The Dragon Republic

The Dragon Republic

by R. F. Kuang

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The Dragon Republic 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
miareese 4 months ago
Wow. I loved this even more than The Poppy War, which is saying something. I can't say too much about this book since it is a sequel, but this trilogy is one of the most bloodthirsty, vengeful series I've ever read, and it is awesome. I seriously cannot wait for the final installment!.
Anonymous 4 months ago
R.F. Kuang continues to amaze me with her writing abilities! The second installment of this trilogy starts off after the third Poppy War ends, and Rin is racked with guilt. She fights her opioid addiction, battling her internal demons as her lust for vengeance against the Empress Daji shapes her actions. The story spends much of its time inside Rin's head as she struggles to find control of her Phoenix power, just as potent a battleground as those outside it. Eventually, with the help of the Cike and the Dragon Warlord, Rin regains control of her power, and brings the fight to Daji. While I enjoyed the world-building more than some of the characters, and it seems that both sides of this conflict are excessively vicious, as the adage goes: "War is hell." For Rin, it certainly is no different. I can't wait to see where Kuang will take us next, but wherever it is I know it will be spectacular!
Anonymous 4 months ago
Where's the third volume already?
Anonymous 4 months ago
This was an really good book. It picks up where The Poppy War left off. The characters were well written although Rin could be a bit angsty at times. Her struggle to lead the group and live up to Altan who she replaced is fraught with struggle and self discovery. She overcomes a lot. Lots of political intrigue and war. The setting was easy to put yourself into. You could really imagine yourself there. Overall a good second book.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This book is filled with so much war, so many twists that I was not expecting and even though I was cheering for a certain individual (will not say who, to avoid spoilers), the end of this book just makes me hope that Rin gets her revenge! One thing that I wish had not happened was the loss of some of my favorites, it just made me really sad. The world is still fantastic! The magic in this book is fantastic! The characters, the plot, just everything was fantastic! I neeeeeeeed book 3 NOW!
Christine Sandquist 6 months ago
“People will seek to use you or destroy you. If you want to live, you must pick a side. So do not shirk from war, child. Do not flinch from suffering. When you hear screaming, run toward it.” R. F. Kuang returns to the world of The Poppy War with this stunning sequel, The Dragon Republic. Everything I enjoyed about The Poppy War is not only present once again in The Dragon Republic, but amplified. Rather than falling victim to “middle book syndrome,” Kuang knocks it out of the park by taking Rin & Co. in an entirely new direction. Instead of continuing to fight the same old battles against the same old enemies, Rin becomes a soldier in a new fight: the battle to fill the power vacuum she created at the conclusion of The Poppy War. For those who have yet to read The Poppy War, I highly recommend checking out my earlier review. Beware, O Ye Who Enter Here: there WILL be spoilers for the first book (and first book only). There’s a time skip of several months at the start of The Dragon Republic, which helps to throw us right into the beginning of the new story arc. Where The Poppy War was a novel in two parts, starting with a military academy before throwing it out in favor of full-on grimdark military fantasy, the sequel has a much steadier pace throughout the book. I found this to be a great deal more enjoyable, as it felt more natural and less jarring. Rin and the Cike have fallen in with the pirate queen, Moag, before quickly being sold out to the Dragon Warlord: Yin Vaisra. Fortunately, Vaisra isn’t after their deaths, but rather after the firepower the Cike will bring to his campaign. Vaisra, you see, intends not to set himself upon a throne… but to create a democratic legacy rather than a dynasty. He intends to create a republic. “Fear used to be a unifying force. Now the cracks in the foundation grow day by day. Do you know how many local insurrections have erupted in the past month? Daji is doing everything she can to keep the Empire united, but the institution is a sinking ship that’s rotted at the core. It may drift for a while, but eventually it will be dashed to pieces against the rocks.” “And you think you can destroy it and building a new one.” Rin, at this point, is thoroughly dependent on opium both to function and to contend with what she has done with the help of the phoenix. She is a shell of a person, not fit for command. However, a large portion of this book deals with her coming to accept not only who she is, but also who Altan was… both as a human being, and to her specifically. His memory is used against her repeatedly as a weapon, beating her down and crushing her spirit, and it is only by accepting herself and how she feels about him that she’ll be able to move forward. It’s a painful and heartbreaking process, but it’s a poison that’s eating her from the inside out and which must be purged before she can be whole once more. “She’d known for months she was killing herself and that she didn’t have the control to stop, that the only person who might have stopped her was dead. She needed someone who was capable of controlling her like no one since Altan could. She hated to admit it, but she knew that in Vaisra she might have found a savior.” Kitay, of course, also returns in this novel. He’s grown, hardened by the massacre at Golyn Niis, but to Rin… he’s still the same old Kitay.
