Stormdancer 


I’ll admit that I was very ambivalent about picking this up. One was the Japanese steampunk which made me interested and the other was the reviews of this. 

And when I reached the end, this was an awkward book when judged on the Japanese context. It was right in terms of mythology, and what I know of it. But the most awkward was the dialogue which included Aiya, that’s very clearly Chinese in origin and awkward to even read. And sometimes it didn’t feel as though it came from a Japanese setting. 

Worldbuilding wise, it was interesting to read about it, that the development was eventually killing the world. And fascinating as well. The Lotus guild was interesting here, even though their obsession with killing those with abilities had been strange, it never made any sense to me why they did it.  

As for the characters, they weren’t interesting enough at times. I just didn’t feel connected enough to care about them. Yukiko may be an action girl and everything but I just couldn’t not wanted to even care about her pain. But at least her background was interesting with her mother being killed and seeing her own brother there. But at least she isn’t an utter tomboy, and that I did have moments where I got what she was feeling. 

As for Buruu, apart from his initial hostility towards Yukiko, there wasn’t anything else that told me they weren’t close. And that his words being written in caps made it all the more annoying and even strange. Maybe in something that doesn’t sound like screaming would I just continue reading this. But their relationship was close and I did like him, when he cooperated instead of being hopelessly stubborn. 

As for the main villain, he was largely a flat and uninteresting villain. I didn’t understand or even know what he wanted, did he want them to listen, or did he just want everything to go his way. And madness isn’t an answer, people go mad for many different reasons and I didn’t think there were any. His motivations feel shallow, and that people took such a long time to realise they are working for a madman, okay maybe they are loyal but this long is pretty much insane. It just seemed that he wanted to ride and Arashinotora and decided to ask another to capture. 

And both sides were pretty extreme. The Kage although being interesting, I feel as though they are extreme and just want to destroy the lotus guild and the leader. And the other seems to be obsessed with hunting those who are impure and just continuing their power. Apart from the deaths, it makes me wonder how does the country even grow its food. Given the amount of beggars I have seen, which appeared in so many scenes, but I didn’t see much of those who grew the food. But the one or two mentions about the rebellion and riots were there, but I feel it really wasn’t enough. 

Plot wise, it was rather interesting. Even though I wouldn’t entrust all of it on a name of a family and Yukiko. But there were many moments when it tries to tell me something about it. And Aisha is a character that I would say have no motives for helping Yukiko. I didn’t get any hints as to why she did it. And made no sense to me at all. 

Other than that I did rather like this book, it had some pretty good moments. But it was likely from the fact I was way too tired from trying to study that I read this with much of my brain already off. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reading the sequel: maybe, I just don’t know about this book. 

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