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The Dragon Republic Paperback – July 14 2020
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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, unseat the Empress, and create a new republic.
But neither the Empress nor the Dragon Warlord are what they seem. The more Rin witnesses, the more she fears her love for Nikan will force her to use the Phoenix’s deadly power once more.
Because there is nothing Rin won’t sacrifice to save her country . . . and exact her vengeance.
“Her story’s refreshing, shocking, and there’s some sort of invisible phoenix fire god controlling everything. Behold the horizons of fantasy expand.” — Wired
“This stunning sequel to The Poppy War is an epic journey of vengeance, friendship, and power . . . Kuang has created a young woman torn by her connections to friends and family, searching for love and belonging, and given power beyond her imagining. Her story is unforgettable.” — Library Journal (starred review) on The Dragon Republic
“Kuang brings brilliance to this invigorating and complex military fantasy sequel to The Poppy War.” — Publishers Weekly on The Dragon Republic
“Kuang’s descriptive storytelling reveals the grueling psychological and material cost of war on combatants and those they are supposed to protect. Fans of epic military fantasy will be eager for the next volume.” — Booklist (starred review)
“The Dragon Republic is straight up incredible [...] It’s big, bold, beautiful, and badass.” — Fantasy Hive
“The Dragon Republic is a brilliantly unputdownable sequel that deflects the infamous middle book syndrome with brutal precision. With The Dragon Republic, Kuang has proven that her debut wasn’t a one-hit wonder, further establishing herself as the new rising queen of fantasy.” — Novel Notions on The Dragon Republic
From the Back Cover
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 vise, 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. Rin’s only hope is to join forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who plots to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new republic.
But the Empress and the Dragon Warlord are not what they seem. The more Rin witnesses, the more she fears her love for Nikan will force her to use the Phoenix’s deadly power once more.Because there is nothing Rin won’t sacrifice to save her country . . . and exact her vengeance.
- Publisher : Harper Voyager (July 14 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 672 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062662600
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062662606
- Item weight : 454 g
- Dimensions : 13.49 x 3.84 x 20.32 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I've read all three books; unfortunately, the first is the best...
Books like these aren't doing anything good for fantasy literature.
That being said, this book or in fact the entire series, should be on your to-read list. The second instalment in this series has confirmed where the true power lies. It’s the characters. Starting with Fang Runin ‘Rin’, she is flawed to the point of frustration. She is naïve and impulsive, quick to anger and shirks responsibility given the chance. Rin leaves the reader frustrated and exasperated, excited and elated, terrified and degraded. She leaps off the pages, becoming a larger than life character who is a real as you and me. Her actions are believable, her inner monologue familiar, her securities understandable. She breaks the confinements of the written world and materializes as someone we have met, have seen, have known in our everyday lives. Minus the obvious ability to call down an all-powerful, all-consuming god that is. And the same is true for the cast of accompanying characters that force us to see this world from different perspectives.
Where the Poppy War swept us up in Rin’s conviction, the justifications of her actions, the classifications of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The Dragon Republic will leave us reeling, wondering if we had it wrong all this time. Questioning if we might have done the same as the Empress if we had been placed in her shoes. It skews our view of who and what to trust until there is nothing left but questions.
Kuang expands on the detailed world she has laid out in the Poppy War. Introducing us to new races, cultures and even utterly believable forms of magic that we could not have imagined previously. This book does not only live up to the expectations that inevitably followed The Poppy War, but it surpasses it. The Dragon Republic is a sequel that you will not be able to put down. Easily thwarting the second instalment syndrome that has plagued so many that came before.
The Dragon Republic takes this beginning and does a pretty fair job of expanding itself into a continent defining work full of politics, intrigue, and war. There are lots of battles, lots of killing, lots of betrayals, all played out against a very believable backdrop of political, cultural, and religious change driven by historical pressures.
The magical elements of the story are developed, nicely balanced between too little and too much. Whilst the one god brigade enter the fray and try to disprove the reality of the shamans, we are given more insight into the Trifecta and hints of how and why they received their powers. The conflict between the two views of the universe will hopefully provide a fertile foundation for the finale.
