Genre: Fantasy / Steampunk
First Impression: It’s finally here!
Synopsis: Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.
But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.
Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it.
Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?
Review with actual words: I really really loved Stormdancer but I’ll be honest, after reading the first 50 or so pages I was getting a bit worried. Having been waiting (somewhat) patiently for months for this book to come out I was starting to think it wasn’t going to be the epic read I’d imagined.
Stormdancer starts with this awesome first chapter and then flashes back for a while to tell you how Yukiko got to that point. There is a lot of description about the world she lives in, the costumes and machinery. Fortunately for me I have years of Manga reading behind me so I didn’t struggle too much with the terminology and Japanese phrases.
Truthfully this book wasn’t a quick read. There is just way too much going on and so many characters to keep track of for you to fly through the pages. Yet in many ways this is what makes Stormdancer so awesome. Because awesome is what it is. You have a strong female protagonist, adventure, incredible world building and a Griffin!
But what I loved most though was that with everything that makes this book so epic it’s the focus on Yukiko’s family and friends that just take the story to another level. The relationship between her and Buruu, the truth about her father… I could just go on and on.
Stormdancer is one of the best books I have read this year, I just didn’t realise it on the first page. ;)