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The Poppy War Review - June 9th 2018, 05:13 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.



I think it is important to mention that this book is an adult novel, discusses a lot of triggering topics and has some adult language. It is not pg-13. I would say someone who is 17 or 18 could handle it but that would depend on their personal triggers (I'll list them).

The author lists trigger warnings on her blog and explains why she discusses certain things in the book. I actually agree with the authors reasoning. Here are the Trigger warnings:

- Rape
- Self Harm
- Substance abuse
- Torture
- Genocide
- Racism

Some of these triggers are discussed in more details than others. Some are only briefly mentioned as things that happened or were happening. There were a few (rape) where a bit more detail was given.

The book is full of brutality because it centers around a war. The author states that a lot of her ideas for this book came from a horrible part of history known as The Rape of Nanking. She's a historian so a lot of what she detailed was quite accurate. I am mentioning this because for some people I imagine the things that occur in this book could be quite triggering and for that reason I advise skipping it if you'd be triggered.

I didn't actually know there was going to be so many difficult subjects discussed in the novel until after I picked it up and then happened to read a review.

That being said, the novel IS worth the read.

The story centers around Rin who is a war orphan and knows nothing about her family. She is living with adoptive parents who are abusive. They want to marry her off so in order to avoid this fate she studies to try and get into her countries university. She ends up passing the test she must take and that is where the story begins.


There is a lot of animosity and hatred between Rin and her classmates because she is poor and not one of them. She slowly starts to learn about her cultures belief in shamanism.

The novel is told in three parts and it starts off slow. That being said, it was slow in a way that I found boring. I found the information being provided to be quite interesting and I wanted to learn more. However, if you are someone that reads fantasy and wants a fast paced book this one probably is not for you. You should either skip it entirely or wait until you get to a place where you'd be okay with reading a faster pace novel.

The author made me connect and feel for Rin as well as some of the other characters. There was one scene where something quite infuriating happened to Rin and I was angry for her. It's not common for me to feel that strongly for characters.

The author definitely has talent and this book is the first book in what I believe will be a trilogy. I hope the second book will be coming out sometime next year because I cannot wait to read more.

Like I said, if you are worried about the triggers then it might not be for you and it's definitely a book intended for an older audience. I gave it 4*s and the main reason it wasn't a five was because it was a little slower paced then I liked and going into it without realizing it would be slow led to me struggling to get into it initially. Still glad I read it and will continue reading more by this particular author.


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