The Poppy War Epub ✓ The Poppy eBook º


The Poppy War [PDF / EPUB] The Poppy War A Best of May Science Fiction and Fantasy pick by , Barnes and Noble, Audible, The Verge, SyFy Wire, and Kirkus I have no doubt this will end up being the best fantasy debut of the year I have absolut A Best of May Science Fiction and Fantasy pick by , Barnes and Noble, Audible, The Verge, SyFy Wire, and Kirkus I have no doubt this will end up being the best fantasy debut of the year I have absolutely no doubt that Kuang s name will be up there with the likes of Robin Hobb and NK Jemisin BooknestA brilliantly imaginative talent makes The Poppy eBook º 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 NK Jemisin s Inheritance TrilogyWhen 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 evensurprisingBut surprises aren t always goodBecause 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 meanthan just surviving schoolFor 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 awayRin s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people But as she finds outabout the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanityand that it may already be too late.

    EPUB is an ebook file format 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 evensurprisingBut surprises aren t always goodBecause 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 meanthan just surviving schoolFor 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 awayRin s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people But as she finds outabout the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanityand that it may already be too late."/>
  • Paperback
  • 544 pages
  • The Poppy War
  • R.F. Kuang
  • 03 April 2017
  • 9780062662583

About the Author: R.F. Kuang

Hello I use Goodreads to support books I really loved I don t review or even always finish books I don t like so it s mostly star ratings here I don t check GR very often so I don t respond to friend requests or messages If you d like to get in touch, find me on Twitter or at my author The Poppy eBook º website thanks.



10 thoughts on “The Poppy War

  1. says:

    A really good book has a beginning, a middle, and then it absolutely ends you The Poppy War is a really good book I wish my pupils were at least heart shaped so I could 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 which Rin a dark skinned war orphan from the rural south has fixed her heart on passing the Empire wide placement test and attending the most prestigious military academy in Nikan, as a desperate lunge at the hope of escaping the gruesome inevitability of an arranged marriage.A year at Sinegard of her rival classmates all heirs of the Warlords and the wealthy and privileged telling her to cease the folly of imagining herself their equal only gave Rin s determination a savage edge, and soon Rin learns, with the aid of her seemingly insane and much disdained teacher, that she possesses a lethal aptitude for the nearly mythical art of shamanism.But the chain of wonders and horrors hadn t ended with her discovery the Nikans had lived with the certainty that sooner or later the Federation of Mugan would come and blood would flow, and when they did, Rin finds herself assigned to a company of the Cike oddball misfits with shamanic powers fighting for her country s very survival Through their shared heritage and a connection to a perilous divinity, Rin glimpses the world as her Commander Altan sees it made simple by the righteousness and fury that were the legacy of their unjustly murdered people And it made a good whetstone upon which to sharpen her own rage Rin is determined to win this war and do whatever it takes to ensure that her country would never again be forced to its knees.But just how many of those unavoidable choices will result in unforgivable consequences War doesn t determine who s right War determines who remains To be honest, summing up the plot of The Poppy War does it a huge disservice For one thing, it unfurls into at least three books worth of plot, but without ever feeling rushed or anything less than sure footed and scrupulous in its exploration of character and setting This is a dazzling debut painted by an inventive hand that takes hold and doesn t let go It s full of imaginative flair, mad entombed gods, truths too heavy for the hearts, and a high stakes quest for revenge blending magical elements with a culturally vibrant cast of characters and creating a shadowy world dripping with blood and revenge, in which our fierce, head strong heroine must claw her way to the top of a deadly pecking order The author also created secondary characters that were just as richly crafted and multidimensional so that each one gives you a tinge of pain when they go.This is not a book for the faint of heart The Poppy War is a wide array of unpleasant possibilities My mind was unwinding the tangled threads with tattered patience, following each thread from one end to another through a thicket The author is so good at building tension and sitting tone and once the action gets going, she only delights in twisting the knife deeper and deeper I never knew in which parts to be elated and terrified, and I continuously felt the caution of wondering whether everything was a trick, or another lie My expectations were so uprooted and jumbled that I was constantly forced to sit rapt with attention just to get my bearings.But what truly snagged at me the most is waking up to the gruesome horrified realization that the author s depiction of the war between Nikan and Mugen was strongly influenced by the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s, and specifically the Nanjing Massacre also known as the Rape of Nanking There s sadly nothing too far fetched or too unbelievable about the horrors in this book and I just can t hold the reality of it all in my head without stirring a war in me between grief and utter disbelief Children ceased to be children when you put a sword in their hands When you taught them to fight a war, then you armed them and put them on the front lines, they were not children any They were soldiers Rin s character radiated such an extraordinary vitality and her arc was nothing short of astounding the years that stretched between the book s beginning and its ending feeling impossibly vast Everything Rin was, everything she s become, grew out of the carnage of her people Anger and indignation carved away everything else inside her doubt, fear, embarrassment leaving room for nothing else, and her will was a blade forged by the sight of her country being whittled down one small piece of itself at a time, despised and taken advantage of.I felt her every sorrow and anger and disappointment and so much loss with a keenness that often forced me to exclamation, to stamping my feet or clutching my book to my chest And then she meets Altan and together, their wrath ignited, impossible to quell carving through their minds and pushing everything out of its way.Altan s life has been a sequence of monsters one after another tossing him about to suit their whims, and it all eventually twisted into wild distorted rage and thwarted fury He and Rin were two hollowed out halves of a whole, two allegiances doing battle but the one that has been sewn into their blood since birth winning out, because they would always be the last remaining survivors of their kind, and that has become a truth that both guarded and isolated them.And as much as I tried to take heart from their scattered successes, it was precious little to take heart from when it s matched by horror at its costs and the knowledge that they both had finally become the worst of what they had always had the potential to be Especially when I still can t shake off the feeling that all the characters are merely pawns in a very treacherous game But I warn you, little warrior The price of power is pain Equal parts heartbreaking, and thoroughly satisfying, The Poppy War is the fantasy novel I feel I ve been waiting two lifetimes and a half for So clear your schedule before picking it up you won t want to put it down TW sexual assault, rape, self harm, drug use wishlist blog twitter tumblr

  2. says:

    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 mentorsThat 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 you in, makes you fall in love with the characters, and demands that you sit on the edge of your seat for every horrific, nail biting moment of it This is one of those books for me And I must issue a serious content warning this book explores some very dark themes Proceed with caution or not at all if you are particularly sensitive to scenes of war, drug use and addiction, genocide, racism, sexism, ableism, self harm, torture, and rape off page but extremely horrific.Because, despite the fairly innocuous first 200 pages, the title speaks the truth this is a book about war All of its horrors and atrocities It is not sugar coated, and it is often graphic The poppy aspect refers to opium, which is a big part of this book It is a fantasy, but the book draws inspiration from the Second Sino Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking.It begins with one of my favourite things a downtrodden orphan attends a fantasy boarding school However, Rin doesn t get to attend her school by being chosen or special She works her ass off studying for the Keju test, which allows her to go to the prestigious Sinegard the best military school in the country I absolutely love the message this book sends about the merits of hard work and perseverance over genetics and natural specialness Nothing is handed to Rin on a plate.This first part is much lighter than the rest of the book, but I enjoyed it immensely And there are still many challenges to be faced in these early chapters Rin must go up against school bullies and racist teachers who don t want a backwater war orphan in their classes But she also encounters friendship and delightfully quirky teachers who like to get high on opium And secrets Secrets like that of the shamans who can conjure gods and use their powers but those are just a myth, right But there s trouble brewing outside the school s walls War is coming and Rin and her classmates will be put to the test again and again If she went with him, she would help him to unleash monsters Monsters worse than the chimei Monsters worse than anything in the Emperor s Menagerie because these monsters were not beasts, mindless things that could be leashed and controlled, but warriors Shamans The gods walking in humans, with no regard for the mortal world. This is where things get very dark The strong world building and carefully crafted characters set us up to care even when the action really kicks in and lives are threatened It is the very opposite of the mindless action scenes I have been complaining about recently in fantasy novels I cared so deeply about the characters that the action scenes were extremely tense and terrifying.I feel like my heart was pounding for the majority of this fantastic story I can hardly recall the last time I was this engrossed in a book, and I am so so glad there will be books to come It s just a perfect blend of action, memorable characters, vividly imagined setting and a look at humanity at its very worst There s no romance, but there is a wonderful enemies to friends relationship that I can t wait to read about.I am so very excited about this series and seeing where the author takes us next.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

