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Poppy War
Poppy War | R F Kuang
A "Best of May" Science Fiction and Fantasy pick by Amazon, 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 N.K. Jemisin." -- BooknestA brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China's twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu's Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy.When Rin aced the Keju--the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies--it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn't believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin's guardians, who believed they'd finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard--the most elite military school in Nikan--was even more surprising.But surprises aren't always good.Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power--an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive--and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .Rin's shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.
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Puredragonstar
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

This was a pick! I loved the lore and the world-building, and I really liked the main character, even though sometimes I would have loved to slap her... okay so the one thing I didn‘t like was the disjointed timeline... it was a linear timeline, but It felt as if everything happened within a month of time, when really it was years... 🤷🏻‍♀️🤔

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katjapants
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Carolyn11215
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

It was an amazing reading month for me. By far my favorite read of the month was the tagged book The Poppy War. Can‘t wait to get my hands on the sequel! Vengeful and Sorcery of Thorns were not trailing far behind...both really fun books! Wolf in the Whale was interesting as it melded Inuit and Norse mythologies.

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PetrozavaRR
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Day 4 #7Days7Covers #covercrush
Another one from my always growing TBR stack😁👌🙈(and ofcourse the second book is out before i got to this one😂📚)

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thegirlwiththelibrarybag
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#7covers7days

I may have skipped a day but will catch up 😉

BiblioLitten Cool cover🖤 1mo
Centique Beautiful! 4w
75 likes2 comments
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Jee_HookedOnBookz
Poppy War | R F Kuang
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#BBRC #teenangst #seriesstarter @LibrarianRyan #NotAppropriateForMiddleGrade

Read this quite some time back. Enjoyed it immensely and surprised that it's the author's debut!

LibrarianRyan ⭐️👍🤓 1mo
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uwak
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

finally done 🌸 I enjoyed Kuang's take on a military fantasy with a setting and worldbuilding inspired by Chinese mythos and historical events. however, the book has pacing problems (certain parts really drag) and the three major divisions of the story transition awkwardly. Rin seems to be a divisive protagonist, but her flaws are deliberate and make sense for her age, backstory and circumstances.

#fantasy #militaryfantasy #kindle

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TelevisionNeighbor
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Why do the blurbs on the back of books reveal so much of the story! I try not to read them, but sometimes it happens before I can stop it.

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uwak
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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still trying to find the ideal layout for pins on my backpack 🤔 been reading The Poppy War on my kindle for almost a month since I keep getting distracted by my physical book stack 😅 it's a fascinating book but kind of a slow burn. super excited to start Foundryside ✌️

GrilledCheeseSamurai Foundryside is 👌 1mo
uwak @GrilledCheeseSamurai I've heard so many good things about it! 1mo
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Carolyn11215
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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And with completion of this book (a 5 ⭐️ read for me), I also finished my Goodreads 2019 challenge of 70 books!

MrBook Congratulations!!! 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🥳 1mo
Carolyn11215 Thank you @MrBook !! 1mo
Hazel0303 Congrats! 1mo
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Erofan 🎉🎉🎉 1mo
Carolyn11215 @erofan, I don‘t think I‘ve ever completed my challenge this early in the year. Seems like I‘ll need to up books for 2020. :) 1mo
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Carolyn11215
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Well this is going to be one of my favorite reads this year! I adore the characters she‘s created (Rin, the main character, and the fabulously erratic Jiang, her mentor in particular) and the setting fascinates me as I‘ve always been intrigued by Chinese history and culture. The author is pursuing a graduate degree in modern Chinese studies and has managed to write and get published two novels! I‘m in serious awe.

