The Poppy War
A powerful epic fantasy novel with roots in the 20th-century history of China.
A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.
When Rin aced...more
I have no doubt this will end up being the best fantasy debut of the year. No no, scratch that understatement. Ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you a review for The Poppy War, a book that will go down as one of the best grimdark/military fantasy debuts of all time.
Once in a while, there comes a book that you just know will be a fantastic book just from the premise or the cover; this was one of those books for me ...more
The Poppy War is a really good book.
I wish my pupils were at least heart-shaped so I could more accurately demonstrate my passion but if I ever die suddenly and don't have time to say anything profound, just know that my real last words will always be about how much I love this book.
So, what's this book about?
The Poppy War is a historical military fantasy grounded in the bloody history of China’s 20th century in ...more
“But I warn you, little warrior. The price of power is pain.”
Holy hell, what did I just read??
➽ A fantasy military school
➽ A rich world based on modern Chinese history
➽ Shamans and gods
➽ Detailed characterization leading to unforgettable characters
➽ Adorable, opium-smoking mentors
That's a basic list, but this book is all of that and SO MUCH MORE. I know 100% that The Poppy War will be one of my best reads of 2018.
Isn't it just so great when you find one of those books that completely drags y ...more
THE POPPY WAR is my book, so I'm obviously a bit biased. I wrote it over three months during the winter of 2015, signed with an agent in February 2016, and sold the book to Harper Voyager during my birthday weekend in May 2016. It's been nearly two years since then, so I'm terribly excited for it to finally go out in the world!
I'm going to use this space to tell you a little about THE POPPY WAR in case you're wondering whether you might enjoy reading it. This book is not a romance sto ...more
This was such an amazing read and cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of the trilogy. The books will be insta buys for me!
War, school, magic, no freaking romance... This book kept me on my toes.
I have no doubt this series will become huge and I'll make sure to rave about it until you all read it!
PS. Just wanted to add that there are trigger warnings for... well everything. Self harm, drug use, rape, etc. It's a pretty dark book! ...more
The Nikara believed in strictly defined social roles, a rigid hierarchy that all were locked into at birth. Everything had its own place under heaven. Princelings became Warlords, cadets became soldiers, and orphan shopgirls from Tikany should be content with remaining orphan shopgirls from Tikany.Epic. Spectacular. Breathtaking. This is the one of the best books I have ever read in my adult life. I literally could not put it down. I'm gushing, I know ...more
Well, fuck the heavenly order of things.
Gods, magic, and war. A military fantasy where the atmosphere inspired by Song Dynasty and the conflict in the book based on The Second Sino-Japanese War, you can be sure that this book won't be an easy one. Brutal story. Incredible world-building. Excellent writing. This is a story that asks us to examine how we weigh the life of ‘the other’, how we justify atrocities, and what it means to be human. Definitely wouldn’t recommend for a younger read ...more
This book. I mean… THIS BOOK! *sighs deeply and shakes head*
There is so much to be said about “The Poppy War” and I’m afraid I won’t even be able to put at least half of my thoughts into decent sentences. Because after finishing this book about a month ago (A MONTH AGO!!!) I still have tr ...more
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
“But I warn you, little warrior. The price of power is pain.”
First and foremost, please go read one of my best friends in this entire world’s review: Petrik’s review is not only amazing, he is also an ownvoices Chinese reviewer. Next, I just want to warn you guys that this is a very dark book that is heavily inspired by the Nanking Massacre. Please use caution and know that this book has major trigger and co ...more
Boy, did it take me forever to finish this thing.
I really wanted to love this book. One of my favorite reviewers adored it and sang it's praises, but it just didn't draw me in the way I thought it would.
The last 150 pages or so got really good (thus why I rated it 3 instead of the possible 2 I was planning on up until that point - not that it matters) and I smashed through them in one sitting; however, it still didn't save the entire book for me.
I felt that the world-building was lo ...more
The writing was exquisite. It drew me in, and kept me hooked. It felt like I was watching a movie in my head, everything was so vivid, mesmerising but also heartbreaking. From descriptions of the setting, to the history and ...more
(Note that this is not throughout the book; the torture and graphic death are mostly present in 2 chapters)
This is a adult grimdark fantasy inspired by the historical events of the second Sino-Japanese war. It weaves the fantastical elements of magic and gods with the grim realities of war. I adored our characters and ...more
This is dark and heavy and not at all an easy read. It’s a story of vengeance, hatred, and manipulation. Added to the bleak retelling of the darkest period in Chinese history, it’s a painful book to read. But it’s so, so good.
