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.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding this book since it first came out. I had been trying to hold off on starting the trilogy until nearer to the final book’s release, because I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to wait a year for the third book. Now that Endsinger is coming out in a month, I figured that now was the time.
Stormdancer took a little while to hook me, mostly because of all the terminology that was used in the beginning. Kristoff doesn’t take the time to slowly dip the reader into this world, he just throws them into it with full force and doesn’t take any prisoners. This was a little bit of an issue for me when I first started reading because I had no clue what any of the characters were saying. After about fifty pages, though, I did get used to it and I felt fully immersed in this world.
Stormdancer masters the perfect blend of description and action. It kept me on my toes the entire time, and instead of plodding along it felt as though I was sailing through it. The world is beautifully described and the characters are all intriguing. The action scenes gave me ALL THE FEELS because they played with my emotions and still managed to stay fast paced and thrilling. Fantasy lovers will ADORE this book once they get into it.
Obviously, I can’t review this book without mentioning the relationship between Yukiko and Buruu. I wasn’t expecting something as epic as that to come out of this book, but it happened and now I’m getting teary-eyed because they are beautiful. They are soulmates and very few of my fictional pairings can top them because they embody everything that I adore. I don’t really want to explain what those things are because I want everyone who is reading this review to go into the book with a fresh mind, but basically: Yukiko x Buruu = OTP.
I think everybody should read this book just so I have more people to fangirl with. From the Japanese-inspired fantasy to the FREAKIN’ THUNDER TIGERS, everything about this book is epic. I’m dying to know where this series goes because the ending of Stormdancer wrapped things up well without a cliffhanger, but at the same time left things very, VERY open for more. And the ending was very Spartacus, which leads me to believe that Kristoff (I’m still chuckling over this) is a) a fan of my favourite show ever, and b) up to things. UP TO THINGS. So I’m going to read Kinslayer this week (hopefully) so that I am ready for Endsinger’s release in November. EEP.