Series: The Lotus War #2
Published by Thomas Dunne Books (9.17.2013)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC, 464 pages
Source: For Tour
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A SHATTERED EMPIRE
The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously – by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.
A DARK LEGACY
Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.
A GATHERING STORM
Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat.
The ghosts of a blood-stained past.
Gods, I don’t know how to get my whirling thoughts into a coherent review! If you’re going to read this book, have a box of tissues ready. And maybe a therapist. My heart has been shattered into a million tiny pieces! How I looked while reading Kinslayer:
Warning: This book is not rainbows and unicorns. It’s dark, desperate, and violent. Sometimes gory and disturbing. There is no HEA, horrible sacrifices are made, terrible things happen. It’s heart-wrenching. It will make you feel desolate and broken. I love books that make me feel like this! The fact that I was emotionally invested enough to feel so much speaks volumes about the author. His writing is beautiful, lyrical, magnificent. He can paint the world he writes vividly in your head. It’s magical, cinematic! I can’t tell you how many times I wished to myself that I could see this on the big screen. (Get on it, Hollywood!)
Nothing is going to keep us apart again, you hear me? Not oceans, not storms, not armies. I’m by your side, always. I’ll die with you, Buruu.
BURUU. OH MY GAWD, BURUU. He has got to be my favorite character ever! Even though he kinda messed up, I still adore him. I want so badly to know about his past! We got a few hints and glimpses of it; just enough to tantalize. Although we saw a lot less of Yukiko and Buruu that we did in the first book, their bond was still a driving point in this novel to me, and was the small spot of light in the darkness of the book. They are so close and connected that they’re very nearly the same being. Their love for each other knows no limits. I love relationships that are portrayed like this! It seems like it’s so hard to find such a beautiful and inspiring friendship!
BETWEEN AND BENEATH AND BEYOND ANYTHING ELSE I MAY BE, I AM YOURS. I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU. NEVER FORSAKE YOU. YOU MAY RELY UPON ME AS YOU RELY UPON THE SUN TO RISE AND THE MOON TO FALL. FOR YOU ARE THE HEART OF ME.
*DIES* I seriously got misty when I read that! I love him so freaking much!
You know who else I absolutely adored? Daken! The gnarly little tom was awesome, and I loved him immediately just for the fact that he was a cat. He was so loyal and so protective of Hana and Yoshi! He was always looking out for them, and willing to sacrifice for them. View Spoiler »JUST WRITING THAT PARAGRAPH UPSET ME. « Hide Spoiler
Mr. Kristoff holds nothing back. One could almost say he was sadistic. I can’t say much without spoilers, but prepare yourself (like I said, tissues and a therapist). I am, however, going to rant about it in a spoiler because I need to get it out. DO NOT read this spoiler if you haven’t read the book! It will ruin it for you!View Spoiler »Kinslayer is one of those books that you can’t get attached to the characters, because Jay is unbiased at ripping them away from you and crushing your soul. *glares at Jay* Evil, evil author, you! I’m not going to talk about ALL of them, just on the off chance that one of you didn’t actually listen and hasn’t read the book. Haha. You know what they say about curiosity.
But there is one. One that absolutely KILLED me. Daken. WHY, JAY, WHYYY?!?! I can’t even. I was afraid it was going to happen, but it still broadsided me. If you know anything about me, I have a MAJOR bleeding heart for cats. And Daken’s death was violent and cruel. I was bawling; snotty, ugly bawling. For at least 20 minutes straight. I actually had to put the book down for a while, and it took me several tries before I could pick it back up without crying. I know, I sound like a baby. But I can’t help it! Just thinking about it makes me want to cry. I felt like Daken was a real cat and I watched him die horribly in real life right in front of my eyes. It really affected me, guys. It’s still affecting me, 48 hours later. *wipes eyes*
There were other deaths, too, that affected me more than I thought they would. Two other deaths made me cry; one I didn’t think I cared much about the character, and the other I barely knew because he didn’t have much of a part. But his death was so awful that I couldn’t help it. « Hide Spoiler
This book will hit you right in the feels. I felt SO much while reading: shock, outrage, horror, despair. Mostly despair. *glares at Jay again* Never in my life have I suffered such emotional trauma at the hands of a book, nor have I had such a doozy of a book hangover. I had to put off this review for a couple days while I recovered! I found myself laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, just thinking about the book. It’s sad, really. I think I’m emotionally scarred…
But the shocks!!!! Izanagi’s balls! So many times I felt like my heart nearly stopped as I was broadsided with something else. This book kept me on my toes! And a few of the things we find out – Female, what?! Hana is what?! Yukiko is WHAT?!?! Kin, WHAT!!!! If you look at my Goodreads updates, it pretty much goes like this: “WAIT.” – “What?” – “WAIT WHAT?” – “What the f*ck?!” I couldn’t tell you how many times I said ‘What?!’ out loud. How many times I was engrossed, mouth agape, devouring sentences with dawning horror because I couldn’t believe what was happening.
I liked how the POVs bounced around to different characters. It was like getting several stories at once, and you could get a broader picture of what was happening. Plus, almost every chapter ended in a mini-cliffhanger, and because of the multiple POVs, it would take several chapters to come back to that person to find out what happened. There were a few times I wanted to skip forward to get back to said person just so I could find out! It made for very even, brisk pacing.
All in all, this book was awful and amazing all at once, and the feeling it gave me will stick with me for quite some time. Stormdancer was my favorite read of 2012, and Kinslayer is now my favorite read of 2013. If you haven’t read Stormdancer, I highly recommend it!
“I told you I’d sound like an idiot…”
“No, you don’t.”
YES, HE DOES.
THIS IS MY HELL, I SWEAR IT. WHEN I PASS INTO THE AFTERLIFE AND AM PUNISHED FOR MY SINS, THIS WILL BE MY TORMENT. SURROUNDED BY A SEA OF MOONING, ADOLESCENT MONKEY-BOYS. MUDDLING ABOUT IN PUDDLES OF THEIR OWN DRIBBLE.
YOU INTEND TO GO DOWN THERE?
If there are answers in this place, I’m guessing that’s where we’ll find them.
IT STINKS OF DEATH. THIS IS AN ASTONISHINGLY BAD IDEA.
This place has been deserted for decades, Buruu.
I WISH I HAD EYEBROWS, SO I COULD SCOWL AT YOU.
I can’t sense anything. There’s nobody here.
I WISH I HAD HANDS, SO I COULD WRITE A HISTORY OF YOUR EXPLOITS AND NAME THIS CHAPTER “THE WORST IDEA SHE EVER HAD.”
Gods, so just blast the wall with Raijin Song and come with me, then.
THE WALL IS SOLID GRANITE. WE WOULD HAVE BETTER LUCK KNOCKING HOLES IN IT WITH YOUR THICK HEAD.
Maybe you could just sarcasm it to death?
There is power in words. There are words that bid us laugh and make us weep. Words to begin with and words to end by. Words that seize the hearts in our chests and squeeze them tight, that set the skin on our bones to tingling. Words so beautiful they shape us, forever change us, live inside us for as long as we have breath to speak them. There are forgotten words. Killing words. Great and frightening and terrible words. There are True words.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jay Kristoff is a Perth-born, Melbourne-based author. His first trilogy, THE LOTUS WAR, was purchased in the three-way auction by US publishing houses in 2011. He is as surprised about it as you are. The first installment, STORMDANCER, is set to be published in September 2012 in the US, UK and Australia.
Jay is 6’7, has approximately 13870 days to live and does not believe in happy endings.