I cannot believe it has taken me this long to find out about Pierce Brown and his fantastic trilogy. I finished Red Rising the first novel in the trilogy in late spring of this year and loved it. My one gripe was that I thought the novel lost its way towards the books final act. I just finished Golden Son the second book in the trilogy and quite frankly its one of the best books I've read all year.
What I loved about Red Rising was that the main protagonist Darrow is far from perfect. Yes he's become quite the physical specimen, but under the armor and the golden exterior is a very flawed and deeply conflicted soul. Pierce Brown really leaned into the social injustice of this world and Darrow at times finding himself enjoying the splendor of being on top. It's a rare novel that mends together huge action sequences with quiet reflective moments.
Golden Son is a surprising second novel that doesn't stop introducing you to its main character. I found the quiet times in Golden Son were some of its best. Don't get me wrong Darrow diving for fleeting space crafts or competing in duels is great fun, but the book is such a great representation of the levels of our own society that I found those just as entertaining. There were countless moments in this novel that you get to take a deeper look at what drives Darrow and the conflicts anyone in his position would feel. Am I doing this for the right reasons? Will it make a difference? Will anyone even care?
For me Golden Son is a near perfect novel. I'm not sure I still enjoy the relationship between Darrow and Mustang. For me it just detracts a bit from what makes this world so compelling but its a minor gripe in what is otherwise a truly remarkable piece of fiction. I stayed up far too late to finish this book something I haven't done in a long, long time. And I can't think of another novel I would have rather done that for. Golden Son is a really great book and it makes me even more excited to see what Pierce Brown has in store for the final novel in the trilogy, Morning Star.