by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising #3
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society's mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within. Finally, the time has come. But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied - and too glorious to surrender.
Morning Star by Pierce Brown was a book I approached with trepidation. My love for this series knows no bounds and I worried that the last book would leave me wanting. Pierce Brown delivered in his darkest book to date as he brilliantly shared this thought-provoking tale of war, friendship and love. Morning Star took a piece of my soul and I gave it gladly.
“Break the chains”
The Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown is a personal favorite. This is a science fiction fantasy series that I purchase for friends and family. I find myself recommending it to young and old almost weekly. Skillfully written, with unique, troubled and complex characters I fell on Mars and never looked back.
“So let him do his worst. I am the Reaper. I know how to suffer. I know the darkness. This is not how it ends.”
Morning Star for me was darker than its predecessors and Brown begins by taking our hero to a very dark place. He strips away the “god” we cheered for in Golden Son and reveals the raw man beneath. Morning Star is not about our hero its focus is the rising and those who are part of it. Fear not for Darrow certainly holds the stage as Brown moves us into the final battles between the Rising and the Golds.
“Absent love, fear will do nicely in a pinch.”
At first, I was shaken by the darkness and Darrow’s humanization, but as the story progressed, I devoured the brilliantly woven tale that lay before me. Brown’s complex, controlled world and the unique characters, caste system and politics have long impressed me but with Morning Star, he brought the war into perspective. He shared its costs, the impact on Darrow, his friends and the universe he has so lovingly created.
“And when all that remains of us is our steel monuments and plastic idols, her winds will whisper, her sands will shift, and she will spin on and on, forgetting about the bold, hairless apes who thought they deserved immortality.”
I thoroughly enjoyed both old and new characters. Brown peeled back the layers on some of my favorite characters, allowing us to gain insight. We faced down enemies who were once adversaries and we mourned some. Brown made us feel even for our enemies and once again, we saw and understood the wisdom of Darrow’s words.
“Government is never the solution, but it is almost always the problem.”
At over five hundred pages, Morning Star held me captive and led me on an emotional rollercoaster. I found myself angry, exhilarated and heartbroken. I shook my fist at ruthless villains and yelled in rage for those lost. I became a Howler and shouted, “Break the chains.” I was shocked at the violence and decisions made for the greater good. I shameless screamed for victory when an opponent fell and surprised myself by weeping.
“But they shared a dream. One of a free world. Not built on corpses, but on hope. On the love that binds us, not the hate that divides. We have lost many. But we are not broken. We are not defeated. We fight on. But we do not fight for revenge for those who have died. We fight for each other. We fight for those who live. We fight for those who don’t yet live.”
Brown’s characters leapt to life within the pages of the Red Rising series, but none more so than in Morning Star. They became my friends and some my enemies. I laughed with Servo, wept with Darrow and plotted against the Jackal. It was brilliant and every gorydamn word Brown put to paper held weight.
“I used to think the life strands of my friends frayed around me, because mine was too strong. Now I realize that when we are wound together, we make something unbreakable. Something that lasts long after this life ends.
Morning Star brought intense battles, gore and violence as Brown held nothing back. He introduced conflict, fear, and political maneuvering even among his own. Despite how intense the story became, he gave us moments of laughter, love and friendship. I loved the banter between this motley crew and the incredible stunts they pulled. Of course, I also wept, and screamed out as Brown threw in plot twists, and unexpected loss, encounters and secrets.
“Today I feel the silent screams of a civilization that has been stepped on for hundreds of years.”
Morning Star and the Red Rising trilogy is a story for young and old alike. The world will set your imagination on fire and you fall for these unique characters. Pierce Brown takes us into the heart of the uprising allowing readers to feel the passion, sacrifice and fear that embarking on this journey brings. I was very excited to read the announcement that we will be revisiting this world again. Brown is set to release the Iron Gold trilogy, beginning with Iron Gold in 2017. This new trilogy takes place after the end of Morning Star and will focus on the rebuilding of their world.
“Honor is not what you say. It is not what you read.” Romulus thumps his chest. “Honor is what you do.”
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