Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk
Release Date (US): September 18th
See it at Goodreads
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 SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL
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.
The only reason why it’s taken me a bit longer than usual to write my review for Stormdancer is because I just have so many feelings wrapped up in this one. I didn’t know where to begin, and I still don’t know what to say.
I will tell you this: if you’re going to only read one book in 2012, it should be this one.
I mean, this book isn’t even in my normal realm of reading interest and I still found myself beyond entranced with the characters and detailed, stunning world-building. It was epic and brilliant and jaw-dropping and completely knocked me on my ass. After I finished reading, I understood the hype. I understood why readers were going nuts over it. It’s completely worth every bit of it.
I love that when there are a lot of characters and each still maintain their own personality that jump from the pages without getting lost or mundane and dull. I was not disappointed in the slightest during the story in this area. My favorite character (and seems to be a fan favorite)? Buruu.
The narrative is beautiful and lyrical at times. I could not tear my eyes from the pages, except for some times when I had to reach for tissues.
Kristoff crafted one of the most imaginative and beautiful novels I’ve ever read. Absolutely fantastic.
What I also liked is that this isn’t what I would quite consider a YA. Yes, it can be easily categorized there…but there’s cross-over appeal, with a huge range of audience, complex ideas, dark subjects, and serious issues. Some readers get turned off with “YA Fantasy” but don’t let the category fool you. Damn…this is steampunk, fantasy, epic WIN.
Did I mention chainsaw katanas?
Yeah. I have a birthday coming up…sure would be a cool present. That’s all I’m saying. *wink wink* :P