by Jay Kristoff
Book 3 (final) of The Lotus War trilogy
**This is the last book in the series. The summary blurb and review will contain material that gives away pertinent information from previous books. Continue at your own risk, or skip this review until you've read all books.
The flames of civil war sweep across the Shima Imperium. With their plans to renew the Kazumitsu dynasty foiled, the Lotus Guild unleash their deadliest creation—a mechanical goliath known as the Earthcrusher, intended to unite the shattered Empire under a yoke of fear. With the Tiger Clan and their puppet Daimyo Hiro in tow, the Guild marches toward a battle for absolute dominion over the Isles.
A BROKEN REBELLION
Yukiko and Buruu are forced to take leadership of the Kagé rebellion, gathering new allies and old friends in an effort to unite the country against the chi-mongers. But the ghosts of Buruu’s past stand between them and the army they need, and Kin’s betrayal has destroyed all trust among their allies. When a new foe joins the war tearing the Imperium apart, it will be all the pair can do to muster the strength to fight, let alone win.
A FINAL BATTLE
The traitor Kin walks the halls of Guild power, his destiny only a bloody knife-stroke away. Hana and Yoshi struggle to find their place in a world now looking to them as heroes. Secret cabals within the Lotus Guild claw and struggle; one toward darkness, the other toward light. And as the earth splits asunder, as armies destroy each other for rule over an empire of lifeless ash and the final secret about blood lotus is revealed, the people of Shima will learn one last, horrifying truth.
There is nothing a mother won't do to keep her children by her side.
I'm finally done. This last concluding book of The Lotus War trilogy was more enjoyable to read than the previous book, Kinslayer, but not by much. The dramatics just keep rolling in, and I might have skimmed a lot of the last few chapters.
Anyway, I really don't know what else to say about this book, and this series in general, except that I'm kind of relieved I'm done with the trilogy.
It's not a terrible series, but it really just wasn't for me. Aside from the hot mess that was Kinslayer, I think the rest of the trilogy really just suffered from being a bit over-hyped. Yes, it's very creative and imaginative. Kristoff really is quite creative and imaginative. His writing is excellent if only he didn't get so carried away with words and details to the point of redundancy. A lot of this book felt like it was quite unnecessary, which made the book feel long just for the sake of being long.
But overall, it could have been a very enjoyable book, minus all the dramatics. Though I suppose some people go for that--I'm not one of them.
On a side note, there were probably two characters I really liked in this entire story: Hana and Michi. But both of these girls kind of get cheated in their endings, so I don't know how to feel about that.
The romance felt over-dramatic and I honestly could have done without. As I'd stated in my review of Kinslayer, I don't even remember there being any declarations of love or deep feelings and emotions being thrown around from Stormdancer, but a lot of the chaos really DID hinge on the fact that our main characters were feeling betrayed by people they had "loved," so I'm just going to blow over that one and move on.
Finally, I feel like if there were going to be big dramatics and gory deaths and stuff like that, then Kaori shouldn't have gotten such an easy end. She was just plain spiteful and mean throughout all three books, and NOTHING about her past history associated with the shogunate--none of those little flashbacks you get about Kaori's life before she was forced to join the rebels--made me feel any more sympathetic about her reasons for being hateful and mean.
But she gets her Happily Ever After™ while everyone else suffers their losses.
She wasn't responsible for much of the chaos, but she didn't do anything to help. She was hateful and mean because she was a spoiled brat who didn't get her way. Period.
As for our main triangle-not-quite-triangle... I didn't care for it. Moving along, I didn't care for the relationship between Yukiko and Buruu much either. Yes, it's kind of cool, but their thoughts and dialogue got mushy to the point of cringe-worthy cheese, because who talks like that? I've only seen dialogue like that in badly written romances.
On the other hand, Hana's relationship with Kaiah was actually kind of cool. Because they didn't have as much cheese in their dialogues with each other. Even Yoshi wasn't so bad either. But I never understood the significance of all his side tangents and how they contributed to this overly long story.
And while we were on the subject of dialogue: The dialogue spoken by the characters were hard to follow. One moment we're sounding like a fantasy, with awkwardly poetic sentences that remind me of badly translated Asian phrases. The next moment we have more modern colloquial speech with the back and forth bantering between characters.
The quality was extremely jarring and made it hard to focus... or even take all the tragic darkness of the events in this book very seriously.
So, okay, I guess I could think of more to say about this book than I'd thought.
And on that note, we're turning the page and moving on.
2016 Reading Challenges:
• Goodreads Reading Challenge
• BookLikes Reading Challenge
• Reading Assignment Challenge
• Bookish Resolutions Challenge
• Mount TBR Challenge
• COYER Summer Vacation 2016