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Erofan
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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A small #bookhaul from the online bookstore. I've wanted to read these books for a long time! 📚😁

#tbr #thepoppywar #firefly #insideblackmirror

mellissimo Oh, there is a Black Mirror book?? 😍 2mo
BooknerdsLife I‘m reading the Poppy War at the moment too 😃 2mo
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Laughterhp
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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1. Tagged. I got it from the library and I know I‘ll enjoy it, I‘m just not ready to dive into a new world.
2. Just all the Harry Potter books. I don‘t really reread anymore except those.
3. My GR TBR has 244 books on it. I try to remove some but more just get added on!
4. The Feather Thief (read in March) 4⭐️
5. @Catsandbooks @Scochrane26 @Dragonfairykats
#wondrouswednesday

Crazeedi I had borrowed feather thief and didn't get to it, I need to borrow again 2mo
Eggs Thanks for playing 🤗👏🏻📚 2mo
Catsandbooks Thanks for the tag! 😊 2mo
49 likes3 comments
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ReadingEnvy
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

The Poppy War combines the magical school idea (more of a martial arts school) featuring an outsider student, with historical events in China (Song Dynasty, Japanese invasion of China,) and a little bit of shamanism. It's the first in a series and I'm not sure I will keep reading as this is so far outside my usual fare, but this author has written an astounding debut at a very young age (I think she is an actual genius.)

Cathythoughts Beautiful cover ✨ 2mo
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Lauredhel
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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And the rest of Husband's birthday stack

rkeo I need to get on Poppy War, and especially The Calculating Stars (it was the Hugo Award Winner this year). 2mo
Lauredhel @rkeo I loved Stars! I need to read the sequel (and The Poppy War). 2mo
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mjdowens
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Soooo..... this is the copy of The Poppy War I received from ThriftBooks today. I immediately got on chat with them and told them I received a book marked “very good condition” with no notation about not having a jacket on it. No issues or problems, issued me a refund and said I could keep it. No others in stock however, so back to square one. For as long as I have been ordering from them this is the first time I have ever had this issue

SW-T That‘s weird.😳 Sounds like good customer service on the follow up at least. Too bad they didn‘t have a better copy to send. 2mo
JazzFeathers Happened to me on Amazon (back when l still bought books from them). A couple of times. 2mo
27 likes2 comments
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Jas16
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

I finished this a couple of days ago and am still not 100% sure how I feel about it. It starts off as a typical tale of an amazingly talented but misfortunate youth getting into a elite boarding school and then turns into a much, much darker war story. Great world building and I appreciated the historical parallels but I found myself skimming more than once. I expected to love it more than I did but still want to start the sequel this weekend.

SW-T I had mixed feelings about it also! Parts were really good...others not so much. Hoping book 2 is more even. 2mo
JazzFeathers I left halfway through. I really liked the beginning, with that strong cultural sense, but more and more it slipped into a lot of fantasy cliches l've read hundreds of times. The first great battle felt totally unrealistic to me. That's where l dropped out. Still, l see a majority of people loves it, so it must be me. 2mo
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Laughterhp
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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I‘ve been struggling to get into a book the last couple of days. I‘ve tried reading the first chapter of about 4 books and none of them have been grabbing me.

I picked this one up today and I‘m hoping it‘ll stick! This book is this month‘s Sword & Laser Pick.

#swordandlaserpodcast

Scochrane26 Cool cover 2mo
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intothehallofbooks
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

Sort of like two books in one, which was a little jarring. Part one takes place at an elite military academy. Then the country goes to war and the students become warriors. It‘s good. Part two is...different. Fast paced, dark and gruesome. This is based on actual Chinese history from the 1930‘s (the Nanjing Massacre). This is not light fantasy nor YA. But I loved the military aspect and I loved the characters. Several parts are a punch to the gut!

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SW-T
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

Rin is 16 when the book starts. It has YA elements, but it‘s not YA. All 3 parts are interesting and different, tho 2 & 3 are very grimdark. Loads of triggers, heavy drug use.

Pros: world building, pacing, secondary characters are all interesting and well developed, hard to put down.

Cons: Rin is caustic, jealous, disobedient, selfish, vengeful, and ends up more dark than light. She‘s also naive, impulsive, and prone to screaming at everyone.

