A review by dreareads_
Babel: An Arcane History by R.F. Kuang

challenging dark emotional funny reflective sad tense medium-paced


I could sing this book praises! Babel is what happens when an expert on their field writes about something they're passionate about. 

When I began the book I thought the long chapters would be the end of me but my lordy I am glad I stuck with it. The story is one to make you uncomfortable, angry, and euphoric. It is a clear critique of the racism that still exists in academia till this day and the parasitic machinations of colonialism that shaped the world we live in.

I could spend days talking about how every character is meticulously thought of an presented, how despite the racism in the world the characters were never characters themselves, or how the magic system fit seamlessly with the real world it is set on. I could, but I won't because I think everyone should read this for themselves.

I will however talk about <b> the footnotes </b>, which were my favorite part. The footnotes do not only expand the story and the world, but they are clearly the voice of RF Kuang herself. To me, the footnotes were a character in themselves, filled with sarcasm and poignant criticism that elevated the words in the page. I could've spend hours just reading the footnotes (which is saying a lot since I usually hate them).

Babel is popular for a reason. It is a story that will last generations and inspired discourse for years to come. 

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