  3. says:

    Hi, there 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 story This is not a YA fantasy school story sorry I love those too Yes, there s a school, and we learn some things at the school, but please don t let that description deceive you as we leave that setting quite quickly This is, as I ve always conceived it, a war story It draws heavily on the Second Sino Japanese war which if you know anything about Asia was one of the darkest and bloodiest moments in Chinese history It grapples with the Rape of Nanjing It deals heavily with opium and drug use Opium was a source of Chinese weakness This book asks what would have happened if opium were instead a source of shamanic power This book is primarily about military strategy, collapsing empires, mad gods, and the human ability to make awful, ruthless decisions It s about how dictators are made To be entirely frank, if you re turned off by violence, I might pick up a different book But If you liked Avatar the Last Airbender but always wished it were a little darker and fucked up, you might like this I think everyone writes, unconsciously or not, from the sources they loved, and this book ended up being my creative smorgasbord of ATLA, Ender s Game, The Grace of Kings, and Game of Thrones I m not saying THE POPPY WAR will necessarily read like those books But geopolitical dramas mixed with brutally cruel choices is something I loved about all of those works, and I really hope that s reflected in the writing Thanks for stopping by, and I really hope you enjoy the book 3 3 3

  4. says:

    Hands down Best Fantasy of 2018 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

  5. says:

    ARC provided by the publisher Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review.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 I ve been eyeing this book ever since I stumbled upon the gorgeous attention grabbing cover by Jung Shan Seriously, check out her artworks They re incredible Reading that the book is highly inspired by Second Sino Japanese War also the Rape of Nanking please look this up if you don t know about it so you ll have an idea of how dark the book will get sparked my interest even However, although I had a good feeling about this debut, I certainly didn t expect it to be THIS incredible In fact, I ll go so far as to say that this is literally THE best grimdark military fantasy debut I ve ever read even better than The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie or Beyond Redemption by Michael R Fletcher, and this author only turns 21 years old this year How awesomely talented is she Before I begin my long review, I will clarify that I m an Asian and my review for this book will be affected by my experience growing up as one Then, I need you to consider these two questions 1 Do you enjoy or are you okay with reading books with a lot of violence Because this book contains plenty of vividly brutal scenes The author doesn t pull any punches and the violence was handled splendidly, not only for the purpose of showing the horror and tragedy of war but also to let these scenes become a huge part of characters developments.2 If the answer to question one is an absolute yes, I ll ask you this are you ready for this book to go into your favorites of all time shelf because there s an incredibly high chance that it WILL happen The Poppy War is a debut by R.F Kuang and it s a coming of age grimdark military fantasy It s a book about empires, drugs, shamanism, and gods, and it s highly inspired by Second Sino Japanese War, which is one of the darkest and bloodiest periods in Chinese history I grew up learning about this war and it gave me great satisfaction to read an epic fantasy book inspired by it one that was written exceptionally well, too Considering the root of inspiration for the book, it s obvious that there will be a lot of allusions to China and Japan I ll get into them later and that this will be a violent book This is not a YA book there are a lot of scenes that are definitely only appropriate for adults to read and there are tons of content warnings I ll list them at the end of my review in part III This is also not a happy go lucky story to read Also, this is literally the first time I ve read a fantasy book written by a female author that doesn t feature ANY romance in it Thank God If there is a divine creator, some ultimate moral authority, then why do bad things happen to good people And why would this deity create people at all, since people are such imperfect beings As a Chinese myself, I have my own reasons for believing that The Poppy War is an Asian inspired coming of age grimdark military fantasy done absolutely right with finesse Part I roughly 40% of the book may lead you to think this will be strictly an epic high fantasy with a complete focus on learning, but this isn t really true Yes, the story does start with our main character, Fang Runin Rin , learning tons of skills and forming friendships in a military academy called Sinegard However, the storyline immediately took a different approach and became a complete grimdark military fantasy in Part II and III This won t be a situation like Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss where after two installments he s still in the University I love this series so much though Story structure wise, this book actually reminds me a lot of Blood Song by Anthony Ryan another of my favorite debuts of all time , where the first half revolves around the character in a battle school and the second half revolves around war and battles This book alone feels like a trilogy in itself due to the sheer amount of monumental events that take place Kuang did what a lot of authors try to do in the scope of a trilogy within the span of ONE book Kuang s prose was easy to read, simple, and most importantly, VERY engaging Her writing never gets in the way of her story and it was truly compelling to read.I need to give another reminder that part III in particular was filled with brutal scenes These scenes are written exceptionally well the author clearly shows the horrors of war and please do remember, like I said before, these scenes aren t just there for the sake of making the book darker The scenes are all there for the purpose of the story, characters development, and world building In fact, this book just wouldn t hold the same powerful impact without these scenes The pacing was also brilliant There wasn t any chapter that bored me, none whatsoever This is truly a story with a fine balance of heart, emotion, brutality, and action scenes that were only possible because of how magnificently written the author wrote all the characters, action sequences, and world building Children ceased to be children when you put a sword in their hands When you taught them to fight a war, then you armed them and put them on the front lines, they were not children any They were soldiers Rin has seriously become one of the best female heroines I ve ever had the chance to encounter She s a highly well developed character, multi faceted and simply kickass Her rise from a mere peasant, oppressed and hated by everyone because of the color of her dark skin and her low status, to becoming what she has to be as the story progressed This was one of the most well written developments of a heroine or any character I ve ever read She makes brutally tough choices, she rises to any challenge that comes her way, and she never gives up She s fierce, she s badass, and she demonstrates that being a strong woman character doesn t only mean being physically powerful but mentally powerful, as well Even though we see the story unfolds solely from Rin s perspective in third person narration, the author does a fantastic job in making sure we re really inside Rin s head at all times At one point, I actually forgot that I was reading the book in third person point of view as Rin s character and personality were so well explored that I felt like her story was being told in first person POV Besides that, all the other supporting characters personalities were so well fleshed out because Part I was used VERY effectively to establish the characters introductions and world building, making rooms for developments in the second half despite the story being in the middle of all the chaos There s always something new to discover on every page, and no words are wasted.No military fantasy will ever reach greatness without intricate war tactics or extraordinary action scenes, and this book simply scored wonderfully on both counts Every action sequence, whether it s the martial arts battle or the magic system, was vividly written The scale and scope of the action relentlessly escalate with each page turned The magic users in this book are called Shaman those who commune with the Gods to use their power and Kuang did a terrific job researching Shamanism Coincidentally, during my time reading this book, I received an email from one of my favorite artists, Noah Bradley, on his new art piece for Magic the Gathering and somehow, it completely fits some of the action scenes in this book Check out this picture below to give you an idea of how wildly the action scenes escalated.Picture Jaya s Immolating Inferno by Noah BradleyLastly, I want to talk about the world building The history in the world of this book is filled with constant warfare, and this is also where the Asian influences really prevailed There are TONS of Chinese and Asian influences in this book I m going to mention only a few of them here so you can experience the rest on your own The provinces in this book are named after the twelve Chinese Zodiacs The four cardinal mythological Gods are named exactly after the same Four Symbols of Chinese constellations creatures the White Tiger of the West Byakko , the Black Tortoise of the North Genbu , the Azure Dragon of the East Seiryu , and the Vermilion Bird of the South Suzaku The creator of the military tactics book named Principles of War in the story is called Sunzi, obviously named after the famous Sun Tzu and his Art of War. I m a Buddhist I think this is the first time I mention my religion in a review and I m pretty sure that Kuang used the name Bodhidharma intentionally to harken to Buddhism In Buddhism, Bodhi means enlightenment and dharma means cosmic law Considering the nature of Shamanism in this book, this naming and its meaning is very appropriate Ki derives from Qi Chi which means life force Federation of Mugen, the name of the group of antagonists in this book, in Japanese means Infinite Fantasy Dream and they resembled the Japanese code of war where they are simply tools for the Emperor to use Just one look at the map and you ll also know that the world is based on China and Japan Then there s also talk of the legend of Monkey King from Journey to the West.Believe me, I m holding myself back here I m pretty sure I found almost all the Asian influences in this book and I could talk about them in detail but I want you to experience them for yourself too I spent four hours writing this review and it has been long enough already In fact, this is actually my second longest review of all time I really wish I could talk about how amazing this book is but I have to make sure my review is spoiler free enough for readers to experience this debut with maximum results You simply have to read and experience this greatness for yourself The Poppy War is an astounding debut and one of the greatest starts to a series I ve ever read It s a shining treasure of fantasy, literature, history, and culture R.F Kuang is truly a new author to watch If this doesn t become a one hit wonder and she continues writing as her career, I have absolutely no doubt that her name will be up there with the likes of Robin Hobb and N.K Jemisin, and maybe even better I m already waiting for the second book eagerly I don t even know how Kuang will top this debut it s a magnificently written debut that will stay in the heart of readers By this point in my reviewing career, it shouldn t come as a surprise to my followers that I m quite stingy with giving a full five star rating, but this book simply deserves a full five stars The Poppy War is a book truly worth every second of your time It s a profound blending of history into military fantasy It s a relentlessly tension packed book Rin will capture your heart, embrace it The Poppy will make you high, accept it The War will break you, face it The Poppy War will most likely be included in your favorite books of all time list, get it Come May, buy and read this superlative page turner immediately This is the beginning for a new queen of fantasy and you should consider yourself damn lucky to have the chance to witness it The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. Trigger Warnings Rape, self harm, drug abuse, genital mutilations, and many Basically, you name it and there s a chance it s here.Official release date May 1st, 2018 US and May 3rd, 2018 UK.You can pre order the book HERE You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic High Fantasy Sci Fi reviews at BookNest

  6. says:

    This series is wonderful Straight into the sequel for me.

  7. says:

    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 Well, fuck the heavenly order of things. 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, but it is THAT GOOD Holy shit this book is brutal The author is an expert on military strategy and I believe it If you guys have a weak stomach, this is not for you, but holy shit this is good.Really.Oh, and no romance Just girl power asskickery UNF.I don t want to compare this to Harry Potter because it is so dissimilar, but the premise is a familiar one that will draw comparison, however unlikely A downtrodden orphan doomed to a miserable life until an opportunity opened up that brings them to an school designated for the special Unlike Harry Potter, the spot at this school is EARNED, through merit, not through mere chance of birth And the risks are far greater should our hero fail Mulan ain t got nothing on this bitch, and I use bitch as a term of praise You gotta get down and dirty and nasty to survive.16 year old Rin has a miserable existence She is an orphan, worked to the bone and intended to be sold off to a ghastly old merchant once she comes of age She rejects that destiny In the kingdom, there is an annual test that every pupil takes If they score high, they get to go to a school to be educated and trained Sinegard is the best school of them all By studying her fucking ass off, Rin makes it to the top Her name was at the very top of the scroll She hadn t placed in the top ten She d placed at the top of the entire village The entire province.She had bribed a teacher She had stolen opium She had burned herself, lied to her foster parents, abandoned her responsibilities at the store, and broken a marriage deal.And she was going to Sinegard. There s no magical induction ceremony here Life is hard and Rin is hopelessly behind Her peers are the sons and daughters of the rich and powerful, who have trained for this their whole life Rin came from nothing and she quickly discovers that she is nothing It is unimaginably harder than she could have envisioned She had made it all the way across the country to a place she had spent years dreaming of, only to discover a hostile, confusing city that despised southerners She had no home in Tikany or Sinegard Everywhere she traveled, everywhere she escaped to, she was just a war orphan who was not supposed to be there.She felt so terribly alone. Her peers hate her Her teachers hate her The school is supposed to be based on a system of merit It s not Life is full of prejudice, especially for a peasant girl, and people let her know of their contempt Every year we get someone like you, some country bumpkin who thinks that just because they were good at taking some test, they deserve my time and attention Understand this, southerner The exam proves nothing Discipline and competence those are the only things that matter at this school That boy Jun jerked his thumb in the direction Nezha had gone may be an ass, but he has the makings of a commander in him You, on the other hand, are just peasant trash Enemies abound Rin will fail many times before she succeeds No they couldn t just do this to her They might think they could sweep her away like rubbish, but she didn t have to lie down and take it She had come from nothing She wasn t going back to nothing.But if the Keju had taught her anything, it was that pain was the price of success.And she hadn t burned herself in a long time.Success required sacrifice Sacrifice meant pain Pain meant success. The world building is unbelievably intricate It is based on Ancient China, and it does a great job of portraying an alternate history I would compare it to Guy Gavriel s Under Heaven in that it is loosely based on it, and completely believable, while having elements that distinguishes it from being an actual historical retelling My only complaint is the names They re Western or Middle Eastern based names of sort, and I would have preferred Chinese names too.The world built in this book is extraordinarily intricate.The characters are fantastic, from the mysterious Altan to my favorite, Master Jiang He seriously is so awesome and hilarious Jiang was an effective if unconventional combat instructor He made her hold her kicks up in the air for long minutes until her leg trembled He made her duck as he hurled projectiles at her off the weapons rack He made her do the same exercise blindfolded, and then admitted later that he just thought it would be funny You re a real asshole, she said You know that, right I am left utterly astonished by the scale and depth of this book Bravo Fucking bravo This is a masterpiece.

  8. says:

    I m not going to lie, I struggled with this one Right up to about 45% in I was wondering how the hell anyone was giving this 5 stars not only was it not grimdark, it was borderline actual YA, and a rather blatant rip off of The Name of the Wind to boot, including but not limited to super clever, good at EVERYTHING main character who gets a place at top university college and proceeds to be trained confused challenged by quirky professor lore master who is the only one who believes in can do a specific type of magic etc etc One of the first bits of magic he shows her is even how he can bend the air to his will Hmmm It s all school antics, with particular OTTness when one rude comment on the day of induction escalates a chance meeting into two characters becoming immediate mortal enemies On top of that she nukes her womb because she has her first period interesting choice, to make women useful only when we re neutered Anyway, I m not entirely knocking this part of the book, for all its faults it was the best bit.Then you get book 2 and the violence action levels go up a bit as the war hits and the school yard is left in the past But Rin is hard to get on with, she s intensely childish and it s already clear that she wants power for her own sake She s jealous of her commander because he has firepower than her and is even dangerously reckless than Kvothe She strops around for the entire book, increasingly losing any agency to emotional reactionary outbursts The less said about book 3 the better, the stupidity of the decision making by Rin and her commander is on another level The last two sections epitomise epic immaturity on the part of pretty much everyone, the only reason this isn t YA is because of the way violence is gratuitously used to up the levels Sure, this is what happens in war, this is the kind of stuff that s happening now all over the world, but the levels of brutality do not fit the level of the rest of the story Even in books where it s essentially a death arena Red Rising Catching Fire , you didn t get the author lovingly describing TRIGGER warning for extreme violence view spoiler a pregnant mother being raped and her baby being ripped from her womb and torn in two hide spoiler

  9. says:

