Kinslayer is Book Two in Jay Kristoff's critically acclaimed Lotus War series that began with Stormdancer, featuring an unforgettable heroine and a stunningly original Japanese dystopian steampunk world
A SHATTERED EMPIRE
The mad Shogun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The toxic blood lotus flower continues to ravage the land, the deadlands splitting wider by the day. The machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild conspire to renew the nation's broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously - 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 by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father's death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko's anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo's clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he'd rather die than see realized.
A GATHERING STORM
Kagé assassins lurk within the Shogun's palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen's gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, 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.
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This is a great book in a great series. Love the setting. Outstanding example of the steampunk genre, with the Japanese twist to really tweak the flavor. Kristoff is on my list of favorite authors.