Morning Star – Red Rising Trilogy #3 – Pierce Brown
Release date: February 11th, 2016
Age Group: (Young) Adult
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.
The long awaited conclusion to the Red Rising trilogy finally arrived in the beginning of February. People all over the world were eagerly waiting to read what had happened to Darrow and the uprising after the events in Golden Son. I was one of those people. I pre-ordered the book as soon as I could and practically screamed when it turned up on my doorstep the day of its release in the UK. I had expected to devour it in a day, but surprisingly I felt better giving it time. Brown has created an amazing trilogy, with Morning Star as a solid end. Well, it’s not really an end is it? Soon after its release, Brown revealed that he is writing another trilogy that focuses on life in Darrow’s world after what happened in Morning Star.
But back to this book. Expectations for the final book in a series are always high and it can be very tricky to get it just right. Morning Star picks up more than a year after the end of Golden Son. The end of Golden Son left many gasping for breath and even more impatient for the follow-up. Things weren’t looking good for Darrow and the Sons of Ares. Brown uses these kind of setbacks perfectly to make the characters grow and develop their relationships a bit more. It’s hard to come back from what most of them went through, but it’s defining how they all deal with it. All of them have come a long way since Red Rising. They are not children anymore and they are now so wrapped up in this war, that the only way forward is straight through. As Darrow puts it: “I am not alone. I am not his victim. So let him do his worst. I am the Reaper. I know how to suffer. I know the darkness.”
Almost all our favourite characters share Darrow’s spotlight and those that were lost in the previous books have certainly not been forgotten. Readers favourite, Sevro, livens up the whole book again with his foul language, his crazy plans and his unwavering loyalty. But readers of the series know that what happened in Golden Son will have a severe impact on our favourite Howler. I was glad to see Sevro rise to his full potential in this book (with some guidance from Darrow and his friends). Victra’s fate was unclear and I’m really happy with the road Brown took with her character. She is such an interesting addition to the story and I enjoyed reading about her from the very first moment she appeared. Mustang obviously also plays a vital role in this war. She is easily one of the smartest people in this war and her bond with Darrow is one that was tentatively and delicately explored throughout the book. Roque and Cassius’s storylines also get a satisfying end, something I was a bit afraid of in the beginning, but unjustly so it seems.
Brown’s signature plot twists are back again and I have to admit that it’s only because I know his writing and I know how the plot twists in his previous books that I didn’t stop reading at one point towards the end. It wasn’t because something was wrong with the writing or the story, but he almost did something to break my heart. It was only my solid belief in the fact that this couldn’t be all, that there was more to it, that kept me reading. But damn, Pierce, you know how to toy with our emotions.
Throughout the book, Brown again succeeded in impressing me with his writing. He wrote some beautiful and powerful quotes like this one:
“And I wonder, in my last moments, if the planet does not mind that we wound her surface or pillage her bounty, because she knows we silly warm things are not even a breath in her cosmic life. We have grown and spread, and will rage and die. 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.”
Morning Star is again a powerful mix between an almost lyrical style and the fluid prose that keeps you flipping the pages. As soon as you start reading, time seems to pass by without you noticing.
I was beyond excited when I started this book and it definitely didn’t let me down. It delivered a satisfying ending to the trilogy and all the storylines. I’m curious to see what the next trilogy will bring, though at this point I’m quite happy with how things ended. If you’re still wondering if you should start reading the Red Rising Trilogy, here’s me giving you a firm “DO IT!”. The Red Rising Trilogy is one of the best I’ve read in a while and I can’t recommend it enough.