There are no new ideas here. Don't be fooled by the Chinese aesthetic--the story is the same betrayed exile fighting for her birthright, gathering allies in unexpected places that you see all too often in YA fantasy.
The Poppy War is one of a handful of books that are so astoundingly good, I recommend going into them 100% blind.
With a touch of Renée Ahdieh and S. Jae-Jones, Megan Bannen's debut shines with passion for the historical subject matter that she elevates into a timeless tragic romance. Yet for all its lush writing, The Bird and the Blade fails to add enough to the Puccini opera Turandot to escape the weary sense of "been there, done that."