The Poppy War – A story of War

So poppy war has been all over my feed the last couple of weeks, eventually, I decided to buy it. The cover looked nice too so that was a plus side. This book was kind of on the pricey side, but it was definitely worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

The Poppy War is a book about a girl named Rin, a dark-skinned war orphan from the south. Rin had her heart set on passing the placement test for the empire’s most reputable military school, in hopes of getting in and escaping an oppressive arranged marriage. Now, TikTok has a way of selling books as something they aren’t. I was told The Poppy War was academic rivals to lovers as one of the side tropes. It was not. 

In fact, The Poppy War was far from that. 

Poppy War has a LIST of trigger warnings; Genocide, Albiesm, Sexism, Self-harm, Racism, Torture, Very graphicly described gore, alot of drug use, substance addiction, the list goes on.ย 

Rin doesn’t get chosen to go to the prestigious military school, she studied day and night for years and worked hard to get there. Nothing was handed to her on a plate. When she gets to Sinegard, it only becomes worse. She is surrounded by high-ranking military officers’ children, all of who are extremely rich, and of course, are snobs too. All who told her to forget imagining being equal to them. 

This is not a romance school story, it’s a story of War. The author based alot of it on the Second Sino-Japanese War. Now you may wonder, why is it named โ€œThe Poppy Warโ€? Well, poppy refers to Opium. Opium played a huge part in the wars in this book, and they were also one of China’s weaknesses before the Second Sino War.ย 

I loved rins character, she didn’t let anything stop her from getting what she wanted. She stood out the most in her military school because of her dark skin and accent, making her an easy target and prone to bullying. During her time at Sinegard, she discovers a power in her, and then all she craves is power. That was a turning point in the book, because it was either she becomes obsessed and absorbed with power, or she learns to balance it. But nothing comes free from gods who can’t be trusted.

R. F. Kuang really puts alot of thought into her characters, as any author would, you can see them change, develop and grow. Alot of books that Iโ€™ve read which has something to do with war is always romanticized and seen as heroic and glorious. This book did not do that at all, it shows the raw, gruesome, and real perspective, the tragedies and human brutality of war.ย 

In conclusion, The Poppy War isnt a book for the faint-hearted, but it is a must-read if you dont mind the trigger warnings. I really enjoyed reading it, and hopefully ill get the second book soon.

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