The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

Review by Sarah Gill

I am a huge fan of Sci-Fi and dystopian genres and since reading the first two novels in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy last year, I have eagerly been awaiting the release of the final book in the series.

This month, the Red Rising Trilogy will come to an end with the release of the final book Morning Star.

Set in the future, when humans have mastered space travel, the Red Rising Trilogy follows 16-year-old Darrow who is a Red and a miner from under the surface of Mars. The story is told from Darrow’s perspective and is in first person.

The future is in a colour-coded society, with the Golds at the top and the Reds at the bottom.

The Reds have mined Mars for centuries to make it habitable for the rest of the human race back on Earth to join them. They are ruled by the Golds who are at the top of the chain of command. After his wife Eo is hanged, Darrow learns the truth that the Reds are slaves and being used to mine the red planet. He learns that the surface has been safe for the rest of the universe for years. Darrow joins the resistance organisation known as the Sons of Ares and is transformed into a new person to be used for their purposes. Keeping only his name, he no longer resembles the undernourished Red he once was, he emerges a Gold. Darrow then infiltrates the Golds for the Son of Ares and works his way up the chain of command to tear them apart from the inside.

Brown’s writing is imaginative and his characters each have their own complexities and vulnerabilities. Throughout the novels, Darrow encounters many wealthy elite Gold families. The creation and intricacy of each one in The Red Rising Trilogy are clearly thought out and researched; this is a testament to Brown’s originality.

Both the novels were a thrill to read and the complexity and twists in them kept me captivated. I empathised with Darrow’s struggle as he wondered if he was doing right by his wife, Eo and his fellow Reds, or if he was turning into a true and cruel Gold. I watched as he inserted himself into the leaders of society and moved up higher and higher through the ranks all the while wondering if someone may discover his secret identity and kill him. Darrow’s struggle with his own identity and self worth is his rebellion against himself to accept that he is changing.

Prevalent throughout both novels is the theme of rebellion. Early in the first novel, Darrow’s wife Eo is hanged for a simple act of rebellion and until the end, she rebels against the Golds when she sings a forbidden song while she is in the noose. This theme is consistent in the triology, with the Reds and lower colours’ resistance against society and the Golds.

Red Rising and Golden Son are two incredible books. They are both exceptionally well written and provide very detailed imagery and background into the Science Fiction worlds that Brown has created for the story. I would recommend this trilogy to any Science Fiction or Dystopian genre lover.

The books in order are:

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Image Attribution: Goodreads