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

I’ve been lucky enough to receive this entire series via e-ARCs since I started as a book blogger. It’s turned out to be one of my all time favourite series and I’m so grateful!

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley & Harper Collins in return for an honest review. Thank you!

The Burning God (The Poppy War #3)

by R. F. Kuang

The exciting end to The Poppy War trilogy, R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of 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?

  • a satisfied ending

It took me a while to firstly pick up and secondly to get through. It’s well over 600 pages and the story deserves 600+ pages.

This was a super satisfying end to a series, and it didn’t hurt as much as I anticipated, but I did cry at the end. I got some answers and results that I was predicting but the journey to them was unpredictable. The ending was a slow one, but original and made complete sense.

The story continues straight after the second book in the series. There are battles after battles, kidnapping and drama, but such a good storyline. Loose ends were tied up, things got explained, and it was all around a satisfying end to a series with high stakes and energy.

I felt the ending was a slow one, but when I got to the final pages I understood why it was slow. The final battled happened at around 83% and then you had so much time to finalise the book. I see what the author did there and the ending makes perfect sense. The author couldn’t have done it in any other way, but I felt it dragged on for a bit. I think I was expecting the book to end on them winning or loosing and then it didn’t, but it kind of did anyway. Its weird to explain without spoiling it all, but it makes sense when you get to the final page.

There was not a lot of world building needed for this instalment. Most of the building happened in book 1 and 2 and by now the world is well settled. But there are a few loos ends that gets tied up in here and few new towns explored and stuff.

The science in this book is mainly based on the Hesperians and their steam-punk interventions etc. But also on Kithay’s ability to figure anything out. But also the magic has some level of science behind it and I loved that. What I didn’t like (not because it was bad for the book or any thing, just morally) was the shock treatment and the other racist experiments throughout the series and the Hesperians racists science. It made me angry but at least I recognised it for what it was.

I love how the magic system is based on gods but also that there is a different plane where they all reside and you can go visit them. You never get any power, but you become a channel for the gods to use their power through you. I love how this questions identity and sanity etc. It’s great!

Rin. Well. Bless her. She is a force to be reckoned with. But when it’s all over she struggles to settle down. I completely understand why. She is headstrong and willing to make sacrifices to win. I liked her but she is not going to be my all time favourite character. She has no soft side, or if she does she hides it well.

I think my favourite character for this book might have been Venka. I just think she is cool.


The writing in all of R. F. Kuang’s books has been really good. There are no issues like heavy paragraphs or grammar issues or confusing sentences. I love how the book flows through from start to finish.

I have one tiny issue, and that was that in my ARC copy there was only a line break when the scenes shifted over a time frame. So for instance there was the end of a dialogue and the next line was later that evening. I think it needed a double line break at least but maybe that is fixed in the final copy. Its a minor thing and I only remember it because I always did a double take when it happened.

Such a satisfying ending to a series. I believed there would only be two ways out for Rin by the end and one of them was the one, but I didn’t expect the way it happened.

Yes I cried. But I didn’t cry as much as I had anticipated. The book didn’t hurt that much. It was just the very final few pages that got me.

Have you read this? What did you think?

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s