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The Last Namsara: A forbidden love. A kingdom at war. A secret that will change everything.

The Last Namsara: A forbidden love. A kingdom at war. A secret that will change everything.

Scritto da Kristen Ciccarelli

Narrato da Pearl Mackie


The Last Namsara: A forbidden love. A kingdom at war. A secret that will change everything.

Scritto da Kristen Ciccarelli

Narrato da Pearl Mackie

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (171 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
11 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 3, 2017
ISBN:
9780062688378
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

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.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 3, 2017
ISBN:
9780062688378
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Kristen Ciccarelli is the internationally bestselling author of The Last Namsara and The Caged Queen. Before writing books for a living, she worked as an artisanal baker, an indie bookseller, and a ceramic artist. These days she resides in a blustery seaside cove on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula with her blacksmith and her rescue dog. She likes her coffee dark, her weather broody, and her house warmed by a wood fire. Learn more at www.kristenciccarelli.com.

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4.5
171 valutazioni / 16 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    Starting this book when you want to go to sleep early, Bad Decision. Read it through when I should have been trying to sleep but it was an excellent read.Asha is a Dragon slayer, she's trying to atone for the death of many people when her stories drew a Dragon into the city, her father manipulates her and his general wants her as his wife. that day is coming and she dreads that, now her life is about to change and things will never be the same again.As I said I found it a compelling read.
  • (4/5)
    This book was such a slow burn it was agonizingly delicious. I was impatient for the story as well as Asha’s and Torwin’s relationship to progress but at the same time I never wanted it to end. The flow of the book is pretty fast, there is always something happening but it also feels like it is moving at glacial speed. This is the first book where I have actually liked and appreciated how long it took these characters to accomplish something because we had to see their character development happen before they could start to exact some change in the storyline. I loved the stories that explain the past, explain the history of his world. It was like getting little insights into unspoken part of this world. It was especially precious because of the importance that stories play into this fantasy world. Stories are forbidden because they corrupt souls and destroy people so it was like I was sharing a secret with the book. The role stories play and the power they contain is a recurring theme in this book which I thoroughly appreciated. When we start the book stories are for Asha to use to lure dragons, they are this destructive force that corrupt and kill people (her mother included). As Asha changes and begins to question her surroundings and long held beliefs she realizes that stories are not evil, but people are and the power they hold is merely the knowledge that are contained within them. I’ve personally always thought stories have immense power to change people after reading them and I am glad to see this in a book for the first time. I feel like Asha was the only character that was truly fleshed out in this book and I wanted to know more about the other characters, her twin brother, Roa, Safire, Torwin, etc. I know that this book’s main character is Asha, but the side characters felt a little lacking because they weren’t explored enough characterwise and storywise as Asha was. Maybe this will change in the sequel but based on how the book ended I don’t know if it can. The only thing I disliked about Asha is the fact that she is so small minded for lack of a better word. She blindly believes and thinks it is right to believe in the old ways and everything that has come before. Asha doesn’t question the world around her and the right or wrong of it unless it affects her directly. She is quite selfish in that regard, at least at the beginning of her story. It is wonderful to watch her change as she grows to care about a certain few. She turns from a selfish girl who never questions her father to one who loves the beasts she once slaughtered, a slave who she thought was beneath her, and questions everyone and everything. You also get to understand how she became the person she was; that she was raised that way specifically by her father to make her easier to control. She was so focused on her supposed guilt for what she did to her people and trying to right that wrong that she willingly believes in everything her father tells her to do (since he