By: Jay Kristoff
Jay Kristoff is quickly becoming my favorite author.
When I read Stormdancer, I was most impressed by the world building, but now that I’m quite familiar with Shima, the blood lotus, and the Guild, I had time to notice the writing. What I find so wonderful about it is how effective it is in painting a picture. There is not a wasted metaphor in sight. Imagery and metaphor flow and blend in such a casual way that you don’t notice it by itself, it just makes the scene that much more vivid. The author also utilizes short sentences to create a sense of force and urgency and he does it in just the right places. I’m a fan of short and to-the-point sentences mixed in with fancier writing. It keeps the writing from getting out of hand and distracting from the story.
As for the story, things get more complex. Good and evil is not as black and white as it was in the first book. Some of the Kage are blinded by hatred and vengeance, rather than being the noble revolutionaries they were at first glance. Saving the world from itself is messy. Things are a lot harder on Yukiko this time around and she has to dig deep to figure out exactly what she’s doing and why she’s doing it. You can’t just start a revolution and fly off on your thunder tiger and be a hero.
The character complexity was really good here. People make choices I wouldn’t have expected, but after thinking about what they’ve been through, it makes sense in the end. I want characters to behave unpredictably so I can think about why later. It’s not just the time reading the words on the page, but the time in-between reading, thinking about what I have read, that I enjoy so much.
I won’t give much away here but…GAIJIN! Yes, we finally catch a glimpse of the round-eyed barbarians and their own brand of steampunk technology, which is pretty awesome.
This series so far is amazing and I can’t wait to find out how it all ends in book 3, Endsinger. Until next time…