Author: R.F. Kuang
Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller
Audiobook Length: 23 hours 48 minutes
THE EXCITING END TO THE POPPY WAR TRILOGY, R.F. KUANG’S ACCLAIMED, AWARD-WINNING EPIC FANTASY THAT COMBINES THE HISTORY OF THE 20th-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?
The Burning God is the excellent conclusion to the Poppy War series. As this story picks up where the Dragon Republic leaves off, it is highly advised to read books one and two before moving on to this one. Additionally, since this is the concluding novel, my review does spoil some events from the first two novels, although I tried my best to avoid any spoilers for this one.
Rin continues to go through her own internal struggles. She is trying to accept parts of herself that she has been struggling with during the series. She is not the most balanced as she has a lot going on mentally while trying to be the leader and win the new “war” to find a way to rebuild the nation. Her emotions are completely understandable as she has been through more than most people could have go through in multiple lifetimes. Kitay provided an amazing balance to Rin through their formed bond. Kitay tried to help Rin see the light in the darkness and reign in her anger.
The story follows the aftermath of book two where Rin and Kitay have moved South to raise a new army to rival the Republic. Nikan has been saved from the invaders, but there are a lot more betrayals and obstacles that are presented. Rin must muster a new plan to defeat the Dragon Republic, the Hesperians, and any other threats to create a new world. However, the Phoenix inside of her presents a different approach and believes everything should be burned. Rin in not perfect and has made tons of mistakes along the way, but it might be time to listen to the vengefulness within.
Given the events at the end of the last novel, there is a lot more traveling in this novel as forces need to be gathered for the ultimate final conflict. I loved the twelve provinces named after the Zodiac. Each is incredibly unique while under the nation of Nikan. There was some reminisce of the Hunger Games for this setting. Even though there was more traveling compared to battles (there are still many in this story), the story maintains its fast pace. However, the battles were amazing and intense. Just like the others in the series, the author does not shy away from any details.
The ending of this novel was phenomenal. I took in many tiny clues through the three novels and figured out one major event at the end. To me, there was only one conclusion to draw from these clues, and I felt it fit very well with the story. Although the series was very intense and enjoyable, I do not see myself rereading them in the near future. However, it is on my distant future list after some time passes before I could go through all of the emotions again. The bond between Nehza, Kitay, and Rin will be one of my favorites for years to come. The other characters were amazing, but these three shared a bond that cannot be replicated in any other story and I loved it. Overall, there is no way to accurately describe all my thoughts on this novel and series as there are too many to list. I cannot believe it took me so long to actually get to this one, but it was well worth the wait. Without question, I will definitely pick up the author’s next novel!