The second novel in Jay Kristoff's epic The Lotus War Trilogy, Kinslayer sees an empire fall to its knees and a fledgling rebellion struggle to survive.
A shattered empire . . .
The threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation's broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion by endorsing a new Shogun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.
A dark legacy . . .
Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father's death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts.
A gathering storm . . .
Kagé assassins lurk within the Shogun's palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A new enemy gathers its strength. And across raging oceans, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat. The ghosts of a blood-stained past.
The second Japanese-flavored steampunk adventure in the Lotus War series (after 2012's Stormdancer) starts with a bang when teen kitsune Yukiko, craving revenge for her father's murder, destroys three Lotus Guild warships. But the tides turn when Lord Hiro, Yukiko's former lover and the Guild's foremost ally, declares himself the Daimyo. Yukiko's uncontrollable powers also become as dangerous as any enemy. The Guild stands poised to crush Yukiko's burgeoning rebellion, and the empire's fate hangs on three unlikely people: Artificer Kin, increasingly conflicted about his decision to follow Yukiko; Burakumin Hana, derided and considered beneath notice; and Kage Michi, a maidservant whose relationship with a magistrate threatens more than her heart. Though Kristoff opens with a character refresher, new readers might have difficulty following the story, and while the action scenes are just as thrilling and the plot even more fast-paced than in the first volume, this sequel is undermined by its increasingly one-note pseudo-Japanese setting, as well as its reliance on predictable tropes.