You all know how much I adore The Poppy War…
I tried to avoid answering all of these prompts with TPW-related characters, since I didn’t want this to turn into a “I talk about TPW only” post. (I lowkey already do that already.) This was a lot of fun to write, especially since I am SO low on post inspiration, and you can check out the original creators’ posts by clicking the links above!
art by Nidhi Shetty
who’s your favorite anti-heroine?
Aside from our very own Fang Runin, I love Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites so much!! I really want to reread the trilogy soon, because I honestly have forgotten a lot of what happens, but I do remember that she’s ruthless, scary, and ambitious. I love how villainous she is, and some of the things are just so delightfully… evil. If you love villains or morally grey characters and haven’t read this series yet, what are you doing!!
CHOSEN ONE SCHMOSEN ONE
which character deserves more spotlight in your favorite series?
For some reason I… am completely blanking on a character who fits this? They definitely exist, one is out there somewhere, but I cannot for the life of me remember a single one. (I’m blaming it on the fact that the hell that was Election Week is still lingering in my mind, and I’m attempting NaNoWriMo while still climbing out of a reading slump.)
NO STONE LEFT UNTURNED
who’s your favorite fictional genius?
I wouldn’t say he’s my favorite favorite, but I’m trying to mention a diverse range of books in this post, so I’ll go with Elliott Schafer from In Other Lands! I think what makes me love him a lot is the fact that he is the definition of a useless bisexual. He’s so smart and yet so incredibly dense, because he doesn’t realize that someone has had a crush on him for like 3 years. He’s also really sarcastic and pretty obnoxious to be honest, and does some unlikeable things, but I enjoyed his character so much!
THE EPIC DESCENT
what makes you empathize with your favorite morally grey character?
Okay, let me talk about Fang Runin from The Poppy War here for once!! Rin does terrible things and makes inexcusable choices, but her development throughout the book makes you really see why she makes those decisions. She was oppressed her whole life, without any sort of control over her life, and I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to. And beyond the war crimes she committed… the bare bones of her desire is that she wants power after living a life without it and god I just love characters like that!!
MAD GODS & THEIR MADDENING POWER
what’s your favorite novel about gods and their powers?
Since I’m not mentioning The Poppy War, I’ll mention my other favorite series that I cannot shut up about: Percy Jackson and Olympians! I don’t think this series needs any sort of explanation or description, but reading this for the first time when I was 9 years old truly was my first exposure to like… any kind of gods. (I really am that stereotypical kid whose knowledge of Greek mythology comes almost entirely from Percy Jackson.)
Also, I’m not really sure if I’ve said it anywhere on my blog before, but I like PJO more than HOO (mainly for nostalgia reasons…) and I feel like that’s a little unpopular based on what I’ve seen?? Who knows!
IMMORTALS & THEIR BATTLES
what’s your favorite battle scene?
Okay so. I actually cannot remember more than three things that happened in Jade City, so I guess I’m pretty much lying by using it for this prompt BUT!! I do remember that the fight scenes in this book were all phenomenal and made me want to learn how to fight even more than I did before. I can’t give a specific scene, both because of uh… my lack of memory, and because I want to avoid spoilers, but I’ll just be confident in Fonda Lee’s writing abilities and say ALL of them were great!
THIS POISONOUS BEAUTY
which character do you find as intriguing as you do terrifying?
The first character I want to mention is Avatar Kyoshi, from the Kyoshi duology. First of all, I’m just a few inches over 5 feet tall, so her towering over me at 7 feet tall is absolutely terrifying. But more than that, she’s a calculating, powerful character, who won’t let anything stop her from doing what she believes is right. Fandom has painted her as a cold-hearted murderer, but she really just wants justice served in whatever way possible. Her arc in the Kyoshi books was fascinating to read, and I really recommend the books whether or not you’re a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender!
The second character who is a little concerning but very intriguing nonetheless is Severin Montagnet-Alarie from The Gilded Wolves. I guess this is more in the sequel The Silvered Serpents, but some of the things he does is chilling to watch unfold, but at the same time, I just want to take him by the shoulders and shake him!! It’s particularly interesting to see the differences between his external and internal self (and his internal thoughts are lowkey… very scary). I don’t know what it means that Severin is my favorite character from this series but I can’t help it!
CLEVER TRUTHS & CLEVERER LIES
what’s a book rife with political intrigue that you enjoy the mind games of?
I instantly thought of The Fever King for this one! There are mind games beyond just the politics, too, since the duology features an abuser who manipulates others in more ways than one. I feel like the politics really kick up in the sequel The Electric Heir, but the twists and turns in the first book are equally as fun. You don’t know who’s on the right side, if there even is a right side, and it’s a reading experience both full of stress and suspense.
A TRIO TO RECKON WITH
who’s your favorite fictional trio?
I refuse to let myself talk about Rin, Kitay, and Nezha from The Poppy War (I will literally just start sobbing) or Percy, Annabeth, and Grover from Percy Jackson, so I’m going to be creative and talk about the trio from the Monstress comic!
The trio of characters is Maika, a morally grey girl who escapes human trafficking, Kippa, an absolutely ADORABLE little fox-girl, and Master Ren, a talking cat who is just done with everyone. This is an unsurprising thing for me to say about a morally grey girl but I would absolutely let Maika step on me, and I will also hurt anyone who hurts Kippa.
This is a fairly popular comic, I think, in the circle of people who read comics, but I really wish more non-comic readers gave it a chance!! It’s set in a steampunk fantasy Asian world, with fantastic worldbuilding, a gripping story, and absolutely stunning art. However, it’s definitely a dark story, so beware of the content warnings, including: human trafficking, slavery, child brutality, and many other dark themes that are in the violence and gore vein (thank you, Melanie!).
COMPANIONS FOR THE DARKNESS
tag your friends!
I feel like a bunch of people who I know have read The Poppy War have been tagged for this already. But if you’d like to do this and you weren’t already tagged, consider yourself tagged by me!
have you read The Poppy War? PLEASE recommend me some books with antiheroines! who’s a character who deserved more of a spotlight in your opinion? who’s your favorite fictional trio?