Review: Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Synopsis for Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.


Ever since I was turned onto Pierce Brown by my old friend Pat from Mysterious Galaxy here in San Diego, I’ve been hooked on the story of Darrow, Sevro, and Mustang. From the Institute to service as a Lancer for his greatest enemy, Darrow grew into an incredibly complex character over the course of Red Rising and Golden Son. Coming into Morning Star, then, you might say my expectations were pretty high. Perhaps too high.

Morning Star does a valiant job of wrapping up the Red rebellion led by Darrow, with more than a few twists and turns along the way. However, I felt that if anything there were some twists that didn’t need to be there, or were so ‘twisty’ as to border on the ridiculous. Turncoats abound, and while any civil war is bound to have conflicting loyalties, Morning Star makes everyone work at cross purposes, while still somehow coming to the end of the story.

Darrow, as a character, seemed to be walked back from the vengeful manipulator that he was turning into in Golden Son – something I didn’t particularly appreciate. I will say, though, that I felt that Sevro stole the show in Morning Star from beginning to end – a regular Bean to Darrow’s Ender, for those familiar with the Ender’s Game series.

In the end, Morning Star felt a little heavy – heavy on the twists, heavy on the flowery language, heavy on the emotional climaxes, and heavy on the rousing speeches. All that being said, Morning Star is still a perfectly acceptable end to the Red Rising trilogy. For fans of the series, it’s a no-brainer must-have book. But more importantly, it is a definitive end to the series, making it safe to recommend the trilogy to my friends and family – most of whom are still angry at me for getting them into Game of Thrones, which will never end probably.

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David Andrews is a long time blogger and writer, a fan of video games, books, history, and podcasts. You can find him on Twitter @proceduraldave

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