The Dragon Republic

, #2

Hardcover, 672 pages

English language

Published Aug. 21, 2019 by Harper Voyager.

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4 stars (1 review)

Rin’s story continues in this acclaimed sequel to The Poppy War—an epic fantasy combining the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters.

The war is over.

The war has just begun.

Three times throughout its history, Nikan has fought for its survival in the bloody Poppy Wars. Though the third battle has just ended, shaman and warrior Rin cannot forget the atrocity she committed to save her people. Now she is on the run from her guilt, the opium addiction that holds her like a vice, and the murderous commands of the fiery Phoenix—the vengeful god who has blessed Rin with her fearsome power.

Though she does not want to live, she refuses to die until she avenges the traitorous Empress who betrayed Rin’s homeland to its enemies. Her only hope is to join forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who plots to conquer Nikan, …

1 edition

War is ugly and cruel…

4 stars

…and it makes monsters of people who might have been something better in another life.

The second book in the Poppy War Trilogy is very good, but also almost entirely devoid of light. That, in my opinion, makes this an excellent military fantasy. Too many other stories in the genre glorify war—or, at least, the heroes who fight in war. The Dragon Republic doesn't do that. Our hero is a terrible weapon of war burdened with trauma after trauma, and she is never given the opportunity of a good choice. It's all brutal and awful, and it feels so real.

Don't look to this story to give you the kind of feel-good battle of good versus evil that you'll find in the likes of Harry Potter. That sort of thing is for children; this story is for adults who know that the world of humankind is often anything …