Review: Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff

20 August, 2013 Reviews 16 comments

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Kinslayer by Jay KristoffKinslayer by Jay Kristoff
Series: The Lotus War #2
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on 12th September 2013
Pages: 352
Genres: High Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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.

Kristoff has said, many times, that he doesn’t believe in happy endings.  For the sake of all his readers, I once took him out for drinks and tried to get him terribly drunk.  The one flaw in my plan being that I am 5’8 and he is 7’monster.  My intention was to discover his true plans for the Stormdancer trilogy, and his earnestness about causing angst and heartbreak to his readers.

Alas, good folks, I can only surmise that Kristoff truly believes in neither happy endings or sparing his readers pain.  Kinslayer backs this up and more.  It is a brilliantly written, emotionally-packed book.  But I must warn you, it’s going to break your heart.  Kristoff pulls no punches and spares no pain.   Here is a visualization of my agony while reading.

Kinslayer feels

The only think I can imagine harder than readers needing extreme therapy for the pain this book will cause, is coping with the multiple view shifts.  Kinslayer has so many characters and interaction storylines that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re not used to tracking that much angst at once.

I just can’t help but feel like all my feelings have been used up.  Kristoff is an evil bastard.

The writing is, of course, beautiful.  Just stunning.  I can’t even with this writing. I wish I could quote some of it for you, but the second I finished reading this book, everyone I know turned up at my house and flogged the ARC from me.  I haven’t seen it since.  No, really.  They all worked out a reading schedule between them.  I’m told that I won’t see it again until 2014.

Of course, predictably, the Yukiko and Buruu dynamic is magic – and it really needed to be.  Because Yukiko has the hardest time ever, and I doubt she would have made it through without Buruu.  And no matter what else happens in this series, no matter what else shapes it, the relationship that Buruu and Yukiko have seems to be foundational.  Rather like Spock and Kirk.

In other news, Kin should die.

And Michi is so badass.  I mean, omg.  I wasn’t sure I’d get a girl crush even harder than the ones I have for both Captain Corsair from the Iron Seas Trilogy and Veronica Rossi.  But if Michi ever beckoned her finger at me, good lord I’d come running.  Even if it was just so that she could murder the hell out of me.

As I went through my notes of reading this book, I notice how often I said things like, “OMG!  They’re going to bone, aren’t they?” I don’t know what that either says about the novel or me.  Maybe it just says that my love for this series is highly inappropriate but true and eternal.

If you haven’t read it yet – read it.  READ IT NOW OR FACE MY WRATH!

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

16 Responses to “Review: Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff”

  1. Lisa FicTalk

    Annnnnnnd… now I’m skerred to read it. I have my copy sitting at home begging to be read but I will say it again, I’m scared. Ugh. But I will face my fears and read it this weekend. Gah.
    Great review, Kat!

  2. gypsyreviews

    After each chapter towards the end I had to put it down and sob to myself and deal with all the feels and the punches kept on coming. This book was so emotionally draining ;___; 
    YES YUKIKO AND BURUU <3 Can we please have a Mitchi fanclub because this girl wins all the awards. Ugh Kin. He deserves more than a tight slap. 
    Good thing is the next book will be out in 2014 so you won’t need your ARC of Kinslayer hehe 😉

  3. ya_aholic

    Hell yeah!!! I am apart of the September blog tour for Kinslayer, this review has made me 20 million times more excited to read it! Thanks for the review Kat (:

  4. livin_thru_arts

    Hooray! Some other person other than myself to “talk dirty *denendahadnana*” about Kinslayer with.

  5. Laureen

    I really want to read this series, but I need my happy endings! I’m so afraid to read something that I know will break my heart. Eeep. Thanks for sharing your review!

  6. Megan

    WOOT! Stormdancer was already a storm for me (ignore the bad pun), so I can only imagine how Kinslayer will be like. And it’s been getting SO MANY GOOD REVIEWS. I love that Yukiko and Buruu’s relationship is explored more here, because really – it wasn’t enough in Stormdancer. And you know what’s the scary part? I actually don’t mind that Jay doesn’t have a happy ending planned (at least, that’s why everyone’s hinting at). I think it would be refreshing. After all, not everything ends with everyone alive and all happy and yay, it’s the end. Either way, fab review, Kat!

  7. cynicalsapphire

    You’re only 5’8″? For some reason, I thought you would be taller. Also, he is a sasquatch. Obviously.
    Basically, the way to sum up Kristoff’s feelings on happiness is some gifs of Martin talking about his theories on killing folk. Maybe I will do that in my review. *plots*
    Bahaha. I’m pretty sure I called Jay an evil bastard in one of my status updates.
    YES, Michi. She’s amazing. I love love loved when she went nuts with those hair pins. Kill everyone. I’ll just be here drooling over how hot you are.
    WHO DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO BONE? I need the complete list. This is important business OKAY.

  8. Tory

    I’ve only read Stormdancer and I’m not sure if I should feel creeped out at myself for liking Buruu a lot. 🙁
    Charlotte (of Gypsy Reviews) has been tempting me with her copy of Kinslayer (we kind of live in a tiny country so..) after I announced that I’ve finished Stormdancer. T_T So with your feels-filled review, I will read Kinslayer ASAP!

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