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Publisher's Summary

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. 

©2017 Kristen Ciccarelli (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Michelle
  • LAGRANGEVILLE, NY, United States
  • 10-13-17

okay I haven't finished it yet but...

I love Pearl Mackie's narration!!! I hope she continues to narrate books between Doctor Who filming schedules.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great Story, Great Narrator

I loved listening to this book! I only listened at work and actually looked forward to getting to work just to listen!
It was a great experience for my first audio book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book

We have been blessed with a rich canon of dragon stories and lore throughout time. From the whimsical of Dealing with Dragons and How to train your dragon to the more serious of Game of Thrones and Dragons of Autumn Twilight. There have been minor characters in the works of Harry Potter. There is even a reference to dragons in the Book of Mormon. Dragon storytelling and dragon lore is nothing new and is rarely something that is expressively better than what we already have. They breathe fire. They menace people. They are either inherently evil, or flawed and susceptible to human direction. There is that well established canon. The Last Namsara is the first book to add to that canon in a long time in a way where the dragons are given the respect and portrayal they deserve.

This story shows a loving respect for the personality and measure of dragons. The dragons portrayed are smart, calculated, emotionally equal to humans, and convincing. The story follows a young queen, Asha, betrothed to a young man and not wanting to marry him, and she will do anything to get out of that commitment. Initially she reminded me of Katniss Everdeen, but soon I found her to be more complete in her character and more developed mentally. Asha hunts not for food, but for repentance, making her hunts less about feeding Prim and more about absolving her sins before those of her Kingdom. It is this passion of being forgiven and making what was wrong right that gave me a strong desire to follow her story. As her story develops, her fierceness, emotional connections to those around her, and her drive creates a story that is a page turning endeavor. I loved every moment of this book.

Lastly, I am an audio learner; so once again, I bought this book on Audible. I listened to it, as did my wife (a rare book we both liked). The reader on Audible, Pearl Mackie, does a fantastic job. Her pacing, emotional range, and investment are unmatched. She really compliments the writing and the story with the voice she brings to this epic journey.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • OHXPerine
  • RIDGEWOOD, NEW YORK, United States
  • 02-28-18

A Great Story brought to life by the narrator!

I often buy both the Audible & kindle versions of a book for convenience. Every so often the narrator makes it impossible to go back to the book, which is the case here. I hope this is only the beginning for both the author and narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Delightful!

Every once in a while, you discover a new writer and are delightfully surprised. I just finished this book, and that was my experience. Pure delight. If you like fantasy and a story that is carefully woven, layered, and unfolding, if you love stories and the art of telling them, if you believe stories can be powerful, you might appreciate this one as much as I did.
So glad the author didn’t listen to the people who told her to give up and quit writing!
(BTW, it is also clean. I plan to share this with my teenage son.)
There is plenty of action, tension, and emotion, but all believably written, never feeling like too much, or too little. I was immediately drawn into the story and it held my attention until the end.
The reader is perfect for the part. Just rough enough, and elegant enough to fit the character perfectly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Book Showing the Power of Stories

I really enjoyed this for two reasons: dragons and the power of stories! Asha is the living embodiment of the old stories in the beautiful fantasy debut for this author. I love how Asha goes from believing that what she was doing was right to seeing through the lies she was told. Asha is a pure badass and I truly enjoyed her as a main character. I loved how the forbidden romance wasn't such a prominent feature. The only complaint I have was that it was slow in certain parts, but the story was enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Entrancing

This book was fantastic! I was completely captivated by this story. As it unfolds, I was taken in directions that were completely unexpected. I was so impressed with the new-but vaguely familiar-world that the author has created here. It is beautiful, and the dragons are such a wonderful addition! They are beautiful and tragic and dangerous and again, provide unexpected twists and turns to the story.

One other thing I liked about this story: in this story all character descriptions are race-neutral. The characters are described as having beautiful curly hair cascading over a shoulder- what color? Doesn't matter. Eyes are deep and piercing and passionate. They are not blue, brown, or hazel. Skin is soft, or weathered, or smooth, or wrinkled, but not pale as snow or black or chocolate or tanned. These characters can be however you want them to be, whatever that descriptive beauty evokes in your mind... and that adds a layer of loveliness rarely found in books these days. I loved it!

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Perfect paring of author and narrator!

I don't often take the time to write reviews, no matter how much I enjoy the story. Something I should remedy, starting with The Last Namsara. I should begin by saying that I am a 33 year old male that typically enjoys books with foul language, violence, and wild themes. This book definitely had a wild theme, and a little violence, but not much. And there was no foul language at all.
That said, the author, Kristen Ciccarelli, and the narrator, Pearl Mackie, made sure I didn't need my usual must-have's. Pearl's voice is sultry, with a hint of a growl forever present. I believed every single word she spoke, and the story came to life under her guiding tongue. And what a story it is. The main character, Asha, was so well written. Don't misunderstand me; all the characters are well written. But Asha is in a category all her own. And not just compared to the others in this book. I've read more than 150 books in the last year, and there's always something I can find about characters and their actions that I know wouldn't happen in the real world, and I'm dissapointedly reminded that they are fiction. Asha, on the other hand, has thoughts and makes decisions, both right and wrong, that are beautifully and woefully human. Her actions and reactions are based on either her beliefs or a specific situation, as opposed to doing things just to make the story work.
Kristen Ciccarelli created a story for the characters, as opposed to creating characters to fit a story. Nothing is forced in this book, and it is so refreshing and honest. Not since Sarah J. Maas has an author enthralled me so completely.

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Must read

This book was really good and the narration was AMAZING! I couldn’t stop listening. I need another book

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this story was so bad!

this story was so bad! It was so unbelievably predictable I was rolling my eyes every three sentences! Every time it tried to tell a story plot there was nothing interesting about it anytime it tried to be thrilling it was so obvious what was going to happen I was shocked! I can't believe I finish this book took years of my life away! I should have stopped a quarter of the way through after I realized it was horrid! Do yourself a favor and stay away from this dumb book.