was the only one not to shun her or be afraid of her). She thinks and believes her father is correct in everything so she blindly follows him which is why she grew up the way she did. The changes that she made to herself were small and took time which is very realistic. Very rarely do people do an about face overnight, it is slowly and gradually which is how it is depicted in the book. So while I liked how badass Asha was at the beginning, I much preferred the person she became by the end.I knew Asha was going to turn out to be the Namsara cause it is literally in the title. I know she is supposed to be Iskari, and at one point I thought Roa or Safire might turn out to be the Namsara but I realized it when Asha was given the dragon. It is also ironic for her people that the person who they thought brought destruction actually was chosen to be their saviour. I don’t think Asha was ever the Iskari or the Namsara, I think she is a combination of both; she is both destroyer and saviour. I was so sad that after everything Asha had sacrificed for her own people, they still feared her and hated her. The people are ignorant of how far the Dragon King and his mother deceived them but I do hope one day Asha can be received happily and not like seeing her is a curse. I would love to see how she reacts to it and I am hoping to see it in the sequel since it is now known that she is the Namsara. Torwin was an interesting character and I found that he kind of reminded me of Finnick from The Hunger Games. I really wanted his character to be explored more. I want to know more of his history and his backstory because I feel like there is more to it. Why was he out of all of the slaves in the castle chosen to be a part of the uprising? How did he know how to play an instrument? He was too knowledgeable, too outspoken, too strategic and good with a bow to be just a common slave. There had to be more of a reason why Torwin wanted to escape the kingdom to the West. I really liked Torwin as a character because he was very upfront, honest, caring, brave, level headed and at times endearingly arrogant. I feel like his character has a lot of unexplored potential that will hopefully come out more in the second book. Also, this is kind of insignificant but on page 331 Torwin’s name changes to Torwyn? A missed old version of the name that was changed? It is kind of odd but it stuck out to me and I would like to know why. Personally I like the spelling of Torwyn better. I never suspected her father was the true villain of the book. I was so surprised to find him truly heartless and willing to sell out both of his children. That he was a greedy power monger. I kind of knew something was up with him but I never expected him to be as horrible, greedy and evil as he turned out to be. After I found out though I knew the Dragon King was going to die and I knew Asha was going to kill him. She would’ve killed her father to save her brother or Safire from having to do it and face the death penalty. Let alone how he manipulated and deceived her and destroyed her life. If she wanted Dax to rule, Safire to live, then it had to be her. It was also a surprise to find that this wasn’t just her father but also possibly her grandmother who committed seriously grievous acts as well. It just goes to show that the victors truly get to write history. There were a couple things in this book that made me angry. The first Namsara pissed me off a bit; I hated how he talked in riddle and basically gave Asha no choice. He didn’t grow on me either the more we saw him too. Finding out a bit more of his past did make him a bit more human. I hated how he knew exactly what and how much he was asking of Asha and expected her to do it anyways. And how he told her with a grin the entire time! I just got more and more frustrated the more she interacted with him. That was nothing compared to what I am going to talk about next though. I AM SO ANGRY THAT SHADOW IS DEAD! I know he turned out to be more Towin’s dragon than Asha’s but I thought that they were supposed to portect Shadow so he was safe. HE WAS JUST A BABY! All that means is that her dragon (Kozu) is now a little cinnamon roll that must be guarded at all costs. While I was angry about Shadow it was soothed a bit by reading about Safire killing Jarek. He most certainly deserved it, but I didn’t think he would go down that easily. It was almost like his death was an afterthought after the King had died. That the author was merely tying up loose ends. i will forgive all that though because I wanted to see that jerk gone. I thought the book was going to end on a cliffhanger but it ended quite nicely. I’m almost worried at how well it ended… As readers we have all learned that happiness in the first book is fleeting and won’t last long. (Yes, I may be a bit wounded from other books but at this point it is just self preservation). I don’t quite know where the story is going to go from here because there is so much possibility. Asha is the Namsara and it is her job to stitch the world back together, but how is she going to do that? Especially with her brother’s men after her and I am assuming there will be a price on her head. There are so many questions that I need answered and so many more kisses that I need to read!So overall I really liked this book and I will definitely be picking up The Caged Queen when it come out. I can’t wait to see where the story goes and if the theories I have are correct. If you love YA fantasy, magic, dragons, stories and a badass female character then you definitely have to check out this book.
