Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
The Lotus War #1
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Number of Pages: 336
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: eARC from NetGalley
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 QUESTThe 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 SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRLYukiko 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.
Well, I have to say that this book has a whole lot of awesomeness in it. The first thing that got me hooked on it was the summary. I mean, doesn’t this sounds simply AMAZING? Well, it does more than sound amazing. It kind of is. I have to say that at first, I had trouble to get into it, but after a couple of chapters, I was hooked. I mean, samurai, a kick ass main character, an amazing creature, and a really addicting story.
There’s so much stuff happening with this book, but in a really good way. There’s a lot a terms that may be a little confusing, but there’s a really helpful glossary included in the book. Arg, so hard to put words on my thoughts right now. I mean, this is the kind of book that demands that you devoured it. It was so easy to simply spend the afternoon in bed reading it, even though I had tons of readings to do for University. Didn’t care at all. I just needed more. I haven’t read that many books that have included the Japanese influence the way it was included in this book. In YA, I’ve seen tons of books with a touch of various cultures, but strangely, I haven’t read that many on with a touch of Japan in it, which is sad considering how fascinating it is. (I adore the samurai tradition, and I find the history of Geishas fascinating.
The world in itself charmed me, but the characters were also great. I loved Yukiko, especially after she meets the arashitora (I think that’s how you spell it. I had to double-check a couple of times….) It was simply interesting to see their friendship grow, and it was nice to see the book have kind of this friendship as the main relationship. I mean, I want more books that focus more on friendships and family than just reading the same kind of love triangle over and over again. Yes, there’s a little tiny one, but at the same time, it feels like it a lot more in the background, so it didn’t really matter to me. To me, it was about Yukiko discovering the truth about her world, her family, and herself through what she was put through, with the help of all those people she meets in her journey. That’s kind of what made me really appreciate this book as much as I did.