This book was purchased for my own pleasure, with no expectation of a review
Brown’s Golden Son is a breathtaking followup to Red Rising., book one of the Red Rising trilogy. The second installment takes us two years into Darrow’s future, where he has moved from the Institute to the Academy. Here he is trained in space combat, tactics and strategy, and leadership. In one of the first scenes, he commands a starship during mock war games. A brilliant victory turns into a devastating loss, costing him favour with his patron, Nero au Augustus.
Favour returns when Darrow thwarts a plot against Augustus, the aftermath of which sets a war in motion. Through it all, Darrow must navigate the rapids of betrayal, trust, and reshaping how society thinks, without losing his power base. Along the way, he gains some interesting allies, and some pretty deadly enemies.
Darrow’s monologue at the beginning was a nice touch. It gives good insight into the psyche of this Red turned Gold. I also adore his smooth sarcasm, especially during his first meeting with Jackal after the events recounted in Red Rising.
Sevro is still a favourite. He’s grown somewhat, yet still crazy as ever. Ragnar, an Obsidian Stained, is a new favourite, and a wonderful example of the changes Darrow is crafting. This fearsome giant becomes so much more than the base killing machine he’s been taught is all he is.
Along with the horrors of war come the horrors of terrorism as splinter groups from the Sons of Ares turn them from noble rebels to vengeful terrorists. Darrow is finally reunited with some members, who give him tasks that tax his morals. Thankfully, Darrow stands by his principles for the most part.
If you enjoyed Red Rising, you’ll love its fast-paced followup. If you love dystopias 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.