Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

September 20, 2012 5 stars, Book Review, Young Adult 10 ★★★★★

Review: Stormdancer by Jay KristoffStormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Series: The Lotus War #1
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on 9/18/2012
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 451
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: Kinslayer, Endsinger

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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.


Kick-ass fight scenes, vivid characters and mythic creatures in a crazy alternate steampunk Japan that will ensnare you!

I find it really hard to portray just how radtastic of a read Stormdancer is. Steampunk is certainly all the rage right now but I haven’t seen anyone do it the way Kristoff has managed. He didn’t glorify the machines, instead he showed us the gritty dirty side to what a crazed machine age could do to the once beautiful and lush country of inspired by Japan. Cue the blood red bleeding skies, with air so choked with filth the populace can’t even go about daily life without wearing a breathing apparatus. To bad the poor are stuck with just a rag over their mouths and noses.  Who doesn’t like a little grime and misery?

There are the expected airships and goggles that most people have come to identify steampunk with. However, what might not be expected was the awesome mechanized full body armor suits and chainsaw like weapons.

Yukiko and Buruu (the gryphon) were excellently crafted characters. Both of them displayed solid personal growth through the entirety of the book. Yukiko went from a young girl concerned mostly with her own feelings to a woman ready to fight for the good of the people. Buruu was just as interesting.  He seemed very angry and closed minded in regards to humans but the way he thinks and feels changes gradually until he trust his very life to Yukiko.  I’ve rarely seen the development of a relationship done so well with the slow progression of trust.

I don’t want to give anything away but I must say there were a lot of twists in Stormdancer that I didn’t see coming. I absolutely love it when I can’t predict what is going to happen in a book. It has me foaming at the mouth to know what is going to happen next.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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10 Responses to “Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff”

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I found they way they both developed and took on some of the other, personality wise…just fantastic. I loved them both. Especially Buruu because well you know I have some violent tendencies haha