My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Last Namsara is Kristen Ciccarelli’s debut novel and I am in love. The world building was brilliantly done and laid a strong foundation for her story to grow and develop.
Asha is a dragon hunter and a feared Iksari who is strong and dedicated to her role in the kingdom. Despite the fact that her actions as a child called the dragons who burned her city, she fights every day to redeem herself from her past mistakes and make her father, the King, proud. It was nice to see the main character learns to value herself, even though she has grown up shamed and feared by the people. She overcomes her prejudices and the damage instilled upon her over the course of the novel.
Her transformative journey begins when a slave, Torwin is introduced to her life. He treats her like a normal person, just as she learns to treat him as one. He opens her eyes to the truth of the world and thaws her damaged heart, leading her to learn so much about the people in her kingdom and a better way to live.
There was also a well-written antagonist who was so controlling and cruel that you couldn’t help but hate him. It was a nice juxtaposition of Torwin’s character and helped push the plot along. For me, the romance was a secondary plot point and sometimes only slowed down the pacing. It wasn’t the most important element of the story.
The world building, mythology and the dragons are what shone for me. I cannot wait to see more of this world. I listened to this via audiobook and the narrator, Pearl Mackie did a fantastic job. I loved the authenticity she brought to Asha’s character and would highly recommend this audiobook.