Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 4

The Poppy War Reread Chapter 4.png

It’s that time of the week again! Today we take a deep dive into Chapter 4 of The Poppy War, where the infamous Altan Trengsin makes his first appearance.

Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

REREAD INDEX

Chapter 4

We quickly learn that Sinegard Academy is pretty much a glorified bootcamp, where students are literally left to either sink or swim. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 4”

#1KBE A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reading Challenge

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This challenge is co-hosted by LitCelebrAsian, so please keep an eye on the blog and twitter to follow updates, author interviews, and more!

What is A Thousand Beginnings and Endings?

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is an upcoming anthology featuring retellings of mythology and legends from East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.The collection is edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, and will feature stories from the following authors: Elsie Chapman, Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, Alyssa Wong.

For more information and preorder:  Harpercollins | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia Continue reading “#1KBE A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reading Challenge”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 3

Reread TPW Chapter 3.png

Welcome back to The Poppy War Reread, this week we are diving into chapter3.

Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

REREAD INDEX

CHAPTER 3

Content Warnings for Chapter 3: allusion to drug use and drug addiction, allusion to genocide.

Rin and Nezha are the last to arrive to the main hall, thanks to their scuffle at the end of the last chapter. I love that the older students are being loud and brash on purpose to set the new recruits on edge, reminds me of my good old days in high school. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 3”

Book Review: The Queens of Innis Lear

37795682Rating Three Star

Title: The Queens of Innis Lear

Author: Tessa Gratton

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Series? No

Goodreads

Book DepositoryDymocks  |  Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.

The Queens of Innis Lear Tessa Gratton.png

I still vividly remember studying King Lear for Year 11 English class, for me, it’s Shakespeare’s most memorable tragedy. I spent many hours that year writing about the folly of men in power and the toxicity of patriarchal societies, so I was immediately intrigued when I learned of this feminist retelling of King Lear. Continue reading “Book Review: The Queens of Innis Lear”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapters 1-2

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I’ve made it loud and clear on numerous occasions over the past weeks that The Poppy War is my favourite read of 2018. I think it has the potential to be one of my favourite reads of all time (I usually wait a couple of years after my first read to make that call). I’ve had such a hard time getting the book out of my mind that I’ve decided to do a detailed chapter-by-chapter reread while waiting for the sequel. Please join me if you have finished The Poppy War but want to dive back into this world.

SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK BELOW. PLEASE DO NOT READ THESE POSTS UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED READING THE POPPY WAR.

Reread Index

Content Warning of Chapters 1-2: self-harm, allusion to sexual assault, drug addiction and drug use, death, hit-and-run accident.
Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapters 1-2”

Book Review: Furyborn

34323570Rating Three Star

Title: Furyborn

Author: Claire Legrand

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Series? Yes, 1 of 3

Goodreads

Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NewSouth Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Furyborn is an ambitious fantasy following a prophecy about preordained queens and mythic reckoning over the course of thousands of years. On the one hand, we have Rielle, who must conquer deadly trials to prove she is the predestined Sun Queen. On the other, we have Eliana, a cynical assassin who only knows Rielle as a bloody and half-forgotten legend.

Sadly to say, the execution fell a little bit flat for me, I was only invested in one half of the narrative voices. As the book has dual point of views that are separated by millenia, it can at time feel disjointed. I had high expectations for this novel, especially given the explosive prologue. However, the rest of the book never quite manages to regain the exhilaration of its first chapter.

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I did really enjoy Rielle’s point of view, and I felt connected to all of the characters around her. There is also the compelling dramatic irony running throughout, as we know from the first chapter that her story ends in tragedy. Learning the steps which led Rielle into becoming the reviled Blood Queen of prophecy is like putting together an intricate puzzle you don’t quite have the heart to complete.

Rielle’s character development throughout the novel was credible and engrossing, especially when the voice of Corien is thrown into the mix. The constant battle between her moral integrity and her darker impulses are even more exciting than her elemental trials.

Audric is also one of the sweetest love interest I’ve read about in YA, and remembering his eventual fate every time I see him on page causes me deep pain. One can easily see the groundwork for future disputes between him and Rielle, it almost feels inevitable – but you can’t help but wishing that maybe through reading, the ending may transform into something different.

The world building within this book is variable in quality. Once, there was a great battle between angels and saints, the saints who emerged victorious eventually went on to find all of the great nations within this world. Each saint commands a specific elements, and there are several humans who can do the same. However, the fated Blood Queen and Sun Queen of the legend, can control all the elements (*cue Avatar opening music*). Beyond the names of a few angels and saints, and seeing people handling the various elements, we don’t get an in-depth look at the fabric of this world – it seems to crumble upon further scrutiny.

I also had a hard time with Eliana’s chapters, I felt very detached from her – perhaps because she also kept an emotional distance between herself and other characters. The readers are constantly told about how she feels, rather than seeing it in action. The characters supporting her story were also less vivid than the ones in Rielle’s scenes. Overall, the only thoughts I ever had while reading her chapters were ones wishing they would end soon so that the limelight can be given back to Rielle.

While I had mixed feelings about Furyborn, I love Rielle and Audric more than enough to want the sequel. It’s going to be a long wait until next year!


Have you read Furyborn? Did you think it was worthy of the hype?

