Hate was a funny thing. It gnawed at her insides like poison. It made every muscle in her body tense, made her veins boil so hot she thought her head might split in half, and yet it fueled everything she did. Hate was its own kind of fire and if you had nothing else, it kept you warm.The Burning God, R.F. Kuang
The Burning God is the third and final book in R.F. Kuang’s epic fantasy series, The Poppy Wars. After the events of the second book, Rin and Kitay find themselves working with the Southern Coalition. The Hesperians are in Nikan, attempting to colonize the people, and Rin is on a quest for revenge. Nothing will stop her from ensuring Nikan is free, and she is willing to burn anything or anyone that stands in her way.
Of course, all the writing, plotting, and story details are well-done and full of unexpected twists. The Burning God is the third book in the series, and we know that Kuang can put out a brutal and well-written book. This book is no exception, expect a ton of great content with a satisfying conclusion. Some enemies become allies, and unexpected characters reappear. Of course, there is plenty of betrayals to go around.
The standout of the series is, to me, the relationship between Kitay, Rin, and Nezha. It’s so multi-layered and complicated. All of them have suffered so much, and I want to hug them. Even in this book, it’s still complicated. They all have so much history together that nothing is ever simple when they interact.
The author wields words as deftly as Rin uses her fire. There are some emotional punches that I saw coming, and a few that caught me unawares. Regardless, however, Kuang knew where to hit to cause maximum devastation. By now, I honestly thought that I was accustomed to pain and that there was no way for Kuang to hurt me after the events of the second book. I was wrong. The ending left me an absolute mess, and I have not yet recovered.
Content Warning: As always, the writing is particularly gruesome in the depictions of war, fighting, and its aftermath. Be aware that this has not changed. There were more scenes at the same level of brutality as Golyn Niis. There are other elements such as racism, sexual assault, genocide, human experimentation, and colonization present.
Becca, my friend over at toastiebooks has also read The Burning Gods. Read her review.