Published by Hodder & Stoughton on January 8, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy
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Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind's last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Red were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations.
In RED RISING, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people. Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It's a journey that will take him further than he's ever been before - but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?
A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart,Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown's growing status as one of fiction's most exciting new voices.
The Golden Son is amazing, transcending the brutality and the warfare in Red Rising, and making it so much more epic. It’s filled with twists, turns, deeper world building and an exhilarating game of political infiltration, and I loved every minute of it.
While Red Rising was about gaining trust of the Golds and the war games of the Institute, The Golden Son featured war, politics, revolution and Darrow executing his pivotal role infiltrating the Golds as a Son of Ares. While Darrow has proven himself as a master strategist in war, he plays a dangerous game with gaining political influence and manipulating those around him. Friends will betray him, enemies will reveal their true allegiance, new alliances will form and others will severe. Darrow has to rely on his instincts in order to survive and achieve such a dangerous and tricky objective.
I am the Reaper. Whatever doubts I had in myself fall away and I feel the stain creeping over my soul.
Darrow is an amazing leading character, from his humbled beginnings as a Red miner on the bottom rung of society to his current rank as a top official in the Golds. He’s completely ruthless and brutal when it comes to getting what he wants, including proving his loyalty to the ArchGovernor Augustus, his loyalty for his friends, his confidence in the lower classes and most of all, his duty as a Son of Ares. He’s constantly calculating, thinking of the best course of action and achieving a dream that Eo sacrificed herself for. He’s a true leader, empowering those around him including the lower classes and putting utmost trust and confidence into his closest allies and friends. The hardship he’s experienced and his extreme determination to fight for the cause is prevalent in his thoughts, and only he could survive the complex path of manipulation, deceit and trust.
For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.
The Golden Son is completely epic and perfectly conveys a modernised Greco-Roman setting, with modern warfare, space ships and worshipping of the elite Gold race. The sci-fi/high fantasy balance is a complicated one, and in this sequel we witness more space fights and technological war, as opposed to the insular battle in Red Rising. The Golden Son shows us the full society in action with all the colours in between, not just Reds in their hardship or Golds in opulence. From Obsidian being the hired warfare, to Blues navigating ships with their scholarly upbringing, and the Pinks in their slavery, the world building here is a lot deeper and more wholesome.
The secondary characters were all amazing and complex, and it was great seeing a large spectrum of them undergoing character development. I usually have trouble following multiple characters in high fantasy books, but I eventually got used to each of the character eccentricities and who they were aligned with. In particular, I loved Sevro and his Howlers, a loyal ‘wolf pack’ of fighters who will follow Darrow to the ends of the world, Ragnar, the hired ‘Stained’ Obsidian who becomes Darrow’s bodyguard, and the ever conniving and fiery Mustang. There is a slight romance in the book, less than I would have wanted but with so much going on, it felt natural. I only wish things would have went differently.
This race – what a beautiful monster. They carry all of humanity’s strengths, except one. Empathy. They can change. I know that. Perhaps not now, perhaps not in four generations. But it begins today, the end of their Golden Age. Shatter the Bellona, weaken the Gold. Drive the civil war to Luna itself and destroy the Sovereign. Then Ares will rise.
The Golden Son has a fascinating, complex and compelling story that shows us the meaning of a true hero on the brink of political destruction. It brought so much more to the epic Greco-Roman world of Red Rising by exploring the sci-fi elements and the colour-based class system in the story. This is a story made to be savoured, and I loved every minute of it.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!