4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review

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.

Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has been brought up on the legends about dragons since she could first listen. But the stories of the Old Ways still have great power, they were responsible for her mother losing her life and even when she whispers them, they still have the power to draw dragons to the city causing murder and mayhem.

The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer; Iskari

If she could kill the ancient dragon Kozu, the Old Ways will no longer have the grip that they currently do. Every dragon she conquers she brings it’s head to her father, but Kozu is the prize that may release her from her betrothed, Jarek, a horrid man who almost has her in his grasp and keeps a secret over her and her family. Little by little she feels that she has become the Iskari. Dabbling in the Old Ways brings dangers that she won’t be able to control, but she knows she may have no other choice other than to release them.

This is Kristen Ciccarelli’s debut novel and apart from the odd minor flaws, it is pretty accomplished overall. It is fairly fast paced at times, only slowing at the points where the story needed it. She has written a good backstory to the book which gives it the depth that a fantasy needs and I liked the way that it is revealed slowly through the book as the Old Way stories, and unlike some flashbacks they didn’t really intrude into the story, just added a certain gravitas. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

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