A Beginner's Guide to The Poppy War Trilogy - The Fantasy Review

A Beginner’s Guide to The Poppy War Trilogy

FallenKingdomReads‘ Beginner’s Guide to The Poppy War Trilogy by R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War trilogy by R. F. Kuang is a critically acclaimed fantasy series that has garnered a lot of attention since its first book’s release in 2018. The series is set in a world inspired by Chinese history, mythology, and culture, and features a powerful heroine who navigates war, politics, and magic.

If you’re new to the series and wondering if it’s worth the read, this beginner’s guide will help you get started.


The trilogy begins with The Poppy War, which introduces us to Rin, a war orphan from the Rooster Province who aces a difficult nationwide test to gain admission to Sinegard, the most prestigious military academy in the Empire. Once there, Rin discovers that her talent for shamanism – an almost extinct form of magic – can give her an edge in the coming war with the neighboring Federation. As the war progresses, Rin becomes increasingly powerful but must also confront the true cost of her abilities and the difficult choices they force her to make.

What to Expect

The Poppy War trilogy is a complex and compelling story that combines elements of Chinese history, culture, and mythology with high-stakes action and a cast of memorable characters. You will see awesome world-building, interesting character development, and themes of power, war, and the cost of revenge.

One aspect that sets this series apart is the way it explores the devastating effects of war on individuals and societies. The violence and brutality depicted in the books are unflinching, but also serve to highlight the consequences of the decisions made by those in power. While the series can be challenging to read at times, it is also emotionally powerful and resonant.

Reading Order

The Poppy War trilogy consists of three books:


The Poppy War trilogy is a must-read for fans of fantasy and historical fiction. R. F. Kuang has created a rich and detailed world that is both familiar and original, and her characters are complex and nuanced. The series is not for the faint of heart, but it is an emotionally resonant story that will stay with readers long after they’ve finished the final page.

beginner's guide to the poppy war trilogy

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