"Chinese mythology meets fantasy war epic. The first in a trilogy, and Kuang's debut novel, so it's only going to get better from here—or not, depending on who you are in the book."
Publisher Harper Voyager
Publication Date 2019-04-23
Section New Titles - Paperback / Science Fiction / All Staff Suggestions / Fiction Suggestions / Lily R.
“I have no doubt this will end up being the best fantasy debut of the year [...] I have absolutely no doubt that [Kuang’s] name will be up there with the likes of Robin Hobb and N.K. Jemisin.” -- Booknest
A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.
When war orphan Rin aced the Kejuthe Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academiesshe surprised everyone: test officials, the guardians who wanted to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise, and even herself.
But being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not easy at Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan. Targeted by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers that gods long thought dead are very much alive, and that she possesses a lethal, unearthly poweran aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism that could be the weapon the empire desperately needs.
While Nikara is at peace, its enemy and former occupiers, the Federation of Mugen, bides its time . . . and a Third Poppy War is just a spark away. Rins shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. Yet as she discovers more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity.
And it may already be too late.