|Read on June 23, 2013|
Published: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin's Press)
Page Count: 313 pages
Series: The Lotus War, #1
A 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.
AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
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.
A HIDDEN GIFT
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.
"Feathers grow back. Sisters do not."
Stormdancer is a marvelous, phenomenal tale that blends together a dystopian world with Japanese steampunk - who wouldn't be intrigued?! Jay Kristoff has weaved together a fantastic story that captivated me right from the first page and never let me go. A new favorite book of mine.
Come on, guys. Japanese dystopian steampunk. If those three words don't catch your attention, I have no clue what will. Stormdancer is a highly addictive and unique novel that is impossible to put down. I have never read a book like this masterpiece, and I was tremendously blown away by it. I say it all the time, but world-building is everything to me in a book. The world of the Shima Imperium is toxic and enthralling, and I simply couldn't get enough of this book. This book, you guys. So good.
In a world that is dying of poison with such a unique setting and a fantastic writing style, what else could Jay Kristoff possibly add to it? Oh, that's right. An awesome kick-butt heroine and a thunder tiger. That's what. Stormdancer has everything a fantasy/dystopian lover could ever want, especially with Yukiko being an epic protagonist. In the beginning, while she's headstrong, she makes mistakes and is careless with her actions. But as Stormdancer progresses, she evolves into a strong, determined, and fierce warrior, and I appreciated Kristoff so much for creating such an awesome character. I absolutely fell for Yukiko. And Buruu! Who wouldn't want a tiger for themselves? He's been hurt, haunted, and banished, but when he joins forces with Yukiko, they become unstoppable. They're a brilliant duo, and they're one of the many reasons why I loved Stormdancer!
Stormdancer never, ever has a dull moment. The action scenes are superb; the writing style makes the reader feel as if they're on the battlefield with Yukiko and Buruu. But the writing style also has the lyrical, haunting aurora when describing the dying wasteland of the Shima Imperium. The world is beautiful, lethal, and something I've never seen done before. Seriously, if you love fantastic worlds with an epic protagonist and a one of a kind writing style, Stormdancer is a must-read.
Overall, Stormdancer is a phenomenal debut that leaves its mark on the YA genre. Amazing, fantastic, all the feels. I was enthralled by this gem!
M Y R A T I N G