by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising #2
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy
Debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart,Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
“It’s not victory that makes a man. It’s his defeats.”
As many of you know, Red Rising by Pierce Brown made my top ten list for 2014. Pierce blew me away with his masterful dynamic storytelling and descriptive world building. It was with trepidation that I began the second book, Golden Son. Could Brown continue to hold me captive in this brilliant world? The answer my friends is yes! Golden Son was stunning as Darrow and his motley crew of colors moved closer to freeing society from its chains. The story was intense, with panoramic views and a flawed hero worthy to be King.
Brown drops us right back into this strategic game of Chess and deceit. Our hero Darrow struggles in the first part of the book making me a tad nervous that my hero had lost his mojo. Thankfully, we witness his rebirth as he seeks alliances, ferrets out the truth and finds the power from within as he sets his eyes on the prize. Golden Son the second in the Red Rising Trilogy is brilliant in its own right and has a different feel than its predecessor. Second book syndrome is not a part of Brown’s vocabulary as he continues to flesh out the world and the characters.
Golden Son, raises questions as we navigate political strategies, begin to understand the different colors and learn that even a bad idea can come from the best intentions. Through Darrow, we learn more about the complexities of this world and its people. Brown will make you question how the oppressed can be happy and why those in power are never satisfied. Darrow’s inner circle is among my favorite. They are unique individuals with their own personal scars and unwavering loyalty to him. I grew attached to them, felt their sorrow and joy. Brown ripped some of them away from us, reminding us that war is ugly and requires sacrifice.
Darrow is such an impressive hero. Brown shares his inner struggles as he moves his pawn forward; eyes forever on the prize. Darrow mourns every life lost and has this unique ability to understand his enemy. We see tremendous growth in him as he allows those loyal to him within his confidence. His treatment of the colors was brilliantly portrayed. There were moments of greatness, for example when they gained control of an enemy ship. His speech to the crew made the hairs on my arms raise as I watched him go from warrior to a man who could lead them all.
“For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without a voice, without hope. Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.”
What makes this trilogy stand out in the science-fiction fantasy genre is the incredible dystopian setting and unique cast of characters. Brown’s vivid descriptions and perfectly paced story captivate the reader allowing the rest of the world to slip away. When I can close my eyes and see both the world and the characters, I obtain this euphoric book high that makes me want to demand everyone read and experience it. Marketed in the young adult genre the Red Rising trilogy will appeal to the masses. Epic battles, complex relationships, deceit, alliances and secondary characters will have you enthralled. Darrow is a hero we can all relate to as he strives to do what is right, even as it hurts him. A climatic ending will leave the reader eager for the final installment.
I cannot stress enough how brilliant this trilogy is. Golden Son was breathtaking and one heck of a ride. Brown has endeared me to this world and its characters.
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