Summary

A powerful epic fantasy novel with roots in the 20th-century history of China.
Opium runs through the heart of the Nikara Empire, a constant reminder of the war with the Federation of Mugen that brought it to the empire’s shores. A war that ended only thanks to three heroes - the Vipress, the Dragon Emperor and the Gatekeeper - known as the Trifecta. They were legendary figures, each bestowed with godlike powers, who united the warlords of the Empire against the Federation.
Decades have passed. The Trifecta is shattered; the Dragon Emperor is dead, the Gatekeeper is missing and the Vipress alone sits on the throne at Sinegard. Peace reigns, yet the poppy remains.
War orphan Fang Runin grew up with it. Her adopted family smuggles it throughout the Rooster province, making a living on the misfortune of those addicted to its smoke. But when Rin’s parents force her into an arranged marriage, Rin refuses to accept her fate and fights her way to the prestigious military academy at Sinegard.
There she will learn of drug-fuelled shamanic powers thought to be myth, powers which might defeat the Federation during its third invasion. But the cost of some power is too great to pay, even if it means winning a war that threatens to destroy an entire nation.
©2018 R. F. Kuang (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers
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Critic reviews

"A blistering, powerful epic of war and revenge that will captivate you to the bitter end." (Kameron Hurley, author of The Stars Are Legion)
"A thrilling, action-packed fantasy of gods and mythology...The ambitious heroine’s rise from poverty to ruthless military commander makes for a gripping read, and I eagerly await the next installment." (Julie C. Dao, author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
 "In The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang draws on history and myth to tell a relentlessly unforgiving story of war, vengeance, power and madness, with larger-than-life characters that evoke sympathy and rouse terror. Brace yourself." (Fonda Lee, award-winning author of The Green Bone Saga)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Evi on 05-06-18

Magnificent book!

My words. This was a magnificent read (audio). Fantastic storytelling and the layering of each character is superb. Definitely a YA fantasy book you need to read (listen).

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Elly on 03-08-18

Loved it

I loved this and couldn't stop listening. Would recommend looking into trigger warnings before purchasing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By WongGgn on 14-06-18

Something is Missing

The story began very well with much potential but the immaturity, selfishness and short-sightedness of the protagonist made the story at times rather weary. Her amazing memory and exposure to great teachers only shows that vast amount of knowledge and horrific life changing experience does not guarantee an ability to be far-sighted and wise. Towards the end, I was rooting for someone else.

I will have to hope that the second book will bring about a more mature and reflective heroine. Keeping fingers cross

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