The Dragon Republic is Explosive, Intense and Darkly Brilliant | Review: The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

6:30 AM

If you thought The Poppy War was gripping and brutal, just you wait until you get your hands on The Dragon Republic. I literally can't stop thinking about this book/this series.

About The Dragon Republic
• Hardcover: 672 pages
• Publisher: Harper Voyager (August 6, 2019)
Rin’s story continues in this acclaimed sequel to The Poppy War—an epic fantasy combining the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters.

The war is over.
The war has just begun.

Three times throughout its history, Nikan has fought for its survival in the bloody Poppy Wars. Though the third battle has just ended, shaman and warrior Rin cannot forget the atrocity she committed to save her people. Now she is on the run from her guilt, the opium addiction that holds her like a vice, and the murderous commands of the fiery Phoenix—the vengeful god who has blessed Rin with her fearsome power.

Though she does not want to live, she refuses to die until she avenges the traitorous Empress who betrayed Rin’s homeland to its enemies. Her only hope is to join forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who plots to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new republic.

But neither the Empress nor the Dragon Warlord are what they seem. The more Rin witnesses, the more she fears her love for Nikan will force her to use the Phoenix’s deadly power once more.
Because there is nothing Rin won’t sacrifice to save her country . . . and exact her vengeance.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang 
Rating: ★★★★★
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for participating in the blog tour/my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.   

You can find my review for The Poppy War here

OH. MY. FREAKING. GOD. I'm a fragile mess right now which is exactly how I felt after finishing The Poppy War. Let's get one thing straight before moving forward: The Dragon Republic was even better than The Poppy War. I'm actually feeling like if you even slightly nudge me, I may fall over because I'm still recovering from this one. I feel like someone's set me on fire entirely in the best possible way and can honestly say that this has fast become one of my favourite series of all time.


As with The Poppy War, due to The Dragon Republic's violent qualities and use of triggering topics it would be best to research this series trigger warnings before reading. Due to this content, I can say it won't be for everybody and to, as always, take special care when approaching books as such. Much like its predecessor, this book is brutal and at times difficult to stomach.

In all its intensity, there are several other key elements to The Dragon Republic which makes it strong and brilliant. We start at the heart of where The Poppy War left off in terms of emotional turmoil and it is as brightly (or if we're going in a more literal direction: darkly) woven as you'd expect from Kuang's brilliant mind.

The emotional intensity is so high, there are times you feel as though you may want to look away for a moment. It's a different kind of intensity from the horrific violence. Much like The Poppy War, the novel itself is a wild ride--unexpected and sharply twined to make sure readers are lulled into a false comfort; never quite knowing what is coming their way. Which makes the experience all the more intriguing and positively enthralling.

In between its primarily grim worldbuilding, Kuang still takes time to craft a multi-faceted story and balances things pretty evenly across the board. There are new characters included into the plotline, along with old faces, and the aftermath of the previous novel sets the course for the remainder of the action-packed series.  

The Dragon Republic proves to be a successful sequel that will leave fans craving more. Never knowing what to expect from a novel can be thrilling and frustrating at once and R.F. Kuang makes it an art form. Prepare yourself for this explosive sequel.

About R.F. Kuang 

Rebecca F. Kuang immigrated to the United States from Guangzhou, China, in 2000. She has a BA in International History from Georgetown University, and she will pursue her graduate degree in Modern Chinese Studies at the University of Cambridge on a Marshall Scholarship in 2018. Her research focuses on Chinese military strategy, collective trauma, and war memorials.

Find out more about Rebecca at her website, and connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

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