A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.
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.
This book was a ride. I was drawn in by the first 50 pages. This book is about Rin who gets in to Nikara’s most prestigious school, Sinegard. Here she trains to be a warrior, but it’s so much more than that. This book was dark, gritty and political aspects of a world at war. This also dealt with some hard hitting topics, such as addiction, the consequences of war and how relationships struggle to survive with both of these aspects in play.
Rin, and all the other characters in this book are incredibly, un-apologetically morally gray. Rin, a war orphan, was raised in a provincial town, adjusts to the culture of Sinegard, where the children or generals and war lords are accepted. She struggles with feeling inadequate and grows into her new life.
The ending was tragic and unexpected. I became incredibly attached to the characters (and there are A LOT of characters) I am very excited to pick up the next book in the series “The Dragon Republic.”
One thing I’m going to note is that this book is very heavy on the plot, politics and characters. In addition, this book does not shy away from gore (there’s a lot of gore). It also does not shy away from the hard hitting topics, such as abuse, addiction, war, violence etc. If you aren’t interested in reading a book that has a lot of these topics and themes throughout, I would skip this one.
Have you read this one? What did you think? If not, do you think you’ll be picking it up soon! Let me know in the comments. I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and as always, keep reading 🙂
I’ve been reading the other books in this series and am already so excited for this release. This is going to be the continuation of Mia’s story from Nevernight (read my review for Nevernight here). She’s a female assassin who gets the opportunity to study at the Red Church which is a school for assassins. Since this is the third book in the series I’m not going to go into more detail than that. This comes out on September 3rd and I am already itching to have this in my hands.
This is a historical fiction novel that takes place in Madrid in the year 1957, under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. Those who visit Spain in this time are unaware of this. Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon visits to connect with the country of his mothers birth through the lens of a camera. He is introduced to Ana whose family helps reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War. His photographs leave him with questions, and they reveal a dark side to the sunny Spanish city.
Leigh Bardugo has become an auto-buy author for me at this point. This is a book about a young woman named Galaxy “Alex” Stern, who was accepted into the freshman class of Yale. She led a tumultuous early life, shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs etc. By the age of 20, she was the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. When she is offered a full ride to one of the world’s most elite university, she takes it. Having doubts as to why she was given this opportunity, she arrives in New Haven with a task from her mysterious benefactors: monitor the activities of Yale’s secret societies. I’m curious to see what Leigh Bardugo can do outside of her Grishaverse universe. This comes out October 8th and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, he is entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors and nameless acolytes when he comes across a story from his own childhood. As he attempts to make sense of this he comes across clues -a bee, a key, and a sword- that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library that is hidden far below the Earth’s surface. He finds a curious place, a buried home for books that is so much more than meets the eye. This place is a place of lost cities and seas etc. With Maribel, a protector of the place and Dorian, a man with shifting alliances, Zachary the tunnels to discover his purpose- both in the book and in his own life.
Bryce Quinlan, a half-fae, half human loves her life in Lunathion-or Crescent City- until it comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the foundations of the city and her life. Some time passes, her job is dead end and she seeks only oblivion in notorious night clubs. Except until the murderer strikes again, and Bryce finds herself dragged into the investigation. She is paired with a Fallen angel whose past haunts him. Okay, so I know Sarah J. Maas is very controversial in the book community. You either love her or you hate her. I was a little disappointed with her last few previous works, but I’m curious about what Maas is going to do with a book labeled “Adult” I might wait a little on this one to see some reviews first.