The Poppy War

The Poppy War is the first installment in a Chinese-history inspired epic fantasy trilogy about empire, warfare, shamanism, and opium. The Poppy War is a Goodreads Choice Award finalist (twice over), Nebula Award finalist, Locus Award finalist, and winner of the Stabby, Crawford, and Compton Crook Awards.

The Dragon Republic

The forthcoming sequel to The Poppy War, to be released in Summer 2019! Add it on Goodreads here, or preorder it now.

Kind things people have said about The Poppy War:

A study in every kind of violence…Kuang pulls from East Asian history, including the brutality of the Second Sino-Japanese war, to weave a wholly unique experience.” (Washington Post)

“Moving from academy, to battlefield, to metaphysical plane is no small feat, but Kuang pulls it off with a grim, gleeful sense of sadism…It’s dark, it’s daunting, and it’s heartbreaking in equal measure.” (The Book Smugglers)

I have no doubt this will end up being the best fantasy debut of the year.” (BookNest)

Spectacular, masterclass, brilliant, awesome…If you like dark adult fantasy then check out this masterpiece by grimdark’s newest and perhaps darkest daughter.” (Fantasy Book Review)

“Kuang’s debut is a thought-provoking, coming-of-age fairytale stocked with myths, legends, lore, politics and power struggles…Setting the stage for an epic fantasy is an understandably enormous undertaking, but Kuang does an exceptional job of world and character building. The first half of The Poppy War has an expected slower pace, but the second half is rich with a brutal, beautiful bevy of bloody battles.” (RT Book Reviews)


A blistering, powerful epic of war and revenge that will captivate you to the bitter end.” (Kameron Hurley, author of The Stars are Legion)

“A thrilling, action-packed fantasy of gods and mythology, THE POPPY WAR is equal parts military epic and exploration of the morally complex choices humanity must make in the name of victory. The ambitious heroine’s rise from poverty to ruthless military commander makes for a gripping read, and I eagerly await the next installment.(Julie C. Dao, author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns)

In THE POPPY WAR, RF Kuang draws on history and myth to tell a relentlessly unforgiving story of war, vengeance, power and madness, with larger-than-life characters that evoke sympathy and rouse terror. Brace yourself.(Fonda Lee, award-winning author of The Green Bone Saga) 

“Debut novelist Kuang creates an ambitious fantasy reimagining of Asian history populated by martial artists, philosopher-generals, and gods…Kuang highlights the horrors of war, especially the moral and emotional toll on combatants who employ scorched-earth strategies. Heroic responses pale in view of the collateral damage that they trigger, and the novel does not allow its characters to slough off their culpability for channeling godly powers. Readers may empathize with Rin’s desire for vengeance, but any thrill at her success is matched by horror at its costs. This is a strong and dramatic launch to Kuang’s career.” (Publisher’s Weekly)