This is more than a book, folks. Like Feed by Mira Grant this is AN IDEA, A MESSAGE, and that's what is so effing cool about Stormdancer.
There are many eloquent and in depth reviews like this
, and I won't be able to compare with their awesomeness, so I'll just underline my bullet points for you.
Why this book is so EPIC?
1. Incredibly rich, detailed world-building. In fact it's so overwhelming, it took me about 40 pages to get used to the style and start feeling comfortable reading it.
2. Beautiful Asian culture. As far as I can understand, Stormdancer is a mix of Chinese and Japanese cultures, and alternative reality with its own rules and nuances. I can understand that for someone who knows those cultures well, to red this book is a bit frustrating, but for those f us who don't - it's breathtaking.
3. Unique steampunk elements like tattoos that come alive, airships and mechanisms powered by blood lotus chi, chainsaw katanas and Iron Samurai which reminded me of this...
4. Buruu's charisma. Buruu is a thunder tiger Yukiko is sent to capture and deliver to her shogun. However Yukiko and Buruu bond because of her unique gift of getting into the minds of other creatures and talking to them. The more they are together the more their personalities intertwine with each other. Buruu receives some of Yukiko's humanity and she gets some of his wildness and berserker's rage in fight.
Yukiko gasped as if she'd been stabbed, a rasping intake through a throat squeezed closed by grief, exhaled in an agonized, choking sob.
Kill him. Forget me, brother. Fight. FIGHT.
FEATHERS GROW BACK.
"No, please," she moaned under the growling steel. "No."
SISTERS DO NOT.
5. Kin, a boy just like Yukiko caught between his duty to his clan and his desire to escape The Guild. The girl he meets is a catalyst for his change, for all his rebellious thoughts of freedom to rise up to the surface.
6. There is only slight romantic element, which is a moving part of the plot but hardly takes space. Above all, this is a book about revolution, much needed change and rising up while you can.
7. At last this is a story of an environmental disaster, of dying land that chose technological progress, to become an Empire constantly at war with the rest of the world at horrifying cost to itself. Nature versus destructive force of technology with no regards to the consequences.
I lowered my rating of Stormdancer by half a point only because it took me awhile to get used to the writing, however after that the book grabbed me and didn't let go until the very end sentence which I finished... and cried.
Recommended to everyone, especially to those who don't mind very descriptive books.