  • (5/5)
    Beautiful writing, beautiful story.
  • (4/5)
    I gave it 3.5 starsEven months after reading THE LAST NAMSARA I am still on the fence with my rating. The world building in THE LAST NAMSARA was fantastic. Ciccarelli set up every scene so that I had no problem picturing it in my mind. I found the storyline to be both imaginative and original and I really loved how the author incorporated the dragons into everything. So why might I be on the fence with how I felt? Well I loved the plot and the world, but the characters didn't really blow me away. I liked Asha. She had some great growth throughout the book, but I didn't love her. I liked the supporting characters, but again, didn't love them. The relationship between Asha and Torwin didn't really draw me in and I wish that we got to see more of Safire's story. Even though my overall feelings about book one in the Iskari series are stuck in the middle, I had zero issues staying interested in THE LAST NAMSARA and will keep my eyes out . THE CAGED QUEEN is set to come out in the Fall of 2018 and I see myself giving it a shot. * This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
  • (4/5)
    The Last Namsara is a stunning debut. Its high fantasy is immersive and fast to set the scene, establishing Asha as a dragonslayer and introducing the city of Firgaard where she lives. The setting feels entirely original, blending elements of Western and Eastern cultures to create a world where stories have power and a king seeks to free his people from the influence of their God. The magic at work in Ciccarelli's world is muted and understated, taking the form of the spoken word rather than flashy spellcasting, and this made it seem all the more realistic.I also loved the way that Ciccarelli presented her dragons. While traditional in appearance, they prove to be far more intelligent than they first appear - inquisitive and intelligent. Asha's people and the dragons have been tied together throughout history, and the novel does a great job of portraying this bond between them. While this in itself is not greatly original, it was still fascinating to read and will certainly appeal to fans of Anne McCaffrey and the How To Train Your Dragon films.The story is very easy to read, quickly hooking the reader and drawing them into Asha's quest to slay Kovu, the First Dragon. The plot has very high stakes and a strict time frame, as Asha is painfully aware that she only has a week to succeed in her task. It also contains some brilliant twists that I did not see coming. Ciccarelli hid these clues in plain sight really effectively, effortlessly sowing hints that a reader will only pick up in hindsight. The story also ended well, neatly wrapping up this stage of Asha's adventure while still leaving it open for her to continue.In terms of character, Asha was incredibly strong. Really, she is everything that I look for in a protagonist. She's strong, independent and prepared to do anything to earn her freedom. While she is a princess, she is also a warrior and it shows. Even when she is afraid, Asha manages to stand tall and turn her weaknesses into strengths.Yet, unfortunately, the supporting cast don't fair so well. Torwin's love for Asha felt a little too instant. Although Asha has no idea of who he is, he has loved her from afar for years without truly knowing her. I'm not a fan of insta-love and, while Torwin was sweet at times, I found this to be a little frustrating. The other characters in this story also felt undeveloped. While we do see increasing amounts of the likes of Safira and Dax as the story progress, I never felt as though I got to know them. Similarly, Jarek is a very shallow villian - easy to hate but possessing little depth.So, in all, this novel was really strong for a debut and showed a lot of promise. I was absolutely hooked by the novel and devoured it in just three sittings. I look forward to seeing what Ciccarelli will write next and will certainly be following her closely in the future.
  • (4/5)
    I'm really glad I picked the audiobook instead of the actual book. I really enjoyed the narrative...
  • (5/5)
    This book for me was 4 1/2 stars it was good to have a decent Dragon story again.
  • (5/5)
    This book is very good. Just listen to it. It will not be a waste of time. Non at all!
  • (4/5)
    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.

    Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard,has been brought up on the legends about dragons since she could first listen. But the stories of the Old Ways still have great power, they were responsible for her mother losing her life and even when she whispers them, they still have the power to draw dragons to the city causing murder and mayhem.

    The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer; Iskari

    If she could kill the ancient dragon Kozu, the Old Ways will no longer have the grip that they currently do. Every dragon she conquers she brings it's head to her father, but Kozu is the prize that may release her from her betrothed, Jarek, a horrid man who almost has her in his grasp and keeps a secret over her and her family. Little by little she feels that she has become the Iskari. Dabbling in the Old Ways brings dangers that she won't be able to control, but she knows she may have no other choice other than to release them.

    This is Kristen Ciccarelli's debut novel and apart from the odd minor flaws, it is pretty accomplished overall. It is fairly fast paced at times, only slowing at the points where the story needed it. She has written a good backstory to the book which gives it the depth that a fantasy needs and I liked the way that it is revealed slowly through the book as the Old Way stories, and unlike some flashbacks they didn't really intrude into the story, just added a certain gravitas. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Trigger warning: sexual harassment, physical and emotional abuseThe Last Namsara is a well written YA fantasy debut. Although I found the romance subplot problematic, I would guess that this book will be a big hit.Asha is the Iskari, the feared weapon and dragon slayer of her father the king. She believes that this is the only way she can atone for the darkness within her that led her as a child to seek out the oldest dragon of them all and almost destroy her city. But her father orders that she will not have fully redeemed herself until she marries the man who saved her from that first dragon: a cruel and power hungry general who seeks to own and subjugate her. Then her father gives her a chance to save herself: if she kills that oldest dragon and brings her father the head, then she won’t have to marry her betrothed. As Asha embarks on her desperate quest, she’ll learn that much has been hidden from her, including her own past.I’m going to focus on the positive before discussing my issues with this book.I love books about the power of stories, and The Last Namsara really delivered on that front. In the era of Asha’s grandmother’s rule, her society went through massive changes. Her grandmother enslaved a whole population of foreigners, made enemies of the native dragons, and banned the old stories of Asha’s people. These stories are considered to be so dangerous that a person can literally die from telling them; that’s the fate that befell Asha’s mother. Of course, there turns out to be other reasons that the ruling family would ban these stories, and Asha slowly begins to ferret out the grain of truth from the tales her mother told her.Most of the world building of The Last Namsara comes from these old tales, and it generally works well. While reading it, I almost never felt like I wasn’t getting a clear picture or was wading through info dumps. I wouldn’t call Ciccarelli’s prose flowery, but she made it easy to visualize Asha’s world. I also interpreted Asha’s desert kingdom as having non-Western influences, although I couldn’t say a lot more than that. I also found myself wondering about the gendered power structures. The inheritance appears to be gender neutral, with women in Asha’s family sometimes becoming the reining monarch, but other signs suggest that this isn’t a gender egalitarian culture. For one, Asha’s clearly abusive fiancee and the implications that marital rape is legal. For another, while no one ever finds it odd that Asha fights, her father’s soldiers are all male. This suggests to me that aspects of the world building weren’t fully thought out.Asha herself is a well developed protagonist. I’m always looking for female characters with rough edges and complexity, and Asha certainly has both of those traits. For much of the book, she’s more of an anti-heroine than a straight up heroine. She’s fully bought into the narrative her father has presented to her, and she’s completely complicit in the systematic oppression her society is built on.That brings me to my main problem with The Last Namsara. It has a master/slave romance subplot.Torwin, Asha’s love interest, is the slave of her abusive fiance. For a large part of the book, she refers to him as “slave” rather than using his name, even as she’s finding herself fascinated by and attracted to him. At various points in the book, Asha holds an ax to his throat or threatens to cut out his tongue. At the beginning, she doesn’t care if he’s thrown in a pit to die; in fact, she remarks that slaves die all the time, so why should she care?Of course, as the book goes on she has a change of heart and realizes that (shocker) slavery is actually wrong and the enslaved people are actually people. Yet, the narrative never addressed the power imbalance between her and Torwin, and it annoys me to no end to see other reviews dismiss it because “he wasn’t her slave.” She’s still a princess of the master class, and he’s still a slave. This power dynamic should not be ignored, however hungry readers are for “forbidden romances.”While the focus on the power of stories and Ciccarelli’s clear prose, I found that The Last Namsara centered oppressive voices instead of focusing on the oppressed. It’s already gearing up to be one of the more popular YA fantasy books of this fall, but I would have a hard time recommending it.Review originally posted on The Illustrated Page.I received an ARC in exchange for a free and honest review.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    This book was slow at first, but gosh once it picked up, I couldn’t get enough. Epic Fantasy. Epic Love Story. Asha was a fierce heroine with so many awesome qualities. She had a dark side, but also a glimmer of light that shone in the background. I loved her grit, but I also loved watching her grow into the Namsara. I was quite impressed with the story progression. It was well thought out and written in a seasoned Author kind of way. The ancient stories really tied it all together, but the dragons and Torwin were the two factors that left me swooning. It was pure magic. Not insta love... Just slow burn, all consuming, raw romance. I’m pretty sure their story will stick with me forever. Shadow, Kozu, Torwin, and Asha... Highly recommend to all fantasy lovers!

