A review by rnbhargava
Babel, an Arcane History by R.F. Kuang

adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring lighthearted mysterious reflective relaxing sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This book is amazing. It feels classic, riffing on so many known qualities of well known books yet it still does its own thing. The history and ideas are implemented so intelligently that this fantasy feels more historic fiction than anything. The fantasy is really more for quickly explaining action and technology. The magic is in the language, the languages help define the characters and their dynamics with each other, it’s thrilling and heartbreaking at the same time.

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