Golden Son by Pierce Brown – REVIEW

Golden Son by Pierce BrownAs a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labour 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.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.”

Golden Son takes place over two years on from the events of Red Rising – I love a time jump as it gives the author greater scope to manoeuvre. I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first as it had none of the problematic female representation I disliked so much. It’s refreshing to see an author acknowledge problems in their work and strive to improve. The sexism within society is even addressed numerous times. The female characters are well developed, Victra especially is an intriguing new character and Mustang is as brilliant as ever. Together they put to rest the problematic female representation of the first book. 

“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.”

The portrayal of Darrow is definitely more nuanced in this book. Whereas in the first book he was driven by revenge and had a clear aim, in this book he is searching for some greater meaning. Darrow is so good as a leader because he didn’t seek the title or the power it bestowed. His character development in this book shows him starting to trust others more, opening up, and taking responsibility. Sevro remains my favourite character (he sends unicorn pictures to Darrow!) and his reappearance alongside the Howlers is suitably epic. Two new characters I adored were Kavax and Daxo Telemanus (father and brother of Pax). Who wouldn’t find them adorable when Kavax has a red fox he feeds jelly beans?! 

“Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair.”

There are even more violent scenes of battle which are incredibly described, fast-paced and engaging. The high stakes they’re fighting for are emphasised by the death of one of Darrow’s friends and the cost of war is something that’s explored further in this book. One of my favourite elements of these books is how the author manages to surprise readers. We aren’t privy to all of Darrow’s plans so reveals can be truly shocking.  The ending has to be one of the best I’ve ever read. It came completely out of the blue and the tragic betrayal of Darrow by a friend was something I never predicted. I’m obviously diving straight into Morning Star as I need to know what happens next.

(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Pierce Brown About the Author

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating from college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate campaign. Now he lives Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

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