The Burning God – R.F. Kuang

The Burning God it’s the third and final book in The Poppy War trilogy.

Endings are hard. For me personally endings are always dificult, especially when I get attached to character’s and get so invested in their lives and journeys. I usually have a hard time processing the last books, the ending parts, the final installments of things. And this is one was no different. I have slept on this story already and I still don’t know how I feel except that my heart feels like it’s been ripped off of my chest.

Hate was a funny thing. It gnawed at her insides like poison. It made every muscle in her body tense, made her veins boil so hot she thought her head might split in half, and yet it fueled everything she did. Hate was it’s own kind of fire and if you had nothing else, it kept you warm.

The whole reading experience of The Poppy War series was crazy, especially because I read 1,829 pages in 14 days. I don’t think I’ve ever read something so fast, so many pages in so little time. This story has consumed me, it became the only thing I thought about and it felt good to devour pages upon pages of this and not think about anything else.

This last book has 640 pages, and to be honest it was the first book in the series that I felt could’ve been a bit shorter. The middle section of this was a bit dragged, and there was aspects of this book I wish were given more attention to than other. Some percentage of the middle of the book felt a bit repetititve to me, and comparing it to the other two books there wasn’t as many crazy plot twists and incredible moments. The sheer feeling this book transpires is exhaustion. Everyone is exhausted of the war, the Nikara nation is broken to pieces and it’s population devastated. The author doesn’t spare in relating the traumas that arise from war, how the people suffer because of the decisions of the big guys who command the armies and give the orders.

The author also does a fantastic job in depicting trauma. The trauma of a nation devastated by war. The trauma of a protagonist that has suffered so much and on her worst moments cannot live with the things she has done. Okay but seriously I just wish I could take care of Rin, she really has no rest, not one moment of peace. I truly could feel her exhaustion and also the rage and lust for vengeance that motivates her every step of the way. She is truly one of the most powerful characters I have ever had a chance to read. Her arc in this book is so well done that no part of it feels rushed or poorly done, on the oppoiste it is exactly what needs to be.

It doesn’t go away. It never will. But when it hurts, lean into it. It’s so much harder to stay alive. That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to live. It means you’re brave.

I also really enjoyed seeing the way the author depicted the feer of colonization that looms over the lives of these characters. The fear of losing everything that makes you you because someone wishes to impose themselves over you, because someone thinks you are unworthy and less than human. Over and over we are reminded that the victor of a war is who gets to decide how history will be written, who decides who will be depicted as a hero or a villain, who will be the protagonist of a story. This was a real powerful message present in this book and it made me think a lot.

Despite whatever little complaints I have about this book, I still cannot bring myself to give this anything less than a five star rating. Maybe it’s around 4,5 because of the things that bothered me, but I’ll stick with the five star. I am certain that I will never forget, will never get over this story. I feel like this story left a deep mark in me, and the fear of having a big book depression is real. I think it will haunt me forever, for it is one of the best series of fantasy I’ve read in my life. If you are up for the challenge I will deeply recommend that you take on this journey that will change you forever.

You can purchase this book via my affiliate link and I’ll receive a small comission, click here for the english edition.

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