THE DRAGON REPUBLIC
R. F. KUANG
SERIES: The Poppy War #2
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Historical Fantasy
REPRESENTATION: Alt-History China Setting and Characters
August 6th 2019 by Harper Voyager/ HarperCollins
Trigger Warnings: Drugs/ Addiction, War (violence and gore), Rape
In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.
With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.
But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Oh my gosh, I loved this book. I’m not really sure where to start.
While I did enjoy the first book, The Poppy War, which I read just last month, I think the sequel is better. It definitely doesn’t suffer from second book syndrome.
I loved the start of The Poppy War, — where Rin studies to get in to, and then survive, Sinegard — and I thought the end was heart-wrenching, but I felt there is a kind of midpoint lag that just prevented the book from being a full five-stars for me.
Luckily, The Dragon Republic has no such issue. The entire book is compelling from front to back. There’s no moment that I thought was less interesting than the rest and no part that I would have skimmed. Whereas The Poppy War falls into two distinct parts, The Dragon Republic feels more like a full, complete story from start to finish.
The Dragon Republic is a tour de force of action, political manoeuvring, religious conflict and personal upheaval.
Many characters from the first book return and I felt that at that everyone was built upon in this story — secondary characters become more intriguing and favourites break your heart. I continue to adore Rin as a character. I adore her unflinching pragmatism, even in the moments when I find myself wincing at the actions she takes or suggests. I’m not entirely sure if I can say anything more about The Dragon Republic without giving away huge plot points, but I’m sure it’s going to surprise and emotionally devastate readers.
There’s one more book in this trilogy — and I desperately want to get my hands on it right this second — so I have no idea how I’m going to wait until it’s released! I’ve also no idea how Kuang is going to top The Dragon Republic in the series finale, but I’m sure she’s going to manage somehow. The Poppy War trilogy is setting itself up as one of the most impressively sprawling and complex world’s I’ve had the pleasure to read about and I’m already stoked for the conclusion.
This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on LovelyAudiobooks.info