Release Date: 13/09/12
Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him. But the mission proves less impossible and more deadly than anyone expects. Soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. Alhough she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, all she knows for certain is he'd rather see her dead than help her. Yet trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu form a surprising and powerful bond. Meanwhile, the country verges on collapse. A toxic fuel is choking the land, the machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure, and the Shogun cares for nothing but his own dominion. Authority has always made Yukiko uneasy, but her world changes when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets, and the rebel Kage cabal. She learns the horrifying extent of the Shogun's crimes, both against her country and her family. Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu are determined to make the Shogun pay -- but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?
This was a bit of a wildcard for me and whilst it was summed up as Japanese Steampunk, I thought that the description detracted from a lot of the fantasy elements within as it felt that these were only really a small part of this extraordinary world as a whole. It had great world building, cracking descriptions and when backed with a solid understanding of weaving the many threads together to help create a legend, the author really spent a lot of time and affection with the pages.
Back this up with the addition of the Thunder Tiger (basically think Griffin with Tiger instead of Lion) and a lead character who finds out what she can accomplish when push comes to shove. All in wonderfully written and its going to be interesting to see how the world will develop in future instalments. I really can’t wait to embark with Storm Girl again.