If Hunger Games was a story for readers of Harry Potter growing up, then Red Rising is for those who have reached adulthood.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown is a luscious science fiction tale of becoming a man in a society that enslaves its sons and daughters and makes their owners to war each other – to see who is deemed more worthy.
Darrow is a red, the lowest color of all, the color of uneducated workforce, the case of slaves. The red are abused and despised by all. And he is a low red, a rusty, a worker of helium mines of Mars.
He is caught with his wife, Eo, for sneaking to a secret garden, reserved for higher colors. They are both sentenced to whipping. Then the ArchGovernor of Mars, a Peerless Scarred, one of the ruling Golds, comes to witness the whipping and record it. In defiance Eo sings a prohibited song, and is hanged.
Darrow rebels by burying her and brings death to himself. But instead of dying, he is saved by the Sons of Ares, a mysterious group of rebels that wish to cast down the Society and its order.
"There is a flower that grows on Mars. It is red and harsh and fit for our soil. It is called haemanthus. It means "blood blossom".
Pierce Brown in Red Rising
Darrow is, again, alone and surrounded by his enemies. He has left the Institute and has been studying in the Academy, doing his best for his new sponsor, Nero Augustus the ArchGovernor of Mars, and for the Sons of Ares. Only that he has not gotten a communication from the Sons since he left the Institute.
In Golden Son Darrow’s heart is in conflict since he fell in love with Mustang, a Golden girl and the daughter of Nero Augustus, in the Institute. She has left her and her father for the Sovereign and is living in her court in Luna, the Moon.
After a defeat to his sponsor’s worst enemies, the Bellona, he is abandoned and has to choose to ally with the Jackal, his old nemesis from the Institute.
The only positive thing is that he is contacted by the Sons of Ares and finds himself together with his friends – Sevro and the Howlers.
The fight for the future of humanity begins with a rebellion and civil war. The clan Augustus and its allies war against the Sovereign and her power. How will it play out for Darrow?
"If you're a fox, play the hare.
If you're a hare, play the fox."
Lorn Au Acros - Rage Lord
Pierce Brown in Golden Son
The last book, Morning Star, promises a lot and delivers it all. For me this is the Sci-Fi book of the year and definitely the most exciting trilogy I have read in a good while. If you are going to buy one book, this is it. I really hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.
In the beginning of Morning Star we find a crushed Darrow. His identity as a red and Son of Ares has been revealed. He has fallen into to the hands of his worst enemy, who he taught his ally, the Jackal. And he has been tortured beyond his ability.
It takes finding his friends and family to be able to rise again. But he rises, and finds a strength that he didn’t have before the pain and suffering. He also finds a peace that he wants to bring to the whole Society. He understands that it isn’t enough to throw over the old power but there needs to be a plan for the future also.
"All that we have is that shout into the wind-
how we live. How we go. And how
we stand before we fall."
Karnus au Bellona
Pierce Brown in Morning Star