LibrarianRyan Will you read the sequel? 2mo
SW-T @LibrarianRyan Probably. Even though I had a love-hate relationship with it, I want to know what‘s next. Thinks it‘s a trilogy 😳 2mo
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Lexicon1982
Poppy War | R F Kuang
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Pickpick

Listened as an audiobook. If you are looking for a YA fluffy fantasy romance ...well...this is not for you! If you do want a heroine who is strong, adventure, war, dark fantasy then definitely check this one out! Love when a female character is strong and doesn‘t rely on others to get herself out of trouble! Highly recommend for all the fantasy readers out there!

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deirdrebeecher
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
Pickpick

A solid pick. If you like Mark Lawrence I think you'll enjoy this book. It was really nice to read a fantasy novel which is not based in Europe. I really enjoyed the dialogue and there were some good characters. The death and destruction just went a bit too far for me. Another genocide, is that the third or the fourth It just didn't elevate that last step in the ladder to love.

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cewilf
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Mehso-so

Finally finished this! I had a really hard time getting into it, but once I made it past page 200, I didn‘t want to waste the time I had already spent reading. I‘m glad I finished, but I‘m not sure I‘ll read the next one. I‘m really bummed I can‘t include this in my classroom (both content and language). Overall, glad I read it, somewhat interested to see what happens next, but the writing wasn‘t my favorite.

Texreader ❤️ the kitty pillows!! 3mo
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cewilf
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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My view this morning at the MFA in Boston! Arrived early to the class I‘m taking and read on the steps. I‘ve been so busy (and exhausted) doing this class this week, I‘m glad today is the last day!! It‘s been wonderful, but I want to sleep past 6am again 😂

Megabooks Very pretty!! 3mo
38 likes1 comment
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cewilf
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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This seems to be a more unpopular opinion, but I‘m not loving this book a little over 100 pages in. Carrying the pig up the mountain and making it drink the water...is from Holes 🤔 That‘s an oddly specific thing to repeat, though of course I haven‘t finished that section yet. I‘m also not in love with the writing; I feel as though some of the profanity is superfluous and doesn‘t serve much purpose. We‘ll see..I‘ll keep reading for now.

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Jandara
Poppy War | R F Kuang
Pickpick

Finally got around to reading this fantasy book. I really did enjoy the gods and mythology of this book. I enjoyed the action and summoning of the gods within this book. This book was a great story of war and revenge. I enjoyed the development of the main character Rin. Definitely a good book and will read the next one later on

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cewilf
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Okay, I finished Throne of Glass (almost exactly one year to the day that I first read it 😂) and I am finally starting this one. This time last year I went on a crazy reading binge that lasted like 3 weeks. Hoping I can pull it off again!! 📚📚📚 I have a stack of books I‘ll post soon, I need help deciding what‘s next!

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lilaznbookluva
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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This book is amazing- and I only finished Part 1

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Shanwow
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
Pickpick

Makes you wonder.

LitsyWelcomeWagon Welcome to Litsy! Hope these #Litsytips by @RaimeyGallant http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU are helpful. There‘s so many fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more! #LitsyWelcomeWagon
3mo
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 3mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 👏🏻😊🌺 3mo
5 likes1 stack add4 comments
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thegirlwiththelibrarybag
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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So now that it is officially half way through the year... what have been your favourite reads?!

Tell me!!!!? These are mine! (But I could happily go on)

Redwritinghood Did you check out the #top6reads tag? 4mo
thegirlwiththelibrarybag @Redwritinghood, I hadn‘t. Thanks for the tip 4mo
60 likes2 comments
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suzisteffen
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
Pickpick

Whoops, I forgot that I‘d finished this one a few days ago - a terrifying read about both human and deity, knowing that one particularly gruesome portion is from history and the Japanese treatment of the wools of Nanking. It‘s like a grimdark book except based on history. Can‘t say I won‘t read the sequel but yikes. What started as a “poor orphan come to the magic school to make good” turned into something so different - a book of devastating war.

