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Kinslayer is Book Two in Jay Kristoff's critically acclaimed Lotus War series that began with Stormdancer, featuring an unforgettable heroine and a stunningly original Japanese dystopian steampunk world.

The mad Shogun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The toxic blood lotus flower continues to ravage the land, the deadlands splitting wider by the day. The machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild conspire to renew the nation's broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously - by endorsing a new Shogun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.

Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father's death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko's anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo's clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he'd rather die than see realized.

Kagé assassins lurk within the Shogun's palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen's gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat.

The ghosts of a blood-stained past.

464 pages, Hardcover

First published September 17, 2013

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About the author

Jay Kristoff

34 books23.6k followers
Jay Kristoff is a #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction. He is the winner of eight Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over two 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 approximately 12,000 days to live.

He does not believe in happy endings.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 832 reviews
Profile Image for Jay Kristoff.
Author 34 books23.6k followers
July 19, 2013
KINSLAYER is the best book I’ve ever written. Of course, I’ve only written two proper books (well three actually, but the first one was about vampires and never got published and jesus wtf@me thinking that was a good idea). And I tend to be biased about my books, given that I’m usually the one that wrote them. But, I would five star the hell out of this thing, if the idea of authors rating their own books were not abhorrent to me on a molecular level.

[image error]

The plot is difficult to talk about without giving away spoilers. Those of you who haven’t read STORMDANCER and yet read the description of KINSLAYER (y u do that, yyyyyyy?) have already been beaten about the face and crotch with the spoiler stick, and for that, we apologize. But a blurb consisting of “Jay’s mum really liked it, you should totes buy it, trust us” wasn’t going to cut the fucking mustard, was it?


So without getting any further into spoilerific stuff, here’s what you can expect from KINSLAYER:

Some of these guys


versus some of these guys


A couple of these


A good splash of this:


A great deal of this:


and, yes, a little of that


And of course her


And him


No, wait . . . the other kind of griffin . . .

Things are now as clear as mud, I'm sure. BUT, to those of you who plan to read KINSLAYER, again, much <3. You make me as happy as a tiny blue horse crapping rainbows as I fly through space.


Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16k followers
September 18, 2013
Kristoff has said, many times, that he doesn’t believe in happy endings. For the sake of all his readers, I once took him out for drinks and tried to get him terribly drunk. The one flaw in my plan being that I am 5’8 and he is 7′monster. My intention was to discover his true plans for the Stormdancer trilogy, and his earnestness about causing angst and heartbreak to his readers.

Alas, good folks, I can only surmise that Kristoff truly believes in neither happy endings or sparing his readers pain. Kinslayer backs this up and more. It is a brilliantly written, emotionally-packed book. But I must warn you, it’s going to break your heart. Kristoff pulls no punches and spares no pain. Here is a visualization of my agony while reading.

Visualize my pain

The only thing I can imagine harder than readers needing extreme therapy for the pain this book will cause, is coping with the multiple view shifts. Kinslayer has so many characters and interaction storylines that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re not used to tracking that much angst at once.

I just can’t help but feel like all my feelings have been used up. Kristoff is an evil bastard.

The writing is, of course, beautiful. Just stunning. I can’t even with this writing. I wish I could quote some of it for you, but the second I finished reading this book, everyone I know turned up at my house and flogged the ARC from me. I haven’t seen it since. No, really. They all worked out a reading schedule between them. I’m told that I won’t see it again until 2014.

Of course, predictably, the Yukiko and Buruu dynamic is magic – and it really needed to be. Because Yukiko has the hardest time ever, and I doubt she would have made it through without Buruu. And no matter what else happens in this series, no matter what else shapes it, the relationship that Buruu and Yukiko have seems to be foundational. Rather like Spock and Kirk.

In other news, Kin should die.

Slap him hard

And Michi is so badass. I mean, omg. I wasn’t sure I’d get a girl crush even harder than the ones I have for both Captain Corsair from the Iron Seas Trilogy and Veronica Rossi. But if Michi ever beckoned her finger at me, good lord I’d come running. Even if it was just so that she could murder the hell out of me.

As I went through my notes of reading this book, I notice how often I said things like, “OMG! They’re going to bone, aren’t they?” I don’t know what that either says about the novel or me. Maybe it just says that my love for this series is highly inappropriate but true and eternal.

If you haven’t read it yet – read it. READ IT NOW OR FACE MY WRATH!

This review and others like it can be found on my blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Cyna.
219 reviews258 followers
December 4, 2013
I really did not intend to read this book. I feel like I got my fill of/said my piece in the Stormdancer review, and who wants to retread? (other than Kinslayer, BA-ZING) So you guys (and I!) can thank Shiori and my pitiful resistance to peer pressure for this, another miserable two-month, 500-page slog. Also, UNMARKED SPOILERS ABOUND in this review.

I immediately regret this decision gif

First things first: the sama-as-'sir' and hai-as-'yes' thing - which, I'll have you know, was a totally intentional linguistic twist, I don't know why you're so upset about it - has been mostly fixed.


Honorifics are almost entirely dropped, and while "hai" still appears frequently, it's not in the middle or at the end of sentences or masquerading as "ne", so it's slightly more tolerable. I mean, I'm pretty sure it's still being used wrong, but the Japanese proficiency level has at least moved up to "Weeaboo", so that's something that those of us who were irritated by the first one, yet are inexplicably reading the sequel, can be grateful for.

Don't get me wrong, it's still Weearific as fuck -

Jurou’s grin was all Kitsune-in-the-henhouse, aimed squarely at Hana...
kitsune-in-the-fucking-henhouse, just fucking kill me

- probably so that we don't forget that this is, like, super-exotic steampunk fantasy, man, and we should all be grateful, excited, a little bit horny, and totally throwing cookies its way for deigning to take place in the ~land of the rising sun~.

I mean, this isn't necessarily anything new. When it comes to Japan, and Asian culture, and outside cultures in general, it seems like most of what we're given access to are weeabooks or the equivalent - white people's exotified "riffs" on cultures and mythologies not theirs. And I think that's sort of the larger issue that I didn't emphasize enough in the "sama-hai" hullabaloo of my Stormdancer review.

Ellen Oh wrote a fantastic blog post on the subject earlier this year, that articulates the problem quite beautifully.

It is a complicated situation. There is no easy answer. We need diversity in literature. We need it desperately. [...] And so it is important that all authors include diversity in their books.

But there is that part of me that wonders why is it that when I see a list about what Asian fantasy books are out there, the books are predominantly by caucasian authors. Are POC writers not writing them or are they being passed over for books written by non-POC authors instead? And why is it that books by or about POC don't tend to sell as well as other "mainstream" books. What is the difference? Is it the difference in how they are marketed? Is it their cover art? Where they are placed in the bookstore or library? How they are pushed or not pushed by the booksellers, librarians, and teachers?

The reality is, there are just not a lot of POC authors out there. We are not representing the 37% of our population when we only amount to 10% of publishing. When you look at diversity panels or even the YA tag in racebending.com, the authors tend to be predominantly white because they reflect publishing.

This is why I can't help but be resentful. I freely admit it. It sucks being a POC author sometimes. You feel invisible. You feel passed over. And true or not, it feels harder for us to get to tell our own stories. And that shouldn't be the way things are.

So look. Being totally up front: I think, in terms of cultural representation, The Lotus War is pretty gross. I think it's lazy, exotifying, frequently reliant on Western fantasy tropes and attitudes even when they make no sense in the setting, and I think that most of what was intact and researched and detailed was the shiny pretty totally marketable aesthetic. And I think that uncritical glorification of this book and books like it are part of what keep us from getting better things.

That being said, I want to talk about other aspects of Kinslayer separately, because a) there ARE things I found interesting and ideas I liked, and b) it fails rather spectacularly on several other axes.

