Toru – Wayfarer Returns (Sakura Steam #1) by Stephanie R. Sorensen: A Review

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Revolutionary young samurai with dirigibles take on Commodore Perry and his Black Ships in this alternate history steampunk technofantasy set in 1850s samurai-era Japan.

In Japan of 1852, the peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shoguns has lasted 250 years. Peace has turned to stagnation, however, as the commoners grow impoverished and their lords restless. Swords rust. Martial values decay. Foreign barbarians circle the island nation’s closed borders like vultures, growing ever more demanding.

Toru, a shipwrecked young fisherman rescued by American traders and taken to America, defies the Shogun’s ban on returning to Japan….. (Goodreads)

My Review
Rating: 4.3/5
Firstly, what an incredible cover! I was drawn to it straight away; it’s the reason I requested this review! This steampunk design has been commented on nearly every review I have read about Toru and there is a good reason for this.
I was surprised by how severely this book hooked me from the first page. I thought to myself, “oh, I’ll just try the first page and get back to it later” but then I was hooked and I didn’t stop reading until about half way and I reckoned that it was time for a small break…
I am a massive nerd when it comes to character development and setting so Toru hit the spot! I loved Toru and how he was so totally devoted to protecting his homeland, even at the risk of death. He is brave and a protagonist you want to succeed more than most others.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I NEED there to be more! it’s almost frustrating that Sorensen has not written anything else yet, but when she does I’m pre-ordering!
(I am honoured to have received a copy of this book from Palantir Press LLC for an honest review in return)


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