Fantasy, High Fantasy
The Poppy War, Book # 3
Published November 17th 2020
August 17, 2022 October 24, 2022
Chunkster Reading, Finishing The Series, Mount TBR, The Backlist Reader
After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead.
Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation.
Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it?
What I think
I didn’t like the ending. With this ending, the author justifies the conquest of the East by the West and even if progress is right, erasing an entire culture just to make room for the “Creator” is not right and I expected more from a person with Chinese origins (but what do you want me to do, she lives in America and therefore she has been brainwashed with the thought that “Americans are the best in the world and that everyone must be like them” with their 600 year old culture).
It’s also basically an account of Rin’s travels where she gets fooled three out of two times and doesn’t win a single battle, except the last one which she doesn’t even win it because it was Nezha who sacrificed himself. Why build a nice character, “morally grey” and then always make her look like an imbecile? In addition, creating this fantastic world, but but then make it disappear, destroyed by the Ameri… sorry Esperian with the only God?
And I understand why Rin sacrificed herself and I like this, it’s just the fact of leaving the Esperians around the Nikkan that I don’t like.
Also I think it’s too focused on true history. If you want to expose the rottenness of war you cannot have the same conclusion. I can understand the deep hatred for the Japane… sorry Mugenians, so much so that Rin practically detonated an atomic bomb on the entire archipelago, but selling the Nikkan to the Esperians and make us believe that Westerners are the solution is so anti-Chinese that I don’t understand how the author can be called of Chinese origins (most likely the Chinese don’t even read this series given the good relations they have with Americans / Westerners). I expected more from her, but reading the various reviews especially from those who understand Asian history, I see that with these books she just wanted to inculcate her view of history and most likely use it as political propaganda. Maybe if I hadn’t heard that it was based on Sino Japanese history or otherwise not based hand-in-hand on history I would have enjoyed it more. Then why write a history textbook if you don’t change morals?
And anyway I liked the story, also because I don’t know Chinese history perfectly which would make me angry for the inconsistencies (like others), but the ending is pathetic. And that’s why I gave 3 stars for the first chapters, even if I have to say reading about Rin always losing enraged me a lot.
The ending, a big disappointment as well as predictable.