The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

the last namsara.jpgTitle: The Last Namsara

Author: Kristen Ciccarelli

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: 3rd October 2017

Format: Paperback

Pages: 304

Price: $19.99

Synopsis: A gripping YA crossover series from a spectacular new voice in the genre Once there was a girl who was drawn to wicked things

Asha is a dragon-slayer. Reviled by the very people she’s sworn to protect, she kills to atone for the wicked deed she committed as a child – one that almost destroyed her city, and left her with a terrible scar.

But protecting her father’s kingdom is a lonely destiny: no matter how many dragons she kills, her people still think she’s wicked.

Even worse, to unite the fractured kingdom she must marry Jarek, the cruel commandant. As the wedding day approaches, Asha longs for freedom.

Just when it seems her fate is sealed, the king offers her a way out: her freedom in exchange for the head of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard.

And the only person standing in her way is a defiant slave boy . . .

THE LAST NAMSARA is an extraordinary story about courage, loyalty and star-crossed love, set in a kingdom that trembles on the edge of war.

~*~

Asha’s story begins on a dragon hunt, where the identity she has been given her whole life is made obvious from the beginning of the novel. The Old Stories that have been outlawed draw the dragons to her, and, following the name she has ben given, Iskari, she kills them in an attempt to atone for a crime she committed as a child. Asha’s scars tell her story, and cause the people of her city to fear her. Asha has been the stories of her destiny and what killed her mother for years and believed them – without anyone to tell her otherwise, she believes them. Until the day a young dragon prevents her from killing the First Dragon, Kozu, and awakens questions within that will lead her to do wicked and dangerous things to prevent more tragedy from befalling her family, and to prevent events that she has been desperately trying to avoid with the help of someone she never thought she would become close to. As what I hope is the beginning of an intriguing series, it has a little bit of everything, including a touch of romance that does not overtake the rest of the story and overshadow what Asha and those who gather around her eventually to help uncover the truth will have to do.

First and foremost, this fantasy novel is about Asha finding her identity, and uncovering secrets that have been kept from her so that those who wish to harm her can control her and ensure she does what they want, when they want it, and without question. Along the way, Asha’s worldview is shattered, and she befriends a slave, a skral, and learns his name: Torwin, going against centuries of tradition, and connecting with him in a way that puts them both at risk, and that mirrors the Old Stories, told in between sections of the first half of the novel, showing how they have shaped the world and how people like Asha’s father and Jarek, the man her father wants her to wed, fear what does not need to be feared – including the dragons that Asha has been made to hunt and must now protect.

The Last Namsara explores trust, family and identity, and illustrates how those we least expect can become the only ones we can trust. Asha is scarred – and has a paralysed arm from the events at the beginning of the novel, but she does not let this stop her, especially when everything comes to a head and she does what she never thought she would do, and puts herself in danger. It is these dangerous events that lead to the final events of the novel, and presents the reader with more questions than answers during the final chapters, that will hopefully be answered in a future novel, to wrap up the strands that felt they had more of a story to be told.

It is a gripping story that didn’t take me long to read, as it had a decent pace, not too fast or too slow, and intrigue that had me wanting to know what was going to happen next. A great read for fans of Young Adult, and Fantasy Literature.

Booktopia

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The Erth Dragons: The Wearle by Chris D’Lacey

Title: The Erth Dragons: The Wearle

the-wearle

Author: Chris D’Lacey

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Orchard (an imprint of Hachette)

Published: 29th September 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 336

Price: $15.95

Synopsis: The Wearle came to Erth to find out what happened to their previous group, who never returned. Gabrial, a young blue dragon, is desperate to prove his worth. But the dragons aren’t alone in the mountains.

 

 

Down beyond the scorch line, Ren, a young hom boy, is fascinated by the ‘skalers’. But when he creeps into their territory, he sneaks out again with a wriggling baby wearling…

 

 

Dragon and boy’s fates combine in this stunning new fantasy series.

 

~*~

 

The world of the Erth Dragons is introduced to young readers in this first book of a new series by New York Times best-selling author, Chris D’Lacey. Set in a fantasy world that appears to mirror an early version of the known Earth, The Erth Dragons opens with the wyng of dragons preparing to find out who will be a companion to the laying mother, Grystina. Gabrial, a young blue dragon, is preparing for his turn to prove himself, but when tragedy strikes the wyng, things are altered for everyone, dragon and the Hom, the early human race that lives nearby, and danger begins to seep into the world as they collide.

Aimed at ages nine years and up, The Erth Dragons: The Wearle presents dragon and human characters who are both good and bad, and in between. Gabrial and Ren, the Hom boy who sneaks out with the wearling during the chaos that opens the novel, drive the narrative, their stories travelling alongside each other. They are different to those around them in the dragon and human worlds. It is through these two characters that we see the flaws in each world, and how each world wishes to think the worst of the other.

D’Lacey’s dragon world, and community has been well thought out, from what a dragon’s colour signifies to the importance of names starting with the letter G, and how taking this away can affect a dragon and their sense of self. As the story unfolds, the two communities begin to collide, and their worlds will never be the same again.

Best suited for ages nine and older, this dragon story uses new and old aspects of dragons to create the world in this story. An intriguing read, and well thought out fantasy world.