Stormdancer (The Lotus War #1)
by Jay Kristoff
Published: September 1, 2012
Buy from Amazon
Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.
But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.
Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she's determined to do something about it.
Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?
This is going to be vague, random and short. Lezzdodiz!
The first time I saw Stormdancer, it was on Goodreads (no surprise there). I was immediately captured by it's awesome cover which screams kick-ass. I had to know what a book with that cover is about aside from the obvious action and awesome fight scenes it most probably contains. It's Japanese mythology! I'm not very familiar with it and I'm pretty sure I've never read a book about it before and that made it all the more exciting. And it's STEAMPUNK!
Have you seen Stormdancer's book trailer? You should. It was the second thing about this book that appealed to me. Here, take a moment:
I'm telling you; this is the coolest and most unique trailer I have seen EVER. I believe I laughed for a good hour after seeing that. Raise your hand if you agree.
Third! Read the author's "review" of Stormdancer and Kinslayer on Goodreads and you're sold. It's not really a review but a fantastic way of telling you guys what the book is about. No spoilers (it's the summary's job).
After all those - cover, trailer, review - I fully expected this to be bloody (it is), effin' cool (it is), action-packed (yesyesyes), and hilarious (noNoNONO!!!). I was so looking forward to stomachaches caused by excessive laughter. But I was wrong. I'm pretty sure it did not make me laugh one bit. Instead, it touched and broke my heart into tiny pieces. Not to mention it made me cry even before I opened the damn book. As much as I have coveted this before it was published, it took me years to finally pick it up. When I finally did, gravity and Buruu decided to punish me for taking so long by dropping the book on my feet. Now it might not be very thick but it's heavy and the cover is harder than any other hardcovers out there and it was the pointy corner that connected with my toe. It hurt like hell.
I also learned quite a lot from the mythology department. I was on a Teen Wolf binge at the time I was reading this book and season 3 is also about Japanese mythology so it's kind of awesome to have info about it.
Anyway.. I really liked this book especially the incredible bond formed between the main character and Buruu. Actually, they are my most favorite thing in the story since I found their relationship to be the most genuine thing in the book. I'm pretty excited to read Kinslayer. I have a feeling it's better than the first book but I refuse to read it in an e-reader so it might be a pretty long wait until I can buy the hardcover copy. Doesn't matter. It'll be worth it.