“For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without 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.”
It’s been three days since I finished reading this book. It left me a wreck so I waited to write my review in hopes that I would chill out about it. I haven’t. Pierce Brown, you left me wrecked and desperate for Morning Star. Desperate. Of course I had to go on a wait list at the library to get it. In the entire county the library system only has one copy of that book. WHY?! (Luckily they got it in pretty quickly and held it for me so I got to pick it up yesterday afternoon)
Despite my aching need for Morning Star, here I sit still brooding over Golden Son. I’m not even sure where to begin. This review is going to be a disorganized mess of enthusiasm and feels. ALL OF THE FEELS. Brown gave us love, hate, betrayal, violence, logic, apathy, desperation, more violence, prejudice, sadness, hurt, frightening levels of intelligence, violence…and it has left me a weeping, hollow shell of a book enthusiast.
But not so hollow that I didn’t wake a sleeping toddler and usher her into the car when the library e-mailed me that Morning Star had come in. Speed limits were broken. Over a book. Worth it.
Now, Golden Son…
“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”
We return to our spy/warrior/widower/champion Darrow 2+ years after his spectacular victory in Red Rising. He is now captaining a fleet against his sponsor’s rival and he has become even more overly confident in himself. That particular characteristic would be highly annoying if he didn’t, for the most part, deserve that confidence. Unfortunately for Darrow, in this case, he didn’t. But, man, what an opening sequence. He had all the swagger and confidence of Captain Kirk (Pine, not Shatner) and I was rooting for him hard within the first few paragraphs.
Unfortunately this is followed by an epic fail on his part and he doesn’t have a Mister Spock to bail him out of the situation. Every ship’s captain needs a Spock type character in tough situations. Most of his crew dies and Darrow discovers that he is being cast to the wind by…you’ll have to forgive me here I can’t remember or find the man’s name to save my life. Usually I’d just open the book and look it up but I was a dunderhead and returned it to the library before writing my review. Stupid, right? Unless his name hits me like a ton of bricks I’m going to call him “the sponsor” although I admit that I am tempted to call him Caesar for my own amusement’s sake. Give me a break, folks. I have a toddler and am thirty. The brain and memory aren’t what they once were to say the least.
Anyway, Caesar (told you I’d do it) is going to effectively sell Darrow’s contract because he is convinced that Darrow isn’t worth the time or hassle. Darrow, of course, finds a way out of the situation. It includes quite the dramatic blood bath. Brown really knows how to write fantastic battles. He can make you hold your breath during hand to hand combat as well as big space fleet fight sequences. It is amazing. This man is a miraculous wonder with words. The divine with dialogue. The Zeus of…something. You get the point.
After this highly entertaining carnage Caesar (yup, still calling him that) decides to keep Darrow at hand. From here, the epicness reaches new heights. We get the amazing Sevro back. Goblin or not he is probably the most entertaining character in these books. You don’t always understand exactly why he does what he does and he can be a total ass but you can’t help but love him. He is our pocket sized Howler and is just phenomenal.
Mustang also returns and I have to admit I was a bit on a fence about her. In Red Rising I questioned a lot of her decisions although in the end she came through. In Golden Son she oozes a similar swagger to Darrow’s but it feels much less candid and earned. Then that confidence is punctuated by moments of meekness which makes her feel less genuine. I’m hoping that in Morning Star she gets sorted out because her character seems confused about who she is. It makes it difficult to like her.
I told you this review would be all over the place and I wasn’t lying. I just want to gush about it like a school girl with a crush.
To keep this under 1000 words (barely), I’ll just say that this book is epic. I liked Red Rising, but Golden Son blows it out of the water. If Red Rising is champagne on New Years then Golden Son is Dom Perignon after you win the lottery. Yes, folks, it’s that good. If you haven’t read these books and at all like fantasy, read them. It’s a space opera for the imagination. Now pardon me while I go dive into Morning Star feet first with a box of tissues handy because, like with GRRM, you just never know who is going to die next. I love it. I leave you with Dean who has some wise words to say about this book…
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