Wow! The ending of this book is so intense! I was losing it while reading the last thirty or so pages. Just incredible. I do not comprehend how authors have this amazing talent to paint such vivid pictures with words that can elicit such powerful emotions from the reader. Like I said, incredible!
I love where R. F. Kuang takes this sequel to The Poppy War. The author really goes in an unexpected direction and it is such an amazing ride. While Rin recovers and faces grief, the Cike are on a serious mission and are fighting their way to get to the point where they can take their revenge by destroying Su Daji, the empress. However, there are complications for Rin who, along with the grief and pain, is facing madness from her god taking over her mind.
There are quite a few characters from the first book that reappear in the sequel, some of whom are quite unexpected.
This book deals with so many real world topics, for example addiction is a major issue for Rin. She is using Opium to resist her god, the Phoenix, from controlling her completely. The grief she comes to face with sobriety is also very real and Kuang very vividly creates images of the pain that is truly felt in similar situations. And, of course, there is WAR. I hope you didn’t bet all your money on a war-free sequel!
Kuang is great at keeping things realistic and true to life. She shows the ugliness of war in all its inglorious details. There are also some topics brought up that could be triggering for anyone who has been through abusive situations, I just want to clearly warn anyone that’s dealing with that kind of pain.
I do highly, highly, very highly recommend this series to fans of epic fantasy!
Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!