Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff – Review

Posted 30 August, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 23 Comments


by Jay Kristoff (web |
Book 1 in the The Lotus War 
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Steampunk
Expected publication: September 18th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books
Copy from publisher
Get your own: amazon | BookDepository
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff  on goodreads

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.

The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.


There are books that generate a movement even long before it has been published. Stormdancer definitely is one of those books, which has been incredibly hyped during the last month! But, I get it – the story sounds so incredible unique and there is the promise of a wonderful blend of genres that just sounds mesmerizing…



High Fantasy, Steampunk in a Japanese setting

Just have a look at all those genres and tell me one book that has such an incredible combination. Jay Kristoff mixes those genres in way that seems natural and effortless.( Also, I fully believe he has to be a Samurai himself.) Clearly, we find ourselves into a world that is incredibly fascinating and woven into a story that combines beauty, magic and kick-ass fierceness all in one single book. All the single elements are described with a love for detail that is admirable and it was easy to get lost into this world.


Yukiko – fierce  sword wielding young heroine

Yukiko was interesting with her combination of strength, fierceness but also naiveté. Having been forced to take care of her drunken father ever so often, she had to grow up fast, which explains the level of maturity she has. However, sometimes he youth shone through and I felt like she was emotionally not as mature as she herself wanted to be. Due to the complexity and diversity of her character, I had a hard time connecting with her as completely as I would have hoped.


Magical Creatures and a wonderfully crafted friendship

One of the most incredible aspects of Stormdancer was the Griffin Buruu. Forced to join Yukiko on finding their way back home and to safety those two formed a bond that was incredible beyond believe. I absolutely adored the way Jay Kristoff developed their friendship, especially considering that Buruu hated her at first. Even more, Buruu learned from Yukiko – not just language but also human emotions and this development was incredible described with such a  love for tiny details! Getting to know Burru was one of my highlights in this book!


Slow Start –  explosive Ending

Admittedly, I had a hard time getting into this story as the world is so rich that I needed time to adjust myself to the very detailed descriptions and explanations of this world. Once you read this book however, you will understand the need for these introduction and I was thankful later on. Jay Kristoff has a very unique and detailed writing style that I needed to get used to. After being half in the story the pace and storyline finally picked up and soon I found myself turning pages after pages. Together, with some very cruel fighting scenes the ending was explosive and left me wishing for more – right now!


Romance and Love?

With me being me, I believe I have to address this questions as it would feel weird to leave this aspect out. I was very disappointed in the romance aspect of this story. Already the beginning promised a romance so when it finally happened I actually felt cheated. I feel like when there is so much emphasize on a certain “male warrior with vivid green eyes”, I expect this to play an important role later one. Well, it didn’t as much as I hoped it would. There the short introduction of a Love Triangle. However, I do must stress that the world building and rich story made up for the lack of sizzling romance!


Bewitched Rating


Bottom Line

With Stormdancer, Jay Kristoff created something utterly unique and mesmerizing. The colorful blend of genres made it hard to resist the lure of this imaginative story, and Jay Kristoff intruded us to a world that you will find a hard time finding somewhere else. The explosive and thrilling ending makes up for the slow start and leaves us wishing for more! Book 2 ? Bring it on – right now!



Additional Info

*sigh* Even though I wrote already so much, I hardly touched the surface with my review! Clearly, this is one of those books you must read and get yourself lost in.  Jay Kristoff is a genius, I truly believe so and I encourage you to read his blog as it is wicked funny and full of bad assery :))
Much Love,
Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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23 Responses to “Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff – Review”

  1. For some reason I totally flipped out when I saw this on Facebook via Networked Blogs. It was something like:

    * See Facebook message about this review
    * The world stops
    * Heart races
    * Click. Click. Click.
    * Rage. Rage. Rage.
    * I might kill someone.
    * Page loads. Phew.
    * Reality comes crashing down. “Why was I just freaking out?” And the truth is, I have no idea. I guess you’re just that awesome.

    Right. So. Stormdancer. AWESOME BOOK!!! I love your review so much! And I love Buruu! Is it weird that I’m in love with a griffin? Probably, but I don’t even care. After I read Stormdancer I followed my cat around the house and tried to talk with him telepathically. I’m not even joking.

    I agree with what you said about the romance though. I was a little surprised it ended the way it did. I actually forgot all about the “warrior with the green eyes” bit until you just mentioned that. What happened to that?? When I first read those words I remember being a little stunned and thinking a romance would develop between them… but that like… so didn’t happen. Maybe in a future book? Who knows!

    Love your review, as always! ♥
    Ashley recently posted..Review & Giveaway: Sweet Evil by Wendy HigginsMy Profile

    • OMG YOUR comment is EPIC! Did you just said I’m awesome???? Really? I might love you just a little more!!!!

      Nope nothing weird with falling for Burru he as PHENOMENAL!!!!!
      The romance part made me so sad! The book started off with her being obsessed with those green eyes and then? How did that part end? And no, I do not think this will be explored further.. he was the warrior she fall far in the palace, remember?

      Thanks for your comment of epicness my friend!! *hugs*
      Danny recently posted..Discussed! by Danny – Book Blogs – Reviews, Tours, Interviews and More!My Profile

  2. I tried to read this book I really did, but all the terms were too much for me. I couldn’t easily go back and forth to the glossary on my ereader but I might give a hard cover a try once it’s out because you do make it sound worth it! I think it’s just not a book to read as an ebook. The map is also not really viewable on it. Anyways, I did like Yukiko, too, and I enjoyed the basic premise – what I understood of it at least lol. Great review, chickie!

  3. The hype for this book has been like a hurricane of excitement everywhere I go… I am dying to get my hands on it! So so SO glad that you enjoyed it, Danny! 🙂 I love fantasy with intricate world-building like this and having a Japanese theme to that sounds amazing! I’m so curious about Buruu too — everyone seems to be loving him! Fabulous review, Danny! <3
    Sonia recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday (50)My Profile

  4. Uh oh. You know we are the exact same when it comes to romance Danny, so I fear I will be disappointed in that aspect of the story as well. If there’s the potential for romance, I like it go grow into something as I read, I have trouble when the potential is never fulfilled. It’s one of those nitpicky things for me! Still, I love the sound of the world, even if things do start off a bit slow:) Beautiful review my friend!

  5. I LOVED this book, as you know already. Buruu is so flipping awesome and most definitely my favorite character. I really loved their friendship and how it developed.
    The romance… yes that was disappointing. I felt there was something important with the warrior with green eyes so the way that played out was disappointing. Other then that this book was EPIC!
    Candace recently posted..Review: Betrayal by Gregg OlsenMy Profile

  6. Of Course Danny reviewed Stormdancer! She reviews all the hottest books! I agree about Jay’s blog, he’s wicked funny and takes pot shots at himself all the time. He’s not snobby and he’s having a great time with this novel! I’ve got a copy and I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for warning me about the romance Danny, I’ll settle for the unique friendship with the Gryphon. Great Review!

    hrose2931 recently posted..AToMR Blog Tour Seaweed by Elle Strauss Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  7. I love this review, Danny! You really think Kristoff’s a samurai? Iron samurai, perhaps? With a chainkatana and green eyes? Yum.
    The romance was one of my favorite parts, actually. A perfect love in such an imperfect world would have bothered me immensely. Mistakes can be expected from an inexperienced 16-year-old.
    AS I said, lovely review.

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