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • (5/5)
    In The Last Namsara, the main character Asha grew up being hated by her people. She was the daughter of the Dragon King, a princess, but it also was because of her that her city was burned, her mother was killed, and she was disfigured. It was because of her that the telling of stories became forbidden. For to tell a dragon a story gave it the power of fire, without the stories dragons were left without dragonfire. Asha had spoken stories to the Dragons and this folly, that was since outlawed, brought on all the destruction. Or so she was told. Her recollection of the events that took place are fuzzy in her memories. What she clearly remembers is the burning of her flesh and her barely surviving the poisoning she received from the dragonfire. Although she survived, she was left with a reminder, a burn scar that started from her forehead and ran all the way down her left side.I really enjoyed the story of how this world was created and how Namsara and Iskari came to be. It is beautiful and tragic. In this world, there needed to be balance. So, in the beginning the Old One created Namsara, beloved by all, who brought laughter and love. He also created Iskari who brought only destruction, death, and life taker. Or so the legend goes. After being badly burned and barely surviving, Asha received the moniker of Iskari and has spent a better part of her life trying to right her wrongs. Over time, Asha took strength from the citizens hate. She was the Iskari – she owned it and makes no apologies. Unfortunately, she made no apologies because she had come to believe that she was corrupt, hideous and horrible.Asha thought she was wicked and no one had killed as many dragons as she had. She thought that killing the dragons was a way to show the people that she was sorry, but no matter how many she killed it never made a difference to them. Asha was reviled by all but her cousin and brother and even they were not allowed to interact with her that often. The only person who dared openly touch her was her betrothed, Jarek, and he was a real piece of work. I loathe this character entirely! Asha’s marriage to Jarek was impending and she wanted nothing more than to be freed from her contract with him.It was the desire to escape her soon-to-be marriage that made Asha desperate enough to take on a task that was suicidal. If she was successful in her quest then there was a chance that she could escape marriage to Jarek and to Asha that itself was worth all the risks. It was no easy task though and her chances seemed doomed from the start. Nothing went the way Asha had anticipated and soon she found that she had an unlikely friend, someone with whom she should have never had any type of relationship with, a slave from her betrothed’s household. When it seemed as if nothing was going to plan and the odds were stacked against her, Asha found the courage to face the truth of her past. A truth that would change everything that Asha believed to be right and with this knowledge she would change the course of history.The Last Namsara is a thrilling fantasy filled with dragons, political subterfuge, slavery, and a budding romance. The romance was more like a sweet little puppy dog romance, nothing too in-depth. Honestly, I could have done without it, but it was nice nonetheless. There were prophecies that came into play and I always enjoy that. I loved the dragons throughout this story. Amazing! It was not just that there were dragons but that they were an integral part to the story and their part was written so well. Age-old stories played a big role and speaking the stories out loud lured the dragons while giving them the power of dragonfire. So very cool! The magic system in this world is also fabulous, it revolves around the power of words and stories, what bibliophile doesn’t love that?! The ending of this story was emotional and at the same time was out of this world and I cannot wait for the next installment in this series! All I can say about this debut novel is whoooo hooooooooo!!This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Edelweiss+. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Loved the story and the narrator! Gave me some How To Train Your Dragon Vibes.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    I loved this book! This story was so great. It was like being around a campfire while someone told me the old stories. I love Asha and Torwin and all the characters really. And dragons, I love dragons.

    You should definitely check this out if you haven’t yet! It’s awesome and I can’t wait for the next book.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    This is set in a world of black and white and grey all over. This is Good and Evil and the eternal struggle to balance/rectify the two both in the world and in ourselves. In a land where being a recounter of tales, a lover of lore and a spinner of the yarns of old...where words hold the power to seduce even the most Amazing/violent of creatures...they can harm or heal.. they even might have the power to kill (?) What would you do with such power? Who would you be? What is the very nature of said Power and how does it contribute to the timeless battle between Good & Evil? I wanted to put this down SO many times, to traipse off with another tantalizing book that caught my eye but each time I sat back down and gave it another try I got caught up for hours and was transported somewhere amazing/cruel/imaginative etc...in the end what more can we ask for from a collection of words on a page/screen? The writing was nice and comfy. It did not stretch the mind into uncomfortable positions just to comprehend what was happening. It also was not simple, base or crude. It felt like how I would describe southern cooking feels like on a depressingly cold winter's day, slow, comfortable, like aaaaahhhhhhh. I liked every aspect of the plotline from the amazing depiction of Dragons to the awful dichotomies of family, court and social prejudice. The author traversed themes such as how much we allow other people's views/actions define who/what we believe ourselves to be? How difficult it is to shuck off negative beliefs about ourselves and become the best version of ourselves. How much do we let predjudices define how & who we interact and connect with? How much must we give up to be true to ourselves? What would some people do to have/keep the Power? Can you be Good if you have done bad things?... and more. When it comes down to it I really enjoyed the total package and might have even shed a few tears...might I say. I think you'll like this twisty turny tale that will keep you guessing until the very last chapter.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    If you are looking for an EPIC dragon fantasy...THIS IS IT! The stories woven into stories was excellently done! Highly recommend for fantasy loves, dragon riders and those interested in a more tame Game of Thrones.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile