Golden Son by Pierce Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My dear, ever loving god. I walked in to Golden Son expecting to be thrilled to continue on with Darrow’s journey. What I received ended up feeling like more than just a new adventure toward Darrow’s goal of a more equal society. It was an explosion of all the feels in the world as I flailed and screamed and desired to read more. The fact that I need to wait a year for the next and final installment may drive me mad. Golden Son ended up being everything I wanted and more. I’ll let you know when I stop getting the feels and can finally sleep without dreaming of the book and the world.
Oh and dear Pierce Brown, I’d totally love a short story of Sevro and the Howlers during the time at Pluto. Please?
One of the most interesting things that was included in Golden Son was the expansion and deeper inclusion of the other colors. Rather than just having the common phrase of lowColors dominate the novel, we learned far more about various specific tasks that the other colors do. That inclusion in many ways tied in to how Darrow treated them.
Now on to the feels and all the amazing things that Pierce Brown managed to do in Golden Son that upped the stakes from Red Rising. When we left Darrow au Andromedus he had just graduated the Institute as Primus and signed on to become a lancer for Nero au Augustus the archGovernor of Mars. The novel picked u two years after that graduation. He was in the final moments of his Academy training, Mustang had gone off to Lune. Sevro was off working in Pluto with some of his Howlers. And darrow had adopted a new friend in the form of Victra au Julii, the far more loyal sister of Antonio au Severus. Things have very clearly changed and eve at the outset, it’s clear that it’s not for the better.
I don’t want to give away the story or any of the wonderful twists and turns, but I have to say that it flows nicely. We see Darrow move through his descent and a rise. In many ways, the story will feel similar to Darrow’s journey at the institute, however now he’s fighting in the real world. Yet many of the same problems are presented such as dealing with people he doesn’t like, leveraging his power, and inspiring others.
As was the case at the institute, now that Darrow is sowing the seeds of Civil War, the deaths feel very real. When some of these characters that you’ve known since the Institute are put into harm’s way you can’t help but worry. Much of this is because of how easy it is to relate to Darrow. He wants more and really feels for the people who fight for him. He has worked hard to prove himself and earn the respect he has, but he doesn’t take that for granted (for the most part). These are his people and he tries to respect them as much as he can. The characters are rich and unique.
I didn’t think it was possible for Pierce Brown to create a character that I loved more than Sevro. He is my heart and soul and if he was real, I would be vying for his attention. He’s enigmatic and plain. He states what he thinks and he’s more than a bit crass. Sevro is one of the reasons why Darrow is so likeable. That said, Brown decided to introduce a new character who quickly weaseled into my heart. An Obsidian. Not just any Obsidian, but a stained. Out the window went my impression that all Obsidians, were soulless, kind of foolish, warriors. Then walked in Ragnar. He was a brute. He was possible the most skilled fighter we’ve encountered in the books. He is an Obsidian and he is not ordered to follow Darrow, but does so willingly. His progression as he finds himself and comes out of his shell was fascinating to watch. While, no one could possibly usurp the place Sevro holds in my heart, Ragnar is a very close second.
As for the ending, nothing can be easy for Darrow. I never expected for things to be easy as he tries to literally alter the way entire society functions. He’s sowing deep seeds of change. It wasn’t as though he didn’t have major challenges ahead of him. Even he was a bit apprehensive about the next step of his plan with Sons of Ares. Within the last moments of the book, even that was thrown into disarray.
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