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Stormdancer

(The Lotus Wars #1)

by
3.80  ·  Rating details ·  13,345 ratings  ·  2,302 reviews
A DYING LAND
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.

AN IMPOS
...more
Hardcover, USA Edition (1st Edition), 324 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published August 21st 2012)
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Popular Answered Questions
Skroo Take Dune. Change Spice to an oil analog. Add in some mythical creatures. Stir vigorously with some steampunk. Serve with ice.
Michael What kind of wood is this woodchuck chucking? Not all wood is created equal.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,345 ratings  ·  2,302 reviews


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Cyna
Jul 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
warning
WARNING WARNING. UNPOPULAR OPINION INCOMING.

This book made me really fucking mad.

I'll admit, I was a little leery of Stormdancer from the start - Japanese steampunk sounds cool, but coming from a white western author, the chances of problematic weeaboo fuckery are high. Exoticization. Romanticization. Plain old appropriation. Yet for some reason, I didn't really peg Stormdancer as a weeaboo outing. I don't know why. There was no good reason, and yet, I expected Kristoff to be a scholar of so
...more
Jay Kristoff
Jan 29, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Edit 10 July: You can read the first three chapters of STORMDANCER all typeset and logo'ed and whatnot here.

STORMDANCER is my book, so it should go without saying that I love it in the pants. I love it more than that moment at the end of Top Gun when Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise have just killed the bejeezus out of all those commies and Val is all like "You can kiss me on the mouth be my wingman anytime" and the music swells and some deckhand is just wailing on an electric guitar somewhere in the b
...more
Emily May
At first I didn't write my review of Stormdancer because the publisher specifically asked me to hold off on posting it until September. Then I didn't write it because I was in the minority and I had to take a deep breath before I put my negative opinion out there. And now I'm writing it because I don't care any longer, I've accepted that my opinion is valid and not just a one off that deserves to belong on my "its-me-not-you" shelf. I didn't enjoy Stormdancer, I can't give it more than one star ...more
Kat Kennedy
I need to take a moment to do some­thing before begin­ning this review.

applause

Stor­m­dancer is a fan­tasy nerdgasm, writ­ten by a fan­tasy nerd, for the fan­tasy nerds – and if it sounds like I just pil­fered some of the Get­tys­burg address then that’s because Abra­ham Lin­coln rid­ing a griz­zly bear was just about the only damn thing miss­ing from this book.

Lincoln riding a bear
Image by Rando

Sub­se­quently my life is now complete.

Stor­m­dancer is a world one step removed from our own. Imag­ined as a Japan with Steam­pun
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Wendy Darling
Read our hilarious and informative interview with Buruu! THERE ARE MORE ARASHITORA. Ahem.

4.5 stars When a book arrives with a massive amount of fanfare, in the form of glowing advance praise and accompanied an agreebly affable author, it's necessary to take a step away from all the hype to ensure that a review isn't influenced by outside factors. Which I did--I avoided reviews, fled the country (okay, that wasn't just to read this book), and read it away from much of the joyful noise that surrou
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Krystle
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
WARNING! EXCESSIVE LENGTH AND ONE ANGRY WOMAN!

I really have no idea how I’m going to do this review when everyone else expressed everything I wanted to say in such an eloquent and succinct manner, especially Cyna’s review.

You have no idea how badly, badly, I wanted this book to turn out brilliant and smashing and turn into one of those amazingly successful books that takes the publishing world by storm. Even more so when the absolutely gorgeous and fantastic covers that came out which weren’t wh
...more
Patrick
What's this? A Japanese Steampunk novel with mythical creatures and a strong female protagonist? Yeah, I'm all over that. Though honestly, you had me at "Japanese Steampunk."

I'm not giving this a star rating because the version of the book I read was an "advance uncorrected proof" of the book. That means it could undergo some changes between now and when it's printed in September. "It's hard for me to give it a number, since I don't know what stuff might be different in the version I read, vs t
...more
Steph Sinclair
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Trick question? EVERYONE!
Recommended to Steph by: Myself because I'm awesome.

The first thing that came to my mind after finishing Stormdancer was the very eloquent: WHOA! The second more composed chain of thought was something along the lines of: Why yes, that *was* just as badass as its cover suggested. Stormdancer had it all for me. Richly crafted world building, carefully placed humor, realistic characters, unpredictable storyline... I mean, I could go on and on here! This book was freakin' awesome! I went into Stormdancer expecting to fall in love with it because it
...more
Dan Schwent
When the Shogun demands someone bring him an arashitora (griffin), a group of adventurers gos on an airship voyage to capture the beast, long thought to be extinct. The airship goes down and a girl named Yukiko befriends the captured arashitora. Can the two of them be reunited with Yukiko's friends and overthrow the Shogun?

I received this ARC from the fine folks at St. Martin's. It's freeness does not diminish its awesomeness.

