Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the wake of Yukiko slaying the Shogun, Hiro is tapped to wed Aisha and be the new Shogun to save the Shima Imperium. Meanwhile, Yukiko's powers are out of control and she and Buruu head north seeking knowledge. Will they return in time to aid the Kage and stop Hiro's impending wedding?
I received this book from the fine folks at St. Martin's in exchange for reviewing it.
Kinslayer is the second book in the Lotus War trilogy and Jay Kristoff Empire-Strikes-Backed the hell out of it. Things start off rough, with Yukiko bleeding and having headaches every time she uses her Kenning, Hiro being tapped to be the new Shogun, and the Kage doing their best to make Kin feel unwelcome, and keep getting worse.
Kristoff bounces between multiple plotlines, further fleshing out the Kage and their various cells. Michi-chan and her romance with Ichizo, Hana and her brother, Daichi and the bulk of the Kage, and Yukiko and Buruu share more or less equal time. Pretty much all of the characters go through the wringer, multiple times in many cases.
The story of Hana, her brother Yoshi, and her brother's boyfriend was my favorite, complete with the reveal at the end. Poor Kin. After Isao and the others treated him like crap, I didn't hate him very much when he Lando-ed everyone at the end. Hell, everyone except Daichi was an asshole to him so what did they expect to happen?
Yukiko and Buruu didn't actually do much that pertained to the main plotline, heading north to find the tattooed monks and encountering two more arashitora and some gajin. Although, that wasn't completely true. I should have seen what was really wrong with Yukiko coming a mile away and Kristoff surprised the crap out of me. Good show, old sport.
Kinslayer was very nearly as good as Stormdancer and I can't wait to see what Jay Kristoff is planning for the next installment of the series. He sure left things as messy as a frat house bathroom when he left off.
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