Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff

Kinslayer

So, remember a few months ago when I read a Japanese-steampunk novel called Stormdancer and totally enjoyed it? Well, Kinslayer is the sequel! Welcome to The Lotus War trilogy, which is super awesome. And since this is about Kinslayer, BEWARE THE SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK. GO READ STORMDANCER, AND THEN COME BACK HERE. SPOILERS!

Got it? Good.

Kinslayer picks up several weeks after the end of the first book, and Shima is in turmoil. Yukiko and Buruu have been travelling, urging citizens to rise up against the Guild and the clan leaders while also fighting airships and trying to defend the location of the rebels. Yukiko hasn’t been right since her father’s death – despite not crying yet, she’s drowning in grief. Her ability to speak to animals is becoming too powerful for her to control, and she’s drinking to keep her various aches away. Civil war is eminent and the Lotus Guild decide to support the person who wants nothing more than to see Yukiko dead, pulling strings to declare him the next Shogun of Shima. And Kin is struggling to prove himself to the Kage rebels, who don’t trust that he’s no longer a Guildsman.

If you read and enjoyed Stormdancer and you’re wondering if the sequel is any good, the answer is ABSOLUTELY. There’s no Second Book Syndrome here – there are new, interesting characters and big twists and a lot of action. There’s a new character by the name of Hana who I really, really love. And man, I just love the interactions between Yukiko and Buruu:

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.”

They are awesome. *big grin*

I just connected with this book really well. I sympathized for Yukiko, I felt conflicted for Kin, I worried for Hana and her family, and I rooted for everyone the whole time. Has any one else read this yet? Because there were some shockers and pleasant surprises and some stuff I didn’t see coming and I wanna TALK to y’all about it, damn it. Kinslayer is vibrant, exciting, and has me eagerly awaiting the third book (which I hear is due to come out in September). Until then, there’s an e-book novella prequel thing called The Last Stormdancer that I’m going to check out.

Sarah Says: 4.5 stars

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