Amy Smith Carman 6 months ago
Title: Dragon Republic Author: R. F. Kuang Pages: 672 Release Date: August 6, 2019 Genre: Dark Fantasy Series or Stand-Alone: Book 2 in a trilogy Stars: 4/5 People of Color?: Yes, a retelling of 20th century Chinese history LGBTQ?: Unsure Bechdel Test? (Depiction of Women): Yes Trigger Warning: So many warnings! There is hardcore addiction, dirty warfare, entire cities of people mutilated and killed, abuse, etc. This is a very heavy book that covers heavy topics with no promises of happy endings for anyone. I received a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Wow, Ok, I don’t even know where to begin. I am not going to give too much of a summary. If you’ve read book 1, then book 2 continues from the absolute state of chaos the previous book ended on. It’s all the more terrible because this book continues to be loosely based on 20th-century Chinese history. Kuang may be the author who has best encapsulates the essence of warfare in her books that I have read. She weaves in magic and monsters into her story as well. I must admit, I had to put down the book several times because the themes were overwhelming. So, I would definitely make sure you are in the right mood to read this. When the action does break, we follow a group of special forces all battling with addiction to opium. When there are quiet moments, we hear the gods rage in Rin’s head. This book did not hold any punches and was a perfect sequel from the Poppy War. I look forward to what Kuang does in book 3 as well as in her future works!
HollyLovesBooks4 6 months ago
If you liked The Poppy Wars, the second book in the series is not a disappointment. I have seen some negative reviews, however, I think that the gist, without spoiling anything, is that Kuang is more hard hitting in book 2, The Dragon Republic. I guess some people weren’t interested in the story going in this direction but in my opinion, it leads us to an epic finale when book 3 is released. So buckle up. Action, twists, turns, adventure, you name it, this series has it. Bring it on. #TheDragonRepublic #NetGalley #HarperCollinsPublishers #HarperVoyager
Anonymous 6 months ago
Full Disclosure: This book was read as an e-ARC (Advance Reader Copy) obtained via Netgalley from the publisher in advance of the book's release on August 6, 2019 in exchange for a potential review. I give my word that this did not affect my review in any way - if I felt conflicted in any way, I would simply have declined to review the book. The Dragon Republic is the follow up to R.F. Kuang's debut novel, The Poppy War easily one of the strongest novels of 2018. It was also one of the most brutal and dark novels by its end, being based upon real life events that took place during the Sino-Japanese wars, with a new fantasy bent. I am not a fan of grimdark books that are dark for the sake of being dark, but Kuang used her fantasy parallels to real life events to powerful ends to a satisfying if incredibly dark conclusion, leaving a reader breathless by the story's end. So The Dragon Republic has a lot to live up to as the follow up to The Poppy War, and it doesn't quite manage to pull it off, although it's still compelling through the end. Whereas the first book dealt with the atrocities of the Sino-Japanese wars as its base, this book has parallels to the effects of Western Imperialism/Colonization, with the fantasy equivalent of Westerners showing up to ostensibly aid some of the parties in the conflicts/rebuilding that result from the end of The Poppy War. Any readers who were shocked and surprised at what happened in the last book will almost certainly not be here. However, replacing that surprise is a feeling of intense dread that Kuang manages to build up with her historical parallel that should be obvious to anyone who read the first book, and this works to continue making the story incredibly powerful and gripping, as you just can't help but read on to see how things go horribly horribly wrong - and how Rin and her allies will respond to what's surely coming. In a lesser book with lesser characters this might be annoying, but with Kuang's excellent writing and even better characters, it makes the book pretty hard to put down....even as you may want to for fear of what is going to happen. The result is a book that may not quite hit with quite the impact as the first book, but it's just a small step lower, and is well worth your time if you enjoyed the first in this trilogy.
TheBakersBooks 6 months ago
A blood- and magic-drenched sequel worthy of The Poppy War! I haven't read a book of this length so quickly since I was in my teens. The Dragon Republic, R.F. Kuang's brilliant addition to The Poppy War series, certainly isn't for children, but it held the same thrill as all my childhood favorites with the added perspective of an adult take on war and the accompanying subtler types of violence. This book is heavy and dark, but absolutely impossible to put down. Rin begins the book shaken by the death of Altan Trengsin, who was commander, teacher, and abuser in one messy package. She's also heavily dependant on opium to maintain control of her shamanic powers—and to deaden her memories of the atrocities she saw and committed in the Third Poppy War. The Dragon Republic is a story of military strategy, tyranny, colonial influence, and magic, but it still centers Rin's character as its driving force. This is her story; not of redemption, but of self-discovery and gaining intimate familiarity with her own strengths and weaknesses. If you can handle dark themes and content, I highly recommend this series! (Fans of Game of Thrones, this one's for you!)
