Thursday, 27 September 2018

{Review} The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Cicceralli

30846371Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 12th, 2017
Finished Date: September 18th,  2018
Publishers: Gollancz
Genre: Fantasy, Romance 
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 420
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
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.

The Review: Who loves a story about dragons? Well I do and all I knew going into The Last Namsara was that this story was about dragons and about a warrior girl who told forbidden stories. And I’m so glad that it didn’t disappoint!

The Last Namsara is a spellbinding and powerful story and one that once I started was so hard to put down. Author Kristen Ciccarelli provides a story that is story telling at its best where stories are woven into each chapter making it a captivating read. I adored getting to the story parts of the book because I could try to and see how they would connect to Asha’s story.

Asha is an interesting character, one that develops and opens up more with the development of the story. She’s been trained all her life to hate dragons because the first dragon, Kozu burned her when she was a little girl and since them she does her father’s bidding in hunting and killing them. It’s when the opportunity comes for her to get out of an arranged marriage by killing Kozu, it’s there that fate steps in and Asha starts questioning all she’s believed in.

I really loved Asha. I loved her story, I loved how she adapts to the things around her and I loved how she cares for the people around her. I definitely think Torwin and Kozu soften Asha and make her open her eyes and think for herself. Towrin, Safire, Dax, Shadow and Kozu also all play a huge part in the story and I came to care for each and every one of them.

I also loved that the story isn’t over! I’m glad there are more books to come even though they will be about different characters. The Caged Queen which is Dax and Roa’s story is next and they played a big part of Asha’s story that I can’t wait to see what happens next.

The Last Namsara is definitely an instant favourite of mine and it’s one I highly recommend.

Friday, 14 September 2018

{Review} Poison Princess (Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole

20759393Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Finished Date: August 28th, 2018
Publishers: Simon & Schuster 
Source: Own
Format: Hardback 
Pages: 384
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon USThe Book Depo

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

The Review: This was my first book by author Kresley Cole and honestly she couldn't have done it any better. She had me compelled from the very first page with her amazing talent for storytelling and also for her intense and incredible scenes. It's safe to say, Poison Princess is a gripping page turner! 

This story follows the life of teenager Evangeline 'Evie' Greene. She's a popular girl, with a loving boyfriend and awesome friends, but even though her life appears to be normal, it's anything but. Evie experiences hallucinations but mostly they are disturbing and horrifying. Not only that but Evie also gets visions of people that she's never met and they come with warnings. But soon it's to late for Evie to figure these warnings out because her hometown - including the rest of the world has been hit by an apocalyptic event called 'The Flash' where most people are wiped out. 

Evie is among the survivors and soon enough she finds out that the one person she hates is alive - Jackson. Evie needs answers about her visions and decides she needs to travel to see her grandmother - who she thinks is still alive. Jackson agrees to protect Evie on her mission but as her visions get worse, she soon comes across other people who have been having the same call, and she realizes she is not the only who is meant to play out their destiny. 

Let me tell you right now, this book is so unique! Twenty-two teens who all have special abilities based on their characteristics of their Tarot card so they can play their part in an ancient game made by the Gods and Goddesses. Honestly, I've not read anything like this book before and I'm still in awe with how brilliant it really is. 

Evie is a strong protagonist - one I instantly loved. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders and still she tries to remain upbeat, happy and generally tries to stay sane. Even after the flash, she tries to remain the same even though as Jackson points out on a number of occasions, she can't hunt, start fires or protect herself - but you know there's something bubbling under the surface of Evie and it's just waiting to be unleashed. At time's my heart broke for her because whatever is happening to her, she has no control over and at times it is very scary. I'm glad she had a person like Jackson to lean on because without him, I think she would have struggled. 

Now Jackson, oh gosh, he's a complete bayou boy through and through. However, he can be so harsh and mean sometimes and yes, he does do stupid things but really, you can overlook everything because he's a total sweetheart at heart. It was pretty clear from the start that he was attracted to Evie - despite how he acts and even in the end, he'll always go to her. Their relationship is pretty intense and I was just waiting for something to happen. 

Then, that ending comes in and no sooner than you started....it's all finished...I could have cried. This book is simply unputdownable and I couldn't stop reading until I knew the how the book would end and it was absolutely breath-taking and heart-breaking all at the same time! 

Overall, Kresley Cole has leaped into the YA market by a storm and it's left me wanting more of her work.