Interview with R. F. Kuang on The Poppy War

The Poppy War Interview

Hi all! Another day, another post to slowly transform Read at Midnight to a fanblog for The Poppy War. I have a very exciting interview with R. F. Kuang to share with you all today. Minor spoilers for the book in the last question (I’ll mark it, don’t worry). I also have links to R. F. Kuang’s other interviews at the end of the post, if you need to dive deeper into her brilliant mind.


 

Continue reading “Interview with R. F. Kuang on The Poppy War”

Book Review: The Poppy War

35068705Rating Five Star

Title: The Poppy War

Author: R. F. Kuang

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Series? Yes, 1 of 3

Goodreads

Book DepositoryDymocks  |  Booktopia


The Poppy War is a searing and blood-soaked military fantasy that will carve itself into the reader with every word. Deftly blending historical events and Chinese mythology, the novel imagines a vivid new world and uses this alternate universe to process living generational trauma. Between the endless actions and warfare, among the figures of gods and monsters, readers will also find a human story about war and the lasting impact it has on the individuals and nations involved.

The-Poppy-War Continue reading “Book Review: The Poppy War”

Review & Designs: Tensorate Novellas

Tensorate Teasers

I’ve been wanting to feature the Tensorate novellas by JY Yang, The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Thread of Fortune on my blog ever since their release. These books are stunning from cover to cover, whether it’s their exquisite cover art to the rich world that lies within.

Today, I’m sharing with you a brief review of the two novella, as well as some graphic fanart you can use as phone wallpapers.

R E V I E W

I am a huge fan of the Tor.com novella imprint, and the Tensorate novellas exemplifies all the reasons why. These books are vividly imagined and champion voices long ignored by SFF.

These twin novellas fittingly follow a pair of twins, Akeha and Mokoya, spanning the first few decades of their lives. They are significantly different in tone, tied together by this vastly imaginative world and the strength of the sibling’s bond. Akeha’s book is an introspective saga about family, destiny, and choice. Mokoya’s novella explore her emotions and its manifestation over few short but action-packed days.

The Tensorate series unfold in a world that is at once reminiscent of East Asia, yet filled with wonders such as the Slack elemental manipulation and advanced biotechnology. At every turn, there are delightful surprises within the layers of world building, from raptors to visually impressive feats of slackcraft. While the novellas are short, an immense amount of detail is packed within these pages, allowing the readers to fully appreciate the various factions with the Protectorate and the brewing tension between them.

I love the exploration of gender within these novellas, facilitated by a world where gender is not assigned at birth – but rather chosen by each person (and what a world that would be!). Upon this decision, the person can choose whether they want to take gender confirmation drugs. The novella’s examination of Akeha and Mokoya’s individual choices was especially well-executed.

At the moment, there are two more planned novella set in this world, with The Descent of Monsters set to release on July 31! I’m still secretly holding out for a novella on Sonami. In any case, I’m sure I’ll be back in due time with more graphics and reviews.

W A L L P A P E R S

  • Quotes and characters belong to the magnificent JY Yang, cover art drawn by the awe-inspiring Yuko Shimizu.
  • The phone wallpapers are free for your personal use only.
  • Please do not edit, repost, redistribute the images.
  • They are made for iPhone 6, but should fit most smartphones.

“The black tides of heaven direct the courses of human lives”. To which a wise teacher said, “But as with all the waters, one can swim against the tide.”

Black Tides of Heaven Wallpaper DROPBOX
Red Threads of Fortune Wallpaper DROPBOX


  • Find more of my free book-related designs here.
  • If you enjoyed these free graphics and want to support me, you can find me on Society 6.
  • Alternatively, you can commission me for your custom graphics by contacting me.
  • Finally, you can grab me a cuppa via Ko-fi here.

Midnight Designs: The Poppy War

The Poppy War Wallpaper Teaser

The Poppy War is one of my most anticipated releases of 2018 and it did not disappoint. Quite the opposite, it left me breathless and dazed, groveling for a sequel like a poppy-addled addict. I will do a full review once I have digested everything, but for now, I have some wallpapers inspired by the book for you all. Let’s be honest, we all deserve all little TLC after the novel.

  • Quotes and characters belong to the brilliant R. F. Kuang, cover art from The Poppy War hardback are drawn by Jung Shan.
  • The phone wallpapers are free for your personal use only.
  • Please do not edit, repost, redistribute the images.
  • They are made for iPhone 6, but should fit most smartphones.

TPW Teaser 01

DROPBOX LINK

I don’t believe in gods. I believe in power.

Sorry I don’t make the rules, but all the best protagonists are Slytherins. Rin is ambitious and resilient, she burns for power and she will grab life and deities by the throat to earn it. Also the best exam crammer I have ever seen in a fantasy novel, I am ready to declare undying allegiance to her.


TPW Teaser 02

DROPBOX LINK

War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who remains.

As implied by the title of the book, war plays a huge role in The Poppy War, and the novel does not hold back from the violence and horrors which accompanies it. Many events in the book parallels the Second Sino-Japanese War, and it expertly weaves between historical reality and fantasy to create a devastating portrait of war.


TPW Teaser 03

DROPBOX LINK

She came from nothing. She wasn’t going back to nothing.

One of the things I love most about Rin is her drive and personal agency, her sheer determination to write her own story — even if it’s one where she may not end up the hero.


  • Find more of my free book-related designs here.
  • If you enjoyed these free graphics and want to support me, you can find me on Society 6.
  • Alternatively, you can commission me for your custom graphics by contacting me.
  • Finally, you can grab me a cuppa via Ko-fi here.