Sunday, September 9, 2012

Stormdancer-Jay Kristoff


Jay Kristoff

Dunne, Sep 18 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9781250001405

The Shima Imperium has left the isles on the verge of environmental extinction. The industrialization of the islands has polluted land, air and water as the powerful Lotus Guild worships the lotus that fuels the sky ships, but poisons the soil making it useless and pollutes the water with run-off and turns the air into smog from the ship’s exhausts. The four clans feel hopeless as the spirit animals are becoming extinct and their mad Shogun Yoritomo-no-miya expedites the Shima Isles turning into a wasteland.

Yoritomo tasks a team to capture an arashitora, a creature part-eagle and part-tiger. Sixteen year old Kitsune Yukiko and her father know the mission is impossible, but failure means execution in a horrific way. In the last wilderness, her father maims Buruu the arashitora. When Yukiko and Buruu meet, both are shocked that they understand each other. As they team up, the pair meets enemies of the Shogun and the Lotus Guild while battling to survive against underworld demons and the might of the Shima Imperium.

Young adult and older readers will appreciate this excellent feudal Japan steampunk fantasy starring a vivid dying landscape serving as a reminder of the long term impact of pollution and a strong cast trying to survive or thrive in the dying isles. Although the Shogun is not developed beyond being a malevolent mega maniac, fans will enjoy the coming of age adventures of a teen girl and an injured mystical spirit animal.

Harriet Klausner

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