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Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One) by Jay…
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Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One) (edition 2012)

by Jay Kristoff

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6208315,695 (3.83)38
Member:terriko
Title:Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One)
Authors:Jay Kristoff
Info:Thomas Dunne Books (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
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Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
"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."

Strong Female Protagonist? Check! Japanese- Steampunk? Check!

The book starts as Yukiko our protagonists, battle two Oni in the Iishi mountains. We then get the back story how she came to be in that situation. Basically, it's a coming of age story of a girl with secret power called "kenning" (she can telepathically communicate with animals, hear their thoughts and feel their feelings) which is a secret because "yokai-kin"or people like her are hunted down and executed by burning (like the witch trials) It's a journey of fighting for freedom and right amidst an abusive and polluted society burdened by the concept that honor is serving the emperor regardless of right or wrong. After her experience in the Iishi mountains where she meets rebels and discovers the truth behind her mother's disappearance, Yukiko returns to the capital with the mission to kill the Shogun. Along the way she experiences, love, betrayal, and self-discovery.

"To be a servant can be a noble thing, but only as noble as the master served."

The story's setting is in Shima an island based on Japan, where mystical creatures used to roam until they left or died due to extreme pollution. Shima's skies and sea are red and rain comes down as acid black as dirt. Most of the people are addicted to the Blood Lotus, a toxic flowering plant cultivated by the people. It's utilized as tea, medicine, narcotics ,fabrics and fuel at the expense of the land as it poisons the soil making it incapable of sustaining life. So the people keep on burning forests to give space for growing it. The government also manufacture inochi fertilizers made from a secret ingredient (liquefied gaijin/foreigners!)

I would've given this 5 stars but somethings were bothering me. There was a misuse of honorifics like "sama", "chan" and "san". Also "hai" was misused it became a substitute for the word "yes" in this case. But overall I love the concept of the story. I understand that Shima is not supposed to be Japan but a place similar to it. 5 stars for the concept and I love Buruu and Yukiko's relationship and 3 stars for the execution.

I recommend this for people who like steampunk, Japanese oriented stories, and strong female lead. But if you're someone who does not tolerate Cultural appropriation then you may have problems with the book. ( )
  jethplain | Feb 5, 2017 |
The stars of this book aren't my final rating, I am contemplating everything between 2 and 4 stars, as I have super mixed feelings about everything.
I wanted to love this book, I really really did, Nevernight by the same author was amazing and the sole reason why I even bought this book, but this just seemed like a lesser version.

First of all, the world didn't do much for me… at all, I'm currently living in Japan, and am probably the most nitpicky person you'll ever meet, so I noticed a lot of cultural things that bug me, as well as quite a few language errors that really bugged me. I really loved the world in Nevernight, as there were 2 cultures loosely combined, I didn't really care much (or find any) cultural things that didn't add up.

Secondly, the characters in this book were just good. That sentence might seem rather odd, just good being something one usually doesn't say, or maybe it was just that I had set my expectations way to high for this book as the characters in Nevernight were so so so so great. I enjoyed many of the dialogues, having highlighted long passages during my read, however, something about the characters bugged me, something about all of them. Maybe it was the odd Japanese they used occasionally that really threw me off, maybe it was just the setting that annoyed me, and maybe it's just that I am comparing this book with Nevernight to much (as seen by how many times I have compared this book to Nevernight in this review thing.)

The story was fine again, but it didn't really stand out to me as much as... wait for it… Nevernight.

To conclude, I feel really bad giving this book only 2 stars, as, putting Nevernight aside, it would probably get around 3.5 stars, and, putting aside my nitpicky comments on the Japanese and Japanese culture, it might even get 4 stars.

Yona
yonaschuh.com ( )
  Yona.Schuh | Dec 7, 2016 |
The stars of this book aren't my final rating, I am contemplating everything between 2 and 4 stars, as I have super mixed feelings about everything.
I wanted to love this book, I really really did, Nevernight by the same author was amazing and the sole reason why I even bought this book, but this just seemed like a lesser version.

