The Dragon Republic by R F Kuang
The mindset that any one person is fundamentally inferior to another is infuriating. The sheer arrogance of such a notion is one of the most abhorrent qualities a human can possess. Whether it’s due to a slightly different shade of skin pigmentation, or a preference of which obscure mythical book passage to follow, or which side of an imaginary line you were conceived on, wars have been started over it all by the small-minded and ignorant. Many of these horrific themes are present in R. F. Kuang’s The Dragon Republic, in which Rin’s humanity is called into question due to her ethnicity and religious beliefs. It is a powerful, yet depressingly familiar tale that is not to be missed.
“But I’ve seen how power works… It’s not about who you are, it’s about how they see you. And once you’re mud in this country, you’re always mud.”
When we last left Rin, she was reeling from the consequences of her actions that ended the Third Poppy War. After learning that a person of power sold her country out, she has made it her mission to lead her Cike team into removing this figurehead and taking vengeance on those responsible for the millions of Nikaran deaths. The Dragon Republic begins three months after the Third Poppy War has ended, and Rin and her team of gifted Cike companions are running assassination missions for a pirate smuggler. As payment, Rin would receive enough ships and supplies to make a run at their target. The situation doesn’t play out like it should, and now Rin finds herself conscripted to a new ally with dreams of turning Nikara into a democratic republic. Not a true democratic republic, of course – the only vote that the people get to decide is whether to join their new governors or die. (“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…”) With allegiances constantly being tested and betrayals around every corner, Rin faces her greatest challenges yet in securing safety for herself and her people.
With much of the world-building and mythology already in place, The Dragon Republic wastes no time in providing a laser-focused story that lasts the entirety of the book. It’s tough not to compare this sequel to the original, but I will say that the uneven tonal shifts of the first book have been rectified. This is a grim world, and its effects on Rin are ever-present. Remorse for her actions is non-existent, and she relies on anger to drown out any wandering thoughts. Her identity is entirely wrapped up in being a soldier. She does not know what to do with her life if she didn’t have a war to fight, so she clings on to the nearest rebellious cause without knowing the full history behind it. Her war is personal, not political; she’s driven by her thirst for revenge instead of considering the greater needs of those around her. Rin’s journey is one of self-discovery and purpose, and it is fascinating to witness.
“In the heat of battle, human life could be reduced to the barest mechanics of existence—arms and legs, mobility and vulnerability, vital points to be identified, isolated, and destroyed.”
This is a story of self-worth and determination, of finding value in life when your strengths are stripped away. It shines a light on some of the worst aspects of humanity which are sadly still reflective of our current society. It is a story of tragedy and loss, of anger and hypocrisy, of perseverance and triumph. Kuang excels at wreaking emotional havoc while delivering a powerful meditation on war and survival. It is a compelling follow-up to a landmark debut, so make sure you visit The Dragon Republic.
This The Dragon Republic book review was written by Adam Weller
All reviews for: The Poppy War
The Poppy War
The Poppy War #1
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 cou...
The Dragon Republic
The Poppy War #2
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 g...
Have you read The Dragon Republic?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Dragon Republic reader reviews
9.3/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discont...
A Brightness Long Ago
Guy Gavriel Kay
International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay's latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose li...
Chronicles of the Black Company
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. Then comes the prophec...
On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a seldom-seen people of extraordinary ferocity and discipline whose prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. For cen...
Shadow Ops series
Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer. Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the d...
The Divine Cities Trilogy
Robert Jackson Bennett
A special omnibus edition, collecting all three books of Robert Jackson Bennett’s acclaimed Divine Cities trilogy in a single volume. &nbs...
The Rigante Novels
Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land ...
The First Law
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body...
The Ascendants of Estorea
The Estorean Conquord has stood for 850 years. Its Advocate, Herine Del Aglios, knows that she presides over the greatest civilisation in history. But she wants more. And i...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: