I just checked out the American book cover; the art just nails the tone of these books. Yukiko, goggles around her neck looking bad-ass whilst a Dragon and an Arashitora battle behind her? Fuck yea! I just don't dig the more subtle English covers of Yukiko doing yoga by waterfalls. I'm posting a picture of the American art at the bottom of the page for your enjoyment.
Anyway, onto the review. Jay Kristoff continues the Lotus War with another action packed, chi-fuelled Japanese Steampunk adventure. Whilst less emotional than Stormdancer, Kinslayer continues Yukiko's tale in style.
Kristoff introduces a slew of new characters, notable for the fact that most of these are take-no-shit, kick-ass women. Whilst I found it incredibly refreshing to read a book led by strong female characters, I did on occasion worry that No-one, Michi and Yukiko all sometimes felt like the same character in different situations. Unless Jay Kristoff was doing this on purpose. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think he probably was. Good show.
In any case, this isn't an overly negative point from me, as I greatly enjoyed the different stories of these characters, particularly Michi's tale of love and duty. I look forward to seeing how these characters develop in next book.
Jay Kristoff seems a little more comfortable with his writing style this time around. He uses a lot of beautifully descriptive metaphors, often describing the same thing differently when viewed from the perspective of different characters. It's a joy to learn about the characters from their descriptive perceptions. This book is also a lot more brutal and gory than I remember Stormdancer being, but it's all well written, with the final few chapters being completely gripping.
To be honest, I flew through this book in almost no time at all, and enjoyed it all the way. If there's better praise for a book out there, then I've yet to hear it.