Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy
***This book was reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review***
Morning Star is the last book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy. I devoured this book as fast as the other two! It’s fast-paced, yet still can focus on deep topics- the cost of friendship, the horrors of war and terrorism, the value of compassion over violence, and above all, the capacity of humanity to change.
The Colour schema of social stratification is the result of intensive genetic manipulation. Each Colour has been cultivated to fulfill very specific niches. Blues sacrifice emotion for logic and can link to machines. Obsidians were bred for size, strength, and ferocity. Yet, Darrow proves again and again that people are more than their Colour. Reds can command armies, a Blue can captain a ship, an Obsidian need not be a slave, but can lead others, need not kill, but can temper it with mercy.
When we meet Darrow this time, he has been a prisoner for many months, left to starve and rot in a cramped, dark hole with tubes to feed him. He is finally found and rescued, returned to the fold of the Sons of Ares, and reunited with his family, including people he believed dead. Sevro has taken over as Ares, which turns out not to be the best thing. While I like Sevro — he’s one of my favorite characters — he is not geared to lead an entire rebellion. His methods are brutal and harsh, turning the Sons into true terrorists.
Darrow must regain both the strength and stamina he gained in captivity, and control of the splintered rebellion, before he can face his nemesis Cassius, the Morning Knight, and bring the fight fully to Luna. It isn’t an easy road he has to follow, and he finds new friends and enemies along the way. Through it all, Darrow struggles to embrace what he was, and what he’s become, and keep his morals and ethics intact.
If you enjoyed Red Rising, and Golden Son, you’ll love their fast-paced follow-up. If you love dystopian fiction in general, and have yet to make Darrow’s acquaintance, I strongly urge you to check out Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, recently completed with the release of Morning Star.