Character development continues to be strong and believable, with a few more interesting characters arriving to keep it interesting. Rin continues to annoy me, and I’m not sure whether this is a bad thing – a character not quite cogent – or it is a good thing – a teenager with amazing powers but the immaturity of youth.
I am looking forwards to see how it all pans out in book #3
Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 SciFi fantasy series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl, Undon , 4659, and Mudborn now available on Amazon.
I don’t think I have ever read a book where I don’t know how to feel about the main protagonist. I hope this is purposeful, because it’s brilliant!
The decisions Rin makes often make me want to shout at the book as it’s obvious that she’s letting her emotions get the better of her – that she’s either being lied to or can’t see the obvious threat because she’s so angry.
That being said, Rin’s friendships are wonderful. She’s never better than when she’s talking with her friends (no names because of possible spoilers).
The plot of this book is fantastic! It’s one of the main reasons I liked this book more than The Poppy War. We go to war again, but Rin is now on the offensive. It’s fascinating to watch as the chess pieces are moved around the board, and to see how the decisions of the people on top of the hierarchy affects those at the bottom.
R. F. Kuang is obviously making a statement on war and it hits home every time.
I am very excited to see where Rin’s story goes from here in The Burning God. I really think this trilogy could become one of my favourite fantasy series of all time!
(POSSIBLE) SPOILER SECTION AHEAD
I want to go into more depth on why I don’t always like Rin. She’s always angry, and even though we can sympathise with that anger, it becomes more difficult to be understanding when she can’t – or refuses to – see the bigger picture.
This is obviously because she feels lost, alone, afraid, and betrayed. Rin is mentally unhinged, on the precipice to madness, and doesn’t feel like anything matters much.
Her character is complex, and the crafting of her character is a work of art – it’s incredible! It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading the book – because I loved it and appreciated what R. F. Kuang was crafting with Rin – but that doesn’t change the fact that Rin can be a difficult point of view to follow.
Nezha quickly became quite a complex character – especially with the prologue foreshadowing future events of the story, and then his final scene with Rin.
His betrayal was a wonderfully symbolic knife to the back, and when I read it, it was like I could feel Rin’s agony too. I don’t believe that he is a bad person – he’s traumatised by what’s happened to him as a child and is constantly fighting for his parents’ love and attention – but I don’t think Rin or the others will ever be able to forgive him now.
The final scenes set up The Burning God really well. They’ve gotten me excited to see where Rin will go now. She’s began in The Poppy War as a new recruit of the army.
In The Dragon Republic she became a commander. Now she’s going to be a Warlord. I am excited to see how she will react to this new power, and what she will do with this power – she is a Goddess in her people’s eyes!
Kitay will also have a larger role in this, and I love his character and his loyalty to his friends and morality, so I want to see more of him!
Kitay and Venka are also struggling with their experiences in the last Poppy but find themselves dragged into civil war along with the Cike when Poppy joins forces with Nezha’s father the Dragon Warlord, Vaisra. Vaisra has a vision of bringing democracy to Nikan but he has to defeat the Empress, work with the other warlords and will do anything to achieve this including working with the foreign Hesperians.
I thought that the characters' reactions to the horrific events from the last book were realistic and formed the best part of the book. A lot of books don’t touch on the consequences of people doing bad things or having bad things done to them but the author doesn’t sugar-coat this for us.
Rin continues to be the angry outsider struggling to be accepted by the people around here ( both people from Nikan and the Hessperians) no matter what she does or what she gives up. Her simmering rage is described well each time she is subjected to another insult.
Kitay is my favourite and I think he forms the heart of this book and provides some optimism.
The action and battle scenes are vividly described, and I loved the addition of technology to this already intricate world. The political intrigue was much more complex in this book and there were some reveals that took me by surprise.
The book again is divided into three parts, and I did struggle with some parts of the book. I found myself skipping quite a few pages of descriptions of discussions on religion and strategy to find out what happens. There is still angst but this time Rin’s angst is focused on Nezha’s problems and their complicated relationship.
This book has lots of dark themes and is not for anyone looking for a nice and easy read.