Some of you may remember my glowing review of the first book in this trilogy “The Poppy War”, sadly the second volume does not live up to promise of the first. Now bear with me because all is not what you may expect.
One of the problems with history is that it is immutable, you cannot change it to make it more exciting to suit your tale if you have decided to follow that road. This is the thing with R F Kuang, it is a fantasy, history could easily have been adapted or changed. Yet she decided to follow perceived history when writing a fantasy novel (with gods and dragons et al.) and that led to a slowing of the monumental tale that she has undertaken. Only at the beginning of “The Dragon Republic” does the story slide into chaos (as history must upon occasion) from mid-way through the novel the story again gains pace and becomes fascinating once more. I would highly recommend that those who enjoyed the first book in this series stick with it. I suspect that there is still a great tale to be read.
Certainly, by the second half of “The Dragon Republic” I was again hooked and reading in every spare moment I had.