Title: The Dragon Republic
Author: R.F. Kuang
Series: The Poppy War #2
Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 24 hours (658 pages)
Publisher: Harper Voyager; Harper Audio
Release Date: August 8, 2019
Source: Hardcover from personal collection; audiobook from library
Content Warnings: rape, drug abuse, graphic depictions of war violence
In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.
With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.
But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.
The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.
This book took me a full month to read because it started as a buddy read that fell apart so I kept setting it aside for other books until I finally switched to audio to finish it up. (by the way…the audiobook is fantastic)
This is an excellent sequel. It starts off a little slow, but it picks up once Rin stops feeling sorry for herself. The book is quite long, but it offers so much expanded world building, including a deeper understanding of the shaman magic, warfare, and politics in this world.
I am so impressed by the writing. The ending was very twisty and mind blowing. Like The Poppy War, this book has lots of potential triggers and is very graphic and gruesome.