The Burning God by R F Kuang (The Poppy War #3)
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: so… Parker is here! Which means we’ve had a lot to drink. Mostly seltzer, which means I’m not the sloppiest I’ve ever been but I’m here. We started taking shots at 3p. It’s 1:30a
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?
Drunk Overview: this is the third book in this trilogy and basically Rin has been betrayed entirely too many times and it makes me super sad.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: this was so flipping good like. How dare this be as good as it was.
Characters: so obviously there are a few that matter here. The chick who’s name starts with V, she’s a lot. But we don’t get very much of her but like I love her. Nehza… my poor sweet Nehza. I am still not happy about what he did at the end of book 2, but like… what a life that kid has led. And then there’s Rin. It was so so interesting to me to see her spiral, like… I just shook my head and was like “oh no. No no no this can’t be…’” and it was and I was sad. Then there was my sweet son, Kitai. Their bond is incredible. His life has sucked. He’s been Rin’s access to the Phoenix and that must be so painful. The didn’t deserve the life he was given, and it hurt my heart.
Also, can we talk about the white people? I’ve said this before, but it’s been fascinating to see this perspective. Obviously white people suck. The way they colonized the planet was horrific, and it’s really rare that we get such a popular book, fiction or non- that presents the other side as it actually was and not the revised story that is taught.
Plot: like I said…. through the narrative, it became super clear towards the end what was going to happen but I really didn’t want it to. There were a couple things that seemed a bit too easy, like a couple boss battles and such. But otherwise, the war was brutal, but it was supposed to be. I def cried at the end, and I don’t do that often. Not saying it doesn’t happen, cause it does, it it’s rare. Anyway, fucking Rin. How DARE. Also love some of the choices that she tried to make to win. A lot of them didn’t turn out great but I see where the logic was.
Writing Style: this book is brutal. Does not hold back. Shows the decline of both a nation and of a mind. Brilliant
World Building: at this point we know the world
What to pair it with: fireball… get it?
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,