I first stumbled across Kristen Ciccarelli’s The Last Namsara on Goodreads and was immediately intrigued by the premise. I love stories about the power of stories, and if you throw in a dragon, I’m all about it. And then I saw Kristen’s video where she talks about her artistry and the struggle of being told your art won’t get you far in life. That video and her story reignited my desire to jump back into writing. Some of you know that I haven’t written in a long time and that I’ve been struggling creatively. It’s still an ongoing battle, but Kristen and her beautiful debut novel have helped tear down some of the barriers in my path.
In The Last Namsara, Kristen weaves an intricate and ferocious tale about identity, perspective, and stories. With her beautiful and vivid prose, which excels most in world-building and character development, she explores Asha’s struggle with who she is, who she may want to be, and who she’s been told she is with ease and skill. Asha isn’t always likeable, which makes her all the more enjoyable to read about and relate to. I loved watching her grow and come to terms with her true self, especially through the way she interacts with the dragons. Speaking of, the dragons in this book are as fierce as they are adorable, and I know readers will love with them as much as I do.
My favorite part about the book, however, are the tales sprinkled throughout the novel. They not only help bring the world—and the belief system—to life, they also make the novel feel even more wondrous and fairy tale-like. I can’t wait for the sequel to see even more of these stories.
Overall, The Last Namsara is a magical debut full of non-stop action and a dash of romance. It’s quickly become one of my absolute favorites and I can’t wait to add more of Kristen’s work to my bookshelves. And maybe one day, my own books will sit beside hers.