The Dragon Republic by R F Kuang – book review

I’m attacking that backlog. Here is my review of the Dragon Republic by R F Kuang, the second book in the Poppy wars now featuring dragons.


The Dragon Republic by RF Kuang has been on my kindle a while after buying this impulsively when this was on offer, so it was great to just jump into the sequel after finishing the Poppy Wars.

The book picks off a few weeks or months after the end of the Poppy Wars ( read review here). Rin is now working with a female pirate and smuggler Moag while working on her plans to kill the Empress in revenge. Rin is falling deeper into addiction trying to escape the voice of the God in her head, visons of Altran and her reluctant guilt over the horrific atrocity she has committed.

Kitay and Venka are also struggling with their experiences in the last Poppy but find themselves dragged into civil war along with the Cike when Poppy joins forces with Nezha’s father the Dragon Warlord, Vaisra. Vaisra has a vision of bringing democracy to Nikan but he has to defeat the Empress, work with the other warlords and will do anything to achieve this including working with the foreign Hesperians.

I thought that the characters’ reactions to the horrific events from the last book were realistic and formed the best part of the book. A lot of books don’t touch on the consequences of people doing bad things or having bad things done to them but the author doesn’t sugar-coat this for us.

Rin continues to be the angry outsider struggling to be accepted by the people around here ( both people from Nikan and the Hessperians) no matter what she does or what she gives up. Her simmering rage is described well each time she is subjected to another insult.

Kitay is my favourite and I think he forms the heart of this book and provides some optimism.

The action and battle scenes are vividly described, and I loved the addition of technology to this already intricate world. The political intrigue was much more complex in this book and there were some reveals that took me by surprise.

The book again is divided into three parts, and I did struggle with some parts of the book. I found myself skipping quite a few pages of descriptions of discussions on religion and strategy to find out what happens. There is still angst but this time Rin’s angst is focused on Nezha’s problems and their complicated relationship.

This book has lots of dark themes and is not for anyone looking for a nice and easy read.

Content warning

Sexual assault, rape, drug addiction, racism

Perfect for Fans of

Grimdark fantasy like Game of Thrones or anyone who would like to read epic fantasy in a non-European setting.

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Book two in The Poppy wars

Source: My own

3 thoughts on “The Dragon Republic by R F Kuang – book review

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