WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
I received The Last Namsara as a free Audible audiobook with my membership.
Actual rating: 3.5/5 stars.
Writing quality: 5/5
The voiceover artist did a phenomenal job bringing this story to life. Her accent and husky, sultry tones brought a vivid pull to the performance and she can pull off both male and female voices beautifully. (Hello, dream job!)
This book has me pulled in conflicting directions. I wanted so much to like it, but I really had a difficult time being drawn in. It took about 30% of the story to really become invested in the characters and the plot. I did enjoy Asha, our MC. It takes a while, but she experiences strong personal growth and changes in viewpoints over the story, such as [SPOILER] her sympathy she develops for Torwin (the slave) and Shadow (the dragon).
What drew me in were the forbidden ‘stories’ placed in between chapters. Ciccarelli’s writing itself truly is beautiful. She does have excellent word choice and knows how to weave stunning visuals. I loved the dragons. When hearing about Shadow, my imagination had whisperings of the adorable character, Toothless, from How to Train Your Dragon. Unfortunately, the story itself felt somewhat unoriginal as there are some familiar tropes. I was interested in seeing more character development, especially Dax and Safire. The romance was, however, more believable than most. No insta-love here! A slow burn builds over the story between Asha and her love interest, and over time, she starts calling him Torwin instead of ‘the slave’.
Overall an entertaining read with some classic YA tropes, an excellent writing style but an opportunity for deeper plot and character development. Will definitely check out the next book!