Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
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.
STORMDANCER is an epic Japanese steampunk novel that left me utterly breathless. I’m not quite sure how Kristoff did it, but he built a world so horrifying yet wonderfully beautiful at the same time. He has such a raw and powerful way with words that I felt like I lived in Yukiko’s world. Yukiko and most especially Buruu are two characters that I will never forget. Even with just one book, Kristoff has become a definite auto-buy for me.
Yukiko is one well-rounded heroine who goes through a lifetime of experiences within just a few short months. She immediately drew me in and there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t rooting for her. The most defining moment of the story is her first interaction with the stunning and supposedly mythical arashitora, soon to be Buruu. These two have such a gorgeous and unheard of relationship that made me fall even more in love with the book.
Buruu is the most amazing creature that I have ever read about. Truly, I wish there were such things as arashitoras so I could experience just being in his presence. I want to be a Stormdancer, even for if only a day! Kristoff did such a well-done job with everything revolving around this special creature and I only wish he were as real as the pictures in my mind make him out to be!
There are so many complex story lines developing at the same time as the characters go on their respective journeys. While it may seem like it would be difficult to keep up with everything, the author does a wonderful job of balancing everything and bringing about plot developments at the perfect times. The twists were totally unexpected! In fact, I don’t think I could have predicted a single thing that came about in STORMDANCER. It is so special and unique in its own way that nothing can compare to it.
Readers must run to the nearest bookstore the moment STORMDANCER hits shelves. You do not want to miss out on a thing in this spectacular novel. Whether you’re a lover of YA or adult books, there is something in STORMDANCER for lovers of any genre. You will not regret giving this book a shot.