Today I’m doing a new book tag, created by the amazing Vee, Nandini and Krisha! They are fellow lovers of The Poppy War and have created a book tag all about this amazing series! Thank you so much for creating this tag, I had the best fun doing it and it has made me even more excited for The Burning God. Thank you also to Nidhi Shetty, the artist who created the header for this book tag, and to the three creators for letting us use this amazing piece of art with our posts!
Fang Runin: Who’s your favourite anti-heroine?
It’s no secret The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson is one of my favourite books of the year so far, and probably my favourite science fiction novel ever. At the heart of this incredible book is Cara! Oh my god I love her. She is definitely an anti-heorine (yes a mere 9% in we get one of the biggest plot twists ever that shows us just how much of an anti-hero she is and how much she’s done to get to her position). She starts out as this woman willing to watch the whole world burn for her survival. I love her and I love this book.
Chosen One Schmosen One: which character deserves more spotlight in your favourite series?
I just finished reading my ARC of The Ikessar Falcon a week or so ago and OH. MY. GOD. If you like books like The Poppy War that are filled with incredible characters and lots of pain, you’ll love this series! The Ikessar Falcon is the sequel to The Wolf of Oren-Yaro and follows Queen Talyien as she chases after the husband who ran away, whilst watching her queendom slowly crumple underneath her. But the reason I’m mentiong this book is here because of the brilliant and loveliest and sweeest and most resilient character ever: Khine. He is such a light and beautiful relief in a very dark and painful story. And he does star quite a bit, but of course, I just want more of him!! He and Talyien together are just amazing and I love their relationship.
No Stone Left Unturned: who’s your favourite fictional genius?
Obviously Kitay is also very high up this list. But I also love two characters from one of the cleverest science fictions I’ve ever read, A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. This book somehow manages to combine hard scifi, political thriller, murder mystery and a love letter to poetry all in one book. And Ambassador Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass are the two at the heart of this story trying to work out what the actual fuck is going on; and Mahit manages to do this with another person in her head the whole time. It’s one of the most complex novels I’ve, and the way poetry is used as language was just so different and so interesting and so clever that I had to pick these two as my favourite geniuses!
The Epic Descent: What makes you empathize with your favourite morally grey character?
Okay of course I’m going to choose Dara as my favourite morally grey character, from one of my favourite fantasy series The Daevabad trilogy! Why do I emphathise with him? HE WAS ENSLAVED FOR 1000 YEARS AFTER WATCHING EVERYONE HE LOVED DIE, WHO WOULDN’T EMPHATHISE WITH HIM?! (Every one who loves Ali apparently). Anyway I’m still too terrified to read The Empire of Gold, I know more bad things are going to happen to Dara and I don’t know if I can cope.
Mad Gods & Their Maddening Power: what’s your favourite novel about gods and their powers? (Bonus points for dark fiction!)
I love reading books with very powerful gods, particularly when said book involves those powerful completely losing all control which is what happens in The Unspoken Name by A.K Larkwood! This is a book about a lesbain orc who is supposed to be a sacrifice for her god, but instead runs away with a wizard. One of the civilisations in this world has a religion which believes those who can use magic are in fact gateways to old, venegful gods to come through, so magic users can never afford to lose control and let in the other side. It is such an interesting world, part fantasy and part scifi, it has necromancers and it has a very powerful woman losing control and I LOVE IT.
Immortals & Their Battles: what’s your favourite battle scene?
Who else could I choose than the incredible Fonda Lee? Fonda Lee writes the best battle scenes in fantasy, and I am in awe of her writing! I am writing a fantasy novel right now and I am horrific at writing battle scenes and I want to beg Lee for her secrets! Her incredible Jade City trilogy is an urban fantasy following the Kaul clan, a crime syndicate in the city of Kekon and their feud with a rival clan. This series is mindblowingly good, it has the best family relationships in fantasy and the way Lee writes battle scenes is so tense and so unpredictable, you really never know who is going to win which I absolutely love.
This Poisonous Beauty: which character do you find as intriguing as you do terrifying?
Calix Leher from The Fever King by Victoria Lee is one of the most terrifyingly evil characters I’ve ever read about. His particular power (which I’m going to avoid mentioning directly for anyone who hasn’t read the book), is just so chilling because how can you ever know what’s real when you’re around him? The history of Leher though is also absolutely fascinating. Lee has small anecdotes and extracts throughout the book which reveal more about Leher – there is a reason why the preorder campaign for the sequel The Electric Heir included a novella about Calix Leher’s time during the war 100 years ago. He is both a fascinating villain, but also one of the most terrifying and evil characters I’ve read about.
Clever Truths & Cleverer Lies: what’s a book rife with political intrigue that you enjoy the mind games of?
Okay I know I’ve already mentioned the Daevabad trilogy but how could I not mention it again for this category about politics?! The City of Brass by S.A Chakraborty is the best political fantasy I’ve read. It’s also the book with the most detailed and extensive political system and history and I adored the depth and detail we got about this world. It’s a slowburn, full of political mindgames as Nahri must try hold her own against the might of the Daevabad empire, run by King Ghassan who only wants to use her name as the last of the Nahids.
A Trio to Reckon With: Whose your favourite fictional trio?
YES it’s the book this tag is all about, I’m ending on the amazing The Poppy War by R.F Kuang! THIS TRIO!! Rin, Kitay and Nezha are each so different but so powerful and I love them all so much individually. Which I find very rare actually. In books with trios such as this, I usually find I much prefer some of them over the others (like in The City of Brass, LOVE Dara and Nahri, detest Ali…) But that is so not the case in The Poppy War! I adore Rin, Kitay and Nezha so much. Rin is one of the best (and most) morally gray characters in SFF. She’s done so much shit wrong, but you can’t help but admire the way she refuses to back down and will keep on fighting. And Kitay, the sweetest angel who is slowly corrupted and twisted by those around him to be used only as a tool for war. And then NEZHA gosh what do I say about Nezha after The Dragon Republic? He’s such a conflicted character and I loved seeing the end result of all these different pulls on his loyalty.
Thank you again to Vee, Nandini and Krisha for creating this book tag, it was so much fun!! And even though I’m terrified for The Burning God, I can’t wait to read it! If you are a The Poppy War fan, consider yourself tagged!