on May 1, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Epic, Cultural Heritage
Amazon // The Book Depository
When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.
But surprises aren’t always good.
Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.
For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .
Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.
the poppy war is a
chinese-inspired fantasy and everyone is high.
tiggerwarnings: self-harm, suicide, violent rape, sexual assault, murder, massacres, brutalization, mutilation, torture, substance abuse, abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, relationship abuse, human experimentation, chemical warfare, genocide
HIGH KEY CHINESE FANTASY.
War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who remains.
however, it was a little hard to get into the book. some historical references to their world aren’t directly explained and you’re left to fend for yourself. i found it hard to remember who was who, and what was what. it all makes sense later in the story, but in the beginning
aside from the confusing historical references, the writing is so wonderful.
I have become something wonderful, she thought. I have become something terrible. Was she now a goddess or a monster? Perhaps neither. Perhaps both.
the characters are also incredibly complex. our main character,
all in all, The Poppy War is amazing.