The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

Publisher: HarperVoyager UK
Publication Date:
08/08/2019
Length: 658 pages
Genre:
Fantasy

CW: sexual assault, violence, drug use

Blackwells.co.uk

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.

GoodReads
Continue reading “The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang”

Monthly Wrap Up – November 2020

This month was slow starting for me in terms of reading, I’m not sure why but I was in a bit of a slump! Maybe it was because I was being good and not doing a monthly haul this month so I didn’t feel that I had to race through to get to my new books. It definitely picked up 

I’ve tried to focus more on blog tour books and review requests this month in the spirit of ‘Galleyathon’ – even if they didn’t all come from NetGalley specifically! 

Books read this month

This month I read a total of 13 books (7 physical and 6 ebooks)

  1. The Ruby Locket by Melissa Wray
  2. The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams (Blog tour)
  3. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff 
  4. The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn (ARC / Blog tour)
  5. There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura
  6. The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo (ARC) 
  7. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  8. The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji (ARC)
  9. Fae Child by Jane-Holly Meissner (Blog tour)
  10. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  11. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  12. Nothing Good Happens After Midnight edited by Jeffery Deaver (ARC / Blog tour)
  13. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
www.blackwells.co.uk

Favourite books read this month

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
This is the first in the Nevernight chronicle series which is definitely one that I will be finishing after such a strong start! I adored this fantasy novel, I loved the world, the characters and the tone of the novel. I wasn’t expecting this novel to have as much humour in it as it does which I really loved. 

There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura
In this novel Tsumura brilliantly captures work burnout and jumping from job to job as a temp. I especially loved how each job wasn’t exactly what it seemed and there was some kind of mystery surrounding them. 

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
It’s no surprise that this made it onto this list as I loved The Poppy War. All the characters were wonderfully developed and you could clearly see how they were impacted from the first novel. This was a brilliant second instalment to the series and had me incredibly excited for the last novel The Burning God

The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji
I do love a good detective fiction novel and this is one of the best that I have ever read. It simultaneously feels like a classic detective fiction novel but it also feels very contemporary and subversive in some ways, despite the novel originally being published in the 1980s. 

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
I can’t remember the last time a book left me as unsettled as this one. Alam has such a way with words and tone that you feel suffocated from the very pages, yet you can’t help yourself but keep turning them. Alam also clearly understands people as his characters don’t feel like characters at all, but people you have met in passing instead. 

www.blackwells.co.uk

Monthly TBR – November 2020

With Christmas looming on the horizon, instead of a full monthly haul this month I’m going to outline what I hope to get through this month instead! As I mentioned in last month’s Thoughtful Thursday post, at this time of year I become a bit of a seasonal reader. This month also sees the next Galleyathon Round (9 November 2020 – 15 November 2020) and I have a few sitting on my shelf that I need to get through! 

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

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.


There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura 

A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing – and ideally, very little thinking.

She is sent to a nondescript office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end can be so inconvenient and tiresome. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly – how did she find herself in this situation in the first place?

As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she’s not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful… 


The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn

When should my story begin? Not when I was born, a butcher’s son, in a tiny cottage just like all the other tiny cottages in Oakham. Who’d have thought then that I’d ever have much of a story to tell? Perhaps it starts when people began to nudge each other and stare as I walked with my mother to market, or the first time someone whispered that we were cursed. But I didn’t know then. No, I think my story begins on the day of the Oakham Fair, in the year of 1625. 

When I was ten years old and I found out what I was. Nat Davy is a dwarf. He is 10 years old, and all he wants is to be normal. After narrowly escaping being sold to the circus by his father, Nat is presented to Queen Henrietta Maria – in a pie. She’s 15, trapped in a loveless marriage to King Charles I, and desperately homesick. Nat becomes a friend to the woman who’ll become the power behind the throne and trigger the Civil War, but in the eyes of the world he’s still a pet, a doll to be dressed up and shown off. Nat longs to ride and hunt like the other boys at court. The real boys. But he will never be accepted. 

Loosely based on a true story, this epic tale spans 20 years; during which the war begins, Nat and the queen go on the run, Nat saves the queen’s life, falls in love with the most beautiful girl at court, kills a man, is left in exile. Told from his unique perspective as the smallest man in England, with the clever and engaging voice of a boy turned man yearning for acceptance, this story takes us on an unforgettable journey. He’s England’s smallest man, but his story is anything but small.


The Fathers, The Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams

Three guys in their thirties have something in common. Their children all go to the same school. One day a tragic event leads to them having to deal with a lurking aftermath which draws them into each other’s lives and causes them to rethink their attitudes to just about everything.

The children tell the second part of this story, ten years after the initial events. The dust seems to have settled until one of them uncovers information that throws everything back into chaos.

The third part… well that will have to wait.


The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo

A fiendish classic murder mystery, from one of Japan’s greatest crime writers

In 1940s Japan, the wealthy head of the Inugami Clan dies, and his family eagerly await the reading of the will. But no sooner are its strange details revealed than a series of bizarre, gruesome murders begins. Detective Kindaichi must unravel the clan’s terrible secrets of forbidden liaisons, monstrous cruelty, and hidden identities to find the murderer, and lift the curse wreaking its bloody revenge on the Inugamis.


The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea

1686, ICELAND. AN ISOLATED, WINDSWEPT LAND HAUNTED BY WITCH TRIALS AND STEEPED IN THE ANCIENT SAGAS.

Betrothed unexpectedly to Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.

But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.

The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here – Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers – or the land itself?

Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming. She fears she will be its next victim…


A Burning by Megha Majumdar 

For readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri, an electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies—and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.

Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan’s fall. Lovely–an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor–has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.


This is just a glimpse of my general TBR which is growing by the day! I’m hoping that I will get through more books than the one listed, however I’m currently having a slow start to the month and haven’t managed to finish one book yet! 

What are you guys planning to read this month? Do you have an idea of what you’re going to read or do you just pick a book off your shelf at random after finishing one? Let me know in the comments!

www.blackwells.co.uk

Book Haul – September 2020

My September 2020 book haul

This month I went a little rogue and went over the budget I allow myself for books… But I just couldn’t resist! I think a lot of these books have an autumn feel to them, books that I can get all cozy with. After reading the most books I’ve ever read in a month in August, I was very excited to restock my shelves! Check out the GoodReads description for the books below. 

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld 

I thought about being too small for so much, but that no one told you when you were big enough … and I asked God if he please couldn’t take my brother Matthies instead of my rabbit. ‘Amen.’

Jas lives with her devout farming family in the rural Netherlands. One winter’s day, her older brother joins an ice skating trip; resentful at being left alone, she makes a perverse plea to God; he never returns. As grief overwhelms the farm, Jas succumbs to a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies, watching her family disintegrate into a darkness that threatens to derail them all.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship–the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.


The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes

Jocasta is just fifteen when she is told that she must marry the King of Thebes, an old man she has never met. Her life has never been her own, and nor will it be, unless she outlives her strange, absent husband.

Ismene is the same age when she is attacked in the palace she calls home. Since the day of her parents’ tragic deaths a decade earlier, she has always longed to feel safe with the family she still has. But with a single act of violence, all that is about to change.

With the turn of these two events, a tragedy is set in motion. But not as you know it.


On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.


Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

What would you change if you could go back in time?

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .


The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

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.


Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

Have you read any of the books I got this month? Are any on your wishlist? Let me know!

www.blackwells.co.uk