The Burning God

Harper Voyager. (The Poppy War, Bk. 3). Nov. 2020. 640p. ISBN 9780062662620. $26.99. FANTASY
Fang Runin has been betrayed and left for dead, after facing off against numerous enemies during a disastrous civil war. Rin returns to her home, the Southern Provinces, where the rebel Southern Coalition has been fighting the Dragon Republic and their colonizing allies, the Hesperians. While her relationship with the Southern Coalition is tenuous at best, she realizes that most of the commoners of Nikan desire vengeance for the havoc wreaked upon them—and they believe Rin is their savior, with the Phoenix inside her. Backed by some old friends, a couple enemies, and the Southern Army, Rin is determined to free her people. Yet freedom comes with a heavy price, and with the Phoenix’s encouragement, Rin may decide that the only way to bring change is to burn it all down. Kuang (The Poppy War) doesn’t hold back on the physical and emotional toll of war, along with the cycle of abuse and trauma that can cause good people to make painful choices.
VERDICT An incredible end to this epic trilogy. Mixing historical parallels of Chinese history, the themes of war, politics, and colonialism are balanced with terrific, flawed characters and amazing worldbuilding.
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