First of all, the world didn't do much for me… at all, I'm currently living in Japan, and am probably the most nitpicky person you'll ever meet, so I noticed a lot of cultural things that bug me, as well as quite a few language errors that really bugged me. I really loved the world in Nevernight, as there were 2 cultures loosely combined, I didn't really care much (or find any) cultural things that didn't add up.

Secondly, the characters in this book were just good. That sentence might seem rather odd, just good being something one usually doesn't say, or maybe it was just that I had set my expectations way to high for this book as the characters in Nevernight were so so so so great. I enjoyed many of the dialogues, having highlighted long passages during my read, however, something about the characters bugged me, something about all of them. Maybe it was the odd Japanese they used occasionally that really threw me off, maybe it was just the setting that annoyed me, and maybe it's just that I am comparing this book with Nevernight to much (as seen by how many times I have compared this book to Nevernight in this review thing.)

The story was fine again, but it didn't really stand out to me as much as... wait for it… Nevernight.

To conclude, I feel really bad giving this book only 2 stars, as, putting Nevernight aside, it would probably get around 3.5 stars, and, putting aside my nitpicky comments on the Japanese and Japanese culture, it might even get 4 stars.

Yona
yonaschuh.com ( )
  Yona.Schuh | Dec 7, 2016 |
This book looks good! Can't wait to try it. And the author is super nice too. He was nice enough to respond to my nosy questions :D.

Review to follow when I get a hold of a copy.
  itonobara | Nov 19, 2016 |
While reading:
-- Japanese steampunk -- Very interesting premise, though I can NOT see this as a teens book. Not with some of the language used. (Further research shows this is NOT a young adult novel.)
-- If people know that lotus is so toxic, in both the air and the lungs, why do they smoke it/use it so extensively as a tobacco type substitute...

-----
One of the things I enjoy about series books is being able to pick one up and not be lost with what's happening. Not usually a problem with the first book in the series. The plot for this book feels complete, even though there is an overarching plot for the trilogy that's coming.

As I was reading, I was skimming other reviews. Common complaint was that the author didn't focus on just the Japanese people, but that he took from all Asian worlds to create this book. I thought about this as I read. Things that came to me: 1) This is a fantasy that isn't directly related to the Real World. 2) From the plot's description, the Shogunate had taken over all of Asia and was working toward a more world domination role, so maybe they absorbed other cultural features. To be honest, I try to treat books like movies. Go in with expectations, you find yourself more often disappointed than not. Go in with just the thought of a good book, and you might find yourself enjoying things.

I like this story. It has its dings (starts slow; too much exposition, not enough motion; some situations happening too fast comparative to other ideas) but it isn't horrible. The female protagonist makes this a unique take, even for feudal Japan, where women were subservient. It offers a unique commentary on the world, even without it being a western set world. The reliance on machines and other escapist issues. The allowances of a crazy at the top. The class and caste systems that are in place, whether we realize it or not.

If for nothing else, I recommend this book to people. But go in without expectations to enjoy ( )
  gilroy | Oct 8, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jay Kristoffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chan, JasonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Amanda, My life, my love, my first and only reason
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As the iron war club scythed toward her head, Yukiko couldn't help wishing she'd listened to her father.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Haiku summary
Arashitora,
his friend Yukiko kill the
Shogun of Shima.
(passion4reading)
Blood lotus is the
life blood of Shima, but it
poisons land, sea, air.
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

In this dystopian steampunk fantasy set against a backdrop of feudal Japan, warrior Yukiko captures a supposedly extinct (but crippled) griffin for the Shogun, then learns -- after meeting secretive Kin and the rebel Kage cabal -- of the horrifying extent of the Shogun's crimes, both against her country and her family. Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shogun pay -- but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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