The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

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The book included in November’s ‘Ladies That Slay’ box from Fairy Loot was The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. The first in the ‘Iskari’ series, it is a book that caught my eye due to its premise and gorgeous cover design! I was eagerly anticipating reading this one as it promised a story of dragons and the girl who slays them…

The Last Namsara tells the story of Asha, a dragon slayer from the land of Firgaard who kills dragons to atone for the sins of her past. She is forced to protect her father’s kingdom, but despite her best efforts she is still seen as a villain amongst the people she is sworn to protect, trapped in a world of violence and hatred. And life for Asha is about to get even more difficult, as she is due to be married to Jarek, a cruel commandant whom she despises. Life in a fractured kingdom with the strain of dragon slaying and an unwanted marriage on the horizon, Asha longs for freedom. And a chance to be free is offered, one which signals the start of a remarkable journey for Asha. The king offers his daughter freedom, but at a cost – her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in the land. This was a concept I was intrigued about and I was quickly drawn into this world as I joined Asha on her quest for freedom…

I had high hopes for this book and was not disappointed as I really enjoyed Asha’s story. I thought that her story was beautifully written and I liked the magical world that Kristen Ciccarelli has created. One of my favourite things about this book was the idea of telling stories and gaining power through these stories. The opening sentence was ‘Asha lured the dragon with a story’ and from this point I knew I was in for a treat! Storytelling is also used throughout the book as stories from the past are interspersed throughout the book which had a lyrical feel and helped to build a picture of this world and the events from the past that have shaped the characters in the present day. And these characters I found to be fascinating. Asha is a strong and feisty character who finds herself caught in a cycle of death and hate in her role as the dragon slayer. But it is great to see how she develops over the course of the novel as she searches for the freedom she craves, for herself, and for her people. There is also the hint at a romance throughout, as Asha finds herself in the company of an individual who could be considered as a forbidden love.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Namsara, a story of courage, love and the quest for freedom set in a kingdom filled with dragons and the prospect of war. And as I read the final pages I was left excited for the next book in the series, as I am looking forward to seeing where the characters journey will take them next.

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