    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 content warnings for war themes, drug use, substance addiction, self harm, racism, misogyny, genocide, bullying, abandonment, abuse, animal death, animal cruelty, brutal torture, brutal killing, brutal rape off screen, but still maybe the worst I ve ever read , mutilation, very graphic depictions of how children and adults died, experimentations on people against their will Again, this is a very dark book that carries some very dark themes Please use caution War doesn t determine who s right War determines who remains The Poppy War is a fantastic debut that I feel so very privileged to have received an ARC of This is the first book in an ownvoices Asian inspired fantasy story, and this first installment is told in three parts each getting darker and darker But in part one we meet our main protagonist, Rin, who is a war orphan who is living with a foster family that was forced to adopt her Rin has been working at the family s local business, while also being forced to deal drugs That is, until one day her family decided that it would be in their interest for them marry Rin off to a man who is much older than her and who she has never met before Rin is then forced to do the only thing that will allow her to not have this life forced upon her Well, fuck the heavenly order of things If getting married to a gross old man was her preordained role on this earth, then Rin was determined to rewrite it In this world, children will study their entire lives for a test called the Keju And the top fifty students in the country will be allowed to go the empire s capitol to study at the best military school in the world There they will be able to become the world s best generals, tacticians, soldiers, and And all the students wish to one day be warriors for the Empire And Rin dedicates herself to studying so that she can not only escape this marriage, but to also escape her abusive foster parents, and the entire town that has treated her awful just because she was born a war orphan And against all odds, Rin gets accepted But once she gets to the school, she soon realizes that her spot isn t guaranteed to last At the end of the year, the different teachers will pick which students they wish to have study under them And Rin soon starts to see that most of the school is not only very privileged, but also have power just from their last name and who their family is already in the current military And the reason part one of this book is hands down my favorite is because I love this school setting so much And like many other reviewers have already said, it is very reminiscent of The Name of the Wind From the attending kids that have been born with a silver spoon in their mouths, to unexpected companionship, to horrible teachers, to wonderfully odd teachers And Rin becomes obsessed with not only impressing these teachers and her peers, but to prove that she is also deserving of her spot You re a war orphan You re a southerner You weren t supposed to pass the Keju The Warlords like to claim that the Keju makes Nikan a meritocracy, but the system is designed to keep the poor and illiterate in their place You re offending them with your very presence And while Rin is working to become the best at her school, terrible things are brewing outside the walls of the academy Terrible, unthinkable things, that are about to impact the whole world And Rin is forced to quickly learn about another world all together, where gods can make a person a shaman that can wield that power, but at a cost And Rin has to discover for herself if the price is worth it The nature of this god is to destroy The nature of this god is to be greedy, to never be satisfied with what he has consumed This is an action packed read, with beautiful writing that feels like a treat to read This is a story filled with twists and turns, and you might think you know where the story is going, to only be completely dumbfounded I couldn t flip the pages fast enough Also, there is sort of an enemies to friends maybe lovers eventually element in this book, and I m dying to see in book two Like, there is going to be of it Right Please Seriously, what God do I have to let inhabit my body I need it Because I can, she said Because he thought he could get rid of me Because I want to break his stupid face And ultimately, this is a story about a girl who has been given nothing but pain in a world that constantly reminds her that she is lesser And she overcomes every single hurdle and becomes not only what the world said she couldn t be, but she becomes what she wanted to be Like, this book is powerful, empowering, and a love letter to all girls that are told they can t do something daily Overall, I really enjoyed this one, even if it got even a little too dark for me at times I think this is a really amazing set up for what is sure to be an impressive debut fantasy series I cannot wait to see what R.F Kuang does next, because I really think The Poppy War is a bright shining star in 2018 releases Blog Instagram Twitter Tumblr Youtube Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Buddy read with Jules

  10. says:

    The Poppy War is not a book to be missed by fantasy fans and especially those who like it infused with copious amounts of blood, darkness and misery 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 heroics and grand deeds War is about men pissing themselves and running away in fear War is about control War is about men trying to murder each other it s about soldiers brutalising their enemies and terrorising the innocent War is about rape, raping of the land and of the defenceless None of us will ever be ready for it It is so very unsurprising that Rin turns into a cold hearted bitch by the end Children ceased to be children when you put a sword in their hands When you taught them to fight a war, then you armed them and put them on the front lines, they were not children any They were soldiers Her student days are over before they really began She only just begins to taste her power a rage filled magic fuelled by drugs before she is enlisted and forced to defend her training academy from invaders Her master taught her to control her power, and trained her only to understand it He never wanted her to use it, though when backed into a corner Rin unleashes all her fiery fury upon her enemies It was either that or death Some will think her character extreme, though I think she is a product of her situation Rin is driven to succeed This is not a woman who will give up She has done some excessive things to be admitted into the training academy She has gone without sleep She has self harmed to allow the former and she has worked harder than most would think possible The war has shattered her dreams It has prevented her from finishing her studies and it has turned her into a killer She wants to finish it and will do absolutely anything possible to do so, vengeance becomes her new goal By the end she is unrecognisable even to herself War has killed her in a way, though it has made her very strong War doesn t determine who s right War determines who remains The Poppy War was not the book I thought it would be The fantasy I read, the I see the same similar plot directions and romances Some details were predictable such as The Gatekeeper s identity though I did not expect it to go quite the way it did Initially the book parallels much of the basic plot of The Name of the Wind. It appeared to be going in a similar direction but then the invaders came and everything exploded into a bloody mess of unpredictability Such is the nature of war.This was far from a bad thing I did really like the first part of the story, though my interest peaked as chaos descended War never comes at the right time It interrupts lives and plots What the author showed us here is that it destroys everything It destroys our plans and it destroys the direction we set for ourselves, and that s why the sharp shift in plot was so necessarily strong Believe the hype Believe the reviewers This will be the biggest fantasy debut this year go read it

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