Author: Jay KristoffPublish Date: Sept 2012Publisher: St. Martin’s PressA DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.
AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.
A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.
But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.
I want to thank St. Martin’s Press for allowing me the privilege of an ARC. ^_^ I am forever gratefully. (And as an added thought, the cover is GORGEOUS.)
Shima is a perfect steampunk dynasty. It was so vividly painted that it was more like watching a movie that reading a book. The words left nothing lacking in it’s tapestry.
Yukiko is a beautiful girl. Not in physical beauty because the labor of the world has hidden that away, but in ideal. She cares for what others would abandon or turn a blind eye and that is one of her greatest strengths. She’s slightly naïve in the beginning; she understands yet doesn’t really understand the matters at play that move her world. Her growth is one of the best ever written.
Buruu is special. He completes Yukiko. His reason, and sometimes lack thereof tempers her weaknesses and at times strengthens her as well. In the beginning Buruu didn’t need her and acted that way, but with all things, there’s a gradual understanding that grows into a beautiful love.
The story is quick paced. There’s never a page where something isn’t happening that isn’t important to the story. Every word has meaning and it’s written so well, that the plot doesn’t lead the reader by the nose. It unfolds rather beautifully and smoothly.
Overall, this book was superb. This was a perfect blend of history, mythology and steampunk ever experienced. There is certainly nothing like this and there’s no justifiable way to describe the perfection that is this unique story. A recommend read for all fantasy, YA, steampunk, Japanese, mythology readers.