Book Review · Books

The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli [BOOK REVIEW]

The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli [BOOK REVIEW]

I adored The Last Namsara! It was the fantasy escape I didn’t know I needed. I also now know that every book that has dragons in it is likely to be a hit. If you have a favourite dragon book, please do let me know! 


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.

The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli [BOOK REVIEW]

Pages: 421

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher: Gollancz

Format I read it in: Paperback

Rating: ★★★★★


In a kingdom on the verge of war, Asha is in the centre of everything. Not only because her father is the king, but because she is on the road to redemption. Eight years ago, she told a dragon an ancient story, and the next thing she knew, her mother was dead. Not only that, but the town burnt to ashes and she’s left with a burn scar on her face and body. Since then, she has been the most notorious dragon hunter, vowing to kill the last dragon standing and re-unite the kingdom. 

Asha deals with a lot of self-discovery in this book.

Finding out also other truths and being on the crossroads of who and what to believe. She is a powerful lady from day one and I loved that about her. But she doesn’t have freedom. She’s betrothed to a man she despises. And going on one more dragon hunting adventure can set her free from him. What she ends up realising is that she was more “imprisoned” than she imagined. But also, freedom can come in different ways.

Apart from Asha’s amazing story, we have so many other stories entwined with hers, that make this book special. Safire, Dax and Roa – a very integral part of Asha’s journey, as they battle issues of their own. Torwin, who ended up being my favourite character with his unconditional love and support. Someone who was not afraid to look Death in the eyes, all in the name of love, rightfulness, happiness and freedom. 

“I’ll wait for you at Death’s gate.”

And it goes without saying, Shadow and Kozu, the two dragons, who made me love them so much through the pages. The kingdom politics and scheming were very well thought of. The book felt like a YA Game of Thrones trope. Very different in plot, but sharing some of the main trope similarities. The part I loved the most were the ancient stories and their significance in a world where they were now forbidden. 

“Eight years had made her forget: dragons liked to tell stories almost as much as they liked to hear them.”

When the stories are so powerful and unite people that were segregated for a long time.

Stories so powerful, that leaders and kings feared so much, they banned everyone from telling them. It was quite satisfying to read about all these people refusing to be censored. Refusing to be silenced, and finally being able to not only tell their stories, but shout them freely. This book managed to evoke all feelings out of me, and that’s what made it special!

About The Author:

The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli [BOOK REVIEW]

Kristen Ciccarelli is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been translated into a dozen languages.

Before writing books for a living, Kristen dropped out of college and worked various jobs. These included: fruit picker, artisanal baker, L’Arche assistant, community bake oven coordinator, bookseller, and potter. She also spent a year living in a punk house.

Today, Kristen resides in the Niagara region of Ontario with her husband and their book-obsessed toddler. She is happiest when she’s reading a good book by a warm fire or chasing her giggly daughter down the shores of Lake Erie.


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