Review: Kinslayer, by Jay Kristoff
Kinslayer (The Lotus War #2), by Jay Kristoff • Published by Thomas Dunne Books • ★★★★ • GoodreadsIZANAGI'S BALLS.
That's the most fitting expression I can use from the book itself. Funny how a swearing expression can be crude and classy at the same time. (Izanagi is a god, in case you were wondering.) But that's how Kristoff rolls, I guess.
Kinslayer manages to stomp on my heart more than once and both times made me want to punch Kristoff in the face. It was my mistake to fall in love with the character, Ichizo. I know that much, so I was asking for it, but I couldn't help hoping. Now I know why hope is a dangerous thing. We shall not speak of Daken, the tomcat, here because it makes me want to hurl sharp things (like durian husks) at some particular author.
Kinslayer is a wonderful sequel, reuniting the reader with some of the characters we so loved from Stormdancer. Badass Michi being one of them! Of course, Buruu and Yukiko are present. I love how much their relationship has grown! NEVER CHANGE, BURUU AND YOUR TEASING OF MONKEY-CHILDREN. I also love the introduction of new characters! My new favourite is Hana and the possible shipping with Akihito. Yoshi makes me rage so much, it's ridiculous. The Phoenix clan's twin Daimyo amuses me, I think I have taken quite a liking to that clan. ;)
Despite the amount of feels that got crushed, there are also about just as many things going on in Kinslayer that I have a hard time keeping track of all of them. Firstly, we never got cleared up with Kaiah calling Buruu "Kinslayer", when that is the goddamn title of the book. Then there was that thing going on with the sea dragons and then later on the mention of Serpents -- not sure if there's a link between the two but CONFUSION ENSUES. Also, the new monkey-children of Yukiko's -- can I hear a "say whaaaaaaaaaaat"? Additionally, I'm always thinking about the oni that the Kage keeps fighting off. There's a civil war on one hand, and then there's these supernatural things that's going on in the background. I don't know, man.
With that said, despite the novel being titled Kinslayer, I am disappointed to say that Kin was not slayed in this novel. In fact, Kin slayed me (indirectly).
Considering how I was able to retain much of the story across three countries, Kinslayer is definitely a memorable book with all the unexpected plot twists and also predictability of some less complex twists. It lulls you into thinking you've got it under control before slamming you with a tsunami of feels. Great characters, great story, great world -- looking forward to Endsinger!