Friday, October 13, 2017

Author Interview: The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Series: Iskara #1
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

 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 dark—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 hearing 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.

If you haven't yet, check out my review of this book here.

Interview with Kristen 

Hello Kristen, thank you so much for joining me here on Angelic Book Reviews. I'm so excited to ask you a few questions about The Last Namsara, I've just recently finished it and I absolutely loved it!

My first question for you, is how did you select the names of your characters?

It depends. Sometimes, a name just comes to me. It just feels right. Like Roa. Or Lirabel. Sometimes it hints at something about the character like Dax. And sometimes something has been a name for a character for so long (like Torwin) I can't even remember how or why I chose it.

How did you come up with the idea for The Last Namsara?

I spent a good chunk of my life being ashamed of myself and the things I love most: creativity, imagination, and storytelling. So when I started writing The Last Namsara, I wanted to give that shame to my protagonist. But in order for her to be deeply ashamed of the old stories she tells, I needed here to be a concrete reason for why these stories were dangerous. So I decided that they would lire deadly dragons!

I had no idea this book had such a deep meaning for you, it makes me enjoy it so much more! 
Has the story changed since you started writing?

It's changed quite a lot. I started writing a very early version of this story when I was 17! That version is completely different from what it is now, though. The biggest difference is that while there were dragons in that version, Asha didn't hunt them.

Who was your favourite author, and why?

Patricia McKillip. I grew up in a time where YA wasn't really a category yet, so I read a lot of adult fantasy. Her book, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, is my most read book. I've probably read it more than a dozen times, and every time I love it as much as the first time. Also: she's totally mysterious. She isn't only, nor does she have author photos in the backs of any of her books. I love that.

That sounds amazing. I've never read her work, but I love how she's managed to keep sort of an anonymous profile.
For our last question, can you tell us what we can expect in the upcoming books?

You can expect more Asha, more dragons, but also way more of two supporting characters: Roa and Safire. The Caged Queen comes out next fall and picks up right where The Last Namsara leaves off, only from Roa's point of view. So you get to finally lean who this mysterious character is and why she does what she does in book one.

That description has made me so excited to read book two. I absolutely adore Safire, and I'm really excited to find out more about Roa.
Thank you so much for joining me today Kristen, and answering all of my questions. Congratulations f publishing The Last Namsara, I can't wait to continue reading this series.

About Kristen:
Kristen Ciccarelli hails from Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula where she grew up on her grandfather’s grape farm. She spent her childhood running wild with her cousins, adventuring in the woods, building forts in the barn, and obsessing over books, dragons, and girls wielding really cool weapons. Visit her at

1 comment:

  1. I got a chance to meet Kristen at NYCC briefly, and she's really sweet! Thank you for sharing this interview!

    Have a great weekend,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles


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