The Last Namsara

She is feared by everyone, called the Iskari, bringer of death and destruction. Her only solace is in hunting the dragons that earned her the name in the first place.
 
But Asha, as a person, is so much more. Her fears and doubts are laid out across the pages for anyone to see, and we learn that she's just one girl, like any other one. Of course, she's engaged to a betrothal that she desperately wants to escape, and a boy forbidden to her captures her heart. 
 
That's not even compared to what happens when she learns that she is not the Iskari, and her life has been a lie. A backstabbing father and finace, and the truth nearly destroys her. I thought the concept of dragons being fascinating. Unlike most books, dragons in this are protectors of the realm, who keep their people safe and equal.
 
On a whole, I'd this book as a 4/5, because even though the plot is enriching, it really could be more. Other than Asha, her dragons, and her lover, none of the other characters seem to have a life. Safire, an illegitimate child, is usually a burden, an annoyance, and doesn't seem to really have a purpose. We know very little about her other than what we can learn from her actions. Her brother, heir to the throne, is a mystery as well. Of course, the main character is Asha and the book should follow her, but there could be more to the other characters as well. But I'd recommend this book to anyone 6th grade and up, since it is a really good and wonderful novel.
 
Rating: 4/5
Review by Maggie L.

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
4/5 Stars
 
Here there be dragons… but not if Asha has anything to say about that. As the Iskari, the destroyer and death bringer in contrast to the peaceful Namsara, Asha’s role is that of the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer. Trapped in an unwanted marriage to the cruel commandant Jarek, she takes the chance her father, the king, gives her: if she kills the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, freeing the world of the ‘old stories’, she will be set free of her marriage. The ‘old stories’ harm those who speak them, and are forbidden as a result. Yet that is the main character’s deadly secret- she knows and tells the stories that led to the death of her own mothers to lure the dragons that she kills. Yet life is complicated, as always, and leads to the many interesting plot twists within the book. It’s always a surprise, yet makes sense when you think back to what happened and see how it all works together (hindsight 20/20 as usual). However, where this book both shines and stumbles is with its integration- the old stories sprinkled throughout the book are interesting and refreshing, but the lore connected with them makes it confusing. Don’t expect to understand the title for a very long time, and sometimes you just have to go with the flow, things will make more sense as they go on. It may be just another fantasy novel based on a powerful dragon hunter, but the fascinating society and complex characters make it an interesting read.
 
Review by: Lucas H.
 
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