The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang Review

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Well, The Poppy War confused me. I loved it at the beginning, but toward the end my thoughts began to change. Keep reading. Maybe if I ramble enough I will figure out if I liked it or not.

Everyone was shocked when a war orphan from Rooster Province aced the keju. Rin passed due to her hard work, but no one wanted to believe that. Finally, after proving herself to the test administrators, she was allowed into Sinegard. However, the judgement continued. Rin fights hard to prove herself. Eventually, she discovers that she possess the power needed to be a shaman, and her life will never be the same.

My Thoughts on The Poppy War

The beginning of The Poppy War was so slow, but I can respect world building so I pushed through. However, it never really seemed to pick up. The timing seemed slightly off. Something major would happen and the tempo would pick up, but then it immediately went back into a lull. At times, I would be glued to it, then at times I couldn’t focus.

Another thing that seemed a little off was the character development. I liked Rin in the beginning. She was ambitious. She bravely faced so much prejudice and hardship, but it just made her stronger. But then halfway through she began acting like a totally different person. She started to come across whiny and entitled. With the backstory she had, and the direction the character arc was going, those qualities just felt unnatural.

The timing and character development were my main complaints. I loved the lore in the story. I’ve not read much based on Asian culture, so I really enjoyed that. I also enjoyed the magic system. I would love to know more, but I’m not sure if I will read the next one.

My Rating: 3/5

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