Review: Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff

Kinslayer (#2 of 3) by Jay Kristoff

Published Year: 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy
Subtitle: No Thank You

"A SHATTERED EMPIRE 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.

A DARK LEGACY 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.

A GATHERING STORM 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."

So, I tried to like this series, I really wanted to like this series, and for the most part I enjoyed Stormdancer (book #1). But I just couldn’t enjoy this one.

Yukiko started off in this really dark place at the beginning of this book, and it immediately grabbed my attention. Most YA writers won’t risk putting their main characters in such a dark place, so I was intrigued. But then JK just lost me. There was really no plot in the main story line. He introduces two completely new storylines that (I assume) will come together in the third book, which complicated the narrative without actually moving it forward.

Not only was there little character development and no plot direction, but I also found the writing style overly complicated. It was almost superfluous, in that I would get this flowery description of a feeling but would still be confused as to what the character was actually feeling.

This book was also very fixated on, ahem, the objectification of women. Every five pages, Yukiko’s breasts were exposed for this reason or that reason. The descriptions of every female included pouty lips or big bright eyes and how a man’s eyes would follow them. Including when it was from a female's point of view. Even the dragon was overcome by the scent of a female dragon, leaving Yukiko to die while he chased after her. It was just ridiculous. Also, not every character can be beautiful. It's unrealistic and makes it read like a world of creepy, robot barbies. Okay, rant over.

I just didn't enjoy reading this book and can safely say that I won’t be picking up book #3.

1 out of 5 stars.