Brodie's Reviews > Stormdancer

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
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's review
May 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read from June 03 to 06, 2012

Stormdancer has already been making waves across the blogosphere and it's easy to see why. Two drool-worthy covers and a synopsis that promises one hell of an exciting ride... there's clearly a lot of expectation to live up to. But if you're doubting for a second whether Jay Kristoff can pull it off, I think my newly acquired chainkatana is begging for some friendly one-on-one time with your neck. Stormdancer lived up to the hype AND THEN SOME. After Braiden bashed us with his love on his blog and twitter and facebook and goodreads and alarmed the neighbours by worshipping the book gods from his front lawn (the last part may be a slight exaggeration), I knew to expect something EPIC. And epic, dangerous, imaginative and heartwarming is exactly what I got.

Yukiko is an amazing heroine. Wise for her age, you'll find it hard not to fall in love with her spirit, kindness and determination right from the beginning. But as impossible as it is to believe, she grows into an even braver, more admirable young woman by novels end. Her mistakes and vulnerabilities make her all the more relatable and strong, for she doesn't define herself by what she does wrong. She rises above and keeps on fighting. She's earned herself a throne right next to some of my favourite leading ladies. Every character shines in Stormdancer; I loved Akihito, Kasumi and Kin, not to mention Masaru, Yukiko's father; their relationship so brilliantly layered and sure to rip at your heartstrings.

It goes without saying that every aspect of Stormdancer is breathtaking, but I'd be lying if I said I loved it all equally. There is one relationship that consumed me throughout the book. Romance be damned, the newest trend we'll all be talking about when the apocalypse hits? HUMAN/THUNDER-TIGER RELATIONS. Not the weird sexual kind, but that touching, soul-deep connection between human and animal. Yukiko and Buruu form an unexpected bond that is nothing short of beautiful to see unfold. The subtle changes in them both as they grow closer, the fierce sense of loyalty and understanding; the trust and playful affection. And when they fight together? There you'll find the art in battle.

It's impossible to leave this book unaffected by their journey and if you do, you either have no heart or your name is Yoritomo (which are pretty much the same thing). Yoritomo takes the crown for best villain of the year. I'm quite a loving creature of the earth in real life (I am), but he's the kind of cruel bastard you want to reach through the pages and slowly drain the life from. He is ruthless and cares for nothing more than his own desires and petty pride. He's not an idiot either, which is never a good combination for one with an high aptitude for evil.

The worldbuilding is amazing; equal parts fascinating, repulsive and beautiful. The mythology itself is a thing to be revered, as is the brilliant mix of STEAMPUNK and JAPAN (I know you're drooling). But the damaging effects the blood lotus trade has had on Shima is heartbreaking to witness. We see the natural beauty that still exists in some parts of the region, and when you compare that with the cities polluted by chi - suffocating air, red skies and a dying environment - it's no wonder there are many enraged to the point of rebellion.

Jay doesn't load everything on you at once; not the worldbuilding or the true heart of characters. He takes his time to give you such a well-rounded perception of the magnificent life he's so lovingly set word to. He cleverly punches a hole in your heart and pushes every inch of his story into it. So when his characters hurt, you hurt. When they laugh, you laugh. Stormdancer exceeds on it's every promise and delivers something truly spectacular; Japanese culture like you're never imagined before, action and politics that keep you poised to the edge of your seat, and Yukiko and Buruu; a duo you're forever cheering to dominate the skies of literature.
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Reading Progress

06/05/2012 page 224
64.0% "Pg 224 of 438. YUKIKO/BURUU <3 Love this book!"

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Brodie SAAAAAAAMMM!! It. Was. Flipping. FANTASTIC. I'm not even sure what I was expecting, but it was certainly not this. And I mean that in the BEST way.

message 2: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff :D :D :D

So glad you liked it!

Braiden I’m expecting a “Braiden told me so!” in your review ;)

message 4: by Rogier (new) - added it

Rogier can't wait for your review

Brodie Correction: LOVED IT! It's even inspired me to go read up on Japanese mythology to feed my new found hunger until Stormdancer 2.0 :D

Braiden: psh, already done :P

My review is scheduled to go up today, although it can hardly give this book justice! <3

message 6: by Jay (new) - added it

Jay Kristoff Brodie wrote: "Correction: LOVED IT!"

That's really awesome of you to say :) Much <3 :)

Michelle  novelsontherun I love hearing the love with this book, one big love fest:D Look forward to reading your review Brodie:D


message 8: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Oh my god, I need this book NOW! Awesome review, Brodie! :)

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