Ebook ☆ The Poppy War eBook È The Poppy PDF \

Ebook  ☆ The Poppy War eBook È The Poppy  PDF \
    Ebook ☆ The Poppy War eBook È The Poppy PDF \ 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 out 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."/>
  • ebook
  • 644 pages
  • The Poppy War
  • R.F. Kuang
  • English
  • 21 July 2019
  • 0062662597

The Poppy War[Epub] ➚ The Poppy War Author R.F. Kuang – Essayreview.co.uk 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 P 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 The Poppy PDF \ 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 surprisingBut 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 mean than 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 out 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.


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 PDF \ 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 couldaccurately 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 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 couldaccurately 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 asavage 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 consequencesWar doesn t determine who s right War determines who remainsTo 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 gameBut I warn you, little warrior The price of power is painEqual 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 painHoly 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 yBut I warn you, little warrior The price of power is painHoly 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 evenwhen 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 bebooks 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 readabout.I am so very excited about this series and seeing where the author takes us next.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

  3. says:

    You think I torture my characters Pffft I am a rank amateur compared to R.F Kuang Set in an alternate Asia and inspired by the Opium Wars and 19th Century colonialism in China, The Poppy War is the story of Rin, a small town orphan whose only chance to escape poverty and an oppressive arranged marriage is to score top marks on the government s exams and earn a place at Sinegard Academy, where the Nikara Empire s best and brightest are trained for leadership Imagine a combination of West Poi You think I torture my characters Pffft I am a rank amateur compared to R.F Kuang Set in an alternate Asia and inspired by the Opium Wars and 19th Century colonialism in China, The Poppy War is the story of Rin, a small town orphan whose only chance to escape poverty and an oppressive arranged marriage is to score top marks on the government s exams and earn a place at Sinegard Academy, where the Nikara Empire s best and brightest are trained for leadership Imagine a combination of West Point, Oxford and Hogwarts, and if that sounds intriguing, it is Just don t get too attached to the place, because Rin s training at Sinegard is only the beginning of our story Nikara think Qing dynasty China , a vast but disorganized empire with out of date technology and many warring internal factions, is on the verge of war with its old nemesis the Mugen Federation think Imperialist Japan Rin and a few other ragtag misfits with an aptitude for shamanist magic may be the only secret weapon that can stop Mugen from completely destroying their homeland The problem is the type of magic Rin summons cannot easily be controlled It could drive her crazy, take her over completely, or, you know, possibly start Armageddon But other than that, I m sure everything will be fine Not really Though the beginning of the book may read like the fantasy narrative we all know and love obscure girl goes through training to discover she is the Chosen One Kuang subverts that narrative and quickly turns our expectations upside down She shows us how sinister a training academy can be, how it can be used for nefarious purposes, and how easily the teacher student relationship can turn abusive and traumatizing Who are the good guys here Are there any Kuang gives us no easy answers, but she lets us feel sympathy for our young protagonist Rin and her comrades The cruelty and horror of war are vividly described, so be prepared for violence graphic and awful, but entirely appropriate to the narrative The big question becomes what Rin will choose Is victory worth the price of her soul No one is spared in this book Everyone is beat up, orphaned, traumatized, killed, gravely injured, driven insane, dehumanized, abused and or tortured I loved it I meanI didn t love the horrors described, or the vast amount of suffering, but the stakes were real, the story was grimly compelling, and the characters stayed with me long after I finished the book Highly recommended Now I am going to take a deep cleansing breath and prepare myself forpainful enjoyment enjoyable pain in Kuang s two sequels

  4. 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 sto 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 andfucked 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

  5. 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

  6. 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 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 evenHowever, 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 themlater 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 GodIf 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 beingsAs 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 revolvesaround 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 buildingChildren 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 soldiersRin 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 manyBasically, 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

  7. says:

    This series is wonderful Straight into the sequel for me.

  8. 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 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 contemptEvery 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 trashEnemies 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, rightI am left utterly astonished by the scale and depth of this book Bravo Fucking bravo This is a masterpiece

  9. 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 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 powerfor her own sake She s jealous of her commander because he hasfirepower than her and is evendangerously 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 You also get a female character not seen since the first book brought back just so she can detail her repeated rape It s the kind of stuff you get in horror, not fantasy and often not even in real grimdark This is not the novel to read for female empowerment despite having an apparently strong, female lead It feelslike someone wrote a coming of age school story but wanted a bitpublicity so used the savagery to spice it up a bit War is brutal, and yes use it so you can make people aware of just how sadistic and monstrous people can be when normal rules are destroyed, but you have to make it fit your narrative.It started all Harry Potter and ended with Saw.The one thing that made the book for me was the incredible worldbuilding, it was excellent to have a Chinese and Japanese basis for the terrain as well as the historical and mythical past If it didn t have that, I m not sure it would even have got the two stars I won t be reading any .ARC via Netgalley

  10. says:

    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 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 trChildren 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 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 troubles to sort out all of my feelings and thoughts The Poppy War is a great book but it tackles a lot of serious topics and I guess that s the reason why my heart always feels kind of heavy when I think about it Of course there is a war raging in this book but there happen so many other things that it s almost impossible not to flinch when you reach those final 40% Think about every atrocity that s ever happened and you get a good idea about what you re going to read in this book There s genocide, rape, torture, self harm and that s just me naming a few of the triggers that might come your wayWar doesn t determine who s right War determines who remains Let me tell you this The longer you continue the worse it gets and even though this was masterfully done and I loved the world building and all the characters, there is still this strange undercurrent of heavy sadness and dread Golyn Niis was so tough to read, I still get goose bumps when I think about it This chapter was so, so, so, so damn hard to get through and I can t remember the last time I read a book and felt that way Maybe I never felt that way reading a book before At least I can t remember a single book that actually made me feel like this I swear my stomach turned and I had troubles to breathe I was feeling nauseous reading a book Yes, it was that heavy Everyone who already read the book will know what I m talking about and to those who didn t It s really as bad as everyone claims it to be I got plenty of warnings but nothing prepared me for Golyn NiisAmateurs obsess over strategy, Irjah had once told their class Professionals obsess over logistics Still, despite this heavy feeling of uneasiness that always overcomes me when I think about The Poppy War this book was definitely worth reading I loved the fantasy elements and the idea of powers from the gods Plus I really enjoyed the chapters at Sinegard Academy and the chimei What I loved the most was the representation of human nature though I might be alone with this but it s obvious that R.F Kuang put a lot of effort into her characters and you could see it in the way they grow, develop and change Their character arcs were so amazing to follow, I m in awe And before I continue to gush about them here, I might as well move to my character section instead PThe characters This is my spoilery spoiler section and if you didn t read the book already you better turn around and leave If you re still curious and don t want to heed my warning you may proceed at your own risk I mean I warned you, right P RinNo 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 Oh gods Rin I can t believe what she did in the end and I can t wrap my head around the fact that such a sweet and innocent girl could change that much But it still happened and her descent was so heavy to watch _ I guess that s what happens when you play with fire, quite literally in her case She got addicted to the power and I m so damn afraid of what she s going to do next I loved her defiance and strength at the beginning of the book, how she wanted to learn and did everything possible to achieve her goal She was so determined and strong willed But then the war began and all those things happened and with every chapter Rin changed She became something different, she hardened her heart, she lost her moral compass and made decisions that got her deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole And then she did the unthinkable and I m not sure if she ll ever be able to return from that darkness again T_T The ending broke my heart, for Rin, for the person she could have been for everything she HAD been before she came to Sinegard She s not the person she used to be and I find myself weeping for everything she lost and for what she becameShe didn t want to be possessed She wanted to remain free Then I will die on my feet, she said I will die with flames in my hand and fury in my heart My god didn t make me do anything, she said The gods can t make our choices for us They can only offer their power, and we can wield it And I did, and this is what I chose She swallowed I don t regret it She was sane, she was convinced of it She was whole She had lost much, yes, but she still had her own mind She made her decisions She chose to accept the Phoenix She chose to let it invade her mind AltanWe re the final front, said Altan If we fail, this country s lost He clapped her on the shoulder Excited Altan broke my heart At first I had the same impression like everyone else That he knows what he s doing, that he s in control and a perfect student soldier but thewe got to see from him, theit became obvious that he s far from all those things This boy was broken beyond repair and he hid it so well that no one ever noticed until it was too late I can t say that I liked his actions but I could understand why he acted the way he did He was lashing out at everyone because he was like a wild animal that only saw threats and didn t know how to react to kindness Altan was unable to see that not everyone who confronted him wanted to do him harm Which makes me sad on so many levels That poor, poor boy To be tortured like this, to get out of it alive, to live with his past and the knowledge that it might happen again Just to live with everything he went through To draw breath every day and to continue, to keep on moving I can t even begin to comprehend how he must have felt and I can t put into words how strongly I feel for him T_T And I don t want to believe that he s dead He can t be dead _I don t know, he said after a long moment I don t know what I m doing Altan s fire drew as its source an unending hate It was a deep, slow burn She could almost taste it, the venomous intent, the ancient misery, and it horrified her.How could one person hate so much What had happened to him KitayOne urinating statue for my easily entertained friend Rin blushed Kitay, I can t It costs nothing It costs a lot to me, she said.Kitay placed the statue in her hand If you say onething about money, I m leaving you to get lost I absolutely adored Kitay He s such a good friend and I loved that Rin and he became besties Despite being fortunate enough to be one of the rich kids at Sinegard Academy he still reached out to her and became her friend I think that s what I loved about him the most, he didn t care about titles or money, he just cared about the person and what it could do Kitay is the living and breathing proof that good people exist and in the end his character was the only one that gave me any hope Because despite all the things he witnessed and regardless of everything that happened to him, he still had moral values and acted according to them In a world so harsh and cruel that it changed everyone around him, he still held on to his convictions and I loved him for it 333There was a hard glint to his eyes that she had never seen in him before He looked as if he had aged five years He looked like his father He was like a sword that had been sharpened, metal that had been tempered JiangI am a mortal who has woken up, and there is power in awareness I really don t know how to feel about Jiang I actually liked him at the beginning of the book but I was so disappointed by him when it ended His character was some sort of catalyst and I had the distinct feeling that he could have done , that he SHOUD HAVE doneWhat if he would have taught Rin about her powers What if he would have allowed her to use them in a safe setting What if he would have fought alongside them and would have helped her to control the phoenix He basically left Altan and Rin to their own devices and this set them on the dark path they were descending at the end How different everything could have gone if Jiang would have watched out for them To drop Altan as his student was the first mistake he made and not to teach Rin properly apparently his lastAh The law Jiang sniffed at an unidentified leaf and then tossed it away So inconvenient So irrelevant The relationships ships Rin AltanShe knew what addiction looked like Opium smokers were yellowed, useless sacks of flesh They did not fight like Altan did They did not move like Altan did They were not perfect, lethal animals of graceful beauty Okay, I m going to say it I DIDN T SHIP RIN AND ALTAN I m sorry but I just couldn t They didn t have much of a relationship before Rin joined the Cike and once she was a part of them her relationship with Altan was nothing but abusive He slapped her, hurt her with words, forced her to do things she didn t want to do and was everything else but supportive How was I supposed to ship that I get that Altan was thoroughly broken but he didn t have to let it out on Rin and as frustrated as he might have been with her, he still had no right to hurt her So nope, it was clear right from the beginning that he didn t respect her as much as she respected him and if you ask me those two never had a future Not saying that I wouldn t love for Altan to come back again I still wouldn t ship him with Rin though I ll never ship those two and I stand by it Fight me lol PHey Hey Cool fingers wrapped around her wrists Gently, Altan pulled her hands away from her face She looked up and met his eyes They were a shade of crimson brighter than poppy petals It s okay, he said I know I know what it s like I m going to help you She had adored an idea of him, an archetype, a version of him that was invulnerable But now she knew the truth, she knew the realness of Altan and his vulnerabilities and most of all his pain and still she loved himHe leaned forward and grasped her face in both hands She thought for a bizarre moment that he was going to kiss her He didn t He pressed his forehead against hers for a long time She closed her eyes She drank in the sensation of her skin against his She seared it into her memory Rin NezhaWe aren t here to be sophisticated We re here to fuck people up Now that s a relationship I could appreciate Yes, Nezha was an ass at the beginning of the book but in contrast to Altan he actually realized his faults and apologized to Rin I loved how they both grew out of their initial animosity and became friends in the end And those fighting scenes They were pure harmony on the battlefield and anyone who claims differently didn t read the book XD Just like Kitay seemed to have become a moral compass for Rin the same could be said for Nezha and I m sure if he d been around at the end she wouldn t have gone down that dark road _ Unfortunately Nezha was lost in the toxic mist and seems to be dead I refuse to believe that he s gone for good though I mean he had some serious healing abilities so maybe he survived it and became a prisoner But then again he most likely would have been with the Mugenese when Rin launched her attack and I don t know if he would have been able to survive this as well _ I really hope Nezha will magically reappear in the second bookBut I saved your life Doesn t that make us at least a little square Square Square She had to laugh You almost got me expelled And you almost killed me, he said That shut her up I was scared of you, Nezha continued And I lashed out I was stupid I was a spoiled brat I was a real pain in the ass I thought I was better than you, and I m not I m sorry Altan ChaghanThey had come to an understanding, she and Chaghan They were no longer opposed, vying for Altan s favor They were allies, now, bound by the mutual atrocities they had commited I m going to be honest here I m such a sucker for Chaghan I love his character And is it just me or did I actually feel some gay vibes between those two Altan and Chaghan definitely hadchemistry than Rin and Altan ever had lol And they didn t even have all too many scenes together I got the distinct feeling that something happened when they spent those three days in the valleys and I m not talking about Altan winning a fight between them, feel me wriggles eyebrows Haha P Gosh, I really would have loved to find outabout their relationship and this is just onereason why Altan can t be dead I just ship him and Chaghan too much to accept his death Period XDConclusion The Poppy War was an amazing and sometimes truly revolting dark tale about a young girl that follows her own path and fights for what she thinks is right It shows us how people can grow and how their circumstances and perceptions can change them For better or for worse This tale isn t over yet In fact it just began and I can t wait to read what s going to happen next Let s continue to hope for the best while we expect the worst, because apparently that s the only attitude that will get you through this seriesAnd she would call the gods to do such terrible things

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