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ARC Review: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


What I Liked:

Writing. Once again, I was a huge fan of Kuang’s writing style. She created interesting characters, great battles, and made me feel for Rin every step of the way.

Plot. I felt that the action/plot did drag in the middle but overall it was engrossing and hard to put down. I found myself much more engaged with the second novel than the first.

Characters. I loved the fact that Kuang continues to only have one point of view (aside from the prologue), Rin’s because it allows the reader to see how much she has changed. The author also does a great job of creating intriguing and important side characters that I came to love over the last two novels.

Magic/World Building. I felt that the world building was done ten times better in the second novel. The author expanded on the world from book one and brought in new elements.

What I Disliked:

Pacing/Middle. The only reason I did not give this a full 5 stars was the middle. The book was over 600 pages but the only part the dragged for me was the middle where it mainly focused on the war/battles.

I recommend checking out this thrilling, well-written, and intense Fantasy series!


4.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars.


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