“Once there was a girl who was drawn to wicked things.
Things like forbidden, ancient stories.”
When I asked Kendare Blake, the author of Three Dark Crowns, for a fresh YA fantasy recommendation, she immediately suggested Kristen Ciccarelli’s The Last Namsara.
“Do you like dragons?” She asked, as if that was explanation enough, but this fantasy has so much more to it than just dragons. In short, I fell deeply in love with this book for its complexity and its heart.
Asha is the Iskari, a title created by her father, the king, after she was burned by the oldest dragon in the land. It is the name of the second child of The Old One, made “out of blood and moonlight,” a cursed name. It is the name that strikes fear into the people. Asha is a dragon hunter, scarred and hardened by dragonfire. She has spent the last eight years trying to atone for the mistake that brought destruction to her city, but when an unwanted engagement threatens to take away her independence, she becomes desperate. Her father makes her a deal: kill the First Dragon that burned her as a child and be freed from the betrothal.
Firgaard, Asha’s home, is a kingdom that has abandoned its old religion and the stories that accompanied it, but The Old One is not done with it. In this world, those stories are so powerful they become deadly, luring dragons out of hiding, invoking the wrath of the king and poisoning the storyteller. With the help of her brother and a slave belonging to her would-be husband, Asha begins to realize that she has been lied to, and Ciccarelli begins to work her magic. Continue reading “Kristen Ciccarelli’s The Last Namsara”