Stormdancer – Jay Kristoff

I had expectation for this book.

The exciting little blurb on the cover by Patrick Rothfuss has set the bar somewhat high.

And it didn’t disappoint, well, at least not in the action-filled first chapter it didn’t. The ensuing chapters however, stalled a bit for me as the author set the stage for his tale. That said, I’ve since learnt from my husband, who is an avid steampunk fan, that it is typical of this genre for the author to spend some time in the beginning on world building.

Now I know.

Jay Kristoff certainly succeeded in painting a filthy, corrupt, unjust world in my head. I felt distinctly uncomfortable as I walked through the slums with the characters during these initial chapters.

Once the mission commenced though, and the fantasy elements kicked in, it was much more fun!

This was the story of Kitsune Yukiko, daughter of the great Master Hunter, who accompanied her father and his gang to hunt the long-extinct storm tiger by order of the Emperor.

There was a lovely blend of myth and machine, occult and science. The contrast between the super privileged and the impoverished, and the oppression and subjugation dished out by those in power were blood boiling and thought provoking.

It being a story of the Shogun’s court, there was of course the requisite duty, honour, loyalty, and with that, rebellion and betrayal.

All these amidst the backdrop of a dying world hooked on the very substance that kept the hamster wheel going whilst simultaneously destroying both the hamster and wheel!

I enjoyed the expressive writing of Kristoff. The pictures I conjured inside my head from his words were wonderful, especially when we fought demons. His writing reminded me of Neil Gaiman, another writer who also has an enchanting way with words.

I also liked the haiku dotted here and there and as always, I adored the legends within a story!

The pacing was not the most exhilarating but it didn’t drag either. There were a few distinct plot lines which kept things interesting. The pace delightfully picked up towards the end as one of these plots came to a close, leaving ample to explore and plenty to look forward to in book 2 and 3 of The Lotus War Trilogy.

Being Asian, I’m ever fond of Asian-themed fantasies, especially those written in English. I enjoyed the blend of worlds and appreciated the creative adaptation of these elements into Kristoff’s make-believe world. I mean, what’s not to love about a good battle between an Iron Samurai and a mythical beast?

And was my expectation met? Well, let’s say my introduction to the world of steampunk has gotten off to a good start.

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With Love and Positivity,

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Asirus

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