ARC Book Review: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang

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

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their 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. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.

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My Rating: ★★★★★ – 5 star

TWs: violence (so much, though not as bad as The Poppy War), classism, racism, rape (discussion of it and attempted rape), drug use and addiction, death, maiming

These are most definitely NOT all of the trigger warnings, though these are ones I’ve recorded. Please look into more complete lists of trigger warnings so you can decide if this book is for you.

“Brace yourself,” Fonda Lee says in her blurb for this book. And she’s right. The Dragon Republic goes all out from page 1, pushing the boundaries of its world further and introducing more major players – along with the return of some familiar ones. Secrets and betrayals abound in this book, making it not only as brutal as The Poppy War, but many times more heartbreaking.

Continue reading “ARC Book Review: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang”

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Recommendations // Four Adult Fantasies You Should Be Reading

Hello humans. Hope all of you are having a good day!

I’m officially trying to blog on a regular basis again…and I have to say, I’m excited for what I’ve planned for the blog! You know that website change I was talking about a few months back…?

Anyway, I’m really excited for today’s post! I realized I’ve been reading more and more adult books lately, and I don’t really scream about them as much as I do for YA books. So I decided to spotlight four Adult books today – all fantasies – two of which I’ve read and loved (they’re both actually on my all-time favorites list!) and two of which fellow bloggers have been repeatedly recommending (read: shoving in my face for me to read). And, of course, all of them feature diverse casts because fantasy can be diverse too!

So without further ado, I shall commence screaming. Continue reading “Recommendations // Four Adult Fantasies You Should Be Reading”

Book Review // Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky #1) by Rebecca Kim Wells

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A determined young woman sets out to rescue her kidnapped girlfriend by stealing a dragon from the corrupt emperor in this stunning fantasy debut that’s perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?Middle of Post Regal DividerHere’s the pitch: a PoC bisexual protagonist and dragons.

Not convinced? I’ll continue. Continue reading “Book Review // Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky #1) by Rebecca Kim Wells”

My Fate According to the Butterfly Blog Tour: Review + Author Interview with Gail D. Villanueva

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Hello, hello, I’m back with my second blog tour for this month. This one is also for a book I rated 5 stars, which I’m really happy about. 🙂 It’s called My Fate According to the Butterfly, and it’s something special.

A huge shout-out to Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea, Kate @ Your Tita Kate, and Cara @ The Little Miss Bookworm for hosting this tour! Y’all should make cure to check out their blogs, and follow the rest of the tour! And also, a huge shout out to Caryssa Sobrepeña for organizing as well! Continue reading “My Fate According to the Butterfly Blog Tour: Review + Author Interview with Gail D. Villanueva”

The Black Veins Blog Tour: Review + Author Interview with Ashia Monet

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Today, my friends, I’m extremely excited to bring you to my stop on the blog tour for The Black Veins by Ashia Monet, hosted by CW @ The Quiet Pond! I fell deeply in love with this YA urban fantasy and I now have a very serious book hangover due to the fact that whatever I read next will be inevitably disappointing. (Especially in terms of characters. I love the crew of The Black Veins so much, they own my heart and soul.)

So, as you’ve no doubt gathered from the title of this post, I’m going to be writing a review of this book! But also! I had the opportunity to interview the amazing Ashia Monet, the author of The Black Veins, and she’s absolutely lovely. So keep scrolling for more of that. Continue reading “The Black Veins Blog Tour: Review + Author Interview with Ashia Monet”

ARC Mini-Review // Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfardino

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An intriguingly interwoven tale of four lives changed by a mysterious late-night radio broadcast that wakes them up from their mundane existences. Each tale speaks to different social issues without pandering to a political agenda: LGBT+ rights, racism, social network addiction, and the difficult decision between settling down versus following your dreams. Each tale is told in a vivid, polychromatic illustration style that flows from one character to another and back again in a uniquely identifiable fashion.

 

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I downloaded an arc via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Midnight Radio follows four very different people at very different stages of life: a man struggling with career choices, a teenager battling his addiction to social media, a woman struggling with her sexuality, and a delinquent trying to figure out what makes a right and what makes a wrong. At first glance, it would seem that their stories shouldn’t have a reason to intersect, but they do. And it’s through a single midnight message via a radio station. Continue reading “ARC Mini-Review // Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfardino”

ARC Book Review // Aru Shah and the Song of Death (The Pandava Quartet #2) by Roshani Chokshi

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Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good.

But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone.

Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.

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My Rating: ★★★★★ – 5 stars

*I received an arc via Netgalley, which does not affect my opinion in any way.*

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Sequel syndrome. We’ve all heard of it. The dreaded disease that inflicts itself on most second novels in series, that makes them so terrible and all-around-bad that we’re ashamed to say we’ve even read it.

Suffering from sequel syndrome, this book is not. Continue reading “ARC Book Review // Aru Shah and the Song of Death (The Pandava Quartet #2) by Roshani Chokshi”