Release Date: September 18th 2012
Series: The Lotus War #1
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Arashitoras are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shõgun, they fear that their lives are over – everyone knows what happens to those who fail the Lord of the Shima Isles. But the mission proves less impossible and more deadly than anyone expects. Soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled arashitora for company. Although she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, all she knows for certain is he'd rather see her dead than help her. Yet trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and the beast soon discover a bond that neither of them expected.
Meanwhile, the country around them verges on collapse. A toxic fuel is choking the land, the machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure, and the Shõgun cares for nothing but his own dominion. Authority has always made Yukiko, but her world changes when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets, and the rebel Kagé cabal. She learns the horrifying extent of the Shõgun's crimes, both against her country and her family.
Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shõgun pay – but what can one girl and a flightless arashitora do against the might of an empire?
“Dying is easy.
Anyone can throw themselves onto the pyre and rest a happy martyr.
Enduring the suffering that comes with sacrifice is the real test.”
The Lotus War books have been recommended to me countless times, and I’m pretty sure it’s one of my coblogger’s favorite series. This is my second try at STORMDANCER, and while I can now see where the love comes from, I struggled through this one.
What was the reason I dislike
hate with a passion THE FIFTH WAVE? Hold a grudge against CODE NAME VERITY? Almost DNFed UPROOTED? The pacing. Granted, I lack patience in general, but when I read I want to be entertained. This novel had one of the slowest starts to a book I have ever read. The struggle was real, guys. I almost couldn’t do it.
But I persevered. And was rewarded with heartbreaking moments, meaningful friendships, crazy twists, and true life lessons. The feels are strong in this one, people. I have my predictions for how the series will end and I’m terrified without even having read the second book yet.
Speaking of relationships though, let’s talk about the romance. Yukiko, the main character, likes to daydream about a boy she just met about every other page. Specifically, his green eyes. I stopped counting after the fifth mention. Needless to say, this was a romance I could not get behind, especially since it was basically just used as a plot device. It’s really a shame because STORMDANCER is such an involved and detailed book but the romance is thrown at you like an afterthought.
On one hand, I think the writing was phenomenal. Kristoff has fleshed out an amazing and detailed world. You can tell so much thought went into it. On the other hand, the writing also contributed to the pacing issues I had. There were paragraphs upon paragraphs of descriptions that really had no relevance. However, I did come to appreciate the vivid writing (once the pace picked up) because this is a imaginative world full of unique creations that come alive due to the author’s writing.
Overall, the two major issues I had with STORMDANCER were the pacing and romance. However, there were so many other great aspects to this novel and I am truly glad I experienced it in full. I hear the next two books come loaded with even more feels so wish me luck!
“This is how the rain becomes a flood. One drop at a time.”