The Blog for What to Play Next

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Let's Read: Stormdancer (Japanese Steampunk)

Yukiko is a member of the Fox clan, one of the four Shogunates of the increasingly industrialized Shima Empire. Those with Chi struggle to survive- both physically and spiritually. The rapid rise of machines, from airboats to gunpowder, has created a polluted environment that birds and beasts flee.

Once there were mythical creatures, but now these rumors are dismissed as legends by everyone but one very powerful Shogun of the Tiger Clan. His vision of riding a Stormtiger has become an imperative, much to his major domo's dismay. He's been ordered to find one, and no one even believes in them anymore.

Except poor Yukiko, who has every reason to both believe, and to regret having ever left the city for the last wilderness...

The first two chapters are richly engaging and set the stage for the epic that reviews promise.

A few questions: While spirit creatures are still a part of the culture, in fact each house has it's own guardian spirit, they're just starting to be dismissed as myths. How does this parallel religious views in modern day? While the Shima Isles closely resemble Japan, they're not the same- is it culturally acceptable to use a template and then take artistic liberties?

Pet peeves- Obsidian and pearl are not the most practical of building materials- obsidian is literally volcanic glass, so you can kind of fill in the blanks there. Also- it would be mother of pearl inlay, rather than individual pearls- unless it's a mosaic on the ceiling of Yoritomo-no-miya's home. Also a granite statue at each door with two guards equals a lot of guards and tigers, given that most houses are laid out in hallways, rather than great rooms.


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