Book Review: The Poppy War

Title: The Poppy War

Author:  R. F. Kuang

Series: The Poppy Wars trilogy #1

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Rating: ★★★½

When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

The Poppy War is definitely worth the hype it’s been getting. Not only does it present an interesting take on fantasy tropes, but matches it with engaging characters and a rich sense of history.

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Book Review: The Thief

448873.jpgTitle: The Thief

Author: Megan Whalen Turner

Series: The Queen’s Thief #1

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Greenwillow books

Release Date: 1996

Rating: ★★☆☆

The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses

This book was mostly set up. Sure what it is setting up to sounds promising, but we don’t get much of that, not yet.
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January 2018 Recap

lifethings

Wanna know how I started off my year? By breaking my wrist while ice-skating in a country where I didn’t speak the language! Yay!

But seriously, though travelling with a cast made everything harder, it was totally worth it. I had an amazing time with my best friend and I miss her so much already.  I also got to go to Norway which has been a dream of mine for a long while… okay it was just the airport but even that was gorgeous. I can’t wait to travel again.

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Book Review: The Fifth Season

19161852Title: The Fifth Season

Author: N. K. Jemisin

Series: The Broken Earth Trilogy #1

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Orbit

Release Date: August 4th, 2015

Rating: ★★★½

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

Today I’m going to talk about this under-the-radar book, you’ve surely haven’t heard of it. I mean, it’s not like this trilogy has won two consecutive Hugos and is a favorite to win a third. Jemisin is toootally not considered one of the best voices in fantasy at the moment.

Surprise! This book is really good. Objectively, it’s some of the best fantasy I have ever read.

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WWW Wednesday #2

Hi guys! I’m back with my second take of WWW. Classes started for this week, so I haven’t even opened a book in the last few days. This semester is going to be so hectic. I’ve made enough progress to warrant an update though.

So, in case you don’t know: WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by  MizB at A Daily Rhythm, and now found at Taking on a World of Words. It is made up of three questions (or Ws) are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So let’s dive in.

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