Not too long ago, I got an email asking if I wanted to give Stormdance
...more
TheBookSmugglers
Sep 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is going to be LONG

Ana’s Thoughts:

There is a story behind my reading of Stormdancer and it starts months ago when the author first contacted us to introduce his upcoming book. That email remains one of the best book pitches we have received, and the book was described as a dystopian novel in a Japanese-inspired Steampunk setting with a strong girl as its protagonist. We loved the idea, as it sounded like it was a book made for The Book Smugglers (Dystopia! Steampunk! Diversity! Kick-ass Gir
...more
Bibi
Aug 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Someone please make it stop....

DNF @ 20- what the heck was I thinking- %
Robin (Bridge Four)
The best way to describe this is a Japanese-Dystopian-Steampunk mashup I’m not sure if that makes it Dystopunkanies or Japasteamian or something else completely. Just to give you a little history most everything I know about Japanese culture I learned from Mulan. Which I have been corrected is Chinese and not Japanese so I know even less than I thought I did

description

So I’m not really versed in much of the Samuri culture or honor and can’t really tell you how well this follows any of that or if some of th
...more
Sh3lly


This book has a thunder tiger in it. It is as awesome as it sounds. The story is set in a re-imagined - steampunk! - Japanese world where a dynasty of Shoguns rule as tyrants. Lotus is a plant which serves as the main source of the economy. But it pollutes the air and part of the plant is used as an extremely addictive drug. It can also be made into fuel for airships and vehicles, but is toxic to the soil, so crops do not do well except with the "special" fertilizer that most people can't af
...more
Vernieda
I am judging every single person who has blurbed and recced this book.

Leaving aside the criticisms of cultural appropriation (and there are many criticisms to be made, believe me), this book has some serious gender issues and proves why many female readers do not trust male authors who claim to have written a "strong female character." Mostly because that strong female character will be written in a creepy, sexualized, (straight) male gaze-y fashion.

And even putting that aside, the story is jus
...more
Alexis Lee
Sep 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
[Made some major edits - Oh, and read the end of the review, please. :)]
Arggghhhhhh.

I read the words:
"Japanese steampunk"
and lost my mind. I knew I had to read this book like, NowOMGholyshiznits. So I did. And now I'm torn, because the words "Japanese Steampunk" deserve five stars for even existing, but the book...not so much.

The blurb sounded fantastic - all the elements I could ever want in a steampunk story (Or even any genre kind of story). I went through lots and lots of rave enthusiastic r
...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
4.5 stars
When I first felt myself being pulled into this story, I glanced down and saw the number 156 written at the bottom of the page. 156 pages of barely understandable, agonizingly slow and almost painfully dense prose - that’s what it took for me to start enjoying Stormdancer. But here’s the thing: now that I fully understand this book, I understand the necessity of such a beginning.
This is how the rain becomes a flood. One drop at a time.

There’s something mesmerizing and magical about
...more
Nafiza
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was ok

You wouldn’t believe how excited I was for this novel. The synopsis reads like someone looked into my head and took what I wanted to read and then wrote it.

Wait. Let me get my bearings because this “review” is going to be epic and rambling. Have a cupcake and some tea while you’re reading it. Ready? Okay.

Sometimes you come across books that you like absolutely and sometimes you come across books that you loathe absolutely. And if you are unlucky, you come across books that made you scream in utt
...more
Syahira
May 18, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One. Especially those who call themselves as a japanese otaku! Don't touch this book! Ever
Recommended to Syahira by: A bunch of GR reviewers
also in my blog

Stormdancer is a Young Adult Fantasy fiction about a Kitsune Yukiko and her father was sent to find a mythical creature for their shogun. The novel consisted of 35 chapers with various point of views from Yukiko, Masaru, the Arashitora, the Shogun and some others. It have glossary at the end of the book because the author uses Japanese words while writing and there's tremendous descriptive writing accompanied with every scenes that spans from raindrops, smells and the furniture.

St
...more
shady boots
Yup. This was definitely better the second time around.

I think the only real flaw in this book in my eyes was the insta-love and insta-sex part with that Hiro dude. It was just so rushed and cringeworthy. But perhaps Jay Kristoff just wanted to highlight that Yukiko was still young and slightly naive, that perhaps later on in the series she grows and learns from it. I dunno. Maybe it didn't bother others nearly as much as it bothered me, but at this point I just have absolutely zero tolerance fo
...more
Tatiana
May 18, 2012 marked it as dnf
Recommends it for: read Eon/Eona by Alison Goodman instead
No, can't do it. The writing style, with over-detailing and over-describing of EVERYTHING, is just too tedious and boring for my taste. It sucks all the juice out of the story. Recommend sampling first 3 chapters to check for writing style compatibility here - http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/06/st... - before purchasing (or requesting ARCs). ...more
Keertana
“… I wanted to write a book with heart; a book about a friendship that bloomed despite all obstacles. A bond that would grow to become a thing of legend in this nation on the edge of ruin—a friendship that challenged the might of an empire." ~Jay Kristoff