Rin, a peasant from the south, is a ruthless, determined, ambitious character who craves power over all other things. She’s a student at Sinegard, a prestigious military academy, but she stands out because of her dark skin and accent. She ...more
☆ You write a pungent review, crushed beneath the waves of disappointment.
✯ You write a loving criticism, pleased that it was good but displeased that it was not that good.
★ You write a gushing piece, declaring your heart stolen and your soul sold.
I was hoping for the third.
But I’ll settle for the second.
“You will be offered power beyond your imagination. But
This isn’t some fluffy little tale about teenage romance and personal discovery (although it may seem that way in the beginning.) This is a book about reality. Now that’s an odd thing to say isn’t it? Reality? We’re talking about fantasy here. But do let me explain.
This is a book about the realities of war. War isn’t pretty. War isn’t about heroic ...more
- ancient chinese proverb
lets get down to business. there is a lot to unpack with this book, so im going to use this review as a way to process my thoughts. to begin, the story is broken down into three parts.
part one - this felt very YA to me. students are gathered at an elite school to train to become top soldiers for an imminent war. we get introductions to characters and decent world building. its very straight forward feel to this section.
part two - t ...more
This novel started out so strong for me, and I can't believe how little I was enjoying it toward the end. This novel reads like two separate people wrote it. I loved the first 40 percent. I know people have compared The Poppy War to The Kingkiller Chronicle because of the academy setting and the fact that the main characters don't have much going on personality-wise. I get that criticism, but I was just enjoying the academy and the classes and everythi ...more
Oh, Rin 🖤
"Warfare was about absolutes. Us or them. Victory or defeat. There was no middle way. There was no mercy. No surrender."
And this happens exactly in this book.
I want to talk about so many things but it's just that there are so many things that I can talk about which might actually become spoilers so I am in a dilemma since yesterday as to how to write the review about this book.
This book is so many things at once (as it's supposed t ...more
Me: typing this post while trying not to move my neck because this book gave me a spine-cracking case of whiplash…
What just happened? I haven’t experienced this kind of love/hate 180 with a book in years. It’s like this was written by two people. One would be an author I would add to my auto-buy list. The other I would never read again.
Let me go ahead and throw out the obligatory “SPOILERS” warning now, because I have some feels and I need to talk about them without censuring myself.
This book is ...more
“You humans inflict everything on yourselves, and then blame us afterward. Every calamity has been man-made.”
And this is exactly why I don’t read fantasy nearly as often as I should. I am wiped the fuck out. I’m not even going to try and be coherent here, no point.
This was exhausting and traumatic and INcredible to read. And I expected that. But I was not prepared for this story to wrap itself ...more
I can relate to so much with Rin. I love her and so many others. There were a few things but they were just mentioned so it was not as bad. There are some graphically human stuff but that’s okay. Either way, a fantastic book!
Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 ...more
Rin is a war orphan who works at her foster parents' shop and their main income is created by dealing drugs. Only just into her teenage years, Rin is offered a proposal to marry and bear children for an unattractive gentleman three times her age who has no redeeming qualities. She decides she needs to escape this prese ...more
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Whew. I buddy-read this with my friends Maraya and Sage and I'm honestly glad it was a team effort, because I'm not sure I would have gotten through the book on my own. The last time I tried to read this, I ended up quitting at 14% because I was so bored. THE POPPY WAR is a pretty widely-read book that a lot of people have read and have opinions about and I guess I'm just one of the masses in that regard, because I have a lot of things t ...more
• Altan [redacted] makes me so sad and umm ... I refuse to accept it? Turn up in The Dragon Republic king !
• Altan + Changhan .. does anyone else get a gay vibe
• I loved Nezha in this SO MUCH MORE THAN THE FIRST TIME and he really is my piece of shit son
• the scene where Nezha and Rin fight back to back IS art I don't take criticism
• KITAY NEEDS PROTECTION AT ALL COSTS
• I love this fantasy so much like ... interestin ...more
|YA Buddy Readers'...: The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang - Restarting April 10th 2021||76||139||7 hours, 8 min ago|
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