The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: it’s the VP debate folks and while I’m not nearly as homicidal as the presidential one, i am still drunk AF. I’ve had at least a bottle of wine… i killed an already open but mostly full bottle and drank half of another one. what’s that come out to?
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.
Drunk Overview: So, Asha is the kingdom’s head dragon hunter. These dragons turned against their human riders and started to kill them so the humans started killing them back. She’s engaged to this awful dude, but he saved her life when she was burned by dragon fire, so she sorta has to marry him. BUT Dad (aka king) says she doesn’t have to marry asshat if she kills the first dragon, so she goes after it. She accidentially befriend’s asshat’s slave and then somehow gets him in trouble and then things go from there.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I really really enjoyed this. Idk why, but I thought this was a north Asian story but it absolutely IS NOT THAT. I certainly didn’t know there were DRAGONS. So i’m sad it wasn’t what I anticipated but also STOKED that there were dragons. Should it have been both? probably.
Characters: So. Part of what I love about this blog is that Drunk Sam and Sober Sam don’t always agree. My notes here say that Asha was annoying… sure. Asha was annoying but she was also a fucking dragon hunter. She kills dragons basically with her bare hands. She’s a bad ass. It was one thousand percent apparent that slaveman was the love interest the MOMENT he arrived. That was also a bit annoying. I did really love the side characters, they were less annoying. I particularly loved the brother? He was actualyl super relatable in ways that none of the other characters were and i loved that.
Plot: I finished this audiobook about a month ago (shut up, i know i’m behind, it’s 2020 fight me.) and I sorta remember the plot, but it’s mostly the same as other YA chosen one stories unfortunately. Chosen by the church without wanting that in any sense of the word, and then getting gifts that don’t make any sense to “right some wrong” but WHAT?! But anyway… if you’re reading this and think you know how it’s gonna go, you’re correct.
Writing Style: I’m gonna go with audio style here… the audiobook was incredible. the narrator was engaging and clear and brought some of the emotion that i probably would gloss over (because i knew what was going to happen) to life.
World Building: Honestly? While I knew what wa up, i will one thousand percent be reading the other books in this world… i think they’re companions? Either way don’t care.
What to pair it with: your favorite ale. this feels nostalgic but also sorta bland like an ale but also deep like a beer. that’s weird, i shouldnt have said that but YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?!
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,