Sundays In Bed With… Babel by R.F. Kuang

Sundays in Bed With… is a meme that dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

Hello, reader!

I hope you’re having a relaxing Sunday, wherever you are. I had to work, but now I’m off for a week because my best friend is getting MARRIED! I’m so excited for her and will be spending the week making sure everything goes as swimmingly as it can. And getting prepared to be fancy for a day, haha. For tonight, though, I’m spending the night reading because I’m in the middle of a book that I can already feel is going to be a five star read and I don’t want to stop 😆

So let me quickly tell you more about it so I can get back to reading!

My Sunday Read Is…

Babel by R.F. Kuang


I went into this knowing that I’m a fan of R.F. Kuang’s writing. I also knew that she is an author that does not pull punches and that is definitely true of her newest novel. Is it as horrific as The Poppy War? So far, no… but she does not shy away from depicting the horrible affects of racism and colonialism. I’m completely wrapped up in this novel and have a feeling this might be one of my favorite reads of 2022. The academia vibes are spot on, the characters have my whole heart, and I am invested in the plot that is unraveling. If you like dark academia even a little bit, you need to check this one out!

Goodreads Synopsis

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel.

Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.

Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down?

Babel — a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal response to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of translation as a tool of empire.

What are you reading this Sunday? Are you enjoying whatever you are reading? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!


4 thoughts on “Sundays In Bed With… Babel by R.F. Kuang

      • I really liked it but I know that some other people have been disappointed by it. I don’t usually read Stephen King and I wonder if it’s his normal fans who are disappointed as it’s a bit different to his normal style. The writing is gorgeous and I loved all of the fairy tale references as well references to authors such as Lovecraft.

        Liked by 1 person

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