The Last Namsara by Kristen CiccarelliThe Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Last Namsara

byKristen Ciccarelli

Hardcover | October 3, 2017

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Kristen Ciccarelli’s debut fantasy explores an intricately woven world of deception, inner darkness, and dragons that fantasy fans won’t be able to resist.

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.

Kristen Ciccarelli has made her living as an artisanal baker, an indie bookseller, and a ceramic artist. She hails from Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula, where she grew up on her grandfather’s grape farm. There she spent her days running wild with her cousins and obsessing over books, dragons, and girls wielding really cool weapons. She wro...
Title:The Last NamsaraFormat:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.33 inPublished:October 3, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062567985

ISBN - 13:9780062567987

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review I got this one in a LitJoy Crate a while ago, and I only just got to it recently (I also had a whole thing where I didn’t like the majority of what was in the box, and the company spoiled me for the box on Twitter 2 business days after boxes shipped, but that’s a story for another time). I’m not normally a person who reads different things based on the season, but this book kind of screams to be read in the fall, as opposed to May. I’m not saying that if I had actually read it in fall that my rating would be higher, but the atmosphere of the book just makes it feel like it should be read later in the year. This is a pretty solid fantasy. Like I can’t really point out anything wrong with it that isn’t subjective. My main problem with The Last Namsara is that I wasn’t hooked until the very end. If you’re new to my reviews, investment in the story plays a key role in how I rate books, so this is a major negative for me. I also feel like there isn’t really a need for this to be a trilogy. It’s for that reason, combined with my lack of investment in the story for the majority of the novel that has me uninterested in continuing the series. I’m just at a point in my life where there are so many other books I would rather read. While I did really like the short stories included after certain chapters, I think they needed to be more spread out. They were heavily frontloaded, so there were like 5 stories in the beginning after every other chapter or so, and then 200 pages passed before we got another one. I get that the stories often had to do with the previous chapter, but there has to have been a way to connect them to other chapters and spread them out more. The plot twists in the book were fantastic. I’m normally pretty good at predicting things in books, but I could not see any of them coming. The villain reveal left me in shock. If you like dragons, I’m really on the fence on if you will like this book. Like most of the dragons are slaughtered by the main character, so it isn’t as if there are a ton of dragons left to love. Speaking of the main character, Asha was a really interesting person. She was mostly misguided, but at the same time she was also an absolutely horrible person. Reading from the perspective of someone who is very pro-slavery was certainly difficult, but her character was still well-done. Overall, The Last Namsara was well-written, but it lacked what I was looking for out of it. It has therefore earned 3 out of 5 stars.
Date published: 2018-06-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ended up loving this, surprisingly! For the most part, I loved the story! In the beginning, it was a bit slow but it still had my attention. I did have difficulty reading due to the way in which slaves were treated in the story, it just really irked me. Plus, the story is told from a narrative of those of the oppressors rather than the oppressed, which made the story very interesting, to say the least as we see the protagonist question her way of life and have a change of heart. Nevertheless, that really just bothered me and I couldn't give it five stars. Plus I felt there were a lot of unanswered questions but then again there is a sequel so I cannot expect too much in that regard. Otherwise, I really loved the story. The story really had me at forbidden romance and the relationships between the protagonist and her brother and cousin...I'm so here for it. I loved that.
Date published: 2018-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprisingly, I loved it I love-love-loved this book. I picked it up on a whim and I was not disappointed. I read it within 3 days, that`s how good it was. I`m not usually a fan of dragon stories, but this was something else. Incredibly imaginative, absolutely magical storytelling!
Date published: 2018-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic I plowed through this book in about 2 days and it very quickly became one of my fave reads of 2018 thus far. the author is lovely and this book is superb. cannot wait for the second one to come out !
Date published: 2018-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Next Book The author came and talked to our school about her next novel in the series. It will be told from the point of view of a different and virtually unknown character. Excited to read it and see what happens to these characters.
