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
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.
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...
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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 )
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.”
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!
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.
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
What begins as a familiar coming of age story--a mistreated orphan tests into an elite military academy--gradually morphs into something much darker; a confrontation with the brutal realities of war and the all too human tendency to dehumanize one's enemies. Set in a world inspired by Chinese history and mythology, The Poppy War is a gripping, sometimes gory, ultimately devastating book. Fans of Pierce Brown may be particularly interested.
I went into this novel thinking it was YA fantasy but it‘s definitely adult fantasy. Trigger warning for violence and war time atrocities. Rin , a war Orphan, has one way out of her small village and arranged marriage, pass the national exams and win entrance to the most elite military academy in the country. RF Kuang has envisioned a densely detailed landscape based on modern Chinese history. Immersive and fascinating two thumbs up 👍👍
I wasn‘t quite sure what to expect after I‘d heard so much good things about this book, but it quickly blew past all my expectations. It was a gritty look at war & genocide & gods, but not entirely hopeless.
It also brings my total of finished books to 15 for February, which I‘m very happy with.
Read 2, about to start a third, have 2 more on the shelf! Guess I‘m in tune this year!
Wow. Wow wow WOW. What a read. Gripping and arresting and horrifying all at once. Be forewarned, there are some grizzly details about war, genocide, and an off page rape that I nearly had to fast forward past. All of this forces the reader to reconcile the actions of the protagonist with the horrors that drove her there.
I really enjoyed this. In a weird way it kind of reminded me of the Alanna/Lioness quartet in that she is a girl struggling to succeed in a male dominated field. Looking forward to seeing where the next book ventures as things took rather a dark turn towards the end of this book...
It has taken me some time after reading this to post a review. I have mixed feelings because I loved the first half of the book and couldn‘t get enough and then I hit the part about the actual war and lost interest!! This makes no sense to me and I can‘t explain it, perhaps it was just the mood I was in while reading. Maybe, just maybe, I‘ll pick up the second book and fall back in love. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ and 1/2⭐️
WARNING - Very gruesome!
The massacre that happens in Golyn Niis... the awful things those Federation scum did to the people of that place... the children.. the babies.. not many books make me cry, like tears flowing, but having to read the evilness in detail.. man.. it made my stomach sick. I had to skip over some parts it was just too gruesome.
I could of done without that part. I definitely could of.
I am really looking forward to reading this book! From what I've read so far, it's definitely going to live up to all the hype surrounding it.
I love a great orphan rises to greatness story and Rin sounds like she's going to be so great ❤
And I just love the cover! It's so simple but yet fierce!
Kong Bak Pau (braised five-spice pork with steamed buns), stirfried garlicky green beans and this fun read about a young girl who enters an elite military academy. Now the country is at war and part of me wants it to go back to when they were still studying but its title is The Poppy War and as such, War it must be. But I must say, although I‘m just about halfway, it is an awesome read .
Up next on my #NewYearWhoDis list - still a few days early, but my library had it ready so what's a girl to do? 😋
A lot of YA books lately seem to me to follow a formula, but this was not one of those. Drawing from Chinese history and mythology, the author does a great job of world-building and character-development. A little drawn out, but good plot and pacing. Rather violent/gruesome in places, so don‘t read if you‘re squeamish. 3.5⭐️
This was an excruciating book for me to read: it‘s about war, and is just as dark, traumatic, harsh, and horrible as war is. Rin‘s hunger for power is also hard for me - I don‘t understand it, it frightens me. The power of the writing and the story make it a pick, but it‘s a doozy. Be careful with this one.
The Poppy War is an intense read I highly recommend to those who appreciate gritty fantasy that doesn't have a clear good vs evil in either the overarching story or the characters. Also, read the author's bio. By the time you reach a certain point in the story, her scholarly expertise is apparent. The grisly details is a reminder that while this story is fiction, it's based on extensive knowledge of humanity at it's worst.
Sound familiar? “The Keju doesn‘t mean anything,” Rin said scathingly. “The Keju is a ruse to keep uneducated peasants right where they‘ve always been. You slip past the Keju, they‘ll find a way to expel you anyway. The Keju keeps the lower classes sedated. It keeps us dreaming. It‘s not a ladder for mobility; it‘s a way to keep people like me exactly where they were born. The Keju is a drug.”
There were many things I enjoyed about this story. The world-building was fantastic, I thought racism was addressed throughout the story, and the action was engaging- mostly.
However, this story was too violent for me. At times I also found the main character unbelievably obtuse. I wanted a redemption story, but there was only revenge. Maybe with the rest of the series she‘ll get there.