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Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Monday, September 17, 2012
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
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Thomas Dunne Books, 336 pages
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Powell's

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.

It only took two pages before I knew that I would be highly enjoying this book.

Stormdancer is described as a "Japanese inspired steampunk fantasy", so I was already mentally preparing myself for the world of Stormdancer. It took me a bit before I fully took it all in, but it was incredible how vivid the setting was. There are people dying along with their land and the growth of the Lotus that is poisoning everyone. There are also creatures such as griffins hiding out in the land. GRIFFINS, PEOPLE. GRIFFINS.

Let's start with the super awesome Yukiko. She is skilled in fighting, can communicate with animals, and goes on hunting trips for the Shogun. Yukiko starts off as an angsty 16 year old and transforms into this fierce heroine. Buruu, the griffin, is my favorite character along with Yukiko. He develops from an almost barbaric animal with his thirst for killing into a complex, human-like creature. Buruu slowly builds a sense of sarcasm, and a great personality.

There were moments when the story was a bit slow, especially when things were being introduced and explained, but the story held my attention the whole time. Stormdancer was constantly entertaining with the writing, characters, and setting. I will most definitely be reading more of mister Kristoff's work.

Overall: 5 out of 5


  1. He [Buruu] develops from an almost barbaric animal with his thirst for killing into a complex, human-like creature.
    YES YES YES! Loved this about him.

    Glad you enjoyed it! Short but precise review.

  2. I was pretty undecided on whether to read this one or not, since it's pretty much you either DNF'ed it or LOOOOVED it. I think I'm definitely willing to give this one a try. Lovely review, so glad you enjoyed it!


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