Date published: 2018-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely AMAZING!!! <3<3<3 I just finishing this book (after flying through it), and OMGOSH, I'm at a loss for words! The Last Namsara was absolutely AMAZING: the characters were all so well-developed, and endearing; the setting was so detailed, and mystical; and, the plot was remarkably well-executed. *O* The Last Namsara tells the story of a girl who believes she's a monster. That she's worthless. It parallels the story of her namesake, Iskari, the death-bringer. As the story progresses though, Asha learns to see things from a different angle (even the story of Iskari), allowing her to see past all the lies she's grown up hearing, including those about herself, to see the truth. Asha's story is an inspiring one about true strength, and learning to love, and trust oneself, and others. Asha is a beautiful, and strong person, and her bonds with all her loved ones--Dax, Torwin, and Safire--is just as inspiring, and heartwarming. ^^ <3<3<3 The Last Namsara flawlessly interweaves the world's legends with its characters' present lives to tell a story full of action, suspense, wonder, love, betrayal, tears, and laughter. :D As such, I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet! :)
Date published: 2018-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read! This writing style is wonderfully easy to read and the story presents a strong female lead. Highly recommend to YA fantasy lovers.
Date published: 2018-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of My 2017 Faves! I read this the day it came out and was in love from the very first page!! Kristen's style of taking her stories and making it resemble folklore is so compelling and her love interest was so swoon worthy! I can't wait for the sequel, which I know will be just as good!
Date published: 2018-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique and compelling new story In The Last Namsara, Kristen Ciccarelli presents us the tale of a dragon slayers who uses forbidden stories to lure them in. We are introduced to Asha, who seeks to hunt down the most powerful dragon in exchange for her freedom. First and foremost, the book has dragons, ergo I must read it. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a soft spot for them. <b><i>"It went like this: where the old stories were spoken aloud, there were dragons; and where there were dragons, there was destruction and betrayal and burning. Especially burning."</i></b> The concept was extremely unique and I loved the narration style - by the use of "back lore", we were presented the forbidden stories and how they played a part in creating and shaping the world. The world building was great with just the right amount of information presented at the right time. I did have a few questions regarding certain aspects, but I suppose those will be presented in the sequel. Character development was a small issue of mine when it came to the book. While the who main characters were great, all the secondary characters were sort of left on their own. I would have liked to learn more about them. Also, the antagonist's characteristic seemed a bit juvenile. However, the story was compelling enough that it did not bother me all that much. <b><i>"But whatever killed her isn’t the point. The point is this: The son of a dragon queen dared to love a slave, and it did not end well for anyone."</i></b> The romance was something I liked a lot. It wasn't those overwhelming love stories with the instant love, or the ones where we are always told how beautiful and attractive the other is. It had a more subtle approach and did not take precedence over the main story line. <b><i>"Lies. Wasn’t that what all stories were? They made us believe things that weren’t true. Wasn’t that what made them so dangerous?"</i></b> Overall, I really enjoyed the story, and despite a few complaints, I honestly can't wait for the sequel.
Date published: 2018-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dragons! Dragons! Dragons! High fantasy will always be one of my favourites and I will always have more room on my shelves for high fantasy books. The Last Namsara definitely has a spot! I loved the world Ciccarelli created and the beautiful side stories she inserted, to be honest I really want more of the smaller stories within this story. The characters had so much depth to them and I loved discovering their development as they did, including the dragons. Dragons! Dragons! Dragons! I loved the dragons! Everything about the dragons was perfect!
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I started this book not really expecting anything, I fell into the story and just couldn't stop!
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific story Gorgeously written and interesting story. I can't wait for the release of the second. The story has it all - a strong female lead, warriors, dragons, love interests. And the best part is while some of it is a little cliché and repetitive (the main character is a teen after all) it progresses realistically and smoothly. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Last Samsara I thought it was thrilling and the twists great. I am content for it to end, but also want a second book.
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok everyone had been telling me to pick this book up, and I had super high expectations. However, when I actually read it, I realized it was NOT worth it
Date published: 2018-01-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book was very difficult to get into
