Instead of writing one huge post of all the books I’m looking forward to in 2012 with info on them, I had decided to highlight some of these books in their own posts throughout the rest of 2011. I’ve decided to carry this feature forward into this year as I discover new books coming out this year that sound interesting and continue with books of 2013 as it gets closer to the end of the year.

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

This has very quickly become one of my MOST HIGHLY anticipated books of this year. Let me count the ways it’s making me want it now:

  1. Aesthetically pleasing red and black cover. (What can I say, red and black quite often make for a pretty eye-catching cover.)
  2. This quote by Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear:

    What’s that? You say you’ve got a Japanese Steampunk novel with mythic creatures, civil unrest, and a strong female protagonist? I’m afraid I missed everything you said after “Japanese Steampunk.” That’s all I really needed to hear.

    (Yeah, that’s all I need to hear, too, although the strong female protagonist, mythic creatures, and civil unrest are all huge bonuses.)
  3. This excerpt of the first three chapters on (Usually I look at excerpts and find myself less excited by the book. In this case, it made me much more excited.)
  4. Early reviews on Goodreads have been very positive. (And what the author had to say about it just made me WANT IT MORE.)

Stormdancer is a debut novel and the first book in The Lotus War trilogy. It will be released in hardcover and ebook in the US and the UK in September. (September?! But that’s 2 months away…)

About Stormdancer:

The first in an epic new fantasy series, introducing an unforgettable new heroine and a stunningly original dystopian steampunk world with a flavor of feudal Japan.

The Shima Imperium  verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever. 

The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death. 

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

Other Books of 2012: