Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.
Usually, second books lag behind the first and third of a trilogy, having to do some heavy lifting that takes the shine off the magic. This is not one of those books. Golden Son manages to be every bit as engaging, magical, and just incredible as Red Rising.
Much like Red Rising, Golden Son drops us straight into the action without apology. I had to read the first two chapters very carefully to understand what was going on and to convince myself I hadn’t suffered amnesia since reading the first book and that no, I don’t know who any of these other characters are. But by chapter three I had the rhythm back and was hopelessly sucked in.
What makes Red Rising different from most trilogy series is its ambition. Usually, our three book structure looks like this: Book 1: presentation of status quo that needs to be upended, presentation of major players, first battle Book 2: preparations for final battle, minor battles, major focus on character development Book 3: major final battle that upends the status quo, wrap up character development. Golden Son is different because we’re provided with another battle that keeps the energy level up. I’m halfway through the final book Morning Star as I write this so I can say that the Red Rising series’ three book structure looks like this: Book 1: presentation of status quo that needs to be upended, presentation of major players, major battle Book 2: status quo upended, major battle, character development Book 3: major battle to decide the fate of the status quo, wrap up character development. In short, the story structure of a typical three book series has been sped up, yet Brown still manages to do a bang-up job in the character development department.
The final betrayal, twist, and revelation of Golden Son is quite powerful and not one I saw coming. I just have to say, bravo Pierce Brown. You have written an incredible series.