’ve seen it before: a girl of royal descent who wants to do everything possible to escape an arranged marriage. But what you haven’t seen as much is a princess falling in love with a slave. It’s always the contrary it seems: the powerless woman ends up with the all-mighty man.

    I enjoyed seeing their relationship evolve. He’s not even HER slave—he’s her betrothed’s. Asha has no intention of getting involved with him, but he proves himself to be valuable and loyal.

    The dragons play a huge part. They are not there for decoration alone. Sure they’re scary and mighty, but they are also surprisingly intelligent and non-bestial when not threatened. Any reader would be reminded of Khaleesi and her pet dragons.

    The secondary characters do not, however, play a grand part. My mind immediately goes to Safire, who only exists for Asha. She’s not technically a slave, and yet her freedom is limited. And she’s such a liability. Asha’s brother is mentioned multiple times, but he almost only appears when Asha is in trouble. I don’t feel like I know anything about him.

    Kristen Ciccarelli definitely needs to work on developing her characters, to make them more real to the reader. She’s done a good job of bringing the dragons to life, though, with a delicate, graceful writing style.

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  • Sabrina

    Checkout my full review on my blog!!

    This book is everything I want in a book and more. We have a MC who is strong, fearless, unemotional, hard set in her ways but she meets someone who shows her the truth of the world she lives in. She slowly breaks down her own walls and becomes self aware of the horrors around her. Asha doesn't care about looks or charms, she wants to fight, she wants to prove her self as being called the Iskari. Yet when a dark truth i

    Checkout my full review on my blog!!

    This book is everything I want in a book and more. We have a MC who is strong, fearless, unemotional, hard set in her ways but she meets someone who shows her the truth of the world she lives in. She slowly breaks down her own walls and becomes self aware of the horrors around her. Asha doesn't care about looks or charms, she wants to fight, she wants to prove her self as being called the Iskari. Yet when a dark truth is revealed, she questions her loyalties and her whole existence.

    I also came across a character that I feel a strong hate for, Jarek. A twisted self centered controlling character to be who will do anything to keep Asha within his controls. He may be beautiful but his character is anything but beautiful.

    Then we have Torwin, my sweet smol cinnamon roll Torwin. He shows what it means to live and what it means to know your truth. I wish there are more Torwin's in YA. He brings out the light in those who have gone too dark.

    The plot has small anecdotes and present day interwoven throughout the novel. These small anecdotes are important for the overall progression and "realizations" in the novel. I had certain expectations about this book but I was completely blown away. I loved the dragons. They have life. Let me explain, in other YA novels dragons are just there, symbolically and physically but that's it. But the dragons in this novel make or break certain things. Their significance is known throughout the novel.

    This is a wonderful and complex world of dragons, deception, royalty and more. I can't wait for book 2.

    - - - - -

    This is everything I want in a book and more. I love this.

    My fiery queen, Asha.

    An asshat (putting it nicely), Jarek.

    And my smol cinnamon roll, Torwin.

  • Sara

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Once there was a girl who was drawn to wicked things...

    I ended up really, really enjoying this. The Last Namsara follows Asha - the daughter of the dragon king of Firgaard, as she tries to atone for her sins of the past and embrace the role of dragon slayer, warrior and weapon. The Iskari. Betrothed to the high commander, trapped in a cycle of death and hate from all around her, when she's offered the chance of freedom by destroying

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Once there was a girl who was drawn to wicked things...

    I ended up really, really enjoying this. The Last Namsara follows Asha - the daughter of the dragon king of Firgaard, as she tries to atone for her sins of the past and embrace the role of dragon slayer, warrior and weapon. The Iskari. Betrothed to the high commander, trapped in a cycle of death and hate from all around her, when she's offered the chance of freedom by destroying the First Dragon Kozu, Asha seizes the opportunity. Forming an unlikely bond with her commander's slave, Asha comes face to face with the beast that haunts her dreams, and uncovers some truths along the way.

    At first glance this seems like a straight forward fantasy YA novel with dragons, but on reading it's so much more than that. At the heart it's about a girl overcoming the beliefs and prejudices instilled in her by her father, and a fight for the rights of the slaves and people of her county. It's really about freedom.

    Interlaced with this plot is a magical world and a mythology that is well crafted and detailed. The idea that speaking old stories can draw dragons and power to the wielder is a rather unique and a wonderful idea. I loved the interjections of the old stories throughout the text which interweave and support the main story. They felt almost lyrical in their presentation, and I was actually craving for more of them. The dragons themselves also have wonderful personalities, and I really felt a bond with them - especially Shadow. Asha's relationship with them is also great to see unfold - from her initial mistrust (mutual) and her growing love and respect for them. I did cry at one point.

    Asha, The Iskari, was a wonderful main character. She's feisty, and powerful yet vulnerable to the men who ultimately hold her in their power. It's her journey that really makes her character so strong however. She starts the novel as a hated warrior, feared by all with no love for anything besides her brother and cousin. She has no respect for the dragons or slaves, yet as we progress we see her begin to warm to others and realize that she might have more in common with these people and creatures than she first thinks.

    Jarek is a wonderfully mean character. He's loathsome, mean spirited and resentful with a lust for power and domination over Asha. This is displayed perfectly in the passages about Asha's wedding gown, which Jarek has designed so that she can't get out of it herself and must resort to having someone else do it for her - an ultimate act of submission and humiliation for Asha.

    I felt the only weak link in the story was Asha's love interest. It starts out strong, with a 'forbidden love' element that builds slowly, but as the story progresses it becomes a little bit cumbersome to the plot and slows down the pace as we spend time with Asha mooning over him and repeatedly stating that she needs to keep away from him 'for his own good' and 'to keep him safe'. Many times I just wanted her to realise that he could look after himself and get on with the adventure.

    I really believe this is a wonderful fantasy novel, with generally good pacing and plenty of action. I look forward to the next installment.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    I'm loving my Fairyloot ♥ More pictures and synopsis of things on link below ♥


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