Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stormdancer - Jay Kristoff

Synopsis: A DYING LAND 
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever. 
AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
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.
A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL
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. (From Goodreads)


Um. This book has a griffin in it. Like a half eagle, half tiger, freaking griffin. Which equals awesome. This world is stunningly vivid and quite intense. You can't breathe in the air, you have to hide who you really are, and it seems that there are a myriad of people out to get you at all times. Then you have a strong heroine who is on a quest (yes! a quest - like honest to goodness - you must go forth and complete this task to save your people kind of quest). This book as all it needs to qualify as an epic fantasy novel.

This said, I had a really hard time reading it. I don't know if it is because I know nothing about Japan and I had a hard time grasping on to the use of a different language while being introduced to a new world. Or if the writing was a little dense, or if there was just something that took a while to wrap my head around. It could be all of these things. I spent quite a while just trying to get into the book and it wasn't until about halfway through that the reading started to flow more easily. I think one day I will go back and re-read this book now that I'm more familiar with it and see what I missed or at least try to immerse myself in the story a bit more.

Because I really did love this book, despite my difficulties with it. I mean - griffin! I absolutely adored Buruu and his relationship with Yukiko. She can speak to animals and so she has this direct line to Buruu that allows them to bond. He's an angry creature - understandably after being captured and having his wings clipped - but as he journeys with Yukiko he softens - at least towards her. I just absolutely adore the way they are fiercely loyal to one another and they work together so well. I'm just so jealous - I want a griffin friend. It's like Jasmine and Raja - only this is a GRIFFIN.

There's some really great political intrigue, which I feel like I kind of missed out on. I understood the jist of what was going on, in terms of who was in command and where the seeds of revolution were coming from. This is definitely something that will prompt me to re-read the book. I also feel like this is one of those situations where I could read it 100 times and read something new each time.

And then just the world that Jay Kristoff has created - it's a scary place. But it feels like it's real, no matter how fantastical it is meant to be. This was a truly amazing novel and it was definitely worth wading through. I hope to return to it one day and experience it more vividly.

2 comments:

  1. I had a hard time with this book as well. It took me awhile and I think it's because I was reading an e-book version and couldn't get to the glossary at the back easily. But I did love the world Kristoff created!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Basically, Stormdancer is epic fantasy, but it's not really being sold as such. Epic fantasy is seriously dense, both in language and world building. It's really common to have a couple hundred to a whole book worth of world building. It's not a genre for the impatient, yet, somehow, I love it.

    I know a lot of people also had difficulty with the Japanese. I had no issues thanks to my anime watching. Who knew? I learned from them!

    ReplyDelete

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stormdancer - Jay Kristoff

Synopsis: A DYING LAND 
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever. 
AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
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.
A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL
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. (From Goodreads)


Um. This book has a griffin in it. Like a half eagle, half tiger, freaking griffin. Which equals awesome. This world is stunningly vivid and quite intense. You can't breathe in the air, you have to hide who you really are, and it seems that there are a myriad of people out to get you at all times. Then you have a strong heroine who is on a quest (yes! a quest - like honest to goodness - you must go forth and complete this task to save your people kind of quest). This book as all it needs to qualify as an epic fantasy novel.

This said, I had a really hard time reading it. I don't know if it is because I know nothing about Japan and I had a hard time grasping on to the use of a different language while being introduced to a new world. Or if the writing was a little dense, or if there was just something that took a while to wrap my head around. It could be all of these things. I spent quite a while just trying to get into the book and it wasn't until about halfway through that the reading started to flow more easily. I think one day I will go back and re-read this book now that I'm more familiar with it and see what I missed or at least try to immerse myself in the story a bit more.

Because I really did love this book, despite my difficulties with it. I mean - griffin! I absolutely adored Buruu and his relationship with Yukiko. She can speak to animals and so she has this direct line to Buruu that allows them to bond. He's an angry creature - understandably after being captured and having his wings clipped - but as he journeys with Yukiko he softens - at least towards her. I just absolutely adore the way they are fiercely loyal to one another and they work together so well. I'm just so jealous - I want a griffin friend. It's like Jasmine and Raja - only this is a GRIFFIN.

There's some really great political intrigue, which I feel like I kind of missed out on. I understood the jist of what was going on, in terms of who was in command and where the seeds of revolution were coming from. This is definitely something that will prompt me to re-read the book. I also feel like this is one of those situations where I could read it 100 times and read something new each time.

And then just the world that Jay Kristoff has created - it's a scary place. But it feels like it's real, no matter how fantastical it is meant to be. This was a truly amazing novel and it was definitely worth wading through. I hope to return to it one day and experience it more vividly.

2 comments:

  1. I had a hard time with this book as well. It took me awhile and I think it's because I was reading an e-book version and couldn't get to the glossary at the back easily. But I did love the world Kristoff created!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Basically, Stormdancer is epic fantasy, but it's not really being sold as such. Epic fantasy is seriously dense, both in language and world building. It's really common to have a couple hundred to a whole book worth of world building. It's not a genre for the impatient, yet, somehow, I love it.

    I know a lot of people also had difficulty with the Japanese. I had no issues thanks to my anime watching. Who knew? I learned from them!

    ReplyDelete