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The Last Namsara
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The Last Namsara
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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...
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...
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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.

About the Author-

  • Kristen Ciccarelli is the internationally bestselling author of The Last Namsara and The Caged Queen. Before writing books for a living, she worked as an artisanal baker, an indie bookseller, and a ceramic artist. These days she resides in a blustery seaside cove on Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula with her blacksmith and her rescue dog. She likes her coffee dark, her weather broody, and her house warmed by a wood fire. Learn more at www.kristenciccarelli.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2017
    Ciccarelli's debut checks all the boxes for teen high fantasy.Asha, the Iskari (a ceremonial warrior named for "a deadly" god) and a princess, believes in the new order of her homeland: dragons should be killed, not worshipped; skrals deserve their enslavement--collared, penned, not allowed to look at draksors, members of the ruling caste. As a child, Asha rebelled and told stories to dragons until the First Dragon, Kozu, burned her and half the city. Now she mostly toes the line. But a rule-breaking (and attractive) slave, the return of Kozu, an allegiance with the scrublanders, and Asha's impending wedding to the sadistic commandant lead Asha to rebellion. Ciccarelli has clearly poured care into both the creation of her world, which rests on a religious foundation without a real-world analogue, and her complex but well-managed plotting. The limited characterization and curious lack of physical descriptors (the enslaved skral seem to be fair-skinned) detract a bit from the worldbuilding, and readers may find the princess-slave love story inherently problematic. Even if destined by the Old One and although slavery is clearly positioned as not OK, this is an inherently unbalanced relationship, something the text acknowledges but resolves largely through a fairly literal deus ex machina. However, the underlying theme of strong females making change and the interesting setting will carry the day for many. Likely to be popular despite the pressing flaws, and--pleasantly surprising for a duology opener--a satisfying tale on its own. (Fantasy. 13-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2017

    Gr 9 Up-Asha has grown up as the Iskari, the one known to bring death. She is the dragon slayer for the king, her father. To lure the dragons to her, she tells the forbidden old stories that the dragons can't ignore, although the tales are fatal. When tasked by the king to destroy the First Dragon, she agrees to do it because her reward will be not having to marry Jarek, the cruel leader of her father's army. Her task gets complicated when the Old One, a god, demands that she protect the dragons instead of killing them, and she follows his command. As she struggles to avoid marriage, obey the king, and not anger the Old One, secrets are unearthed that change her whole existence. She must decide who to trust and how to realize her true self. Ciccarelli brings to life a world filled with dragons and folklore. The plot blends perfectly with the use of old tales. This coming-of-age narrative shows the struggles of learning to trust one's own mind and heart. VERDICT 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.-Jessica Strefling, US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit Library

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review) "Ciccarelli layers multiple story threads... seamlessly weaving them back as the plot moves along. The third-person narration allows full immersion in the world... The larger political implications of war, rebellion, and the years of rebuilding that must follow are all thoughtfully examined."
  • School Library Journal "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."

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