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suzisteffen
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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SUPER looking forward to this one! #SFF #fantasy #Kobo

rather_be_reading Hi Suzi, just wanted to make sure you received your #SummerReadingSwap package?? 4mo
suzisteffen @rather_be_reading hey there! Unfortunately for my knowledge of that, we left for the World Cup in Europe before a package came. I can tell you in a couple of weeks! 😉 4mo
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thegirlwiththelibrarybag
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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This book is just so gorgeous!!

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thegirlwiththelibrarybag
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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I freaking loved this when I read it earlier this year... and right now it‘s a bargain on Kindle!!!

Book 2 (of 3) due out in a couple of months!!!

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CBee
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Dearest @Daisey ♥️♥️ Thank you for the #kindlitsy gift! I needed this today 😊 I appreciate it so very much!!

Daisey Glad to hear it made your day a little brighter! 4mo
CBee @Daisey it totally did 😊 4mo
CBee @Daisey I have a copy of “The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun” by Tolkien. I‘d love to send it to you if you‘d like it? (edited) 4mo
Daisey That would be amazing! I‘m slowly collecting as many Tolkien books as possible, and that is one I haven‘t had a chance to read yet. 4mo
CBee @Daisey great! Send me your address and I‘ll get that to you. My email is cydneybean@gmail.com. ☺️ 4mo
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ScorpioBookDreams
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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I‘m about a third of the way through this and absolutely love it so far!

valeriegeary And I absolutely love this picture. 😘 4mo
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Geeklet
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Excellent deal today on The Poppy War for Kindle readers. The book is about a young peasant girl who gets into a elite magic warrior school. The premise sounds lamer than it really is. I guess you‘d consider it a YA book but I really enjoyed it and I‘m not much of a YA fan. The sequel The Dragon Republic comes out in August. #ebookdeal #kindle #fantasy

Ashley_Nicoletto I am thinking about rereading this one in anticipation of reading the second one. 5mo
Geeklet @Ashley_Nicoletto I got it from the library but I enjoyed it so much that I think I‘m going to buy hardcovers of the first and second books when The Dragon Republic comes out. There will definitely need to be a reread of the first one. I‘ve forgotten a lot of the plot. 5mo
26 likes2 comments
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Heatherfeather
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Picked up these two at Anderson's Bookshop today! #bookhaul

I love that Litsy won't judge the fact that I already have like 60,000 books on my TBR and yet I buy more.

Lisas.Library Are you in Illinois? 5mo
Follow.my.read I loved Once Upon a River!!!! 5mo
Tamra @Follow.my.read me too! 5mo
Heatherfeather @Lisas.Library yep!!! 5mo
Lisas.Library Me too! I love Anderson‘s! 5mo
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thegirlwiththelibrarybag
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Finally my hard to track down hardback copy arrived in the post!!! Loved this book when I read it earlier in the year - feels like a series (duology?) that I‘ll be rereading...

Jee_HookedOnBookz Apparently a trilogy! Happy re-reading! 📙 5mo
thegirlwiththelibrarybag @Jee_HookedOnBookz, a trilogy! Ok - probably won‘t reread until they are all out 5mo
62 likes2 comments
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tealwish
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

Intense. Not sure how to feel about the ending or the main character right now. It took me down a depressing rabbit hole of reading about the Nanking Massacre which I heard The Poppy War was based on. I had difficulty reading those parts, and then to read that an atrocity happened similar in reality is disturbing. I love that a fantasy expanded my history and deepened my compassion. Perhaps that was the author's goal.

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Lindy
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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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 anymore. They were soldiers.