So, premise: basically, after killing the Shogun at the end of Stormdancer, Yukiko has driven her powers into overdrive - or so we're lead to believe - and they've begun to overwhelm her. The thoughts and presences of animals and humans alike cause her physical pain, and so Yukiko has become an alcoholic to drown them out, and to numb the pain of her father's loss. She drags herself away from the bottle to cause problems for the Guild and defend her comrades-in-rebellion, but little by little her control over her powers is slipping, and endangering herself and everyone around her. After a good three million pages setting all this up, Yukiko is positioned to spend her part of the book on a Journey to find someone in Shima who can help her learn to control her powers.

This isn't a bad start. I was begrudgingly digging Yukiko being in such a dark place - I mean, not very many "YA" authors I've come across will put their MC in that kind of unglamorous, self-destructive position. The goal was clear, and the Journey ahead promised adventure and discovery! Maybe we'd even get some - dare I even say it it? - progress to move this slog along?



Yukiko's attempt to learn to control her powers falls by the wayside fairly quickly, and she instead spends most of her plotline dealing with a streak of bad luck that seems designed mostly to keep her out of the way of the main plot - and to introduce this world's Russians, which'll hopefully pay off in the next book. Maybe.

On the bright side, her emotional conflict and inner turmoil is mostly resolved, even if her superpower issue pans out in the most groan-inducing way possible.



Buruu sighed, storm howling overhead, lighting reflected in the bottomless black of her eyes. The girl he loved more than anything in this world. The girl he would do anything to protect, to spare her even one more second of pain.

But he could not spare her this.


Oh, gods, no …

The sigh came from the heart of him.


YEP! SHE'S PREGNANT. That's where all her power is coming from. BABBIES. Always BABBIES. That's a thing women do, right? That's also how she recruits the female griffin to their cause -

He could feel the little ones inside Yukiko—two tiny sparks of life, shapeless and bright, intertwined with her own heat. They pulsed, too formless to know true fear, but real enough to feel their mother’s terror, shock, sorrow through the Kenning. The fear spilled into him, fear for them, for the one who carried them, for the beating, bleeding heart of his world.

He knew Kaiah could feel them too.


Kaiah growled, deep in her throat, tail whipping side to side.



Kaiah padded over to Yukiko, knelt on the stone before her. The girl looked up, swollen, trembling lips and frightened, blackened eyes. An age passed, there in the howling storm, the clawing wind, the driving rain, until at last, the thunder tiger leaned in close, pressed her head against Yukiko’s belly, and listened.
The sun slipped out from behind the clouds.

Just for a moment.


Because women, right? They may not give a shit about people, but they give a shit about babbies, goddammit.

The truth, though, is that Yukiko and Buruu just aren't of much consequence in Kinslayer. We're teased with the question of the fate of the remaining griffins, with hints of Buruu's past, he's even the titular Kinslayer, but all of that potentially interesting bit of backstory is withheld, presumably for the finale. Or the never.

Instead, Kristoff uses Kinslayer to make The Lotus War an ensemble, adding a handful of new POV characters and three separate storylines to the mix. Those are the ones that really factor in to Kinslayer's overall plot, and I suspect that the introduction of Hana, along with Kin's progression, were what Kinslayer was meant to serve - mostly because they're the only things that really differentiate it from Stormdancer. BUT WE'LL GET TO THAT.

Look, the important part here is that while two of the new storylines may primarily follow female characters, the generous helping of new POVs means that we get to slip into the perspectives of the people around them. You know what that means!


Aw yeah, she isn't a Strong Female Character if we don't get some good ol'fashioned fap material!

Ahahaha, I jest, but it is actually disappointing, because there are times when the characters are well-drawn. Both Michi and Hana get an abundance of backstory and some agency in their own subplots (it's somewhat hard to gage when so much of the story is "waiting around" and "flashbacking"), but the sexualization of the female characters is never far off. The male gaze is ever-present, whether it's in women describing women -

Seventeen, perhaps eighteen years old at most. Her lips were full and pouting, as if she’d been stung by something venomous, her features fragile and perfect; a porcelain doll on its first day in the sun. She narrowed her eyes, held one hand up against the light.

Inexplicably, Yukiko felt her heart sink.

She’s beautiful.

Or women somehow sexualizing themselves in the third person.

Her tongue emerged from between bee-stung lips and she touched it to her fingers, just once, shivering as she tasted copper and salt.

And we're given to male POVs at the most convenient -

Her lips tasted of strawberries and sweat, warm as spring and soft as Kitsune silk. Wet beneath his fingertips, thighs smooth as glass, a river of glossy black spilling around her face and clinging to dripping breasts. She swayed above him; a long, slow dance in the lamplight, spilling across her contours, down into soft curves and sodden furrows. Soaking all around him, slick and scalding to the touch. She took his hands, pressed them against her, biting her lip and sawing back and forth atop him. Her sighs were the only sound in his world, her heat soaking through to his center. Her hips moved like a summer haze over lotus fields, climbing the mountain as she moaned his name over and over again.

“Ichizo.” Her lips on his own, breathing into his mouth. “Ichizo…"

...and most disgustingly horrifying of times.

She was not clad in a jûnihitoe as occasion would dictate; just a plain shift of deep red, rivers of long, raven hair spilling about her shoulders. No powder upon her bloodless face, nor kohl around her bloodshot eyes. Her right arm was bound in plaster, her lips pale and bereft of paint, left eye still surrounded by a faint yellow bruise, skin split almost to her chin down the left side of her mouth, stitched with delicate sutures. Yoritomo’s beating had been far more brutal than most in the court were allowed to believe.

And still, she was beautiful.


She wailed in fear as he stepped closer. Bruises on her face, those bee-stung lips swollen further still, ugly purple around her wrists, across her thighs.

Yes, thank you. I really needed the reminder that her lips are pouty and full while you're describing her physical state, post-rape.

I mean, what am I meant to make of that? So much of the hype around Stormdancer seemed based on the presentation of this strong, proactive woman of color - Yeah, look at how badass she is on the cover! Look at that sword! - and it just seems like little by little, the books are undermining the heroines, in their moments of triumph and even in their pain and suffering, to remind us that they are totally fappable.

Michi gets the brunt of it, being the book's designated femme fatal. Her arc involves stuff I'd really be interested in, normally - a hardened woman out for revenge - but ugh, the squick comes in quick when she starts falling in love with the man she's been seducing to secure her escape, and she has a big moral event horizon when she chooses the rebellion over him and stabs him while she kisses him, which is how you want to go, guys, amirite? And from there her scenes get this creepy fetishy Dragon Lady quality where she kills dudes with her hair sticks and sexy martial arts and...well...

She reached into the box and drew them out, scarlet card falling to the floor. Four and three feet long, gentle curves and glittering saw-blade teeth. She thumbed the ignitions on the hilts and the motors roared to life, vibration traveling up her arms and into her chest, bringing a small smile to painted lips.

Michi gunned the throttles of Ichizo’s chainkatana and wakizashi. Tearing away the intact layer of her jûnihitoe gown, she stepped out of her wooden sandals, wriggling her feet in split-toed socks. She took up her stance, flourishing the blades about her waist and head, a twirling, snarling dance of folded steel.


Michi dashed across the floorboards, narrowed eyes and gleaming teeth. The commander came to his senses first and stepped forward, bringing his nagamaki into some semblance of guard. She slipped down onto her knees, fine Kitsune silk and her momentum sending her into a skid across polished boards, blade passing harmlessly over her head. Cutting the commander’s legs out from under him, a blinding spray of red, a shriek of agony as the chainsaw blades sheared through bone like butter. Spinning up to her feet, katana cleaving through another bushiman’s forearm, wakizashi parrying a hasty thrust from a third as the soldiers at last registered the threat. Sparks in the air as steel crashed, the girl moving like smoke between the blades, swaying to the music she made.

A blade to a throat. A crimson spray on the walls. A parry. A wheel-kick. A thrust. Red mist in the air. Heart thundering in her chest.

Then stillness.

She blew stray hair from her eyes, idling chainswords dripping into the gore pooled at her feet, staring at the commander’s corpse.

“I think I’ll put you down instead,” she said.

Fap guy gif


Did I just read a scene out of fucking Suckerpunch? Because it felt like something around that level.

We actually talk about this in more depth in an upcoming podcast about agency (and Shiori's dramatic reading is priceless), but the problem is well-articulated by this quote that she found for the occasion:

A female character who kicks ass and chews bubblegum and does a billion slow-mo kills in a slinky nightgown or catsuit (Aeon Flux, Resident Evil, Ultraviolet, etc) is not traditionally thought of as empowering because behind that concept is the lurking terror of a creepy, objectifying male writer or director. Even though "the writer" or "the director" don't exist in-universe, their presence is felt strongly enough that it's nearly impossible to think of such characters as being "a woman exhibiting agency".

"The lurking terror of a creepy, objectifying male writer", indeed.

Of all the female characters, Hana is the one I'm most unsure of. I feel like Hana and her storyline need more context before we're able to completely unpack it, but the reveal of her and her brother as half (unspecified) gaijin caught me off guard. I sort of hope they don't go the foreign inheritance, special-because-white route, but...we'll see. At least, in the context of this story, I appreciated that she had agency, that she remained mostly unsexualized, and that she was allowed revenge for some of the bad things that happened to her.

Her brother's subplot was fucking miserable, though. Yeah, totally, killing off the barely-characterized gay lover who only gets a backstory three seconds before he's taken in to be tortured, so clever, so edgy, man.

Dave Grohl says fuck you

As a whole, Kinslayer's steep descent into grimdark gritty town doesn't do much for me...

lol LONG REVIEW IS LONG. Read more at You're Killing.Us.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,891 reviews10.5k followers
July 23, 2013
In the wake of Yukiko slaying the Shogun, Hiro is tapped to wed Aisha and be the new Shogun to save the Shima Imperium. Meanwhile, Yukiko's powers are out of control and she and Buruu head north seeking knowledge. Will they return in time to aid the Kage and stop Hiro's impending wedding?

I received this book from the fine folks at St. Martin's in exchange for reviewing it.

Kinslayer is the second book in the Lotus War trilogy and Jay Kristoff Empire-Strikes-Backed the hell out of it. Things start off rough, with Yukiko bleeding and having headaches every time she uses her Kenning, Hiro being tapped to be the new Shogun, and the Kage doing their best to make Kin feel unwelcome, and keep getting worse.

Kristoff bounces between multiple plotlines, further fleshing out the Kage and their various cells. Michi-chan and her romance with Ichizo, Hana and her brother, Daichi and the bulk of the Kage, and Yukiko and Buruu share more or less equal time. Pretty much all of the characters go through the wringer, multiple times in many cases.

The story of Hana, her brother Yoshi, and her brother's boyfriend was my favorite, complete with the reveal at the end. Poor Kin. After Isao and the others treated him like crap, I didn't hate him very much when he Lando-ed everyone at the end. Hell, everyone except Daichi was an asshole to him so what did they expect to happen?

Yukiko and Buruu didn't actually do much that pertained to the main plotline, heading north to find the tattooed monks and encountering two more arashitora and some gajin. Although, that wasn't completely true. I should have seen what was really wrong with Yukiko coming a mile away and Kristoff surprised the crap out of me. Good show, old sport.

Kinslayer was very nearly as good as Stormdancer and I can't wait to see what Jay Kristoff is planning for the next installment of the series. He sure left things as messy as a frat house bathroom when he left off.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,586 reviews1,466 followers
October 10, 2016

This book went a bit to the dark side and when I say a bit I really mean close to the entire enchilada. Or at least it feels that way compared to the first book, which wasn’t all rainbow’s and sunshine but still felt like a walk in the park by comparison.

No one is safe. No one is guaranteed to be here at the end. No one is definitely playing for team good if there is such a thing. It was amazing how by halfway through the story I had no idea who I should like, who I should trust or who I want to come out on the other side of this series.

I usually like to have a ship in my story that I’m sorta rooting for. AND I did…until I didn’t. I found another but that is probably doomed to. This is the first book I’ve read in a while that makes me think there is no way anyone will get any kind of happy ending.

I didn’t really quess any of the twists. Maybe that is because I’m a polyanna and this is a bit more dark than I’m used to but there was more than one shock that turned my stomach. So want to give a big bravo to Jay because he surprised me over and over again.


I have enjoyed the writing and the way things are described. Dialogues are also really well done. At times it seems a little preachy but that is part of the story so I’ll accept it. Also I don’t know a lot about Japanese culture but this seems to take the expected cultural tropes from that.

I’m both excited and really afraid to see how this will end. I think I might need some chocolate and something furry to cuddle when everything is said and done.
Profile Image for Fernwehwelten.
312 reviews193 followers
April 15, 2022
Kennt ihr Bücher, die euch nicht zu 100 % überzeugen, für die ihr aber trotzdem unbedingt eine Empfehlung aussprechen wollt? So eins ist „Kinslayer“ für mich. Ich habe meine Kritikpunkte, aber trotzdem muss ich sagen: HOLY MOLY, was eine Geschichte. Was für eine epische, erschreckende, grausame, faszinierende, beeindruckende, düstere Geschichte über ein Mädchen, das ein ganzes System ins Wanken bringt. Jay Kristoff hat es erneut geschafft, mir all die Geschehnisse sowie auch die Atmosphäre Shimas direkt unter die Haut gehen zu lassen. Detailliert, unnachgiebig und bildhaft beschreibt er die Brutalität einer Dynastie, die in sich geteilt ist. „Kinslayer“ ist eine Empfehlung für alle, die keine schwachen Nerven haben. Für alle, die leiden wollen. Für alle, die Fantasy fernab von Jubel, Trubel und Heiterkeit haben wollen. Die sich in etwas stürzen wollen, das einen mit Haut und Haaren verschlingt und einen dazu bringt, zu hassen, zu hoffen, zu weinen, zu jubeln [tbh: Gejubelt habe ich wenig, setze da aber stark auf Band drei]. „Kinslayer“ ist etwas für Leser*innen, die bereit sind, alles zu geben – genauso wie die Charaktere.
Alles zu geben, bedeutet aber auch, Geduld haben zu müssen. Denn ich muss zugeben, dass es mir einige Längen im Mittelteil erschwert haben, im Lesefluss zu bleiben. „Kinslayer“ wird aus vielen verschiedenen Perspektiven geschrieben, was ich an sich immer klasse finde. Mich fasziniert es, wie unterschiedlichste Handlungsstränge heimlich, still und leise ineinandergreifen, um dann mit einem großen Knall zusammengeführt zu werden.
Doch obwohl Jay Kristoff das geschafft hat, haben mich die hier genutzten Perspektiven etwas überladen. So viele Blickwinkel, so viele Personen, die teilweise auch noch in den verschiedenen Sichtweisen unterschiedlich genannt werden. Einerseits war es eine wunderbare Schnitzeljagd, wenn man versucht, jedes Fünkchen Bedeutung mitzubekommen und zu verstehen, aber andererseits drohte es auch anstrengend zu werden.
Außerdem bergen mehrere Perspektiven immer das Risiko, dass man manche mehr, manche weniger mag und dann stellenweise unaufmerksamer liest, weil man sich nach seinen Lieblingsabschnitten sehnt. So auch hier. Hinzu kam, dass mir Yukikos & Buruus Kapitel viel zu kurz kamen. In diesem Buch habe ich sie wirklich nur selten erleben dürfen – und noch seltener zusammen, was mir das Herz gebrochen hat. Die Szenen, die sie aber gemeinsam hatten, waren genauso überzeugend wie in Band eins und ich hoffe sehr, dass wir in Band drei wieder mehr von den [eigentlichen] Hauptprotagonist*innen lesen dürfen.

Abschließend lässt sich sagen: 4 Sterne. Ein Buch, das vielleicht unter dem typischen „Zweiten-Band-Problem“ leidet. Doch meine Kritikpunkte können das Wesentliche nicht schmälern: Jay Kristoff ist ein unbarmherziges Genie und diese Reihe ist etwas Großes, das man sich nicht entgehen lassen sollte.
Profile Image for Ferdy.
944 reviews1,096 followers
September 24, 2013

Meh, there were some good parts but the majority of Kinslayer was boring.

-The writing didn't work for me, there were too many awkwardly phrased sentences and descriptions.

-The number of made up places/names/titles irritated me, I had to keep looking at the glossary because I didn't know what most of the words meant. The different titles and such just made the story confusing.

-There were too many POV's. The only ones I really liked were Michi and Hana's POV, they were both great. Yukiko was decent enough but her story arc was kind of dull — she was separated from the main action and characters for most of the book, and instead went on some pointless journey. I also found her relationship with Buruu kind of annoying, they were just too cheesy with their love for each other.

-I really disliked Kin in this one. I hated how he judged Yukiko for killing her enemies when she was fighting a bloody war. What did he think happened in war? Even children know people get killed in wars. Who was he to judge her? He had no right to judge anyone, he stood by and did nothing when his Guild murdered thousands of innocents for fuel. At least Yukiko only killed because she was fighting a war, whereas Kin/the Guild killed purely for greed.
Then there was Kin's relationship with Ayane. Why was he so blindly trusting of her? He didn't even consider that she might be an undercover bad guy. He was such an idiot.
Also, he was meant to be madly in love with Yukiko but as soon as they were separated, he started getting cozy with the first girl that showed interest in him — he kissed Ayane, killed for her, betrayed Yukiko and the Kage for her, and abandoned Yukiko so he and Ayane could go back to the Guild. Yea, Kin didn't love Yukiko at all — he forgot about her the instant another pretty girl paid attention to him. That's not love. I hope Yukiko kills him.

-I was pissed that Kin fucked over Yukiko and the Kage. It was unforgivable that he double crossed the people that were fighting for good, he was an evul fuck for handing over the Kage leader to the evul Guildsmen.
Also, I hated that Kin killed a guy just because Ayane claimed that said guy hurt her. I wouldn't have minded if he'd known for sure that what Ayane was saying was the truth, but he didn't… he just went ahead and killed him without actually knowing if he was guilty or not.

-Yukiko has the worst love interests, Kin was just as bad as Hiro. I really hope she doesn't end up with Kin, he'll only cheat on her as soon as another girl takes an interest in him.

-I wasn't impressed with Yukiko having no female friends or positive influences. The only people she cared about or thought about were guys — her dad, Kin, Akhito, Buruu. There wasn't one important female person in her life.

-What's with all the pregnant teenage heroines in YA?

-I hope Yukiko gets to kill Hiro in the next book. What a self pitying-slimy-hyopcrite.

-I'm guessing Akhito and Hana will get together in the third book.

-I think Michi will end up dead as punishment for killing Ichizo or whatever his name was — female characters that deceive/trick male characters (even if it is for the greater good) always end up dead or living miserably.

-I hated that Yukiko/Buruu more or less blamed Kaiah (the female thunder tiger) for Buruu getting horny — it wasn't her fault, she did NOTHING to encourage Buruu. The only one to blame for Buruu's randiness was Buruu.

All in all, it was okay… I wasn't impressed with certain arcs and characters but I did enjoy the action and some of the twists and turns.
589 reviews1,031 followers
January 4, 2015
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

4.5 stars

Thank you Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

Your anger can topple mountains. Crush empires. Change the very shape of the world.” He pressed the blade into her hand, watched her cool eyes the colour of steel.
“Your anger is a gift.”

The amount of twists Kinslayer occupies makes me wonder how I will progress through writing this review. This book twisted my guts. (I uPUNagise) This book twisted my brain till all it could do was react with fangirling squeals. It’s no lie that I wasn’t exactly expecting a wow-factor after finishing this read; Stormdancer was difficult in terms of long descriptions and awkward sentence structure and redundancy. Nonetheless, despite a few small flaws, Kinslayer has redeemed my love for this series and the steampunkin’ genre.

Yukiko has never been my favourite character. Not only because Buruu will foreverly hold that position but because she never clicked well to me. However, in Kinslayer I could really start to relate and connect to Yukiko. She’s a cooler version of Katniss Everdeen, undeniably kick-ass and unquestionably with heart and motives. My love for Yukiko as increased unmistakably. Sorry, I should quit the ‘un’ prefix. I am undoubtedly sorry. Furthermore, we have the never-ending friendship of Yukiko and Buruu. Their dialogue always lightens up the dark, war-brewing atmosphere effortlessly without it seeming coerced or clichéd. Buruu is utterly hilarious and completely essential here. It’s what brings Kinslayer together into on successful blob of a novel.

The world building kind of makes me drop my jaw in awe. Clearly, the long descriptions divulge a benefit for readers to fully comprehend and imagine the world Jay Kristoff constructed. The ancient (ish) Japanese setting also seems to create a better 3D effect which is categorically vital with the plot idea (which is also perfection). While my knowledge of the Japanese language is close to zero, (okay, I surrender. I mean none) there is clear evidence of research in the history of Japan and the language grammar, discourse particles et cetera. Feudalism and anarchies here we come!

Something that threw me into the middle of LOVE and WUT was the writing. At times, I found redundant sentences but the writing was absolutely beautiful and atmospheric. It’s story-teller like even. Still, Melanie approves of the writing on whole. Melanie is jealous of Jay Kristoff’s writing. Melanie plans to steal Jay Kristoff’s writing. *Snaps out of trance* The writing, I think, also worked out fabulously with the story lines. There are many story lines present in this novel and the way they all melded and clashed together in the end was certainly crafty. I still cannot stop thinking about it.

Unfortunately, Kinslayer still had flaws- even though they are absolutely miniscule. The pacing was rather slow and bored me in some excerpts but strangely was a fast read for a 600 paged novel. The awkward writing passages and extra unnecessary sentences also came to my attention.

All in all, Kinslayer was a pleasing read that butchered with my heart. From stopping it and making it beat millions of miles per hour. The Lotus War is a series that all readers should be keeping an eye on as this action, plot and characters are fantastically balanced. And of course, Buruu is an epic addition.
Profile Image for Repellent Boy.
482 reviews500 followers
February 25, 2020
La palabra adicción es la que define la lectura de esta segunda parte de Las guerras del loto. He tenido un enganche increíble de la primera a la última página. No quiero entrar mucho en detalles de la historia de este segundo volumen, para no desvelar cosas del anterior. Pero, básicamente, la revolución ha comenzado y diferentes bandos van a ponerse en guerra unos contra otros, todos buscando el beneficio propio. Muchas traiciones, muchas muertes y muchas sorpresas.

En esta segunda parte vamos a ver a una Yukiko mucho más fría y segura de si misma. Una Yukiko con sed de venganza por todo lo ocurrido en la anterior parte. El autor va a indigar más en su don y en su unión con Buruu. También sabremos un poco más del pasado de Buruu.

Aparecen un montón de personajes nuevos, a los que Kristoff dota de personalidad rápidamente. Tiene un talento este señor para darle esa distinción en un segundo, algo super importante en una novela de este estilo y más cuando hay tantos personajes. Muchos personajes nuevos y me han gustado prácticamente todos, pero hay tres que se han ganado mi corazón: Hana, Yoshi y Jurou. Amor profundo siento por estos personajes que se unen a otros que ya me encantaban de la primera parte, como son Yukiko, Michi o Buruu.

Esta segunda parte es mucho más cruda y cruel. Muchas traiciones, muchas muertes. La gran mayoría muy dolorosas. Kristoff es de esos autores que no tiene clemencia con sus personajes, y mueren uno detrás de otro. Me gusta eso. Aunque te dé pena, porque consigue que te encariñes con sus personajes, también lo hace más real. Muchas veces veo historias de este tipo, en la que los buenos siempre se salvan, solo porque son buenos y protagonistas.

La primera parte me encantó, pero esta segunda ya me ha volado la cabeza. La boca me llegaba cada vez más al suelo con cada nueva sorpresa, traición o muerte. Y pasa una cosa detrás de otra, sin parar. Lo dicho, steampunk, Japón feudal, personajes femeninos muy poderosos... Esta saga está hecha a mi medida, porque para colmo, el autor mete a una pareja gay en esta segunda entrega. Me muero de ganas de coger la tercera y última parte <3.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,110 reviews301 followers
September 4, 2018
So, book 2 of the The Lotus War is darker than the already shading towards dark story that began in Stormdancer. I would say things are at a low point for the characters, and it can't get much darker, but I expect that I will be proven wrong about that.

Overall this continues to be a pretty engaging story that, apparently true to Kristoff's other books, is full of action and moves along quickly. There were a few twists I saw coming, but others that ended up being a real surprise. I wouldn't say the characters are drawn with any subtlety - in fact many are quite neatly stereotypical - but this didn't bother me as much as it sometimes does, likely because of the quick pace.

As was the case with the first book, Kinslayer is entertaining, if not fully satisfying on all levels, and enough so that I'm definitely intending to read Endsinger and finish off the series.
Profile Image for Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews).
1,694 reviews872 followers
April 11, 2018
Hello, precious.


Read This Review & More Like It On Ageless Pages Reviews!

Jay Kristoff:

looks a lot like Dave Grohl
has a lot of imagination
a tendency to pull no punches
the ability to craft a viable, complex, interesting world
breaks my brain with every book he has written

Last year, Jay burst onto the scene with his steampunkian fantasy of an almost-Japan (here called the Shima Imperium) with his debut novel, Stormdancer. The hype began early, built over months of anticipation, and swelled to immense proportions before the book dropped. And when it did, Jay delivered -- Stormdancer was a tour de force of fantasy, steampunk, kickass characters, and rebellion. Immense in scope, in creativity, and filled with unforgettable writing, and complex, realistic characters, it exceeded my expectations in every way -- and they were HIGH.

I am here to tell you that Kinslayer, book two in this Lotus War series, is even better. You want more death, destruction, struggle? You got it, in spades. The scale is bigger, the stakes are higher, and this is an author that can, and does, improve on his already-impressive first book. If you liked what Kristoff had to offer in Stormdancer - chainsaw katanas, a fresh and inventive take on steampunk technology, an incredibly well-drawn world, betrayals, secrets, conspiracies, rebellion, action aplenty - then you'll love what he serves up for round two. The Lotus War is a story told on a grand scale and one that doesn't shy away from making readers flinch.

While in book one we were told, "the lotus must bloom", now the rebels have modified it to the more ominous, "the lotus must burn." This is a darker book. The lines have clearly been drawn and a civil war is on the brink. Yukiko wrestles with her role, with what she has done, and with what she will do. People die. People you like will die. People you like will surprise you -- and not always in a good way. The risks that Jay Kristoff takes with his plotting and characters more than pay off. He creates suspense with ease as well a genuine fear that no one -- and nothing -- is truly safe with Shima on the brink. He writes with a clear eye for the visual and a lot of the action scenes read cinematically. The detail is dense, the worldbuilding intricate and complete, and it all serves to create an Empire that feels dangerously real and frighteningly familiar.

Kinslayer is epic. It's an epic story with several major plotlines across an empire; there's Yukiko and Buruu going about doing what they do (no spoilers!), there's the Kagé stronghold in the mountains, and there are the subversives hiding in Kigen city, waiting for a chance to hit back at the authorities. Widening the focus of the story allows for more prominent characters than just Yukiko and the antagonist of the soon-to-be-Emperor/Yukiko's former lover, Tora Hiro. Both Yukiko and Hiro play important parts, but they are mostly removed from the main action - Hiro through the dense administration system surrounding a clan Daimyo, and Yukiko through her own struggles to rectify what has happened to her life in the previous novel. Buruu remains a key participant in Yukiko's storyline, and remains one of the best animal characters to ever grace a page. However, even he is full of surprises as the hundreds of pages race by.

We've met Michi before as a minor character, but here in Kinslayer, she gets the time and pages to shine. Her storyline is taut, full of deception and suspense. While Yukiko has spearheaded the fight against the Guild and the Emperor, Michi is in the trenches (credit for that line goes to the lovely Christina at Reader of Fictions!) fighting however and whoever it takes to win. She emerges as a major player and easily surpassed Yukiko in my affections, due to her pragmatic and bad ass approach. Hana, another newcomer with more to her than meets the eye, also more than proves her worth. Between her characterization and Michi's, it's obvious there is more than one strong, dangerous woman in Shima. Yukiko may be the Arashi-no-odoriko, but these two women are capable, smart, cunning, and each play pivotal parts in all that plays out in the pages. While most of my appreciation, character-wise, is for these two newish characters, older and more familiar faces continue to operate in various functions. Akihito, Kin, Kaori, etc. all are prominent and important, but do lack the liveliness of Michi and Hana's storylines.

Though there are clearly the good guys and the bad guys, Kristoff creates a cast that is not black and white. Yukiko is the heroine, but not everything she does is heroic, or even right. The Kagé are the good side, compared the power-hungry Guild and the omnivorous Empire, but not all of its members are truly good people. Similarly, the people that surround Hiro, the book's clear antagonist and foil for Yukiko, are not all evil power despots. The shades of grey that the author imbues into his characters make them all more realistic, more complex, and thus, interesting. Clearly the most sympathy will lie with the Kagé and their struggle to topple a corrupt government, but I appreciated how deftly Kristoff handled the creation the characters on all sides of the conflict. I always say I want a complex antagonist over a one-dimensional psychopath, and that a conflicted heroine is better than a perfect paragon, and I am proved right by the layers each of these two key characters possess. I may not like either of them too much, but I can understand where both are coming from and what they hope to gain.

The worldbuilding is truly some of the best I have ever read in the fantasy genre. It's on par with series that have taken twice as many volumes to create their version of Earth. In just two books, Jay Kristoff has created a viable, deadly, believable world. He has shown how a once-prosperous country can find itself on the verge of failure. From the mythology to the government, there is more than enough detail to flesh out the culture of the Shima Imperium to a reader's satisfaction. No stone has gone unturned, no idea unexplored. New cultures are shown, and new ideas are explored. Above all, Kinslayer never stagnates or dawdles. While the steampunk technology is less featured here (exception: Earthcrusher, clockwork arm!), it retains its originality, usefulness, and flair. Jay proves that less is more and doesn't oversaturate his plotline with nifty gadgets and chainsaw katanas. This isn't a version of steampunk featured on dirigibles and tea -- this is steampunk focused on war, domination, and destruction. And it. is. AWESOME.

Kinslayer is a book with everything you could hope for in steampunk fantasy with arashitora and sea dragons. It's packed to the brim with action, drama, and suspense. It takes characters we know and changes them, makes them evolve and hopefully grow. It proves that in war, no one is safe and anyone can betray you. It shows all sides of a conflict and doesn't flinch from murdering off favorite, beloved characters. It's a brash, loud, completely fun read. It's dense, and detailed, and still the pages fly by. If you want originality, or an inventive fantasy, or a book that combines dire straits with a dash of humor, or all of the above, this is the book you want to read. This is one of my favorite books of EVER, and I will be rereading it for years to come.

My only worry is how Jay Kristoff will manage to top this.

--And when I can get a copy of the third book.
Profile Image for Braiden.
359 reviews204 followers
August 4, 2013
I read this in 6 hours. Then again. D.E.V.O.T.E.D.

A warm and lovely thanks to St Martin's Griffin (Thomas Dunne Books)/Macmillan US for sending a floppy ARC all the way to Australia for me to devour, and also thanks to Jay for getting me one!