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! This is an absolutely amazing first book in a debut YA fantasy trilogy! Hunger Games, Graceling, Incarceron and other favourite YA fantasy of mine have a new friend because The Last Namsara deserves a spot next to those gems on my print bookshelf! I'm not going to tell you what this is about because you can read the blurb. Instead let's talk about things that make this such a wonderful read; but first I have to do some national pride gushing... Canadian YA Fantasy It makes me so proud that Kristen Ciccarelli is Canadian! As a fellow Canadian I try to read a few authors a year that are Canadian. I have never ever read a young adult fantasy book by a Canadian that was this amazing! Don't get me wrong there are some wonderful books and authors out of Canada but it's rare to find a teen author with this kind of talent anywhere in the world; never mind my own country! An unusual, yet genuine love interest My number one complaint in YA books is love interests. The insta-love, triangle, stunningly handsome boys, and over-the-top 'he's so hot' descriptions get boring after a while. Besides the real world is not like that! At 35 with a husband ( yes - I love him more than anything) I can say that you might have chemistry when you first met someone but that doesn't mean it's insta-love or even your life partner. So it's nice to read teen fiction that is realistic, and yet still sweet and romantic in a real life way. In addition our main gals love interest is seemingly a very random character. Not someone super special or a prince or any of that crap. Just an average person dealing with the cards in life they've been dealt; just like a real life partner is bound to be. Even though it maybe a fantasy world and story I still appreciate characters who are honest and realistic (magic aside) to what real people are like. The Last Namsara has everything! Seriously everything is in this book. Including betrayal, sketchy family, forbidden love, female warriors, dragons(!), magic, 'old' religion, poison, death, double crosses, loyal friends, gorgeous settings, elaborate architecture, cool weapons and so much more! It's rare to read a YA fantasy that has all the elements of an amazing adult fantasy series. Yet Ciccarelli manages this without even needing 800+ pages. While The Last Namsara is not overly complex, like Sanderson or Martin are, it doesn't need to be. With a full list of 8-10 characters who are all unique and complex, alongside simple yet awfully disturbing politics; I didn't feel like I was reading a 'lesser' novel at any point. Still YA writing Just like Hunger Games, the writing in The Last Namsara is for a teen audience but elevated enough that adults will still love it. If I have one critique of the writing it's that the first 20% or so of the novel is very YA feeling (but hey that is it's genre). However it quickly turns more to showing over telling and eventually the YA voice was irrelevant because I just wanted more! Given this is Ciccarelli's debut novel I'm more than forgiving of the slightly cliche YA sounding beginning. In a league of its own For those who remember earlier this year (2017) there was a ton of hype for: The Bone Witch, Mask of Shadows (both which I thought were decent 4 star books) and Caraval (which is awful!); it appeared early on we might have a stellar YA fantasy year. Yet none of these YA fantasy books really lived up to the hype they had. Luckily just as the year is ending I read the book that deserves all the hype of 2017 and more! The Last Namsara could have had huge hype (which it didn't) and still have blown me away!! Proof that having a large marketing budget or bigger publishing house behind your book doesn't mean it's the best of the best. At the end of the day writing, plot, atmosphere, lore and characters are what really counts. Dragons help too! Overall In case you haven't figured it out I absolutely loved this book. I'm desperate for the second book; but will be patient because I want the next book to be as wonderfully put together as this one and it looks like the proposed publishing dates aren't too far away! If you want to read a YA fantasy that isn't your average everyday YA story then pick up The Last Namsara. I finished it three days ago and can't stop thinking about it and replaying scenes in my head. Something I only have happen with books that are special and will have staying power. So do yourself a favour and read The Last Namsara; then purchase copies for everyone you know because you want the whole world to appreciate it like you do (wait maybe that's just me). I do know what everyone I buy gifts for is getting next (whether they like to read or not!). Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Date published: 2017-12-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I loved it to the ending. The ending was a bit too much, but I have hope that the series will be redeemed
Date published: 2017-12-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok While I saw parts of the plot coming I was incredibly surprised by the ending.
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dragons! Rebellion! SO Predictable I received an ARC from Hachette India in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. I have been OBSESSED with dragons for as long as I can remember, or, more specifically, from the first time I saw Saphira in Eragon, the movie and then HAD to read the rest of the books despite the fact that I was only eleven, and barely understood anything from them. At the beginning of this year, I had two young adult books featuring dragons on my radar, and I knew I NEEDED to read BOTH of them. The first was Before She Ignites by the LOVELY Jodi Meadows which I FELL IN LOVE WITH and I honestly cannot wait for more in her trilogy. The second was this book, The Last Namsara, Kristen Ciccarelli’s debut novel which sounded SO GOOD that I was SO EXCITED to read it, and then I did. One of my biggest problems with this book was HOW MUCH I STRUGGLED TO CONNECT WITH ANY OF THE CHARACTERS IN THIS 400 PAGE BOOK. And I mean ANY. Let’s break this down: 1. I absolutely love that this book had dragons. DRAGONS, I TELL YOU. Like I said above, I love dragons so much and I love how the book portrayed them. 2. I love that STORIES themselves had so much power in this book. I live on stories, just like most of my closest friends, and a story that talked about the power of stories and was actually filled to the brim with its own stories and fables from the world and it