ARC REVIEW: Kinslayer (The Lotus War #2) by Jay Kristoff

Title: Kinslayer
Series: The Lotus War #2
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Pages: 432, Hardcover
Source: ARC obtained through trading

The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and 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 simultaneously – by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.

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.

Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’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.

Nicole of The Quiet Concert, 24, passed away on the evening of Friday, September 27, 2013 from excessive feels. Nicole was a relatively healthy young adult, but after reading Jay Kristoff's latest novel, Kinslayer, her heart succumbed to frequent and overwhelming bursts of emotion until it ceased to feel anything at all. Nicole will long be remembered for her love of YA and easy laugh, until Jay Kristoff came along ripped apart the very fabric of her being.
Was that morbid of me? Oh well. The roller coaster ride of feels that I went on while reading this book.... GOSH I don't think anything compares. Jay Kristoff - you are merciless and cruel! (Don't punish me Goodreads, I'm just kidding!).

But in all seriousness, this was a fantastic sequel. Kinslayer builds well upon Stormdancer in many ways. There is an obvious expansion in POVs, with an in depth glimpse into the lives of several key players. My heart broke over Kin and Ayane. I rooted for Hannah and Michi. I sympathized for Hiro.I prayed for Yukiko. So many strong characters in this series. Each with a different role to play. And I was invested in each and every story.

The plot progressed well from the first book's ending. The Kage are still fighting for their cause and The Guild are still trying to defeat them. There are some new players as well. While the ending of Kinslayer doesn't have the same impact as the ending of Stormdancer, there are still many events that are pretty significant game-changers. This book wasn't a stalemate like many middle books often are. (Then again, did anyone expect it to be?)

I just have one criticism with regards to Yukiko's role in this book. Her story was exciting, no doubt, but I didn't really see how it added anything to the overall plot. I think it was a diversion tactic because if she was more involved, things would have progressed farther than they did given Kristoff's style of writing.

But really. This book is all about the feels. Kristoff is not afraid to break your heart, piece it back together and then break it again. I cannot even begin to explain the anxiety, frustration, joy, sadness, adrenaline, fear, etc that I felt while reading this book. It was not uncommon for me to be totally loving a character and then totally hating that same character two pages later. It was just.. overwhelming.

Oh, and the world building was great too. The end.



  1. Hi Nicole *waves*
    What an awesomely enthusiastic (well maybe except for the morbid beginning *wink wink*) review! Love it! :) I've seen other people raving about how great Kinslayer was and how it made them feel so many feels!! :D I can't wait to read it myself, I loved the first one and I adore Jay, he is such a cool guy! :) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts :) looking forward to more of your reviews :)))

    Evie @Bookish

    1. Hi Evie! Thanks so much for the kind words :) I hope you love this book as much as I did. It will definitely put your heart through the wringer! Don't say I didn't warn you! ;)

  2. OMG, this one sounds epic! I loved Stormdancer to bits but haven't read Kinslayer yet. Loved the way you started the review, I'm sure I'm going to be in the same situation when I start this book.


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