(Looking at photos of child soldiers on the internet makes me so sad. Above: Myanmar.)

wanderinglynn Child soldiers 😢 it‘s such a crime to steal childhood like that. No one should have to see the kinds of things you see in war, especially not those whose brains aren‘t fully developed. I can‘t imagine what this does to the children. Heartbreaking. Tragic. And so very wrong. 6mo
gradcat It‘s such a terrible problem in Africa as well...I can‘t even begin to understand what they must go through...and how they can possibly come out on the other side. 😞 6mo
Lindy @gradcat And in Latin America also. I‘m glad there are NGOs working to help former child soldiers and to prevent further recruiting. 6mo
Lindy @wanderinglynn Yes, indeed. 😔 6mo
gradcat I hope the NGOs can do this successfully while also staying out of harm‘s way...these are such volatile situations. 6mo
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Lindy
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Now she had nothing to do—her future was out of her hands, and knowing that made her feel far worse.

(Photo: my grandniece, age 10, is currently visiting us. She was in an artistic mood.)

britt_brooke Love her creation! 6mo
Lindy @britt_brooke 😁Me too. 6mo
batsy I'm an instant fan of her art 🙂 6mo
See All 7 Comments
gradcat Nice! 🥰 6mo
Lindy @batsy @gradcat 😁🎨 6mo
readordierachel That is fabulous! 6mo
Lindy @readordierachel 😁👍 6mo
37 likes7 comments
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Lindy
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

A sprawling military fantasy inspired by the atrocities of the Sino-Japanese wars. Shamanism, dangerous gods, martial arts, corrupt power & social imbalances along the lines of wealth, privilege & race. The central character is an emotionally complex young woman, a war orphan. Her vengeful hatred of the enemy makes for a bleak ending, but balance may be restored in book 2, due this summer. 19-hour #audiobook expertly narrated by Emily Woo Zeller.

Lindy @TrishB It‘s hard to sum up my experience. The subjects of genocide, dehumanization and revenge make for grim reading, yet I found this compelling and plan to read the next book. 6mo
TrishB I‘m still up for reading it! Soonish.... 6mo
Lindy @TrishB 👍 6mo
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Lindy
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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War doesn't determine who's right. War determines who remains.

(Image is from the author‘s blog, a map that shows to what extent her fantasy novel draws on the landscapes of China and Japan. RFKuang.com )

TrishB Interested to see what you think of this one! I have it waiting. 6mo
Lindy @TrishB I have tagged you in my review. 😊 6mo
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Lindy
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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But how does the existence or nonexistence of the gods affect me? Why does it matter how the universe came to be?"
"Because you're part of it. Because you exist. And unless you want to only ever be a tiny modicum of existence that doesn't understand its relation to the grander web of things, you will explore.”

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Jee_HookedOnBookz
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

A page turner. Loved the plot as much as the characters. I liked how this novel blurred the areas of good and evil, right and wrong; how we, when consumed by powers, try to play God, yet at the same time err as humans. Ponder on this: What would you do if you literally have a God by your side, have powers as great as his/hers and able to bend the entire world to your will? What. Would. You. Do? Looking forward to the sequel!

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DoubleARon
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
Pickpick

Wow, well this was a fun and intriguing read. Full of an interesting blend of fantasy and psuedo- history. It kinda rambled a little towards the middle, but found its footing in a tragic and awesome way. Very enjoyable, and I look forward to the following volumes.

Theaelizabet My daughter liked this one and passed it on to me. Not something I‘d usually read, but I am intrigued. (edited) 7mo
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sparrowssavvy
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Mehso-so

I was waffling with this book a lot. While I loved the concept and the overall story, I had trouble getting through this book. I honestly don't know what it is, I can't put my finger on it, but something was missing for me.

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placebeyondthespines
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

Kuang wrote this book as a fantastical retelling of 20th century China to put a spotlight on the gruesome Massacre of Nanjing during the Second Sino-Japanese war. This book is a study on suffering, warfare, and trauma. It is a study on our conception of good versus evil and right versus wrong and at what point these lines become blurred enough that we can‘t separate ourselves from the enemy. 5/5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️