By Jay Kristoff
Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9781250001405, 324pp.
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
The first in an epic new fantasy series, introducing an unforgettable new heroine and a stunningly original dystopian steampunk world with a flavor of feudal Japan.
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 Shogun 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 Shogun is death.
A HIDDEN GIFT
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 Shogun'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.
Praise for Stormdancer
Named one of Kirkus Reviews’ best Teen Books of 2012
“Kristoff’s imaginative debut, the first in a series, presents the feudal, dystopian Shima Empire, a menacing Japanese-inspired setting… The innovative setting, fast-moving plot, vivid descriptions, and thrilling action scenes make this a refreshing addition to the steampunk canon.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Soars higher than the arashitora Kristoff writes about; superb.” –Kirkus, starred review
“With its geisha girls in gas masks and canvas blimps spewing black exhaust as they chug across the sky, Stormdancer paints a vivid picture of a decrepit, steampunk Japan. It's startling to witness a country that so reveres nature presented in such an environmentally compromised position, as it is in the kickoff to Jay Kristoff's "The Lotus War" series. But it's this inventive juxtaposition that makes Stormdancer such a thrilling addition to the increasingly tired yet continuously expanding dystopian scene…. [A] fast-paced, fantastical adventure [that] is sharp as a Shogun's sword.” –The LA Times
"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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear
"With airships, demons, and lashings of revolutionary swordplay, this chi-fueled vision of a steampunk feudal Japan will blow your split-toed socks off." –Scott Westerfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Leviathan
"Jay Kristoff pushes the steampunk genre exactly where it needs to go, away from Victorian London's over-trodden lanes and into the great wide world. With its rocketing action, eccentric and convincing characters, and deep immersion in heroic Japanese culture, Stormdancer slammed my head into an updated vision of the great chanbara films of Kurosawa and Kobayashi. I'll be waiting for more from Mr. Kristoff." —K.W. Jeter, author of The Kingdom of Shadows
“Set in a complex and richly imagined world, Stormdancer draws on inspirations as widespread as epic fantasy, steampunk, and Japanese mythology, effortlessly piecing them together into an alternate history that is as vibrant as it is disturbing. Yukiko is an admirable heroine, made of compassion and courage, but it's the remarkable friendship forged between Yukiko and the majestic thunder tiger, Buruu, that readers will find truly unforgettable. In this breathtaking debut fantasy, Kristoff has given us an adventure teeming with impossible quests and betrayals, rebellion and murder, jealousy and harbored secrets. I eagerly look forward to seeing where his imagination takes us next.” –Marissa Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of Cinder
"Jay Kristoff's Yukiko and her indomitable thunder tiger's entertaining adventures have just sent steampunk gloriously Asian." --Stephen Hunt, internationally bestselling author of The Kingdom Beyond the Sea
"Kristoff's debut is a lyrical triumph of chainsaw swords and thunder tigers that steampunk fans and mythology buffs will devour." –Kevin Hearne, author of The Iron Druid Chronicles
“Stormdancer is an intoxicating joyride into steampunklandia with a magical dose of mythology, the supernatural, violence, dystopian themes, and a top-notch brassy heroine who rivals Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. Yes, I did say that!” –Huffington Post
“…the plot takes off when the mythical arashitora (literally ‘stormtiger’) forms a strong bond with the heroine, Yukiko. Her relationship with the griffin-like creature is especially poignant in light of the personal losses she reveals as the story unfolds… it’s the bonds of family and friendship that feel the truest, with heartwrenching effect.”-Romantic Times
“Japanese Steampunk unafraid to engage with the dark side of the subgenre. The Lotus must bloom!” –SF Signal
“If you enjoy rich detail and sensual writing, you’ll dig it…. Bristling with energy and enthusiasm, this is the start of what should be a deservedly popular series.” –Library Journal
“Think Lassie, if Kurosawa had been the director and Lassie had been three tons of angry mythical demon-shredding sass bent on pushing Timmy down the well… A colorful cast of supporting characters and thoughtful plotting add further to Stormdancer's appeal, but, really, Kristoff has the reader at "girl meets griffin." The captivating backdrop, graceful prose and army of mechanized samurai are all just added bonuses.” –Shelf Awareness
“Compelling characters—particularly Yukiko, the Arashitora Buruu, and the artificer Kin—a strong environmental message, and a thrilling battle setting the stage for the sequel. Offer this to fans of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy or Philip Reeve’s Hungry City Chronicles.” --Booklist
“A steampunk fantasy with richly drawn mythical creatures and a tough female protagonist…. Packed full of surprising twists and turns, nonstop action, and intense dialogue.” –School Library Journal