Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Title: Storm Dancer (The Lotus War, #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publication: September 18th 2012, Thomas Dunne Books
Format: Hardcover, 313 pages
Source: Borrowed from Nicole of The Twins Read (THANKS BB!)
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | National Book Store / Fully Booked (PH)


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.

Misfit Review:

I was talking a lot with Nicole of The Twins Read a couple of months ago about books and manga, anime and "boys" when I started asking her about their review rating at her blog. I noticed that she's not the type to give a high rating over a book so easily. But then she said that she gave at least a 4.5 on a certain book and told me it was Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. I think I was at that stage where contemporary romances fed off my energy that I had no idea what Stormdancer was. Nicole said she'd be happy to lend me her Stormdancer and Kinslayer to live the amazingness of the novel. Thank you Nicole. It was amazing.

“Dying is easy. Anyone can throw themselves onto the pyre and rest a happy martyr. Enduring the suffering that comes with sacrifice is the real test.”

Stormdancer is the story of 16-year old Yukiko in the Shima Imperium, where the government has relinquished a life of comfort and riches while the citizens, Impure, are stuck in the hazardous environment, dealing with the Lotus Guild, the peacekeepers. It has been long since those days of rich culture and now, the streets are full of thieves, clockwork machinery, starving children, the sick and the dying. Part of the Fox clan, Yukiko serves the Shogun, with her father and they are tasked to bring back the legendary Arashitora, a half-eagle, half-tiger entity that brings luck and fortune. Though impossible, Yukiko and a band of other mercenaries, join them in their escapade to look for the Arashitora. But with their conquest, they are challenged with the reality of that of the shogunate, the people hiding from the viciousness of the Shima Imperium and how rebellion can start from a flicker of truth. 

Stormdancer for me was a slow start. It wasn't that I wasn't invested but the first few chapters were a little boring and Yukiko seemed a little too complicated for a 16 year old. But as the story progressed, so did my love for the book. The characters are not at all formulaic, although they might seem a bit traditional, being that they are in the Edo period of Japan. Affections and certain gestures might be different from what we are used to, but it was used to the strength of the novel.


I was honestly happy that I read this book without seeing a single review from anyone, even that of Nicole's. Though she did give me a rating, I never once peeked at it, and I'm glad I didn't. There's so much negativity that goes with this novel, but in a sense, I have to disagree. There's a lot of value that comes with this story, that could be improved further. I was incredibly fascinated as the story went on, with Buruu (the arashitora) and how his relationship with Yukiko is developed throughout.

“It's easy to lose yourself in the idea of a person and be blinded to their reality.”

As for Yukiko's relationship with Kin and Lord Hiro, I think it could be said that love is both in the physical and emotional aspect. As I've said, there is less factoring on how love is during those times, and maybe love can be realized in a spur of days, which was very apparent with Lord Hiro and Yukiko. Yukiko's crushing over Hiro was kinda distracting though coz, well, yeah, the girl fell in love with his eyes and stuff. But I don't care. Lord Hiro's character plays a more vital role as the story grows. Kin, on the other hand, has a special place in my heart and just the way that he speaks of Yukiko, Ah. Love.

The setting's been done in Japan, though there are controversies that it is very much resembled with China, so a lot of readers were kind of put-off, as for me, the settings were just fine. It was basically the characters' interaction that mattered to me.

“Each of you must decide where you stand. All we ask is that you refuse to kneel. You are the people. You have the power. Open your eyes. Open your minds. Then close the fingers on your hand.”

Jay Kristoff was able to pull it off I must say! His diverse characters, action-packed story line and a vengeful ending is what makes it in it's own, original! Guys, I have read Kinslayer, and it is 10 times better! I swear!

If you are looking for an enchanting, blood thirsty story, with political issues, sex, feminism and more, Stormdancer might satisfy your cravings. 

About The Author:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press & Tor UK. Part 3, ENDSINGER, will be released in November 2014. He's also co-author of the upcoming ILLUMINAE (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi... thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13520 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...