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Stormdancer (Lotus War)

Stormdancer  - Jay Kristoff 4.5/5Originally posted at Gypsy ReviewsStormdancer was tough to get into, the writing was complex and detailed and it took a while to get used to the terminologies. But through a slow beginning, Stormdancer managed to prove that it can hold its own and pack a punch of feels right where it hurts the most. It’s a wonderful tale that showcases the bond between Yukiko and Buruu and standing up to what is wrong when you possess that power. The world that Jay Kristoff has created is mesmerising as he intertwines steampunk with Japanese culture and is a book I will never hesitate to recommend.Yukiko is probably one of the toughest heroines I’ve ever come across, she is fearless and there is little that she is intimidated by. She’s a hard nut to crack and has this cold exterior, her past has caused this and although she won’t admit it, she’s unhappy with the way things are. Everything changes though when she meets Buruu, an arashitora, a creature long thought to be lost. We see another side of Yukiko who is awed and terrified by this fantastic creature and eager to work together with him to survive. They form a bond like no other and become one. I remember there was this one line in the book where it was something along the lines of not knowing where she started and where he ended. I feel that’s a perfect way to describe Yukiko and Buruu, they become one whole being that it becomes hard to define one without the other.Buruu is no doubt one of the most unique characters I have ever read about. His personality is blunt, straight-forward and he is so perplexed by the actions of humans. He makes capslock look fantastic and I loved the impression he gave like he was constantly shouting, it just fits in so well with who he is. No doubt you might be chuckling at some parts because Buruu’s inability to understand human attraction is hilarious. I did have one problem with Yukiko and Buruu and that was I felt the development between them just went by so fast. I liked the end product but just wish we got more of what happened in between.The writing is hard to take in, I was quite taken aback by how detailed and painstaking it was to piece together one simple scene that was basically a few paragraphs long. No doubt the writing is heavy and not light and it makes the book hard to get into but it is all worth it. I gained such an appreciation for it as we reached the interesting parts. The beginning, as people warned me, was hard to get through. It was slow and I found it very hard to get used to the entire story and every character, it just felt so unfamiliar and strange and like I was being constantly hit with new things to understand before I even started to just understand what was going on. But rest assured, once you get to the good part, you won’t look back at all. Stormdancer will take you on a ride that will just blow your mind.Kristoff does a terrific job at intertwining Japanese culture with his own interpretation of Japan. Before I read the book I had heard how inaccurate it was but for Stormdancer I think it’s important to remember this is Japanese-inspired, this is not Japan in a steampunk setting. It’s a story about a land that is similar to Japan and in a steampunk setting. It is difficult to get used to the terminologies because there are so many new things to learn but you will definitely get used to it, no matter if you’re completely new to Japanese culture or you already have an idea of it. What is important you will soon understand fast enough.The ending had me on the edge and oh my goodness it was so amazing and epic. Even though I unwittingly got myself spoiled by what happened, it was still so shocking and just so many feels and emotions. After the book I was going “Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god,” while staring into blank space, clutching the book. That was one heck of a book hangover.You just have to get this book, I’m not kidding it was amazing and I’ve read the sequel which is even more mindblowing than this one. You will not regret this at all, the beginning will be hard but trust me, once you get through the first 100 pages, you won’t even want to tear yourself away from the book.Verdict: You should already be at the bookstore buying this book.-------------------Wow that ending was amazing. I liked Yukiko and Buruu but their development was a little toi quick. Wasn't a fan of the love triangle either but the world building was fascinating and complex. The action scenes were very well-written. A fantastic book, highly recommend it!-- Full review to come!