Review: The Last Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Last Stormdancer by Jay KristoffThe Last Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Series: The Lotus War #0.6
Published by Thomas Dunne on September 17, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Short Stories, Steampunk
Pages: 125
Format: Paperback
Source: Author

Your blood-red skies are filled with smoke. Your bleach-white histories with lies. You walk sleeping. Wake senseless. Breathing deep of toxic blooms and forgetting all that has gone before.

But I remember.

I remember when two brothers waged bloody war over the right to sit in their father’s empty chair. I remember when orphaned twins faced each other across a field of crimson and steel, the fate of the Shima Shōgunate hanging in the poisoned sky between them.

I remember when a blind boy stood before a court of storms and talons, armed only with a thin sword and a muttered prophecy and a desperate dream of saving the world.

I remember when the skies above Shima were not red, but blue. Filled with thunder tigers.

I remember when they left you.

And I remember why.

Let me tell you, monkey-child.

Jay was sweet enough to send me The Last Stormdancer ages ago, even though I hadn’t been aware of the preorder with which they came. Basically, he’s the best. I had every intention of reading The Last Stormdancer before Endsinger, but, as is often the case with my reading plans, that did not happen. However, I think now wasn’t a bad time to read it, because it adds some resonance to The Last Stormdancer.

While I don’t love this as much as the main novels of the series, since I miss the characters I love so much, The Last Stormdancer is a good addition to the series. Kristoff enhances the world building from the series with this slim novella. Now I finally know how society got to that point and let the Lotus Guild take over. The interests of The Last Stormdancer are more political than character-based.

The cast of characters includes two brothers, sons of the Shogun, Riku and Tatsuya. The two brothers are twins, much alike in appearance but very different in personality. The shogun didn’t know which son to appoint his heir, so he went to the grave without choosing. The brothers then go to war for the shogunate, with the Lotus Guild whispering offers in their ears. The resolution is one that’s obviously sad, but that had a twist that I totally did not see coming.

The stormdancer of the story, Jun, is very much an exercise in dramatic irony and the tragedy of prophecy. His grandmother foretold that a stormdancer from the Kitsune clan would save the world; he assumes that he is that stormdancer. The audience knows this not to be the case from the existence of the series. He is so determined and convinced of his own safety. He’s trying so hard to prevent the dark future and we know that he can’t succeed. Kristoff excels at writing really uplifting tales.

Then there’s the plot line with the arashitora. This really complemented the events in Endsinger, which has a much stronger focus on arashitora politics. It is here that the arashitora policies are decided that impact the plot in the series. I really loved seeing how they turned away from mankind and evolved.

Also, Koh, a female arashitora, is the narrator of the novella, which made for a fun change. The only thing I wish is that the other arashitora had listened to her more. She knew what was up. She argued for female arashitora having the same rights as males, but they pretty much ignored her.

The Last Stormdancer is a must if you’re obsessed with this series, especially if you want to know more about the foundations that lead to the society in the Lotus Wars. Also, if you want to be sad.

Favorite Quote:

(why the maker does not allow you to deliver your young in eggs baffles me, monkey-child)

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif sean bean dying lotr

One response to “Review: The Last Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff”

  1. Soma Rostam says:

    This sounds like such an awesome serious. I have been hearing about it for such a LONG time now and I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. I think I would though. GREAT review!
    Your reader,
    Soma R.
    Soma Rostam recently posted…ARC Review: Playlist For the Dead by Michelle FalkoffMy Profile

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