The Poppy War: A Novel

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An orphan of the last Poppy War and indentured to her opium-dealing foster parents, Fang Runin longs for escape. And once the Fang’s arrange Rin’s betrothal, the Keju exam is her only way out. Out of the entire Nikaran Rooster province, she alone is accepted to the prestigious military academy in Sinegard. And she alone pledges to the school’s Lore master, Jiang, who spends more time getting high and gardening than he does teaching. Her classmates—warlord’s children and noble prodigies—think she’s a joke until the Federation of Mugen declares war, again. Despite Jiang’s warnings, Rin’s newfound aptitude for channeling divine power is her chance to exact the vengeance she didn’t know she needed.

Well-placed shifts in perspective and voice from Rin’s hallucinations, shadow puppet plays, and ancient manuscripts intimate the far-off plots of the Nikaran Empress and the ruthless Federation of Mugen. Beyond even that, the different backgrounds of each character (the seer from the Hinterlands, the exile from the destroyed island of Speer, the Muganese doctor) impart a full world outside the borders of the decaying Nikaran Empire. Early on, Rin’s character follows a path familiar to fantasy—an outspoken underdog forced away from home. A mixture of magic and military strategy with elements of Chinese history erupts from that hero’s journey, however, revealing this epic’s ominous heart.

This page was created by an SFBR staff member.


Reviewed By:

Author R. F Kuang
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 544 pages
Publisher Harper Voyager
Publish Date 2018-May-01
ISBN 9780062662569
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2018
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
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