The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang is a deliberately rich fantasy world set in something resembling China. The protagonist, Rin, through much hard work and preparation aces the Keju, a national test of merit that qualifies her for various super hard-to-get-to military academies. Rin not only gets accepted, she gets accepted to Sinegard aka The Best of The Best. Why this is crazy, is that Rin is basically a poor peasant girl whose guardians are petty drug dealers. Sinegard is an elite school, populated by elite legacy students.
Despite her upbringing, Rin totally owns the academy and slowly but surely proceeds to blow everyone away with her seemingly endless talent and skill.
I have become something wonderful, she thought. I have become something terrible. Was she now a goddess or a monster? Perhaps neither. Perhaps both. –R. F. Kuang
This is a super well written fantasy, and possibly the very best YA I’ve read in a long time because of the quality of the writing. I can’t get through certain YA novels, because the dialogue can be so dang cheesy. Not the case here. This is the real deal. Plus what really sets this apart is the richness of this world. There is so much amazing detail and politics that I know this series will go far. Get your copy and stay tuned for book #2 in the series!
The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang. Photo by @a_worm_in_a_book
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