Book Review

Book Review: The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R.F. Kuang

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 640 pages
Author: R.F. Kuang
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: November 17th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


The exciting end to the Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.

 After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead.

Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation.

Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it?


I know I’m the unpopular opinion here, buuuut I didn’t love this conclusion.

I really wanted more from Rin. I thought she spent too much of this book hell bent on revenge that the warm themes became very one note. It was travel here, destroy some of the villains, travel here, repeat. It’s very violent, which I was fine with, but wanted something more. I don’t think every book needs a romance. I do think (at least in this books case) it needed ONE soft thing. Something to see that Rin had another side to her (maybe that was the point? These are just my thoughts).

Anyways, it was fine. I listened to it on audio and that was a great medium for this series. I liked seeing Nezha and what he was up to and the twisted way this story played out. It’s very nuanced and intricate in regards to some aspects. This series is harsh in nature and an emotional read at times.

The ending let me down. There was one aspect to it that made me want to throw a book. The longer I sit on it, I can see the intention of the decision, but I still think things could have worked out a bit differently. And it didn’t feel like it actually ended either?? I don’t know. A huge mixed bag of thoughts for a series I was initially in love with.

Overall audience notes:

  • High fantasy
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: none
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: extreme depictions of blood/gore, rape, war themes, suicide, mass loss of life, magical and physical altercations, torture, executions, and more that I might have missed; please check into the content before reading!

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