‘The Last Namsara’ by Kristen Ciccarelli was full of myths and brilliant story telling.
Synopsis: Asha is the Iskari – a woman of corruption – and so she hunts dragons for her father, the Dragon King. However, the reason why she is so successful is because she lures the dragons to her by speaking the old stories aloud, something greatly forbidden by the King. When her father gives her a choice, one she cannot refuse, Asha goes on a hunt to kill the First Dragon but is propositioned in a dream by the first Namsara. Soon Asha’s whole life unravels at speed.
Asha, Asha, Asha. What to say about such a naive but strong willed character? At first I found her to be extremely dislikable (the dragon hunting really didn’t sit well with me plus her treatment of slaves) but she did slowly grow on me. Her views and attitudes seemed to change at a rate that was believable throughout the story. I have to say that I actually loved her by the end. She was selfless and full of love. One of the best character developments for me.
The rest of the characters had literally no development whatsoever. But they didn’t really need it. I liked Torwin. His honesty was blinding at points but his love for Asha is real and you gotta have a soft spot for that stuff. I would still like to know how and when the conversations started with him and the prince about the uprising. The reader seemed just as much in the dark about it all as Asha was. I kinda liked that, but didn’t.
With the King dead, I’m not sure what the next obstacle is for Asha. This book works very well as a standalone. There is no cliffhanger at the end (which I am very grateful for) but that also means there’s no temptation for the next book? I don’t want that to come across as awful because I don’t mean it in a bad way, just an observation. It ended in a way that I think was suitable. I hope to see the romance between Asha and Torwin to progress in the next book and to see more dragons! I cried when I read Shadow’s ending and hope that we meet more of them that have their own personalities.
There was something about this book, don’t ask me what it was as I have struggled for 20 minutes already trying to describe it. So there was just something. The story had a lot within it; secrets, lies, myths and legends, a forbidden romance etc. I don’t know if I would say there was too much but it was definitely pushing the limits. It was written well, and I liked the inclusion of the old stories throughout the book.
“The old heroes were called Namsara after a beloved god, he said. So she would be called Iskari, after a deadly one.”
I received this in LitJoy’s October ‘Dragon Slayer’ & Fairyloot’s November ‘Ladies That Slay’ box.
You can get it here