The Poppy War

The Poppy War

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Paperback Published on: 18/10/2018
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Poppy War
Dark, Gritty, Fantasy at its Finest
R.F. Kuang's debut is astounding. This book perfectly blends 20th Century Chinese History into this fantasy world that is brutal, cut-throat and often dead... READ MORE
Lily at Poole
The Poppy War
Worth the pain
Wow… this book pulled no punches. It immediately immersed me into the turmoil Nikan as a country was facing, but more acutely, I was plunged into Rin’s own... READ MORE
The Poppy War
Entirely consuming
RF Kuang’s incredible debut and she only gets better. The Poppy War is one of the best books ever written and also one of the hardest the read. The cha... READ MORE
Faria at Blackburn


A brilliantly imaginative epic fantasy debut, inspired by the bloody history of China's twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic.

When Rin aced the Keju - the test to find the most talented students in the Empire - 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 had hoped to get rich by marrying her off; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free from a life of servitude. 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. Fighting the prejudice of rival classmates, Rin discovers that 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 psychoactive substances and a seemingly insane teacher, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive - and that mastering these 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 Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most people calmly go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away...

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ISBN: 9780008239848
  • Number of pages: 544
  • Weight: 370g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 34 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Poppy War
A Debut born in Fire
In advance of receiving a proof of the second book, (the dragon emperor) I quickly picked up the Poppy War and didn't put it back down. The main character ... READ MORE
Michael Saiger
The Poppy War
Brilliant and Worth the Read
Content/Trigger Warnings: Drug Abuse [not talking about those used for certain Shamanic reasons], Self-harm, racism, genocide, detailed violent war crimes ... READ MORE
The Poppy War
Dark, Gripping Reality of being a child of war
This book has me gripped. It’s portrayal of war in the grittiest reality was beautiful, horrifying and eye opening. The fantasy in this book wasn’t hard to... READ MORE
Martine Hamilton
The Poppy War
A strange one
3.5-5 stars - I had to think long and hard about this review, which is very unlike me. On one hand the plotline itself was very young adult and in the firs... READ MORE
Victoria Alyesa
The Poppy War
What an adventure
Amazing book! It does start of slow, but when you get into it omg you find you can not put it down. I was reading it every opportunity I got, the second I ... READ MORE
Suzanne Dolejsi
The Poppy War
An amazing debut
The Poppy War is an epic historical political fantasy grounded in the history of China’s 20th century in which Rin—a war orphan from the rural south—has he... READ MORE
Filipa Mendonca
The Poppy War
Beautifully written.
This is a book written by an incredibly talented author who clearly knows her history and is not afraid to write about it in an honest and open way whilst ... READ MORE
The Poppy War
Starts off as a meek nice story about a peasant girl going to the big city but very quickly awakens to a brutal bit of literature which continues epically ... READ MORE