“If this is the end, I will rage toward it.”
Book: Morning Star (Red Rising #3)
Author: Pierce Brown
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.
After the ending of Golden Son, what were we supposed to think? I was fairly sure Darrow was screwed. But of course, that didn’t happen because you knew there was one book left over in the series.
Holy fuck! This book takes place a year after the last book ended. Even if you can’t do the math, the book reminds you that Darrow has been tortured for 12 months. Understandably, at the end, he’s more cynical and defeated.
To be honest, I missed the Darrow who was playing a practical joke on the rest of the world, naively brave and good. But this is what you sacrifice when you read a well-written book: Your characters change. Darrow’s always been a nuanced, complex and troubled. But he’s also emotionally immature and unstable. In this book he does a lot of growing up. He’s still not perfect. There were several times in the book that I wanted to slap him and tell him to get over himself. Somewhere in between the two books, halfway between the starvation and the use of the sharp implements, Darrow’s grown less idealistic. He’s grown up and finishes up the last stage of grieving by admitting that Eo wasn’t perfect. That admirable thing he did in the last two books where he went out of his way to preserve every single life? Gone. In this book, Darrow’s playing a game on a grander scheme and he’s willing to sacrifice a couple of thousand lives (and does accidentally kill off several million people).
The secondary characters in this book are no less fleshed out. Minerva’s still the cool, calculating general. Her brother, Jackal is the main villain of this piece (no surprise, right?) to my utter disappointment; I seem to have a thing for book-psychos.
“This is always how the story would end,” he says to me. “Not with your screams. Not with your rage. But with your silence.”
Sevro’s one of the characters to change the most. Still potty-mouthed and funny, he’s become more serious as the leader of the Sons of Ares. He’s still rash, but he has a certain gravity which is inspiring to see (even through the pages of a book).
“A man thinks he can fly, but he is afraid to jump. A poor friend pushes him from behind.” He looks up at me. “A good friend jumps with.”
But the part I love most about this book has to be the world-building. No detail has been missed and I’m willing to bet that Pierce Brown has a document 1000’s of pages long about the Red Rising World. From the social structure to the description of inventions, everything is on point. The Red Rising World is my idol for World Building.
I am so glad that the long wait for the last book of the series is over. Morning Star was everything I hoped for and more. I can’t say much more without seriously spoiling things, but I would recommend this series (and by extension) this book. The pressing question on my mind now is: What’s next?
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
“In war, men lose what makes them great. Their creativity. Their wisdom. Their joy. All that’s left is their utility.”
“Forget a man’s name and he’ll forgive you. Remember it, and he’ll defend you forever.”
“What is pride without honor? What is honor without truth? Honor is not what you say. It is not what you read. Honor is what you do.”