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Stormdancer: The Lotus War: Book One (Lotus War 1) Hardcover – 13 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (13 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230759017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230759015
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jay Kristoff is a tragic nerd, but has spent the last ten years dumping expeez into his Intimidation stat, and now nobody is brave enough to say it to his face. He grew up in the second most isolated capital city on earth and fled at his earliest convenience, although he's been known to trek back for weddings of the particularly nice and funerals of the particularly wealthy. Being the holder of an Arts degree, he has no education to speak of.

Jay prostituted his writing arm in the soulless crack-house of advertising for over ten years. He's hocked petrol guzzling monstrosities to sexually inadequate men, salty condiments to schoolchildren, and toilet paper to anyone with a bottom. He has won several awards nobody outside the advertising industry gives a toss about.

Jay is the author of of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press & Tor UK, set to be published in over a dozen countries. Part 3, ENDSINGER is due for publication in 2014. He is also co-author of ILLUMINAE, the first of a YA SciFi series to be published by Random House in 2015.

Jay is 6'7" and has approximately 13264 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world's laziest Jack Russell.

He has a sweet beard.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Product Description


'What s that? You say you ve got a Japanese Steampunk novel with mythic creatures, civil unrest, and a strong female protagonist? I'm afraid I missed everything you said after Japanese Steampunk . That's all I really needed to hear' --Patrick Rothfuss

'With airships, demons, and lashings of revolutionary swordplay, this chi-fuelled vision of a steampunk feudal Japan will blow your split-toed socks off' --Scott Westerfeld

About the Author

Jay Kristoff grew up in the most isolated capital city on earth then fled. He worked 'creative advertising' for eleven years and has won several awards that nobody outside the industry gives a tinker's cuss about. He is 6'7, has approximately 13870 days to live, and can demand whiskey in almost a dozen European languages. He lives in Melbourne with his wife.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa F on 26 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover
Well, if there's one book that has had a hype machine going for it this year, it's Jay Kristoff's Stormdancer. No, not a hype machine. More like a hype combine harvester. I've seen this book being talked about so much over the past year, and naturally, I bought into the hype. It had to be good if so many people were talking about it, right?

Stormdancer tells the story of Yukiko Kitsune, who joins her father on a hunt for a rare beast - an arashitora, which literally translates to 'thunder tiger'. (Basically, a griffin.)

Yukiko and her father take to the skies in an airship, and succeed in capturing the supernatural beastie, but their new cargo uses his powers to cause the ship to crash into the mountains. While there, Yukiko earns the trust of the griffin (which she names Buruu), fights demons, and learns of a conspiracy to take down the shogun.

And that's the story in a nutshell.

Now, I really feel like disclaiming this review with a big old 'it's not you, it's me', or 'this just wasn't my cup of tea'. But that's what I find really strange about this book. How could I not enjoy this? It's got telepathic samurai girls, griffins, demons, Shinto mythology, a dystopian steampunk setting, and it's set in feudal Japan! That alone sets it apart from most of what you see on the YA shelves of any given book shop. I like anime, manga, and all the other typical nerdy Japanese things, I used to practice kendo and karate, and I used to take Japanese after-school classes!

So, I don't quite know why Stormdancer wasn't my particular cup of koucha.

To be fair, Stormdancer does have a lot of good things going for it.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Gardner on 4 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sometimes, I think there must be something wrong with me. When I sit looking over the myriad - well, 36! - glowing reviews for an over-hyped novel such as Kristoff's 'Stormdancer', I'm left feeling utterly bemused.

Let's start by saying that - surprise! - I didn't enjoy this novel. It is in fact remarkable that it comes across as so intolerably dull, despite blending feudal Japan with steampunk, mythical beasts, and a tantō-wielding heroine capable of telepathy! That, surely, is a recipe for unbridled success. And yet, no! From the very first chapter onwards, I found 'Stormdancer' to be tedious to the extreme.

For one, it is not very well written. Kristoff labours his prose with great lashes of description, endless paragraphs, which, standing on their own, might come across as well structured and occasionally lyrical, but are instead piled one after another, bogging the story down to such an extent that it takes over 100 pages before we meet the griffon, Buruu, who's character is secondary only to Yukiko herself. From this point on the story does pick up, though it's got to be said that it counts for little, given its prior level of sloth. I honestly think 'Stormdancer' could have done with being around 200 pages long. One needs a really good reason to tell such a limited story in more than that; Kristoff's reason is that he's long winded and indulgent.

And as for characterisation... Urgh, Yukiko is so uninspired. She might have special powers and a thundertiger as companion, but that's about as far as Kristoff goes towards making her interesting, let alone likeable. There has long been a problem with fantasy heroes/heroines being overtly liberal, often laughably unsuited to the medieval-esque societies in which they've supposedly been brought up.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chantal Lyons VINE VOICE on 25 Aug 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It is hard to find fault with this novel. All the elegance of 'Across The Nightingale Floor' with the epic spirit of something like 'Princess Mononoke'.

The story is set in an alternate Japan, where a toxic industrial revolution has produced huge technological leaps but dire environmental costs. The 'arashitora', the griffin, is the mouthpiece of the story's environmental theme - even paraphrasing a famous Native American saying at one point - but the theme is never overly-polemical nor didactic.

Kristoff's prose is clever and evocative, if occasionally a little too-over describing. His steampunk Japan is highly imaginative, with samurai warriors armoured in robotic suits and wielding chainsaw katanas, and airships filling the sky. Most menacing of all are the Guildsmen, the brains behind the technology, permanently encased in their suits and described as insectoid beings. There are obvious links with Japanese mecha here, but Kristoff has produced a story that transcends such roots.

With all this fascinating invention, one of the main characters - the arashitora - is almost eclipsed. But his character is quite delightful, all his animal mannerisms captured. He reminded me of Toothless from 'How To Train Your Dragon' in more ways than one.

A truly accomplished debut novel, and one that I think and hope will go far. My only problem with it in fact is the front cover - so bland! The blurb gives away the griffin, so why not display it in all its glory on the cover?
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