This review of The Burning God by R.F. Kuang is spoiler free, however, I will be sharing how I felt about the book (ex. my emotions). If you consider that a spoiler, please do not continue reading. There will be spoilers for The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic!!! If you have not read those books, do not continue reading. I will be writing a spoilery review in 2021 once I know more people have read it.
The Burning God by R.F. Kuang is one of my top 5 books of 2020. I first read The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic in August and loved them both. Kuang creates a world that is vibrant and draws you in. For being 500+ page books, I found myself easily lost in them.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from The Burning God. I went in with no expectations, which I think helped because I didn’t want to set myself up for disappoinment. The Dragon Republic had one of the most shocking cliffhangers ever: Nezha stabs Rin in the back and Rin vows to have her revenge by using the southern provinces of the Nikara Empire. To be honest, I forgot the exact details of TDR, but it was pretty easy to connect the dots as I read TBG.
What I found most compelling was the relationship between Rin and Kitay. They’ve been through so much together, and seeing them work together in TBG is one of the best parts of this book. I also loved seeing Venka, and even started to understand Nezha (I still don’t like him). Seeing them grapple with the meaning of humanity and what it means to be a leader really impacted me emotionally because, again, they’ve been through a lot.
Again, the world building is so incredible. I can see characters journey throughout this vast world, a mark of Kuang’s amazing writing. I felt like I was right alongside them as Rin experiences a lot throughout this book. Additionally, the action scenes in this book are so well written: the pacing is pretty much perfect, so it’s possible to get through this book in one sitting.
As for the ending, I loved it while also feeling so many emotions. I’ve re-read it about three times already and Kuang is able to satisfy the readers (or at least, this reader). I cannot wait to see what Kuang writes in the future because I know I will 100% be reading it.