Review: Endsinger by Jay Kristoff

December 1, 2014 5 stars, Book Review 24 ★★★★★

Review: Endsinger by Jay KristoffEndsinger by Jay Kristoff
Series: The Lotus War #3
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on November 25, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: Stormdancer, Kinslayer

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

The flames of civil war sweep across the Shima Imperium. With their plans to renew the Kazumitsu dynasty foiled, the Lotus Guild unleash their deadliest creation—a mechanical goliath known as the Earthcrusher, intended to unite the shattered Empire under a yoke of fear. With the Tiger Clan and their puppet Daimyo Hiro in tow, the Guild marches toward a battle for absolute dominion over the Isles.

Yukiko and Buruu are forced to take leadership of the Kagé rebellion, gathering new allies and old friends in an effort to unite the country against the chi-mongers. But the ghosts of Buruu’s past stand between them and the army they need, and Kin’s betrayal has destroyed all trust among their allies. When a new foe joins the war tearing the Imperium apart, it will be all the pair can do to muster the strength to fight, let alone win.

The traitor Kin walks the halls of Guild power, his destiny only a bloody knife-stroke away. Hana and Yoshi struggle to find their place in a world now looking to them as heroes. Secret cabals within the Lotus Guild claw and struggle; one toward darkness, the other toward light. And as the earth splits asunder, as armies destroy each other for rule over an empire of lifeless ash and the final secret about blood lotus is revealed, the people of Shima will learn one last, horrifying truth.

There is nothing a mother won't do to keep her children by her side.



As delicious as drowning in a river of despair

What are you saying that doesn’t sound appealing to you? Then Endsinger and the rest of The Lotus War trilogy may not be what you are looking for because this trilogy brings the PAIN! And none of them quite so much as Endsinger does. I especially like fiction that takes you to the darker side of things. These books were a masterpiece of fantasy fiction in that they made you feel so much and Endsigner was the coup de grace. You won’t find a summary of events in this review because that would spoil…well everything – you must read for yourself!

A more amazing cast of characters you’ll be hard pressed to find!

Yukiko – A girl with the weight of a country’s future on her shoulders. Strong and determined and capable of inspiring others

Buruu – Valiant and noble and a total smart ass that is not without his flaws but is willing to try to correct them

Kin – a genius and gentle natured young man whose love spurs him forward. Capable of so much.

Hiro – Sad, Angry and full of wounded pride and shattered honor, can he ever see past his own selfishness

Hana – Orphan, waif and half breed she is touched with the kenning, and yearns for love and has some larger role yet to play

Yoshi – brother of Hana, another hilarious smart ass and tormented by his lost love. He seeks revenge and yet at the end of it finds he is capable of more then just the hate he thought himself left with.

Akihito – a protector, friend and soul who seems to endear to him all who know him. He is a true friend that any person would be lucky to have

Kaori – twisted by her hatred and anger she rarely ever can see past the awful emotions that seem to drive everything she does

Daichi – tortured by all of his many misdeeds performed in the name of service and honor to his lord, he has spent the remainder of his life trying to make things right

Michi – Dedicated to the cause of bringing Shima a brighter future no matter the cost to herself and her own happiness.

I’ve spent the past two books getting attached to these characters and trying to figure them out as I watched them grow and stumble through the troubles of their complicated lives. I must say all of the heartache was well worth it. The author spent the perfect amount of time with each character and built their own back stories in such a way that I literally felt a connection with each one. No character felt like they were there simply as a plot device or a token bit of the story. Each had their own unique voice, personality and tragedy to bring to the journey. This kind of storytelling and the level of detail given to the reader was the icing that got you invested not just in the overall bigger picture that was happening in the land of Shima but the struggles of each of the characters.

An epic fantasy of the darker persuasion

I would definitely consider this a great epic fantasy as in my mind it meets all the criteria that I usually equate with epic fantasy. I’m not as widely read in the epic fantasy sub-genre but of the ones I have read in the past these things always stand out to me.

– A large cast of characters whose point of views we get to read from
– An in depth and rich world with a major struggle that encompasses all of it’s populace
– A wide array of various subplots that all tie together in the end
– And war, oodles of death and tragedy (that’s probably not really part of any criteria but hey it fits)

Beauty and Tragedy make for marvelous bed fellows

Ultimately, what makes Endsinger and The Lotus War trilogy so great to me was the way that all of the darkest tragedies in life and the evils people are capable of were paired with their opposites of the people’s capacity for love, compassion, understanding and the setting aside of differences. This final book wasn’t just of how things end but a lesson in life and a tale of how things can begin. This trilogy is going to remain among my favorite reads every as each book was even better and more poignant then it’s predecessor. Read if you dare and prepare to be moved.


Audiobook sample courtesy of Audible.

Be sure to read the various guest posts I have from Jay Kristoff:

Jay Kristoff tells us Why Third Books are the Greatest!

Tabitha interviews Jay Kristoff, author of The Lotus War trilogy

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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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24 Responses to “Review: Endsinger by Jay Kristoff”

    • Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

      Oh yes definitely! Ithink these are considered YA by many folks but I totally think its more of an adult cross over and definitely not worth missing. I have so mamy other trilogies unfinished and yet this one I devoured each book as I got my hands on them
      Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Endsinger by Jay KristoffMy Profile

      • Sara L.

        Then I’ll have to get my mitts on Stormdancer after Christmas. (I’ve put myself on a book-buying “ban” until then. *lol*) I read another hugely positive review yesterday at My Bookish Ways, so now I’m convinced I need to catch up. 🙂
        Sara L. recently posted…Freelance Article Round-Up: November 2014My Profile

  1. Nathan (@reviewbarn)

    So I gotta retrace my steps and figure out why I was reluctant to start this series. I thought it had gotten bad reviews when the first book hit but now I can’t find them. Perhaps I have it confused with another series entirely.

  2. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    Way to twist my arm to add yet another trilogy to my wishlist, Tabitha! Not that you really had to work overly hard after the influx of comment love this book received on my new releases post. Five stars is exactly what you want to see from a series finale. Time to check-out the Cyber Monday sales to see if any of Kristoff’s titles have been discounted.
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Early Review: The Stag Lord by Darby KayeMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yes! This one was totally a heart wrenching experience! I had to take breaks during reading it and read a lighter urban fantasy off and on a few times because it was so dark. Normally I wouldn’t need to do that but I’m extra emotional right now because of the pregnancy hormones. Heck my husband won’t even let me watch some movies right now cause he’s like “it’ll upset you too much”

      I’m aching to know what Jay is going to write next!
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Endsinger by Jay KristoffMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Pretty much that might just be exactly what happens lol. It depends too on just how emotional of a reader you are. It definitely has a sort of grim air about the whole book. I had to take a few breaks while reading it and read another lighter novel. Do it though the end is so worth it!!
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Endsinger by Jay KristoffMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yes the slowish middle but then after that everything greatly picks up and I was swooped along such that I finished the entire second half in one night where as the middle part took me two days or so to get through? I really felt how everything fell into place and tied together was worth the 5 stars (well ok maybe 4.5) but still definitely a fabulous read.
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Endsinger by Jay KristoffMy Profile

  3. Molly Mortensen

    These books look interesting, but I don’t like sad books. You make it sound really good though! I love a book with lots of strong POV characters! (Since it’s sad probably most of them die…) I don’t know if I want to read this now or not. It’s not all downer though, right?
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Princess of Thorns By Stacey JayMy Profile

  4. Ashfa

    Wow, wow, wow!!! Endsinger sounds soooo good!!! I need this book in my life right now!!