LOVED.IT.SO.HARD!Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for this ARC. I was really excited to read this and hoped it would live up to the hype - and IT.DID! Stormdancer begins with a gorgeous cover and continues with fantastic characters who take you on a spellbinding journey of love, sacrifice and hope that left me in tears. (Ugly-cry sobbing is more like it.) This story sucked me in right away and Jay Kristoff is a master worldbuilder. He transports the reader right into a Japan on the brink of war by painting such vivid pictures through sights, sounds and smells. (I kept catching myself covering my face, as if I could actually smell the stench.) The relationship between Yukiko and Buruu is honest and heart-aching in it's tenderness and left me wishing for a Buruu of my own. (Are you listening Santa?) Yukiko is definitely out numbered by men and Kin and Hiro are just two who find themselves rotating in her orbit. One is quiet and determined while the other is a fierce warrior. Both are loyal in their dedication and it's that loyalty that might just be their undoing. Yukiko does every girl proud with her strength, beauty and stubbornness. She doesn't do anything half way, whether it's fighting for what she believes in or loving those around her. She makes a few mistakes and learns some tough lessons about love and friendship but it's not until she suffers a gut wrenching betrayal that she learns the true meaning of sacrifice.The Lotus Wars has only just begun and I can't wait to see what happens next!