A breakdown of the moments after I received a package from Macmillan US containing Kinslayer:

Mum: Braiden, can you put the clothes on the line? Empty the dishwasher? Vacuum the floor? Clean the bench?


Mum: All right. I’m off. Love you.


(pretend the cat is the package with Kinslayer)

[Mum leaves; I hear the door slam; I hear silence]


*spends the rest of the day reading; no cleaning *

• • •

Jay Kristoff’s second book in The Lotus War, Kinslayer, is a rush of pure vertigo, a sensation so incredible I’d only ever want to experience it in the world that Yukiko and Buruu inhabits, the Shima Isles, of monstrous beasts and impressive beauty, majestic in every way despite the lotus fumes that saturate the air. With his signature prose, elegant and descriptive, and an extended cast of characters to follow and learn about, to love and to hate, as well as the beginnings of an all-out war, Kristoff has here a sequel that you’ll wish you had read it slower, breathed in every word and every moment that lingered on every page.

Skin was strong.
Flesh was weak.

Although it was great to follow the lives of a few extra characters, more characters than we did in Stormdancer, it felt as though the multiple perspectives and individual arcs and plot lines burdened the pacing of the story being told. With Yukiko journeying north to the Iishi Mountains to discover more about what it was to be a “Stormdancer” and Buruu’s “nature calls” plot simultaneously playing out – so that we as the reader are able to experience more of the Shima Isles and the world, a majestic adventure into new regions of this Empire unexplored – it hindered the excitement of the battle descending on Kigen City. Despite this hinderance, I was delighted in the warfare, which came from every direction possible. And that is all that really matters. This was my only negative.

(Note: I read Kinslayer a second time following the first in which I sped through the book in a matter of hours. I read each character and their chapters individually (i.e., Yukiko’s chapters, then Kin’s, then Hiro’s, then Hana’s, etc.) as opposed to how the book was written, fragmented throughout the novel. By doing this, it gave me a greater appreciation of character breakdown and development, as well as the awareness of how difficult it must be weaving multiple story lines and character arcs in 400+ pages. My review was originally 4.5, but then because of this second read it went up to 5.)

There is power in words.
There are words that bid us laugh and make us weep. Words to begin with and words to end by. Words that seize the hearts in our chests and squeeze them tight, that set the skin on our bones to tingling. Words so beautiful they shape us, forever change us, live inside us for as long as we have breath to speak them. There are forgotten words. Killing words. Great and frightening and terrible words. There are True words.
And then there are pictures.

Yukiko’s and Buruu’s storyline wherein they ventured north doesn’t aid the plot in any way – other than just being absent from the war between the rebellious Kage and the Lotus Guild and their allied clans at Kigen city – but it adds to the vibrancy and expansion of the world. We meet new arashitora(s), enter the sea dragons’ domain, and even encounter gaijin (Polish from the looks of it – how Kristoff incorporated foreigners in any form into this world, I have no idea). Along this journey Yukiko learns how to control and use her Kenning more widely, in addition to getting a whole lot of surprises along the way – the surprise at the very end will either have you shaking your head at the detestation of such a surprise or shaking your head because you had absolutely no idea throughout the whole book and was amazed Kristoff could keep you in the dark for so long without seeing the light.

The new major character we follow is Hana, also known as No Name. A beautiful girl with a strong heart and a wretched past, a girl so captivated by Yukiko’s plight against the tyranny of the Shima Imperium and the Lotus Guild that she wants to join in too, to see the Empire fall. Hana’s story will capture your heart, just as much as Yukiko had done in Stormdancer. To be honest, I’m completely infatuated with Kristoff for the way he revealed Hana’s past, and how he was able to keep me on my toes, keep me trying to make sense of it in those flashbacks, fragments of a memory twisted and pulled, perceived one way by Hana and perceived another way by her brother Yoshi, a different perspective. Tip: Hana can Ken with her cat Daken, as can Yoshi.

Michi, Ichizo, Ayane, Kin, Aisha. I prayed hard for these characters. HARD, I tell you! Some of them found happiness, while others met their end heartrendingly, and the remaining characters, well, I hadn’t expected the paths they took, with one in particular I’m eager to find out more and follow in the third book, sadly not out until 2014. And then there was Hiro, who I now despise with a passion. His treachery at the end of Stormdancer is one I will remember for a long time, but his fascist attitude throughout Kinslayer, his corrupted and power-hungry mind, I will not only remember but will be haunted too until I read his unpublished death scene in the next book. Maybe gobbled up by Buruu. I can see that.

And there was Red. RED! More please, woof!

An impressive story by an equally impressive person. What’s next, Arashitora babies? More strong and independent women? Kristoff knows how to please, and I have a feeling the third book will do more than just please – it will kill.

Profile Image for Patri.Bucher.
368 reviews146 followers
June 25, 2020
Patri: 3.75/5🌟
No sabéis lo que agradezco que esta historia traiga en el inicio, un resumen de los personajes y al final, un glosario de todas las palabras usadas, porque realmente me cuesta mucho situarme en la trama, y más después de haber pasado un tiempo de haber leído el primero, y ha sido de gran ayuda!
Esta segunda parte no ha sido para nada más sencilla que la primera, a pesar de conocer ya el mundo, seguir bien el hilo ha sido complejo, ya que esta vez no tenemos tan presente a la protagonista, si no que nos vamos moviendo a través de varios (bastantes) personajes y eso requería tener una atención y concentración al 100% para captar bien todo.
Por ello no le he dado más nota, pero sin duda este mundo que ha creado el autor me fascina. Me encanta el papel femenino en la historia, la cultura creada, la ambientación, la combinación con el estilo steampunk, los yokais, en fin, todo. Así que espero que ya por fin en el tercer libro pueda introducirme de lleno en la historia y disfrutar de ella plenamente.
Profile Image for MaguiWorld.
637 reviews42 followers
March 21, 2022
Luego de haber remado en un mar de dulce de leche, logré termine Kinslayer.

No sé que pasó con este libro. Termine el primero super enganchada y cuando comencé este fue terrible lo que tarde en engancharme y aún siento que no termine de hacerlo.
Tal vez fueron muchas cosas que las Jay nos quiso contar y entre eso y tantos personajes termine más que mareada.

La idea del libro me gustó, la trama, sus personajes nuevos y el avance de los mismo. Cómo fueron cambiando y como se fueron adaptando a la fuerza a la nueva realidad que les tocaba vivir.

No puedo ponerle dos estrellas porque creo que la historia, los personajes, la manera en que está contada y todo lo que el autor pensó esta mas que bueno, simplemente yo no logre conectar.

👉 Podes leer más reseñas y recomendaciones aquí --->https://www.instagram.com/magui.world/
Profile Image for Ana M..
624 reviews107 followers
July 9, 2019
Para quien no haya leído la primera parte de esta trilogía no voy a entrar en detalles sobre el argumento para evitar spoilers. La trama comienza poco tiempo después del final de la primera parte con los personajes que conocimos en Tormenta divididos por Shima y cada uno con sus propios planes. Las acciones de Yukiko empiezan a mostrar las consecuencias y cada uno de los personajes deberá tomar partido en una guerra que asoma por el horizonte. El Gremio del Loto está ganando poder y tiene como marioneta a alguien que ansía el poder por delante del honor. Los kagés deben actuar antes de que todo lo que hizo Yukiko haya sido en vano, pero ella tiene otros planes. Con los sucesos del libro anterior, Yukiko debe investigar más sobre su poder y cómo devolverlo a como era antes porque si no toma control de su poder, tanto los kagés como el resto de Shima estarán en peligro.

Qué ganas tenía de ponerme con esta segunda parte después de haber disfrutado tantísimo de la primera. Qué lástima que no haya sido lo que esperaba. Esta segunda parte se nota muchísimo que es un libro puente para conectar principio y final, pero se nota demasiado. La mayor parte de la historia (recordemos que es un libro con casi 700 páginas) se centra en pequeñas misiones y tareas de los diferentes personajes por lo que se me hizo terriblemente lento. Cabe destacar que llevaba más de 15 días con la lectura de esta novela (entre medias me devoré dos libros que suman más de 1.000 páginas) y su primera parte apenas me duró 3 o 4 días. Ha sido lento, muy muy lento. En muchas ocasiones me costó mantener el interés e incluso las ganas de coger el libro y seguir leyendo porque no ocurre casi nada. Eso sí, toda la acción que necesitaba a lo largo de todo el libro se concentra en las últimas 100 páginas. Una de las cosas que más me gustan de esta trilogía es el mensaje medioambiental y la ambientación japonesa con toda su mitología en un entorno steampunk, pero quizá por la falta de acción y de cosas interesantes esa novedad que tanto me fascinó en el primer libro queda un poco relegada a un segundo plano. Lo que más me ha gustado quizá de la novela ha sido la cantidad de puntos de vista que tiene este segundo libro y que deberían haberle dado mayor agilidad a su lectura. Aún así me gustó conocer a los nuevos personajes, sobre todo Hana y Ayane, y conocer los puntos de vista de personajes conocidos al igual que profundizar un poquito más sobre los desconocidos gaijins.

Sé que leeré el tercer libro de esta trilogía porque el final queda en un punto muy bueno para su desenlace, pero necesito un poco de tiempo para recuperarme de la pequeña decepción que me he llevado con esta segunda parte.
Profile Image for Darren Hagan-Loveridge.
271 reviews38 followers
August 14, 2016
**4.75 stars**
**No spoilers**

I feel basically the same way as I did after reading Stormdancer with only a modicum of negativity. The writing is beautiful, the characters are amazing, the plot was (for the most part) really gripping, and the ending was crazy.

These books are really bringing emotions out in me and it's so strange. I'm laughing out loud, I'm scared for the characters, I'm almost crying at points. Books very rarely evoke such extreme emotions from me.

My only problem with this second instalment is that I got a little bored with Yukiko's part of the story half way through. Everyone else's story just captivated me far more, and I just wanted it to stay with those characters. It was only a little bit of boredom though, not enough to bring the rating down more.

It took me like a week to get through but it's been a beautiful week of reading and I don't want the series to end!
Profile Image for Letanna.
1,498 reviews38 followers
February 19, 2022
Bei diesem Buch handelt es sich um den 2. Teil der Lotus-Krieg-Reihe von Jay Kristoff. Teil 1 war letztes Jahr für mich eine richtiges Highlight und ich habe mega auf diese Fortsetzung gefreut.

Mit über 700 Seiten ist das Buch deutlich seitenreicher als Teil 1, der hatte nämlich nur knapp 400 Seiten. Es gab wieder einer Sonderausgabe beim Cross Cult Verlag mit farbigem Buchschnitt und als Hardcover-Ausgabe.

Am Anfang gibt es einen “Auffrischungskurs” zu Teil 1, was ich extrem hilfreich fand. Da werden alle wichtigen Charaktere noch einmal zusammen gefasst. Der Einstieg fiel mir deshalb recht gut und man findet sich auch schnell in der Handlung zurecht.

Die Geschichte geht nahtlos weiter. War der Anfang bei Teil 1 noch etwas holprig, hat mich der 2. Teil von Anfang gefesselt und begeistert. Die Mischung aus japanisch inspirierte Fantasy, Steampunk und Dystopie konnte mich auch im 2. Teil wieder völlig einnehmen. Der Autor erzählt die Geschichte wieder recht düster und brutal, was mir wieder sehr gut gefallen hat.

Die Charakterentwicklung spielt dieses Mal eine wichtige Rolle, wir lernen vor allem die Nebencharaktere besser kennen. Mir persönlich war der ständige Perspektivenwechsel dieses Mal aber doch etwas zu viel. Ich hätte gerne mehr von Yukiko und Buruu gelesen.

Trotzdem konnte mich auch dieser Teil der Reihe wieder völlig überzeugen. Teil 3 habe ich schon vorbestellt. Von mir gibt es wieder eine klare Leseempfehlung
Profile Image for Anja.
261 reviews9 followers
January 10, 2023
Minimal schwächer als Band 1 aber immer noch ganz große Liebe ❤️
Profile Image for AziaMinor.
416 reviews50 followers
August 3, 2022
Overall Rating : B+

I felt like reading this I was in a high speed car chase trying to dodge random explosions and people speeding along trying to kill me with semi-automatic weapons- while going 200 mph!

Very good book, lots of great plot and the twists left you gasping. but like I said, going so fast it gave me whiplash
Profile Image for Sofía Aguerre.
Author 4 books152 followers
October 26, 2016
Qué difícil es reseñar este libro, la verdad. Estuve luchando con él durante más o menos un mes, cuando yo soy de leer libros de este tipo en, como mucho, dos o tres días. Esto podría no significar nada, claro, pero en este caso es un dato muy importante. Leer este libro me agotaba al punto de que solo quería leer algunos capítulos por día, aunque me interesara o la historia estuviera buena. Es ese tipo de libro, supongo.

En la reseña de Tormenta quizás no lo dije, pero ahora me di cuenta de a qué otra cosa me hacía acordar tanto la relación de Yukiko y Buruu: a la de Merle y la reina en La reina de la Laguna. Si no lo leyeron, les cuento que es una de las pocas sagas que ha logrado hacerme llorar. Y bueno, tan solo espero que no sea una especie de presagio para la tercera parte de Las guerras del loto.

Bueno. En este libro la historia empieza poco después de los eventos del primero. Así que, si no lo leyeron, tengan cuidado con los posibles spoilers. Yo aviso.

Una de las características principales de este libro es el abanico de narraciones que nos presenta. Ahora la historia ya no es casi exclusivamente de Yukiko, sino que hay muchos puntos de vista y subplots aparte del suyo. Quizás, más interesantes incluso.

Yukiko, por su parte, viaja con Buruu para encontrarle una solución a sus extremos dolores, causados por el kenning, cuya sensibilidad se ha vuelto insoportable. En Imperio tenemos a una Yukiko destrozada, hundida en la pena y la autocompasión. Una Yukiko que deberá luchar mucho para volver a ser la que era, si es que eso es posible. Personalmente, me agradó ver el crecimiento de este personaje, aunque no fuera tan entretenido. De Buruu poco puedo decir; no vemos su mejor cara, pero empezamos a saber más de su pasado. Hasta acá puedo contar.

Por otro lado tenemos a Kin, que permanece con los kagés y Ayane, una Vida Falsa —las mujeres del Gremio— que quiere unirse a ellos. Ambos son tratados como el orto por la mayoría de los kagés, dado que son gente del Gremio, y es obvio que esas cosas siempre terminan mal. Las escenas de Kin tampoco fueron las más ágiles del universo, pero las veo totalmente necesarias para entender lo que va a pasar después con ambos, y esto también es todo lo que puedo decir al respecto. Excepto por .

En Kigen tenemos tres líneas narrativas que giran en torno a más o menos lo mismo. La de Hiro, que ahora es el Daimyo de los Tora y que planea casarse con Aisha para continuar la línea, blablabla. Este personaje está dañado y lleno de resentimiento. Todo él es pura venganza, y todo eso es lo que vamos a saber de él. No hay mucho más, realmente.

Después está Michi, Michi y su historia de amor-no-amor, su historia de dolor y supervivencia. Sus escenas, si bien repetitivas, fueron de las que más me gustaron. Qué personaje interesante, que todavía puede crecer más y más. Ojalá suceda.

Por último tenemos a Hana y a su hermano, Yoshi. La primera es una empleada del palacio, espía Kagé. El segundo, roba a los yakuza junto a su pareja, Jurou. Aunque los estoy considerando una sola línea, en realidad sus historias ocurren un poco por separado. Todavía no termino muy bien de entender cuál era el propósito del subplot de Yoshi, pero cuando lea el tercero veré qué importancia había. Por ahora, relleno. Y .