was really good. 3. This is where most of the things I liked about The Last Namsara ends. The rest of the book was dry, PREDICTABLE and I honestly didn’t enjoy much of it. The forbidden romance, BORING. The evil ruler, MEH, and so on. 4. I also struggled to connect with the characters. I just didn’t feel anything for them emotionally, which made it so hard to care about their world, their struggles or their relationships. They all felt like monotonous characters, with only a one track mind. 5. More than anything, THE PLOT OF THIS BOOK DIDN’T MAKE SENSE. Or maybe, by that time, I had stopped caring enough but there were just SO MANY imprisonments and kidnappings and claims of a new world coming, with JUST THE SAME IDEALS? HOW IS IT A NEW WORLD IF THE SAME DISCRIMINATION AND RULES TAKE PLACE? WHAT? I honestly don’t know what was happening, especially with the whole Regicide rule. If you want a rebellion, and a NEW King on the throne, you need to kill the OLD king, RIGHT? So if someone on the opposing side DOES KILL THE OTHER SIDE’S KING WHY IS HE/ SHE IMPRISONED AND THEN SENTENCED TO DIE? WHAT EVEN? ISN’T THAT A WIN? ISN’T THAT THE POINT OF THE REBELLION? 6. I also felt like this book had a LOT of filler and the important scenes, where Asha, our main character actually realised things that changed her perspective on everything happened so quickly, that even I couldn’t process them. All in all, I WISH THIS BOOK HAD BEEN MORE. It was predictable and dry, BUT it had dragons and some excellent world building and so I’m on the fence about this series. 3 stars.
Date published: 2017-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a ride! The action never stopped, a new problem popped up around every corner, and it made the pace zoom. Twists galore, I'm shocked this is a debut fantasy because the world-building and character scope is astounding. Also there are dragons so basically, I need the next one as soon as humanly possible. Amazing YA fantasy!!
Date published: 2017-11-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Medicore You can definitely tell that this is the author's first book, but overall it was mediocre. The characters aren't well developed and I found I couldn't get into the plot. That being said I'll probably still read the sequel.
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't Wait for the Sequel! I absolutely LOVED this book!!! I bought it because it was the 'best teen book of the month' (staff picked) and it was on sale, and I'm so glad I did!!! I've always loved dragons, and the way the creatures were written in this book was intriguing and different. I really enjoyed how the pull of stories was emphasized throughout the book, and how those stories were written in. Asha is a great, badass, character. She's strong and independent and doesn't back down from a fight. Her backstory was very, very interesting and I can't wait to see more of her!!! The story itself was actively thrilling, and I found myself getting pretty worried that something horrible was going to happen to the characters! Definitely created lots of suspense, especially towards the end. It was fast-paced and had a solid, action-packed plot. I loved this book, and am eagerly awaiting book #2!!
Date published: 2017-11-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from okish this book is very slow and confusing
Date published: 2017-11-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Really enjoyed the characters.
Date published: 2017-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from ok reading this gave me a different perspective
Date published: 2017-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from ok Riveting. This book is riveting.
Date published: 2017-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read! Riveting. This book is riveting. I do not want to give too much away, but it had me completely enthralled by the characters. Their strengths, failures, their humanness, their story is so easy to get wrapped up in and become a part of. You are completely transported into the world of Firgaard and the tumultuous lives of the main characters. The empathy that this talented author evokes is overwhelming for the reader. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who loves to read.
Date published: 2017-10-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Very well written but cvould have been ore descriptive of each of the instances that were felt.
Date published: 2017-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book by a Canadian author Oh my God! I absolutely loved this book! Overall, it’s got a very dark tone but I loved all the characters and the romance hit me in the feels. The social and legal hierarchy and set up was disturbing and drew more of my attention than the dragons did. I’m so excited to see whatever massive revolt comes from the next book(s?). Its kind of like a mix up of An Ember in the Ashes and the Loom Saga. The ending wasn’t like a massive cliffhanger but I really need the sequel to know how this continues. I was panicking at the end when the main character was in jail. I definitely want to reread this before the end of the year.
Date published: 2017-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding! This book was so awesome!! It had all the things you could want in a novel and some you didn't even know you wanted - dragons, stories, strong characters. The writing is really well done, and I couldn't put this book down.
Date published: 2017-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Terrific dragon adventure fantasy!
Date published: 2017-10-21

Editorial Reviews

“This coming-of-age narrative shows the struggles of learning to trust one’s own mind and heart. Fantasy YA readers will love this story of a girl and her dragons. They will be dying to know what happens on their next adventure.”