Review – The Dragon Republic (Poppy War #2) by R. F. Kuang

I loved the first book in this series The Poppy War and I couldn’t wait for the sequel. Now finishing this book I can’t wait for the next and final instalment!

This eARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you!

The Dragon Republic

by R. F. Kuang

The searing follow-up to 2018’s most celebrated fantasy debut – THE POPPY WAR.

Rin is on the run…

Haunted by the atrocity she committed to save her people, addicted to opium, and driven by the murderous commands of Phoenix, the vengeful god who has blessed Rin with her fearsome power.

Rin’s only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold her homeland, Nikan, to her enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. She throws herself into his war.

After all, making war is all she knows how to do…

Synopsis by NetGalley / GoodReads

My Opinion


  • I’m back with Rin!
  • Venka


Rin tries to deal with what she had done during the Poppy War while struggling with the Pheonix too, addiction to opiums, PTSD and regret, and anger and revenge mix in this story.

Also, I loved the return of Venka! She has gone through some serious shit and pulled through stronger. By the end of the book, she is probably my new favourite character. And the joins forces of her and Rin is just badass!

The Story

The story continues straight after the first book. The war is won, but a second war, an internal war approaches. Rin wants revenge for what happened to Altan but she does not have the resources to pull it off. At the same time, she struggles with the pain of the Pheonix, her addiction to opiums and her guilt. The cocktail is well mixed and spicy.

I enjoyed the line of the story. I did see the ending coming and the direction she would take mainly because I really wanted that to happen lol. But I did not see a certain back-stabbing event happen…! And I was shipping them all along. I think I still do even though I don’t see it happening.

There were some events in the end which were really sad like with the Cike, but all in all this book was badass and not sad. Yes it’s brutal and some of this brutality is sad, but in the end, I just felt empowered.

World Building

Not much world-building is needed in this sequel, but there is some to make the world feel bigger. And also to show the effect of their destruction in the first book. It adds to the world and to their guilt.

I like those small Asian details, and I always love these in books, like chopsticks, or dress codes, written language, curry and rice etc.

There is also some added information given about the realm of the gods which is fascinating.

Magic/Science System

The magic is god based. A shaman invites a god into them and gains their powers. There aren’t that many books with shaman magic and I love this type of magic. It makes it a bit more extra that there is no set rules or set limits to each shaman. It’s fascinating.

This book also introduces a religion which opposes shaman magic. The contrast is great and I get a lot of “superior white European” attitude for them which is very well done but also make me dislike them too. Their religion is based on science, more accurately the science of controlling chaos. Shamanism is looked at as chaos and they look for something physical to be a receptor or something like it. Religion and science merge with these “Europeans” as it seems to, historically, always have been the case for us.


Rin – I love her badass attitude and feistiness, but Rin has her flaws too like not thinking before doing something.

Nezhan – ah bless this poor baby with all the weight on his shoulders!

Kithay – this smartass is my new favourite geek and his feistiness is the perfect match to Rin.

The Cike – I have no words. I love their banter and camaraderie, and how they would do anything for Rin, their commander.


Not really.


It’s well written as this is the author’s second book. I did find some of the description just a bit too short which made me re-read a sentence or paragraph and interfered with my flow.


Loved it! I can’t wait for the final book…!

Have you read this? What did you think?

4 thoughts on “Review – The Dragon Republic (Poppy War #2) by R. F. Kuang

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