A review by ecompetente
The Burning God by R.F. Kuang


I have mixed feelings on how this amazing trilogy ended and a lot of questions in mind that I know should not be asked carelessly. But amidst all that, I can never be thankful enough to R.F. Kuang for giving me one of the best, if not the best, series I have ever read in my entire life.

The first book that I read from R.F. Kuang was Babel and that book enlightened and broke me in many different ways I didn't know I can break from. It was one of the best books I have ever read, and upgraded my standards when it comes to reading Fantasy. The way that Kuang wrote Babel was both informative and persuasive that she was able to pull you into this belief that this needed to happen and that was something new for me which I loved ever since. After reading Babel, I knew that I need to get more into her books and satisfy my curiosity and need for a change of pace which led me to the Poppy War trilogy.

The Poppy War trilogy was the first Military Fantasy I have ever read, that is also unknowingly, a Grimdark Fantasy. The Magic System in this book reminded me of Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles which was about Egyptian Mythology where in the characters serves as the hosts for the Gods of Egypt. Because of that, the magic system was much easier for me to understand and grasp and relate with it. What was very hard for me to cope up was how Grimdark this series was, which started in the first book and how R.F. Kuang writes the battle scenes. The Dragon Republic by far has the best battle scenes and war aftermaths for me among the three books. The details that Kuang gave for each scene was so realistic and gory that I can literally picture it in my mind and feel nauseous just by thinking about it. The way she writes about how Rin moves, how she decides what to do next, and how she sees the world was so interesting as it is not written to be morally good nor morally evil. It is just written as realistic as it is and as neutral as she can be, or we can say, how it was revolving around survivability. The Dragon Republic also has one of the best plot twist for the series and how it was stemmed from two very lovable characters and the concept of duty and betrayal.

For The Burning God, this book has answered most of my questions on how it would progress but at the same time, surprised me on how things turned out differently. This book was a rollercoaster ride for me because I never know what to feel or expect the moment I flip the pages on each chapter. The most memorable concept for the last book for me was the concept of parallelism. I loved how Kuang showed us the part of the story of the trifecta and how it connected to the final scenes of Rin, Kitay, and Nezha. The part where Rin decided the best sacrifice that she can think of, that was both questionable for me but also very valid and the only ending I can see to not ruin the legacy of Fang Runin and also save herself from becoming the reason why she started fighting in this war in the first place.

All in All, this was one of the best series for me. I never knew that I would love Grimdark/Military Fantasy if it wasn't for R.F. Kuang, and I will surely look for related genres and look forward to the next books of the R.F. Kuang.


Rating: 6/5