¿Qué más decir de la historia sin contar demasiado? Que me pareció interesante, pero que demoró demasiado en volverse ágil. Que el final quiso ser tan épico que terminó siendo caótico. Que para ese entonces tenía tantas ganas de terminar el libro que apenas lo disfruté. Que en general está bien narrada, mejor que la primera, pero todavía tiene ese algo que me hace leer muy despacio. Que los problemas con el mal uso del japonés se solucionaron. Que la traducción tiene algunos errores que no pude ignorar. Que me gustó, sí, en general, pero que esperaba un poco más de este libro. Que espero mucho más del tercero y último.

Hay dos elementos que rescato de este libro y que sí o sí tienen que dar juego más adelante: . Además, tampoco podemos olvidar que el libro final se llama Última, como la diosa. Y que el temita de los onis tiene que desembocar en algo, ¿no? No puede ser simple relleno, ¿no?

En fin; no es un mal libro, pero podría haber dado más. Por ahora, me gusta lo suficiente como para estar enganchada y tener ganas de leer el siguiente. Espero que ese sí colme mis expectativas.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,220 reviews1,650 followers
September 18, 2013
Last year, I was really blown away by Jay Kristoff's debut, Stormdancer. Though this often isn't the case, I'm actually more impressed with the sequel. This does seem to have been a trend lately, and I do hope it continues, especially if the book world is going to continue to be overrun with series. But I digress. Kinslayer is darker, creepier, and more intense than its predecessor. If you're one of those people who thinks characters meeting gruesome ends is a necessity in epic works, get excited, because Jay Kristoff has a real flair for murdering his characters in nasty ways.

The one weakness Stormdancer had, if it can be counted as one, for me was that it had that typical fantasy slowness at the beginning. Building a world takes time, and characterization took a back seat while that happened. In Kinslayer, the world's already built, so the action kicks off right from the start. Of course, Kristoff does lull you into a nice little unsuspecting place by not doing anything particularly cruel in the first half, and then he pounces on your heart and tears it to shreds. But we'll come back to that.

In the opening, we spend some time with Yukiko and Buruu, who remains magnificent. Yukiko on the other hand, well, girl's not doing so hot. The Kenning has really amped up, and is inducing serious headaches and bleeds out of facial orifices. To silence the voices, she's got a drinking problem. Also, Yukiko's fiercely angry and desirous of vengeance, because, well, she was scorned and apparently that guy still has ways to mess with her. Basically, Yukiko's not heroic. She's not a role model. She's not particularly likable. While this will no doubt be tough for a lot of readers to fathom, I thought it was a nice change of pace from more saintly heroines. Kristoff's world is one where even the good guys have a lot of the dark side in them.

Introducing new characters can be tricky, and often backfires. In such large casts, it's hard enough to keep everyone straight, though, thankfully, there's a handy dandy guide at the opening of the novel that lists the pertinent cast members, which totally saved me. Actually, in this case, I love the new additions to the cast. Hana is probably my second favorite human character. She's on the lowest rung of society, fit, literally, only to carry shit, which she does in the palace. One-eyed and spat upon, she still dreams and dares, having joined the rebellion. I also love her brother Yoshi and his boyfriend Jurou. The healthiest relationship (which may not be that healthy, but let's remember how Jay Kristoff hates happiness) is a gay one, which gives me joy. Momentarily. Until Kristoff stomps on that joy.

Kristoff is also doing some interesting things evolving the characters we knew from the first book. The character arcs are really impressive. Kin shows signs of doing something intense in book three, which could be for good or for ill and the fact that I have to wait forever to find out is frustrating. Aisha has a part to play, and it is intense. My new favorite (human) character, though, is Michi, who we didn't really get to see in action, and, oh man, is it a thing of beauty. She's way more lethal than Yukiko, who, let's face it, mostly has animals do the work for her. Again, I like that, though Yukiko's the figurehead, she's really not any sort of savior; other people are doing the bulk of the work. Of course, one of my favorite animal characters bit the dust. THANKS FOR THAT SCARRING PAIN, JAY.

The plot of Kinslayer moves a bit slowly, but if you wait for it there's some crazy stuff going down. Some things caught me entirely off guard, and now I just have to wait and find out what happens. There's a bit of a second book element in that most of the happenings here are clearly moving the players into place for the epic, bloody showdown to come. Still, I don't feel like Kristoff was just biding his time and I was never bored, so I really don't mind that. Some of Yukiko's journey does seem a bit out of place, but I suspect that something that happened there will become absolutely crucial, so, again, really not an issue for me.

Kinslayer is intense and heart-punching. Are you ready? Probably not. Will you venture into the storm anyway? I think you should.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,003 reviews2,595 followers
September 5, 2013
4.5 stars. It's going to be extremely difficult to talk about the sheer awesomeness of this book without giving spoilers, but darn it, I'm going to try! In general I tend not to do spoilers in reviews, but more important is the fact that I simply don't think anything will compare to the emotional rollercoaster of experiencing all the ups-and-downs of this book yourself.

Like the first book, though, it took me a while to get into the story. However, it's significant to note that some of the best books I've ever read start off slow in the first 100 pages, and this has been the case with both books in this series so far. Part of this also has to do with the writing style, which I still find over-encumbered and hard to get used to.

But feel free to ignore all that, because none of it mattered in the end; as soon as this book got its arashitora claws and talons in me, I was pretty much putty in its clutches. After the events of Stormdancer, I was on pins and needles wondering what Yukiko, Buruu, and the Kagen rebels would do now with the entire Shima Imperium in turmoil. My first shock was discovering the Lotus Guild's choice for the new Shogun. That just can't end well.

Now the Kagen are in a frenzy of planning, hoping to sabotage the Shogun-to-be's wedding and foil the Guild's aim to put him at the head of this new tyrannical dynasty. The enemy, however, are also plotting something of their own, something that would have the power to end the Kagen and destroy their forest home. Meanwhile, Yukiko flies off on Buruu across the oceans to learn more about the Kenning, her mysterious power that has been unstable as of late.

There's definitely an epic feel to this series now, especially with the addition of more characters, their points-of-view, and multiple plot threads occurring in different places all at once. For the first time, we also get a brief glimpse of the world happening outside Shima, finally giving some context to this "gaijin war" we've been hearing about for the whole of the first book and a part of this one, but so far have seen none of the fighting or battles.

And if I thought the first 100 pages were slow, the last 100 pages certainly made up for them and more besides. I know "unputdownable" sounds cliched, but it was almost literally the truth when the book was practically glued to my fingers with the nervous sweat coming off of my hands, I kid you not. I don't often like making comparisons to A Song of Ice and Fire when I talk about books (because truly, I have never come across anything quite like George R.R. Martin's series) but there were definitely times where I felt this one was "Game of Thrones-ing" me. It was just shock after shock in the last quarter of the book, some which were expected, some not.

Of course, I had some issues, especially with some parts of the plot (like, what a nice convenient way to get Yukiko out of the picture for a while), and the prose with its excessive use of metaphors often made me want to tear my hair out, but overall these were overshadowed by the climax and finale, as well as an insane revelation about Yukiko. I cannot believe I didn't see that one coming.

In the end, I think I liked this book even more than the first one because it was darker, more visceral, violent. I love books which are unpredictable and that keep me guessing, whose direction can change like the wind without warning. I liked how this was not a happy story. It has evolved a lot in this book, and its characters as well. Considering how Jay Kristoff left things off here in total chaos, I'm already looking forward to the next book which I have no doubt will be explosive.
Profile Image for Elena.
569 reviews180 followers
June 4, 2015
Ahhhh this one was even better than the first one! And that's saying something. I freakin' love this trilogy! Jay Kristoff is a genius.
Profile Image for Abigail.
187 reviews441 followers
April 22, 2016
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