Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shōgun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail the Lord of the Shima Isles, no matter how hopeless the task.
But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, and even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is that he’d rather see her dead than help her. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.
Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel called chi is slowly choking the flora and fauna of the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those that they deem Impure; and the Shōgun, ensconced in his palace, cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, but it's only when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets of his own, and the Kagé, a rebel cabal hiding in the wilderness, that she learns the awful truth of what the Shōgun has done, both to her country and to her own family.
Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu are determined to make the Shōgun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?
The novel attracted praise from authors and reviewers alike:
'Jay Kristoff's Yukiko and her indomitable thunder tiger's entertaining adventures have just sent steampunk gloriously Asian' Stephen Hunt, internationally bestselling author of The Kingdom Beyond the Sea
'What's that? You say you've got a Japanese Steampunk novel with mythic creatures, civil unrest, and a strong female protagonist? I'm afraid I missed everything you said after "Japanese Steampunk." That's all I really needed to hear' Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind
'Stormdancer is an intoxicating joyride into steampunklandia with a magical dose of mythology, the supernatural, violence, dystopian themes, and a top-notch brassy heroine who rivals Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. Yes, I did say that!. . . The debut novel brings a new twist to steampunk and dystopian fiction that leaves readers clamoring for more' Huffington Post
The hardback jacket was stunning but our art department is never one to rest upon their laurels so they've revised it slightly for the paperback edition. What do you think?
Also, we've just had the second novel in the Lotus War series delivered by Jay. Kinslayer continues the story begun in Stormdancer and is publishing in September this year! Watch this space for the cover and blurb coming shortly...