Friday, April 26, 2013

Stormdancer

Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)Today’s post is ‘Stormdancer’ by Jay Kristoff. It is 324 pages long including a dictionary and a glossary. It is published by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s press. The cover has a pretty Asian girl with a beautiful tattoo of a fox with nine tails on her arm and above her is a griffin or as they are called in the book arashitora flying the red and gray skies. The intended reader is a fan of fantasy, Asian culture, in particular Japan, and should be adult. There is some sexuality and the descriptions of what has and is happening to both the people and the land can be disturbing. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- The first in an epic new fantasy series, introducing an unforgettable heroine and a stunningly original dystopian Steampunk world with a flavor of feudal Japan.
A DYING LANDThe Shima Imperium verges on the brink on 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 Shogun 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 Shogun is death.
A HIDDEN GIFT
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that, is discovered would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shogun’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 that he’s 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.

Review- This is a strong first novel but I have watched a lot go anime over the years and Kristoff pulls from anime liberally. It is not a bad thing but if you have watched as much anime as I have the plot as points were not surprising. But if you have not watched much anime or any at all in this book is going to be a wonderful ride for you. Yukiko is likable, she is brave, and at 16 she is pretty selfless. The book is told in third person far and it does jump from one character to another but it is not jarring and it helps the reader to see the story from different angles. The reason I do not give this five stars is that he is very good at descriptions, so good that some of them turned my stomach, but Kristoff is very good at them and in fact they are the high point of the novel. At points I had to push myself to keep reading. I do not know if I will the next one but I am not sorry that I have read this one. The characters are not uninteresting but again I have watched so much anime that I have met them before.

I give this one Four stars out of Five. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.