Happy New Year to you all! And Happy Reading too!
Yes, this is the first Reading Roundup post of the year and also this blog’s second birthday. I have read the most fabulous trilogy over the holidays, which is just as well because I was extremely ill over Christmas and at least these great books helped to distract my mind.
Red Rising, Golden Son and Morning Star by Pierce Brown are the first three books in his Red Rising Saga and they are the first main story arc of the series. For once, I am going to do things a little differently to usual. Normally, as I finish each book I write a short and very basic review on the Goodreads site. This time I decided to wait until I had finished all three books in this story arc and write a collective review at the end. I am so glad that I decided to do this!
Anyway, first of all I will show you each book’s cover and blurb…
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.
A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.
He must live for more.
And Morning Star:
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.
So, what is my verdict of this trilogy? Well, please bear in mind that I am not a sophisticated reader. I read for escape, for excitement, for adventure, to be taken out of myself, to dull physical and mental pain, for sheer enjoyment of a story and characters. I need something to happen and, boy, do things happen in these books! Once you start reading you are on a rollercoaster, a huge wave that carries you from scene to scene, from book to book. I love how the characters, particularly Darrow, develop across all three books. I love the huge surprises, the political machinations, the unpredictability and twists in the plot. This writer is talented and very clever.
Now that I have written this much, I am going to go to the Goodreads pages about each book and read the reviews. Then I will come back to this blog post and, perhaps, add some more of my own thoughts. As you can see, I am struggling to describe how much I
like love these books (yes, I have already ordered book four, Iron Gold, from the Library). ➡️➡️➡️
↪️ Right, I am back again. Please go to Goodreads and read some of the reviews of this series for yourselves. Some of them are brilliant. But, be aware that, unlike many book series, this one gets better and better with each book. Those people who didn’t get on with the first one have really missed the fantastic developments in books two and three. The whole story progresses well across all three books and Darrow’s development as a person is impressively written. We can see him growing into adulthood and learning from his mistakes. The world building is also excellent and detailed, the books blending elements of fantasy as well as science fiction.
So, I think you will have got the idea – I highly recommend the Red Rising Saga! Now, I must tell the library staff when I visit on Friday…