The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) – R.F. Kuang

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager 
Pages: 640
Release Date: November 17, 2020

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? 

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The Burning God is the epic conclusion to The Poppy War trilogy. From the first novel to the last, The Poppy War is a grueling and devastating story that highlights the brutality of war and its intended and unintended consequences.

What makes The Poppy War stand out as a remarkable trilogy is its main character, Rin. At times, I found myself rooting for her success and revenge. However, those moments become few and far between as she ingratiates herself further in the war and lets herself become blinded by her own desires. Kuang strikes a perfect balance in making Rin likable enough that readers feel compelled to root for her despite some of her actions.

I’ve seen quite a few reviews talking about the fast pace of this novel. While The Burning God is an incredibly fast paced novel that has little room for readers to breathe, it can feel monotonous at times as it can feel repetitive. This feeling of repetitiveness ultimately made it feel slow to me.

The Burning God has a satisfying conclusion. It’s an inevitable ending that will break most readers. If the story hadn’t already devastated readers by this point, the ending certainly will.

Overall, The Burning God is a worthwhile ending to an epic and gruelling trilogy. The Poppy War is firmly in the dark fantasy subgenre, so if you’re not a fan of dark fantasy and looking to try out The Poppy War because it’s so popular, do not be disappointed when you realize just how dark this story is going to get.

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Have you read The Burning God? What did you think?

2 thoughts on “The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) – R.F. Kuang

  1. I completely agree with you! We liked Rin even if many of her actions were debatable. Alson on the lot of action but also repetition. I think this trilogy is just unique.

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