Through hardships to the stars.
Christ. I just finished Golden Son a few minutes ago. And I am exhausted.
The sequel to the amazing Red Rising, Golden Son picks up the story a few years after the events of the first book. And then the action LITERALLY never stops. Each time something completely nuts would happen, and a chapter would end, I’d say to myself, “well. there’s no way he can top that.”
And then I’d read the next chapter. AND MY GOD, PIERCE BROWN WOULD TOP IT.
This book is about so much. War. Politics. Love. Loyalty. Friendship. Society. The destiny of mankind. Still fighting to do what he thinks his martyred wife Eo would want him to, Darrow now plans to bring down all of society from within. To start a civil war in which all classes (in this case, colors) are equal. Where Reds and Golds are both seen as men who can contribute to society. Urged on by the secret Sons of Ares, Darrow wages war agains the Sovereign and her allies, in spectacular (Flying through space as a human missile in order to take control of an enemy space craft? Awesome.) fashion.
Easier said than done, of course. Other than two of Darrow’s closest allies, nobody knows about Darrow’s past, and how his secret affects his every decision. But his selection as the face of the revolution was well-planned by Ares himself.
I always knew a Gold couldn’t lead this rebellion. It has to be from the bottom up…Red is about family. More than any other Color, it is about love amid all the horror of our world. If Red rises, they have a chance to bind the worlds together.
Clearly, that’s a lot for Darrow to have put on his shoulders. And he and his friends do an admirable job for the most part to do what’s right. But it isn’t easy for any of them. Members of Darrow’s army who weren’t born Gold suddenly find themselves with a new world open to them. (Ragnar, the Obsidian, was an amazing character — the choices he made for himself were quite heartbreaking.) And not all of Darrow’s allies are open to the idea that other colors might be as worthy as the Golds.
The battles are brutal (my god, that scene underwater? I was practically holding my breath) and unforgiving. Like George RR Martin, Pierce Brown is not afraid to shock the reader with the violent and unexpected death of a favorite character. And that ending. Ugh.
Then farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear. Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost…Evil, be thou my good.”
Yeah, that’s not something you want to hear when you are hoping for a happy ending.
I love the style Brown uses in these books. Combining the spectacle of the ancient world with the technology of the future. The way that the Golds worship the customs of civilizations like Ancient Rome and Greece. The gravity boots that help you to fly. The war-rooms and political maneuvering, straight out of history books. The razor swords that are a bit like bad-ass light sabers. The Shakespearean speeches given to rouse the troops before an epic, completely bonkers battle in space.
Lastly, a shoutout to Sevro, one of my favorite characters in both books. But every time I see his name in print, I see “Servo”, and picture this.
I honestly can’t imagine what the hells and pain that the third book will bring. But I can’t wait to find out. These books are bloodydamn amazing. 4 1/2 stars.
And, oh, yeah. Definitely not YA.
You can read more of my reviews on my blog.