Review: The Burning God, R.F. Kuang

Rating: 2 out of 5

I enjoyed the previous two volumes in this series—though the second one was a step below the first book. This, the third book, was an absolute let down. While some of the character development made sense, on the whole it was a journey best not followed. The only positive here was the way the author managed to flesh out the world a little bit more, but even this had its logical inconsistencies.

The main thing I did not like about this book was the development that Rin and Nezha went through. Though I went as far as to say ‘it made sense’, then it was also one of many ways the author could have gone—and not the most obvious one. This character progression felt particularly forced because of the author’s basic tendencies to rigidly keep to the history she’s used as her inspiration.

I was still annoyed, as I was in Book 2, by the blatant copying of every cardinal direction (and what’s there), historical events, and the characterisation of other states from the real world. In this way, Ms Kuang’s world setup has been minimal—but this unoriginal world was expanded in this book and this was good.

As action took place throughout the continent, nearly all the provinces got a little bit more colour to their descriptions. Some things did not follow through with, for example, the Southern Army spending several months crossing a minor mountain range and then reaching the highest point on the continent, in the middle of a massive mountain range, in a matter of days.

I’d recommend the first book in this series, but not sure I’d go beyond that. I liked finishing the story, but I won’t return to it.

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