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The Poppy War: A Novel Paperback – April 23 2019

4.3 out of 5 stars 6,258 ratings

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From the Publisher

Product description


“The best fantasy debut of 2018...This year’s Potter.” — Wired

“I have no doubt this will end up being the best fantasy debut of the year [...] I have absolutely no doubt that [Kuang’s] name will be up there with the likes of Robin Hobb and N.K. Jemisin.” — Booknest

“The “year’s best debut” buzz around this one was warranted; it really is that good.” — B&N Sci-fi and Fantasy Blog

“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

“A blistering, powerful epic of war and revenge that will captivate you to the bitter end.” — Kameron Hurley, author of The Stars are Legion

“In The Poppy War, RF 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

“Battles. Bloodshed. Drugs. Amazing, amazing characters. Read it!” — Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M

“An original and engrossing tale of the coming of age of a talented young soldier amid the horrors of invasion and genocide.” — Anna Stephens, author of Godblind

“A powerful, emotional journey, compellingly written.” — Adrian Tchaikovsky, award-winning author of The Children of Time

“Debut novelist Kuang creates an ambitious fantasy reimagining of Asian history populated by martial artists, philosopher-generals, and gods [...] This is a strong and dramatic launch to Kuang’s career.” — Publishers Weekly

“The narrative is an impactful, impressive symphony of words that grant life to this incredible morality tale. Setting the stage for an epic fantasy is an understandably enormous undertaking, but Kuang does an exceptional job of world and character building.” — RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!)

“The book starts as an epic bildungsroman, and just when you think it can’t get any darker, it does [...] Kuang pulls from East Asian history, including the brutality of the Second Sino-Japanese war, to weave a wholly unique experience.” — Washington Post

“[The Poppy War is] strikingly grim military fantasy that summons readers into an East Asian–-inspired world of battles, opium, gods, and monsters. Fans of Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings will snap this one up.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“This looks like a good match for readers of Red Rising.” — Omnivoracious (10 Highly Anticipated New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books)

“The Poppy War is a masterful piece of fiction.” —  S. Qiouyi Lu for the B&N Sci-fi & Fantasy Blog

“A young woman’s determination and drive to succeed and excel at any cost runs into the horrors of war, conflict and ancient, suppressed forces in R. F. Kuang’s  excellent debut novel, The Poppy War.” — The Skiffy and Fanty Show

“Kuang ambitiously begins a trilogy that doesn’t shy away from the darkest sides of her characters, wrapped in a confectionery of high-fantasy pulp. [...] The future of Rin in this world may appear quite dark, but that of the series seems bright indeed.” — New York Daily News

“A complex, sprawling, ambitious novel, part coming of age and part tragedy of power, that uses motifs and influences from the 20th century. It reminds me tonally of Lara Elena Donnelly’s Amberlough and Joe Abercrombie’s Half a King, [and] in setting of K. Arsenault Rivera’s The Tiger’s Daughter.” —

“A complex, challenging, and incredibly ambitious novel.” — Vulture (The 10 Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of 2018)

“If you have read and enjoyed George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or Sabah Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes then you are likely to enjoy this.” — Sammy’s Shelf

This Summer’s Hottest New Books For Every Type of Reader — Popsugar

“I can safely say that this will be the finest debut of 2018 and I’d be surprised if it isn’t one of the top 3 books of the year full stop. Spectacular, masterclass, brilliant, awesome [...] Simply put, R.F. Kuang’s “The Poppy War” is a towering achievement of modern fantasy.” — Fantasy Book Review

“This isn’t just another magical, fantasy world with artificially fabricated stakes. Rin’s journey and the war against the Federation feel incredibly urgent and powerful [...] R.F. Kuang is one of the most exciting new authors I’ve had the privilege of reading.” — The Roarbots

“[THE POPPY WAR] feels entirely immersive and rich in a way that kind of sucks you in [...] It’s a treasure trove.” — Utopia State of Mind

The Poppy War was a fun, engrossing, journey to a world I wish I could visit and a school I wish I could attend. With its strong characters, interesting world building, and intriguing plot it is a great read that I would recommend to anyone.” — The Quill to Live

“The book kicks arse, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a cracking debut, and one I recommend without reservation.” — Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

“This novel has already rocketed up to the top of my list of favorite fantasy reads of all time. It was everything I wanted and more.” — The BiblioSanctum

From the Back Cover

Peasant. Student. Soldier. Goddess.

When war orphan Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the academies—she surprised everyone: test officials, the guardians who wanted to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise, and even herself.

But being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not easy at Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan. Targeted by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers that gods long thought dead are very much alive, and that she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly mythical art of shamanism that could be the weapon the empire desperately needs.

While Nikara is at peace, its enemy and former occupiers, the Federation of Mugen, bides its time . . . and a Third Poppy War is just a spark away. Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. Yet as she discovers more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity.

And it may already be too late.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (April 23 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 544 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062662589
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062662583
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 372 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.49 x 2.21 x 20.32 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 6,258 ratings

About the author

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Rebecca F. Kuang is the Nebula, Locus, and Campbell Award nominated author of The Poppy War and its forthcoming sequel The Dragon Republic (Harper Voyager). She is currently pursuing an MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies at Cambridge University on a Marshall Scholarship, where her dissertation examines propaganda literature by Northeast writers during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Her debut The Poppy War was listed by Times, Amazon, Goodreads, and the Guardian as one of the best books of 2018 and has won the Crawford Award and Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
6,258 global ratings

Top reviews from Canada

Reviewed in Canada on April 12, 2019
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Reviewed in Canada on December 27, 2020
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Reviewed in Canada on December 5, 2018
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Reviewed in Canada on November 30, 2020
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Reviewed in Canada on July 31, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

3.0 out of 5 stars Good debut but after an explosive start it just fizzles out.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 11, 2018
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66 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lindo! Ansiosa pra ler.
Reviewed in Brazil on April 26, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lindo! Ansiosa pra ler.
Reviewed in Brazil on April 26, 2021
Ainda não li mas tô colocando aq as fotos com e sem a jacket Pra quem gosta de saber como é antes de comprar 😉
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46 people found this helpful
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Becky Crook
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Fantasy novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2018
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19 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars an impressive but somewhat unbalanced and tonally inconsistent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2019
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11 people found this helpful
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Mr. A Weston
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to have your perceptions altered.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 17, 2019
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5 people found this helpful
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