Author Interview: R. F Kuang talks about her best selling debut, The Poppy War.

If you guys don’t already know, i loved The Poppy War by R. F Kuang. It was one of the best books  i have read in a while, and now has a place amongst my favorite books ever.

So, I was so excited when given the opportunity to interview Rebecca. I hope this interview answers some of your questions about the book if you are planning on reading it, or if you already have!

1. The Poppy War was inspired by The Second Sino Japanese War and the events that took place such as the Rape of Nanjing. Was this book the product of the fact that you wanted more people to be educated about such events?

Partly, yes.

2. Rin is such a well written character! Was she based on a certain historical figure? Were some of her experiences, especially at Sinegard, taken from your own life?

Rin is based on Mao Zedong–at least in trajectory, if not in personality. She’s a peasant nobody on the up and up. No spoilers for Book Three.
Rin and I don’t have very much in common. I’ve definitely had a much easier life. I’ve certainly dealt with sexism, racism, and classism at elite educational institutions, but never in such overt and devastating forms. I’d like to think I also have better anger management.

3. This book doesn’t really have any romance. Why did you decide  not to include any romance? Will there be any in the second book?

I’d argue that there actually is romance, it just doesn’t follow conventional storylines, nor does it overshadow the rest of the plot. Rin’s definitely not aromantic or asexual. She has strong romantic or sexual feelings towards a variety of characters–see Altan, Nezha, the Empress, etc. They’re not necessarily reciprocated.

4. Reading about Altan was so heartbreaking. But it’s so realistic.  Was he also inspired by a historical figure or was he something you created? Was it difficult to write about some of the things he went through?

I’m not answering any questions about Altan, sorry.

Ok, rapid fire:

Ship or No:

* Rin  &  Altan – Haha
* Nezha &  Kitay – Oh, definitely not.

*One YA book you would recommend as a must read-

GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE! It come out on November 6 th

*Your favorite  read this year-

Definitely N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy

*Most anticipated 2019 release-

Way too many to count. Pop over to my Twitter–I recently asked for a roundup of works by Asian writers coming out next year and I’m excited for all of them! I try to review books by Asian writers the week they come out, and you can find all my writeups and Q&As over at!

Thank you so much, Rebecca for agreeing to do this!


  1. thebookprescription · October 15, 2018

    I Loved the poppy war and already anticipating the second book. She seems like a kind person too. I loved that there was no romance tbh


    • ramblingsofabookworm · October 16, 2018

      Yeah, i was just curious as to why there was no romance when there were so many possibilities I guess? Also I cannot WAIT for the second book. It’s called The Dragon Republic! Wow!

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebookprescription · October 16, 2018

        I know and the cover reveal is on Friday, I guess?
        I prefer when there is no Romance because if it is there, they focus on it so much and ruin the book mostly@


      • ramblingsofabookworm · October 16, 2018

        Yep! I cannot wait! It’s probably one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. Also i agree, sometimes the romance just ruins it for me. Only Laini Taylor and very few other authors can do it right.

        Liked by 1 person

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