In my opinion, to be a writer is not only one of the toughest tasks in the world, it is also the most courageous; for to be an author is to take on the challenge, not only of pouring yourself into a novel, but in reaching an audience and mak
...more
oliviasbooks
"Yamaguchi Hiroyuki, who rested agura-style in front of a too warm kotatsu, enjoyed a cup of fragrant genmaicha with a plate of fresh kusamochi from a wagashiya at Higashi-Bashi and took a secret sip of shirozake in between, while reading the less shocking parts of the shimbun to his wataire-clad okusan Miyuki, who was supposed to fold the last Hinamatsuri origami, but nervously fingered a fertility omamori from the neighborhood jinja instead. If she did not conceive this very month there was no ...more
Braiden
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-ya
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.


Stormdancer is a richly detailed Japanese-inspired, steampunk fantasy, with splendidly real characters and a gripping plot that will keep you in its claws until the very last page. Jay Kristoff has written a debut like no other; I’m craving to return and venture across his wonderfully imagined Shima Isles and uncover more about The Lotus War with
...more
shanghao
May 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who're not familiar enough with Japanese culture to want to facepalm at the culture abuse.
++::(MINOR) SPOILERS AHEAD::++
Lengthy not-exactly-a-review parody.
======================================

Snowchild & Blue*: Telepathic Conversations
*a.k.a. the ones (in my imagination) roped in to act out the roles of Yukiko and Buruu respectively in Stormdancer.



::SESSION ONE:: Blue on Buruu, hai.

Snowchild (S)
: Greetings, Blue-san.
Blue (B): Hello again. What a book that had been.
--

S: You don't say, sama.
B: Just stop with that sama/-hai?/hai, sama blasphemy already.
--

S: Apologies, Bl
...more
Maria V. Snyder
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After all the SF, this is a good epic fantasy set in Japan (or a place that is very much like Japan) as the gods and culture are all similar to Japanese ancient gods and culture. I like that the story uses the Japanese pantheon - a unique aspect for fantasy. There is also some "Steampunk" aspects, but it's more "Lotuspunk" as the main fuel for this world is from the lotus plant. And it's a dirty, polluting fuel, that turns the sky red and if you don't have a good respirator over your face, you c ...more
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
Blog review:
https://edwardsghostengine.wordpress....

This totally took me by surprise!

For some reason when I started reading this I thought it was set in a post apocalyptic Japan and that after the world fell people went back to the old religions and beliefs and started living menial lives again. I mean the polluted atmosphere of the Shima isles made me lean on the sci-fi side. But further into the book I realized it was set in a fantasy world. Which only made the novel richer and even more enjo
...more
Zitong Ren
So this is Kristoff’s debut eh? Just based of this novel, his writing style and sense of creativity have evolved greatly over the past few years. There is already some use of the weird similes and metaphors that is often talked about, though they are much more sparse compared to his newer works. So far with Kristoff, is that I liked Illuminae and really loved the first two books of the Nevernight Chronicles(I still need to get the third book), yet really disliked LIFEL1K3, so I suppose some of ...more
Mpauli
This book is a very interesting mix. It offers a lot for lovers of YA fantasy as it has all the typical ingredients. We have Yukiko, a teenage female protagonist, who finds a friend in a mythical creature. In this case it isn't a dragon, it's a griffin.
We also have two love interests for her, but fortunately the tiny romance part just complements the well-rounded adventure story, without being a distraction from what is important.
What sets the book truly apart from a lot of similar tales is the
...more
Emma
3.5 stars.
This book had a slower start than it needed to have due to the awful amount of information dumping in the first quarter of the book. After that, the story started moving.
Despite its Japan inspired setting, there was nothing terribly new here but it was still an enjoyable read. It is the same story to be found in Red Queen, Ember in the Ashes, Red Rising (not of all of which I have actually read, I must confess!)- basically rising up against the affluent and all powerful elite, with a y
...more
Jonathan Terrington

It's August and so I shall finally post a review of this little YA gem. I was fortunate enough to be granted an ARC e-book version of this book and now intend to buy the paperback when it's available. Mainly because I may enjoy the book even more in paper form. But that all said it was worth gaining this early glimpse of a very solid debut novel.

This is a steampunk science-fiction/fantasy novel set in a feudal Japan similar to, but also different from, our Japan. It features technologies powered
...more
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14,678 followers
Jay Kristoff is the #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE LOTUS WAR. He is the winner of six Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over half a million books in print and is published in over thirty five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approx ...more

Other books in the series

The Lotus Wars (3 books)
  • Kinslayer (The Lotus Wars, #2)
  • Endsinger (The Lotus Wars, #3)

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