Friday 15 May 2020

The poppy war by RF Kuang

Hardcover, 530 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Harper Voyager
Series: The Poppy War #1

I did not know what to expect from this one. I started with a girl trying to find a way out of an arranged marriage, she will take this exam and go to the best school in the country! Luckily she is smart, but she is also desperate. Then she gets to the school, and there she is just a peasant while everyone else has the best connections and bloodlines.

But Rin is desperate and does everything to get ahead, I mean that one thing, dang girl!

I really can't say a lot more, she makes enemies, she makes one friend, she gets a teacher that sees her potential, one who sees her danger.

But I really want to talk about the coming war, shit gets dark as f. What we have here is a fantasy China in whatever age it is. Lurking across the sea is fantasy Japan. Then the war starts, there is a "rape of Naijnking" story and all the horrible stuff they ever did during the war, such gruesome cruelty that it hurts your eyes seeing it. It all builds up to making Rin so filled with revenge and anger that, oh I can't say but it does follow what happened during WWII.

Because there are others powers at play, there are Gods, there are shamans, there is power beyond your imagination.

I liked the book, and I do want book 2, but I mean, such darkness. She will destroy the world as she is at it. I do wonder how she can rein it it 

When Rin aced the Keju — the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies — it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard — the most elite military school in Nikan — was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power — an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive — and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away.

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity ... and that it may already be too late.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed, this is one of my favorite books! But heck yeah, it does get dark. I did not expect that turn at all, considering how "YA" it started out.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. It did start very YA and then F dark!

  2. Oh yes I remember about this one

  3. I don't know that I could handle a dark read right now. There's so much of that in the real world already.

  4. heard nothing but amazing things about this one, want to read

  5. I have wondered about this book. I do like dark reads so maybe I should give it a try.

    1. I think you should read it. It is only dark at times

  6. This one sounds dark and intense, glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Right now I can't handle something that dark. Glad you enjoyed it.



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