Review: “Morning Star” (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

Ah, I can’t believe this series is over! It’s been a long and good ride. A series I wasn’t sure I would enjoy because of the genre but I ended up loving it and so glad I did read it. I’m excited that Brown is writing another series in the same world (Iron Gold is expected to release sometime next year).

I tried to do a spoiler-free review but I may have gotten carried away. No .gifs this time though! XD

morning star

Title: Morning Star (Red Rising #3)
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Ray
Release date: February 9, 2016
Length: 524 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Sci-fi, dystopian, fantasy
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “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.”

My rating: 4.5 stars

Another trilogy that ended pretty well, and I’m so pleased that it did. There were some flaws, but I’ll talk about that later. Each book of this series got better and better, and it also got bloodier and bloodier, this one being the bloodiest of them all. I’m serious. I swear in just about every chapter people are dying, getting limbs chopped off, shoved through with razors. It was great! Yet sad at the same time.

What I’ve come to love the most about this series is the contrasting characters and the world building. In terms of characters, I’m looking at Darrow, Sevro, the Jackal, and Cassius, along with Mustang and Victra. Characters that are extremely well developed and have been through this entire series. The world building is beyond fantastic. I admit that I’m never one for a “space opera” (as my husband told me once I finished describing this book to him) but Brown does a wonderful job, and I’m pretty sure I’ll read whatever else he writes.

Morning Star picks up nearly a year after the end of Golden Son. Darrow has been living in solitary confinement underneath the Jackal’s home for well over nine months. The situation is achingly desperate because we don’t know what’s going on, but then we leap right into the action! Another aspect I really like about this series. Yes, there’s a lot of politics going on (more props to Brown’s world building) but there’s a lot of action as well (hence all the blood, too). And we also have no idea what’s going on with the Sons of Ares.

But then we do, then you love that damn little Howler more than you ever thought you could. I enjoyed the meshing of the worlds together, Gold and Red, Darrow’s old and his new. We meet familiar and new friends as well, most of the new ones you love while the others you’d like to pick out their eye with a spoon.

I know this isn’t really categorized as a romance and for obvious reasons, but sometimes, I just needed a little Darrow/Mustang interaction, especially after that ending. Mustang is a fantastic female character. She’s brilliant and she’s broken but she doesn’t let her brokenness get in the way of her smarts and wits even when it comes to her brother, the Jackal who I think I’m gonna put up their with top 10 characters (villains?) I dislike beyond the shadow of a doubt. Darrow and Mustang really got to the core of things when they said he was seeking love but could never find it. He acted like a giant child really, even to the point where the Sovereign wanted to get rid of him.

I wanted to weep for Roque but I couldn’t. He was just as snobby and twisted as the Jackal but in his own way.

The final showdown in the last few chapters. I seriously thought everyone was going down the drain. But then Cassius! And then I was like HELL YEAH. The showdown in the Sovereign’s meeting was so crazy! All of them taking on Aja, I thought that woman was never going to die.

And the epilogue. Whaaaaaaaat. Crazy! But so great. ❤ And I understand Mustang’s reasoning for keeping Darrow in the dark.

I will say that the ending felt…incomplete. As if there’s a lot more story to tell. Because after all that happened, I just kept thinking, like some of the characters, What’s going to happen now? The Golds have fallen, in a way, so…how will the world rebuild? Enemies have been made out of all this so…what now? I guess it’s a relief to see that Brown’s writing another series in this same world. I look forward to that.

Overall, I’m pleased I read this series. It’s great and Brown is an amazing writer. If you don’t think you like sci-fi, give this a try. It’s a brilliant epic, calling on Norse, Roman, and Greek mythology, which were the aspect I enjoyed.

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2 thoughts on “Review: “Morning Star” (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

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