Series: Iskari #1
Published by HarperTeen (10.3.2017)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Source: I own it
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.
Finally, a dragon story that I loved!! So far the only other book about dragons I’ve truly enjoyed was Julie Kagawa’s Talon saga. It seems like I sign up for dragons and then there aren’t any. But this one was incredible! I mean, DRAGONS. But there were actually dragons. Unlike most books that promise dragons and you only get a glimpse, the dragons were a main factor in this story!
I absolutely LOVED the idea of the Namsara and Iskari, it was awesome!! The whole concept of the book was seriously amazing. It was super unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I loved the Old Stories (which were in chapters of their own, interspersed throughout the book!) and the idea that if you told them to dragons it gave them the ability to breathe fire. Oh, and did I mention that the Stories were illegal, and slowly killed the people that told them? I would love to see more of the Stories! View Spoiler » It was amazing that the dragons could tell stories back in the mind of the Namsara!! « Hide Spoiler
The romance between Asha and Torwin was perfection. It had that glorious slow burn that I enjoy. There was no instalove – while I knew he’d be the love interest, it took a long time for them to finally warm to one another. It started off as borderline hatred for Asha, because she looked down on Torwin for being a slave. She was rather cold about it, actually – she treated him like he was beneath her because she was royalty and that’s how she was raised. I’m glad that she got over that as the book went on!
I was very curious about Asha’s background from the beginning – she’s reviled because of something horrible she supposedly did when she was younger, and her face is burned from it. Her entire existence is based upon this one act and there’s an air of mystery surrounding her past that just makes you crave more! View Spoiler »I figured there was more to it, but I loved the unraveling of the truth! Her entire life was a lie, and the truth was so beautiful. I love that she can talk to the First Dragon and that he coveted her and her storytelling like a precious gem! LOVE!! « Hide Spoiler
I’m also glad that there was no special snowflake syndrome. She’s a badass, sure, and she’s Iskari, so she is special; but she was raised the villain, not the savior. View Spoiler »To be honest, I half expected Torwin to be the Namsara the way it was playing out. He was the one that was good with Shadow initially, so it seemed like maybe Asha was just meant to protect him. I was actually kind of surprised when it turned out to be her! « Hide SpoilerView Spoiler »SHADOW NOOOOO *cries* I was legit sobbing! MY HEART IT HURTSSSS. « Hide Spoiler
The Last Namsara is what a high fantasy should be. Beautifully written, richly imagined, full of secrets and magic and duh, dragons…you need to pick this one up! I cannot WAIT for the sequel!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5