“People will seek to use you or destroy you. If you want to live, you must pick a side. So do not shirk from war, child. Do not flinch from suffering. When you hear screaming, run toward it.”
When we last left Rin, she had done the unthinkable and allowed her Phoenix to destroy with no restraint. The war was won but now that she knew the truth of the intent behind the war, she was bubbling with of shame for more reason than one. She emerges from her opium haze with her eyes set on revenge. She’s found herself a new cause to throw herself into and as with before, she dives in with blind gusto. As time progresses she begins to see that her goals may not align as perfectly with the cause and that she may have to make more compromises than she bargained for to win this war… that is if she still believes this war is the one to won.
What I loved about this story is that Rin is still as idealistic as ever. While she has seen and participated in the atrocities of war, she still doesn’t consider any other way forward. But we do start to see her putting a human face to the destruction and the brushes it has with her inner circle do see her enthusiasm slowly replaced with something much more mature. She, Nezha and Kitay learn how to be strategic and loyal and I adore the three of them. Nehza’s evolution is fantastic and Kitay is the Hermione of this series for me.
I also think this series has what most series lack… a great villain! In this case, perhaps more than one of them. The Empress is evil personified and yet as we learn more about her and how she came to be who she is, the layers there are so intriguing. Other great villains emerge but I don’t want to be spoilery, so just rest assured that there are characters with great complex motives that you will question at every step.
I think the things I didn’t love about this book may be setting things up for the next book, so I may look back on my 4 star rating after the series and wish I had rated it higher but we’ll see… ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Dragon Republic was my 70th read of the year. How many books have you read so far this year?