Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff | Book Review #169

13538816A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

Stormdancer (written by Jay Kristoff) is the first book in the trilogy (appropriately) named: The Lotus War.

Stormdancer is the first book I’ve read that’s been written by Jay Kristoff, and honestly….

After the initial start to the book, I had a blast reading Stormdancer. There are only a few things that I had troubles with. The first being that the start to this book was soo slow. I want to drag out that ‘soo’… The start was soooo sloooow. I’m talking, the book in my opinion didn’t gather my attention until I hit the eightyth-ish (80-ish) page. I was especially bummed out at this because the first page had sooo much action in it. And for the story to have that preview of what was to come, and then the next page dwindle down to nothing absolutely sucked. I thought about not finishing Stormdancer, many, many times before reaching the more interesting parts.

The second thing that bothered me about this book; which had me legitimately tear up, WAS THAT A DOG GOT KILLED. I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS, EVER. Way to go Kristoff, for being one of the few authors that have made me almost cry. — That’s a compliment by the way! — Not to worry though, readers! The dog wasn’t killed by human or alien hands. Not to say that there’s aliens in this story; because they’re aren’t.

The third thing that’s kind of bothering me is that the glossary for the Japanese words that were used was set in the back of the book. I honestly prefer books that have glossaries to be in the front. That way so I can flip back to the front to check what a word means, instead of flipping to the back in case I see a spoiler.

What I enjoyed about Stormdancer was everything else that happened! There are quite a few different points of view in the beginning of the story, which completely confused me. So I’m glad that when the story started rolling, the point of views smoothed out so we really only read from Yukiko’s point of view.

Yukiko is a great main character. With her ability to talk to animals through her mind, Yukiko is a unique character. She’s stronger than people give her credit for, and when push comes to shove, Yukiko gives a great fight. Even though Yukiko has had gone through some tough stuff, she doesn’t let that bother her. Another thing that I liked about Yukiko was that she fears things. Authors that have their characters fear things, to make them more real, are the authors that I would rather read. I’d honestly quit reading a book if an author made a character completely fearless, or make a character absolutely numb to everything around them [the character].

I loved the fantasy element to this book. When the book is described as a Japanese Steampunk, I knew I had to read this book. So I’m glad that the book calmed down enough to have one primary point of view. I love the creations – the myths – that are in Stormdancer. I love how authors can just fine tune their work into a thing of beauty.

It’s easy to lost yourself in the idea of a person and be blinded to their reality. It’s a simple thing, to love a stranger.”

When I read this quote, I had to stop reading and think about what I had just read. It’s SO easy to fall in love with someone you don’t know. And in today’s society, especially in today’s society, it’s easy to love a stranger. We don’t know what they’re like normally. All we have of this person is that glimpse into their life.

“In the end, all questions can be distilled into one. What are you willing to give up to get the things you want?”
Dying is easy. Anyone can throw themselves on the pyre and rest a happy martyr. Enduring the suffering that comes with the sacrifices is the real test.”

OK, when I read the first part of the quote above I was like “Woah…” and then I thought about it. And I had the exact same answer as the character. And then when I went back to reading and saw the next part of the quote I got to thinking how “Enduring the suffering that comes with the sacrifices is the real test.” I was just pushed back a little. Because if I were to be put into a book where I was the main character, I would totally die to save the ones I love, and to save innocent people. But to live the rest of my life with the sacrifices I would have to make? That’s a totally different story. And the fact that Kristoff had written the scene out the way he had was brilliant.

When the action starts to happen; it’s where Kristoff’s writing shines. Literally. There was this bright light in my head; and maybe its because I love aciton in movies and action in books, but damn, the way Kristoff writes his action scenes with Yukiko in them, is more than amazing. Brilliant. Gold. Luminous.

The book ends in a way that just makes me want to read the second book, Kinslayer, ASAP! Which I’m totally going to read! I’m not letting Yukiko and her story go! I’m raising my fist!

If you’ve read the book, hopefully you remember that part. If not, whoomp there it is.

I ended up giving Stormdancer 3 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Thank you so much for reading my review of Stormdancer!

Happy Reading!

2 thoughts on “Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff | Book Review #169

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