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544 pages, Hardcover
First published February 9, 2016
I can be a builder, not just a destroyer. Eo and Fitchner saw that when I could not. They believed in me. So whether they wait for me in the Vale or not, I feel them in my heart, I hear their echo beating across the worlds. I see them in my son, and, when he is old enough, I will take him on my knee and his mother and I will tell him of the rage of Ares, the strength of Ragnar, the honor of Cassius, the love of Sevro, the loyalty of Victra, and the dream of Eo, the girl who inspired me to live for me.
“If this is the end, I will rage toward it.”
“If your heart beats like a drum, and your legs a little wet, it’s because the Reaper’s come to collect a little debt.”
“I thought being a man was having control. Being the master and commander of your own destiny. How could any boy know that freedom is lost the moment you become a man. Things start to count. To press in. Constricting slowly, inevitably, creating a cage of inconveniences and duties and deadlines and failed plans and lost friends.”
"Whatever you’re told, being an adult doesn’t mean you have control. No matter the power you have, the money you make, the age you become, we all feel a little bit at the mercy of something else --- the government, banks, chance, illness, our bosses etc. That’s what Darrow is dealing with in RED RISING, the fact that any control he thinks he has over his own life is a mirage. But he does not despair. Instead he decides to break the chains and live for more. He sets out to create his own future.
The fact is, we don’t have complete control over our lives. Never have, never will. That’s ok. The point is, rather, to take control over the parts of our life that we can and live those parts in precisely the way we want. That is living for more and that is what Darrow is fighting for."
“A man thinks he can fly, but he is afraid to jump. A poor friend pushes him from behind... A good friend jumps with.”
“Man is no island. We need those who love us. We need those who hate us. We need others to tether us to life, to give us a reason to live, to feel.”
“Shit escalates” –Sevro au Barca
“You and I keep looking for light in the darkness, expecting it to appear. But it already has… We’re it, boyo. Broken and cracked and stupid as we are, we’re the light, and we’re spreading.”
“I’m a bloodydamn Helldiver with an army of giant, mildly psychotic women behind me and a fleet of state-of-the-art warships crewed by pissed-off pirates, engineers, techs, and former slaves.”
“Everything is cracked, everything is stained except the fragile moments that hang crystalline in time and make life worth living.”
“What is pride without honor? What is honor without truth? Honor is not what you say. It is not what you read… Honor is what you do.”
“You! Troll!” Sevro shouts. “I’m a terrorist warlord! Stop throwing me. You made me drop my candy!” Sevro looks at the floor of the hallway. “Wait. Where is it? Dammit, Ragnar. Where is my peanut bar? You know how many people I had to kill to get that. Six! Six!”
Ragnar chews quietly above me, and though I’m probably mistaken, I think I see him smile.
“I don’t know how to thank you,” I say.
“What for?” Kavax asks, confused, as per usual.
“The kindness …” I don’t know how else to say it. “For watching over my family when I’m not even one of you.”
“One of us?” His ruddy face falls. “A fool. You speak like a fool. My boy made you one of us.” He looks across the hangar where Mustang speaks with one of Lorn’s daughters-in-law near a transport. “She makes you one of us.” It’s all I can do to keep the tears from my eyes. "And if we damn all that, I say you’re one of us. So one of us you are.”
“My son, my son
Remember the chains
When Gold ruled with iron reins
We roared and roared
And twisted and screamed
For ours, a vale
of better dreams”
“If you're watching, Eo, it's time to close your eyes. The Reaper has come. And he's brought hell with him.”
“You and I keep looking for light in the darkness, expecting it to appear. But it already has. We’re it, boyo. Broken and cracked and stupid as we are, we’re the light, and we’re spreading.”
“This is always how the story would end,” he says to me. “Not with your screams. Not with your rage. But with your silence.”
❝We will howl and fight till our last breath, not just in the mines of Mars, but on the shores of Venus, on the dunes of Io’s sulfur seas, in the glacial valleys of Pluto. We will fight in the towers of Ganymede and the ghettos of Luna and the storm-stricken oceans of Europa. And if we fall, others will take our place, because we are the tide. And we are rising.❞
❝I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.❞
❝'I am the star in the night sky. I am the blade in the twilight. I am the god, the glory.' His breath shudders out. He is afraid. 'I am the Gold.'❞
“My name is Felicia au…” I feint a whip at her face. She brings her blade up, and Victra goes diagonal and impales her at the belly button. I finish her off with a neat decapitation. “Bye, Felicia.” Victra spits, turning to the last Praetorian.”
“You tell anyone I cried, I’ll find a dead fish, put it in a sock, hide it in your room, and let it putrefy.”
"You! Troll!" Sevro shouts. "I'm a terrorist warlord! Stop throwing me. You made me drop my candy!" Sevro looks at the floor of the hallway. "Wait. Where is it? Dammit, Ragnar. Where is my peanut bar? You know how many people I had to kill to get that? Six! Six!"
Ragnar chews quietly above me, and though I'm probably mistaken, I think I see him smile.”
I howl because I am a Helldiver of Lykos. I am the Reaper of Mars. And I have paid for access to this bunker with my flesh, all so I could come before Octavia, all so that I might either die with my friends or see our enemies brought to justice.
” Do you like ’em?”
“They’re bloodydamn marvelous. Fit you like a glove.”
He punches his hands together. “Glad you said that. Cuz they’re yours.”
I blanch. “What?” “They’re yours.”
“Did yon Friendly Giant drop you on your head in the rescue? Mickey had your eyes in a cryobox at his joint in Yorkton—creepy place, by the by—when we raided it for supplies to bring back to Tinos to help the Rising. I figured you weren’t usin’ ’em, so…” He shrugs awkwardly. “So I asked if he’d put ’em in. You know. Bring us closer together. Something to remember you by. That’s not so weird, right?”
“I told him it was odd,” Ragnar says. One of the girls is climbing his leg.
“Do you want the eyes back?” Sevro asks, suddenly worried. “I can give them back.”
“No!” I say. “It’s just I forgot how crazy you are.”
“Oh.” He laughs and slaps my shoulder. “Good. I thought it was something serious.”
“I did what I had to,” he says, sounding so small. “What no one else would.”
“Did you?” Quicksilver leans forward nastily. “Or did you do what you wanted to do? Because your feelings were hurt? Because you wanted to lash out?”
“A man thinks he can fly, but he is afraid to jump. A poor friend pushes him from behind.” He looks up at me. “A good friend jumps with.”
“I listened to your proposal, now listen to mine. Run. Now. While you can. But know, wherever you go, wherever you hide, you cannot protect your friends. I’m going to kill them all and put you back in the darkness with their severed heads for company. There is no way out, Darrow. This I promise you.”
So let him do his worst.
I know how to suffer.
I know the darkness.
This is not how it ends.
And I wonder, in my last moments, if the planet does not mind that we wound her surface or pillage her bounty, because she knows we silly warm things are not even a breath in her cosmic life. We have grown and spread, and will rage and die. And when all that remains of us is our steel monuments and plastic idols, her winds will whisper, her sands will shift, and she will spin on and on, forgetting about the bold, hairless apes who thought they deserved immortality.
"You and I keep looking for light in the darkness, expecting it to appear. But it already has.” I touch his shoulder. “We’re it, boyo. Broken and cracked and stupid as we are, we’re the light, and we’re spreading.”
Fear is not real.
If you're watching, Eo, it's time to close your eyes.
The reaper has come. And he's brought hell with him.
What an inevitable waste it seems. Death begets death begets death.
If this is the end, I will rage toward it.
"A man thinks he can fly, but he is afraid to jump. A poor friend pushes him from behind.” He looks up at me. “A good friend jumps with.”
Obsidian will seek me, led by masters who promised them Pinks in exchange for my head. They will hunt my friends. They will say Sevro’s name, and Mustang’s, and Ragnar’s They will hunt the Telemanuses and Victra, Orion, and my Howlers. But they cannot have them.
Today I take.
Death begets death begets death…
I’m in a dream. Unable to change the forces that move around me. To stop the sand from slipping though my fingers. I set this into motion but didn’t have the heart or strength or cunning or whatever the hell I needed to stop it.
Great ending to a great series!
It's been a long time since I've read a book that gave me chills. I can't count how often Morning Star raised the hair on the back of my neck! It seemed like every chapter had some shock or great surprise, some moment of 'holy shit!!". Literally, this kept up until the final chapter!.
If you've read the second book you know Darrow was captured and on his way to be dissected. I won't spoil anything for you, just be prepared for the action to start in the first chapter and it will not let up, EVER! The book took over my life. I could not put it down. "Where's Kyle?" "Probably somewhere reading that damn book!" I took my tablet with me everywhere in hopes that I might get just a few moments to read just a bit more. When I did, people had to yell at me to put it down.
This series has become my all time favorite. It is an engrossing story with characters I found to be very realistic for the culture that created them. Darrow as a main character was fantastic! He was strong but also flawed. Wanting so badly to be the hero everyone wants him to be but seeing himself always falling short. Always doubting what he should do next. Struggling with the weight of leadership that's been thrust upon him. Then there are all the characters around him. His friends and enemies alike are all strongly developed characters. All with their own strengths and weaknesses. It really is amazing that in only three books Pierce Brown has been able to put together such a strong case of characters.
The only bad thing I have to say about the series is that it's only three books long. That now I have to say goodbye to good friends. That over the next few days I'll have to grieve their lose.
But hope does shine on the horizon! Iron Gold, the first book in a new series, is is due out next year and picks up where Morning Star left off. Type Pierce! Type fast!
To read my review of the other books in this series, use the links below:
Book One: Red Rising
Book Two: Golden Son
THIS happened :P I wrote a recap of the signing here.