Anonymous 6 months ago
Thank you HarperCollins / Harper Voyager via NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! I really enjoyed The Poppy War and I'll just say that The Dragon Republic did not disappoint! This entire book is nonstop action and we get see just how complex these characters can truly be and that's what I adored most about this book. This was an amazing follow up to The Poppy War.
magicalreads7 6 months ago
**I received an ARC from the publisher. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.** You know how sequels sometimes aren’t as good because you’re constantly comparing it to its amazing predecessor? Well, make no mistake, The Dragon Republic does not suffer from second-book syndrome. Kuang carries on from the momentum of The Poppy War to write a sequel that somehow surpasses its predecessor. The Dragon Republic immerses you in Rin’s world; you’ll experience these events as if you were the one stabbed or betrayed, in pain or in power. There’s not much to say without completely spoiling a lot of the events in this book, so much like my review of The Poppy War, I’ll be vague and talk more about the themes. Rin has so much character development. The Poppy War has her angry, permanently overfilled with rage. Don’t get me wrong, she still is in this book, but in The Dragon Republic, we get to see a more controlled anger, which in a way is much, much worse. Her anger in the first book was so destructive and unchanneled; really, that would get her nowhere if she kept it up, a fate like, or worse than, Altan’s. Now her rage is more channeled. I also love how she’s a horrible commander and can recognize it. Sometimes when you have greatness thrust upon you, you screw it all up. Rin’s always been able to follow someone else’s orders and is fine with that. Eventually she’s obviously so desperate for someone else to give orders and be responsible for the consequences that she turns to a certain unexpected someone and their cause. She wants to be a soldier again, but she is destined for bigger things, something she comes to realize over the course of this book. We get to meet a new enemy, and their rhetoric is truly sickening. Kuang has been open about the inspiration she’s drawn from real life events, and remembering how these beliefs were once commonplace (and still are, to some people) is horrific. I did relate to Rin, though, and how she almost starts believing their rhetoric. Having grown up Asian and non-religious in a predominantly white, religious setting, I understand how easy it is to almost want to give into their proselytizing and believe in something more than yourself. Also, the amount of preaching and attempts to convert you is very true. Kuang’s writing has somehow gotten even better. I found parts of the first book to be jolting, but The Dragon Republic is strongly cohesive from start to finish. Also I reread The Poppy War after reading this ARC and there is so much foreshadowing and little bits of plot that she connects. I recommend reading the first book again before jumping into this one so you’ll catch all of it because honestly, Kuang’s mind works on another level. Any expectations of this novel that you might have, Kuang shoots out of the water and sets on fire. This book is one of the strongest sequels I’ve ever had the privilege of reading, and I cannot wait to see how she one-ups herself again in the third book, especially after THAT ENDING. If you think you’re ready for this book, be prepared for how little you can prepare to experience the masterpiece that is The Dragon Republic.
Reader4102 6 months ago
This is the second book of the Poppy Wars series. In this outing, Rin, a shaman and a warrior, is addicted to opium and devasted and haunted by the atrocity she committed at the end of the third Poppy War. In addition, she is at war with the fiery god, Phoenix, who commands her power – the ability to throw fire. Her reason for living to kill the Empress thus revenging the death of one of Rin’s own. Rin is employed by the a powerful dragon warlord who has hired her and her crew to kill and behead 29 of his enemies, including the Empress. But for some reason, perhaps the opium or the Phoenix, Rin makes awful decisions putting everyone’s life in danger. While the writing is excellent and Rin is well drawn, the storyline is dark. There is violence galore, some of it graphic. We are inside Rin’s head as she tries to kick her addiction to opium cold turkey. Some of what occurs in this book makes no sense, but perhaps would if I had read Kuang’s first book. That being said if you like your fantasies set in ancient China and can stomach the violence, then this is the book for you. My thanks to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for an eArc.
thegeekishbrunette 6 months ago
Sometimes it is hard for sequels to live up to the first book. I had high hopes for this book because I fell in love with the characters and the writing of the author. Let me tell you, this book exceeded my expectations! Rin finds herself in the aftermath of war. She is filled with emotions because of it and at times those emotions lead her to make some poor decisions. Grief and loss are powerful things to deal with. Throughout the book she is developing more and more because of what she has gone through and the knowledge she comes to know. It makes her a stronger person and helps her create bonds with the ones who have always been at her side. Characters from the first book come back and new characters are also introduced. I loved the development of some that didn't get much page time in the first. I also enjoyed Vaisra who at times becomes the voice of reason for Rin. As for the plot, it is dark, bloody, and full of battles on land and sea. It is heartbreaking, raw, and draws you in. I wouldn't expect anything else from this series. It takes a lot to get through but it is such a thought provoking series that I think everyone should read. I will be anxiously waiting for the third book in the series. If you haven't picked up The Poppy War yet, go read it so you can pick up The Dragon Republic! (I received a digital copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.)
CaptainsQuarters 6 months ago
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Be advised that this be the second book in the series. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read the first and keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . . I loved the first book but seriously this one was better. How good ye ask? Well while I was finishing Part III, there was apparently a huge thunderstorm AND it knocked out our power. I didn't even notice until the power came back on and all the fans and the air conditioner turned back on at the same time. That's how engrossed I was. Thank goodness I was reading on me Kindle! In the first book, I had some problems sympathizing with Rin due to her stubborn nature and thoughtless mistakes. This time I was avidly following her every move. And I adored the rest of the gang in this one too. Though the set-up elements for book three were there from the beginning, it was impossible to chart how the course of the action and was nonetheless completely unexpected. I will leave it at that because the crew deserves to explore these strange waters on their own. Arrrrrr!