When I first got the book:When I finished this book:ETA: There will be a proper review. I'm just getting words and thoughts and things.ETA 2: ALSO - STORMDANCER IS ON NETGALLEY. Bloggers, Librarians, Reviewers - GO AT IT, NAO.ETA 3: Oh look, an actual review.As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!Random fact that no one cares about:Stormdancer and Cinder by Marissa Meyer were two of my most favoritist books of 2012. This is extra cool to me because Marissa loved Stormdancer, too. (Her praise is in the official blurbs.) It made me love her and respect her amazingly awesome taste even more.Now I should continue with an actual review of the GREATEST BOOK BASED ON JAPANESE CULTURE THAT I HAVE EVER READ. (Just because I'm pretty positive it's the first makes absolutely no difference to the truth of that statement.) So I won this book from Katieb at Mundie Moms. (Lemme just thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou a thousand times more, Katie!) I was so shocked and f*cking ecstatic that I terrified my cat with my cheers. I celebrated by watching Tangled and eating some delicious homemade cookies. When it arrived, I again frightened my cat and immediately buried myself in the pages of this book. It was totally worth almost suffocating.Its prose is lyrical and addicting. Mr. Kristoff literally paints with his words. I could see the scenery, characters and setting as clear as I can see through glass. Stormdancer is an easy book to fall in love with, if just for the writing.The characters are wonderful! Jay gave us characters to hate, characters to wonder about and characters to adore. Yukiko, our heroine, is a strong, independent girl. It's very easy to connect with her and root for her as she discovers herself on this crazy adventure. Buruu. Oh Buruu, I will love you forever. I would like to snuggle with you and call you my best friend. The friendship that blooms between Buruu and Yukiko doesn't happen over night. Buruu is cautious, as he has every right to be, but by the end, they are BFFs. I loved the angst between Yukiko and her father, Masaru. I live for angst. And their family drama satisfied me for a week afterwards. Yoritomo-no-miya, Seii Taishogun of the Shima Isles, can eat poop for breakfast. That's how much I hate him. Parts of the book were predictable, but then there were shockers that left me reeling. At the end, I was sobbing and crying out for my mother. (Then she came into my room without knocking and I yelled at her for interrupting the epicness that was the end of Stormdancer.) There was nothing about the book that I didn't like… Okay, there was one thing, but I can't tell you because it's a spoiler. Just know that Jay says in his bio that he doesn't believe in happy endings. See HERE - down at the bottom after he gives you his height and tells you how long he thinks he has to live. (THINKS)My mom has this to say about the book: "It must be damn good if you are crying like that. I don't want to read it. I cry enough as it is. Ooh, that cover is gorgeous! If you ever get a tattoo like that, I will disown you and take your cat." Thank you for your wisdom, Momma H.I triple-dog dare you to pre-order this book. THAT'S RIGHT. TRIPLE. DOG. DARE. You won't regret it. If you do, I send you a pound of chocolate. And that's a lot of chocolate. If this "being an author" thing doesn't work out for him, Jay's got a great chance of being a songwriter. Keep that in mind as you read. I received a copy of this novel from a giveaway.