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Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind's last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Reds were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations.

In Red Rising, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people.

Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It's a journey that will take him further than he's ever been before -- but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?

442 pages, Paperback

First published January 6, 2015

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About the author

Pierce Brown

45 books34.6k followers
Hello. I'm Pierce Brown, the author of the Red Rising Saga, a NYT #1 bestseller.
I figured I'd write you myself than have corporate copy pasted below my totally natural author photo.

In my books you'll find stories of men and women finding their inner strength when all seems lost. You'll also find me exploring themes of love, violence, hope, and power--what it means, why people seek it, and how they hold onto it.

IG @piercebrownofficial
Twitter @pierce_brown

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Profile Image for Petrik.
688 reviews46.1k followers
March 29, 2023
Take all these 5/5 stars ratings from me, Pierce Brown. Take it! You completely deserve it.

Unbelievable… It wasn’t an exaggeration when practically everyone told me the sequels to Red Rising are much better. Golden Son was an absolutely magnificent installment in the trilogy. I praised Red Rising, I enjoyed reading it so much. And still, it pales in comparison to its sequel. I started reading Golden Son on the day I turned 28, I finished it in three days, and I’m so lucky to have chosen this book to be my first read in my new age.

“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind - how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

There is a new contender for the biggest lie I've ever heard, seeing Golden Son shelved under the YA section. I was reluctant to start this series because of it (YA books don't click with me often), and I am truly glad the incorrect shelving did not stop me from reading this series. Forget all the similarities with other YA books you think you have seen or heard in Red Rising; you won’t find any of them here. Golden Son completely goes into adult military sci-fi/space-opera territory, and it is written like one. No sugar coating; there were a lot of harsh words, bloodbaths, brutality, and gore scenes here. Unless your 13 old kids have their maturity tempered with Thor’s hammer, I recommend you make them stay away from this book. It is up to you, in the end, though. Who knows? Maybe your kids will learn how to defy their bullies with Lego after reading this book since there were a lot of strategies and badassery involved here.

Whether you’re one of those who loved (like me) or hated the previous book, I’ll assure you Golden Son organically launched the series in a different direction than before, and it’s so much better. It relies on the foundation laid by the first book to hurl the plot and setting of the series to become a massive sci-fi and space opera (literally from page 1) series. Packed with non-stop actions, thrilling politics, bloody space or ground warfare, and twists and turns, Golden Son is designed to grip readers from the beginning until the end. Seriously, only a few chapters with brief respites were given before the narrative pulled you back into all the madness and blood feud again.

Have I mentioned the ending was so mind-blowing, too? It felt like it was crafted to give you an anxiety attack. I strongly recommend you to have MORNING STAR beside you before you finished the book. It’s probably one of the most brutal cliffhangers I have ever experienced in my whole life. In fact, I’m actually typing this review after I read the first two chapters of Morning Star straight after finishing Golden Son. Otherwise, this review will consist only of me typing my foamy mouth into words: “argh urgh fruha euehoqo dsuhckijk quhaorj uhjqpkco”

Frankly, I did not expect to get attached to the characters in this book this much when I started reading the series, but now I do, I really do. I am a sucker for terrific character development. I love when there is an improvement in the character's personality, strengths, weaknesses, and the changes in all their relationships. Whether they are in the form of love blossomed or betrayal inflicted, as long as they are executed superbly and believably, I will never get tired of them, and this book has them all.

Picture: Darrow by PhantomRin

Also, plenty of incredible new characters were introduced in Golden Son, such as Ragnar Volarus, Victra, and Lorn. But if I have to choose, my favorite part will be seeing the relationship development between Darrow and his best friends, old and new, especially Sevro. The friendship between Darrow and Sevro is what I love to call a friendship goal. They understand each other, bantered carelessly, and most importantly, their loyalty to each other was unbending. Sadly, I can’t elaborate more on this part this time as there were a lot of factors and scenes that I think would be much better for you to experience yourself rather than hearing them from me. However, I will assure you and let you know that Darrow and Sevro were my favorite characters in the book for me.

I mentioned before in my Red Rising review that I absolutely loved Pierce Brown’s writing, it still holds true here, in fact, I love it even more now as I really think he really improved his writing style. It’s much more engrossing, immersive, poetic and yet still retained all the previous elements that captivated me.

Picture: Sevro’s re-introduction by Justin Wong

The world-building scale in Golden Son was bigger and better than before, and now, we're dealing with space travel and world hopping. It felt easier to read and visualize, in my opinion, compared to Red Rising. The necessary foundational lore and world-building information were established already in Red Rising. One of the minor issues I had with Red Rising was how the setting felt like they were on Earth even though they were not. But not this time.

In my Red Rising review, I mentioned that I absolutely loved Pierce Brown’s prose. And this notion holds true here. In fact, I love it even more now. There were clear signs of improvement in the quality of storytelling and prose. The narrative felt much more engrossing, immersive, and poetic. And still, it somehow retained all the previous elements that captivated me.

There were also a lot of great one-liners and fantastic quotes to give you hope, laughter, or something to think about when you go through the book. Here are some of my favorites:

“Home isn't where you're from, it's where you find light when all grows dark.”

“Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair.”

"I'm Gold, bitch. What'd you expect? Warm milk and cookies just because I'm pocket sized?”

Adrenaline inducement was imminent, words you read will shoot straight to your heart and fill your feelings with love towards the main and side characters. But rage and hatred towards the villains. Betrayals, bloodydamn epic actions, and military warfare (both ground and space warfare) sequence were written so vividly. It felt like I’m experiencing a much more epic and gritty version of Star Wars or Star Trek. Yes, I said that. Deal with it.

I’m putting Golden Son into my favorite shelves. Golden Son is everything I ever want in a sci-fi novel. Pierce Brown said this is his favorite book out of the trilogy, and I honestly don’t think Morning Star can top this. But hey, that remains to be seen. I can say with confidence, though, if Morning Star didn’t disappoint, this series is bound to become one of my favorite series of all time.

I urge you strongly to start this series if you love any sci-fi, space opera, tension-packed actions, fantastic climax sequence, and terrific characterizations with a strong plot and pacing. Or, if you’re eager to get your adrenaline dose, let me tell you that you don’t need to ride an extreme roller coaster to get it. Look no further, just read Golden Son, and you will get all these experiences for hours. I may sound calm in my review, but deep inside my burning heart, I’m typing this review with fingers full of adrenaline rush from the non-stop “one more chapter” syndrome this book gave me. This book is the kind of drug and escapism I need in this world when sometimes, we need a portal to escape from our boring reality, and I bloodydamn hope you will experience this as well.

You can order this book from: Blackwells (Free International shipping)

You can find the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions | I also have a Booktube channel

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
March 22, 2016
“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind - how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

I *almost* didn't write a review for Golden Son. It doesn't matter how many reviews I write or how snarky I've been in the past, there is something extremely intimidating about writing a negative review for a book that all my friends loved, that critics praised, and that has an average Goodreads rating of 4.49. I spent some time actually trying to come up with what was wrong with me as a way of explanation.

It must be me, right? I must not have appreciated it right. It must be the wrong time. I must be hormonal. Because I just DO NOT GET IT. In the last week alone, I've had multiple requests from people telling me to continue with this series, calling it "one of the best series ever", and saying Golden Son is so much better than Red Rising.

Is it?

Because I struggle to see the leap between the two. So many reviewers have acknowledged that Darrow was the very definition of a Gary Stu in Red Rising, and yet many are now citing his epic failure at the start of this book as evidence of him shedding the Gary Stu-ness. But I just don't buy it. Even when he fails, he fails like a damn hero with fireworks going off behind his head, rushing back to rescue a damsel in distress in true, self-sacrificing perfection.

Even when he fails, he doesn't fail.
Even when things are awful, he has to deliver a melodramatic, rousing speech.

Darrow is possibly the most self-obsessed character caricature I have ever come across. He loves to hear himself speak - or think, as it may be.

There's a word - arch - that's used in various contexts, but is often used in theatre and acting as an example of how not to act. It refers to delivering lines while mentally side-eying the audience with a visible self-awareness of the part you are playing and what comes next. For example, playing out a dramatic scene with visible knowledge of your next line. Darrow feels like that. I feel like he is reading off a script. Every dramatic speech and inner monologue does not feel like someone making a realistically important speech in the face of death, it feels like a bad actor dramatically wiping his brow, doing a Sally Field lip bite, and launching into his lines.

He's not really scared because duh, he's playing Darrow, he knows he can't fail in the end.

Not only is he an epic drama llama, but he is still the voice of insufferably good and just morality. On one side, he has the Sons of Ares willing to go to extreme terrorist lengths for their cause, and on the other side he has many cold, callous Golds who DNGAF about the lower classes. Many times it feels like Darrow is the only one allowed to care about anything and allowed to be upset about the deaths of innocents.

Even the most interesting character (by far) feels so unnatural and out of place in the story. Everyone is saluting Mustang as this amazing, strong female who completely overwrites the issues the last book introduced (i.e. all female characters are useless and need saving) and yet she does indeed feel like a direct response to readers' concerns. Her most memorable scene is a feminist speech she makes about being super smart and unapologetic and I can't help thinking... Brown is going for the female vote. Because we all know how much he loves to milk that.

And, in a sea of books about civil unrest and divides between ruling/slave classes, I think the only way the Red Rising trilogy stands out is by its heavier use of scientific language and technical descriptions. I don't feel like it does anything different in terms of plot or characters.

I lack the ability to care what will happen going forward. I feel like there is literally nothing I’m reading for… I don’t care how the war ends, I don’t care if Darrow lives or dies, I don’t care about any relationships. There are just no answers I’m seeking from this series. Which is why I won't be reading Morning Star, no matter how many people tell me I should.

Seriously, though, who talks like this (note: this isn't Darrow):
“… I was in a dark woods, blind and lost as Dante before Virgil. But Quinn helped me. Her voice calling me out of misery. She became my home. As she puts it, “Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.”

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Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 65 books233k followers
September 17, 2016
Did I mention that I listened to these almost exclusively as audiobooks?

I did. And the narration was, to put it plainly, purely brilliant. Dude knocked it out of the park.

In fact, the narrative voice was so strong that when I picked up a paper copy of the book so I could read it faster. (I read about 5 or 6 times faster off the page.) The narrator's voice stuck with me in my head, like when you read some text next to a picture of Morgan Freeman.

So yeah. Not just some excellent books. But excellent audio production as well.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,538 reviews9,967 followers
September 1, 2020
Gah! FairyLoot edition!

Can I just take a moment to give credit to this wonderful ending ↓

I can't even right now!

Okay, lets move on to a little bit of a more sedate review. First off I love Darrow, Sevro, Ragnar, Quinn and Mustang and I swear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Well, I love a lot of the side characters but I'm most in love right now with Sevro, Darrow and Ragnar in that order.

I can't even write this review! This book is all over the place with everything!

Blowing people up in space, bloody battles, stupidity, more people being blown up here and there and everywhere! People you like getting killed. People you don't like that you want to beat into the ground!

Oh and the part with Darrow and his mom made me cry!

Let me just add some random excerpts that have to do with Darrow and Sevro and stuff!

I explode through the bridge like a ball of lead shot into a store of china and glass. I crash into displays and strategy desks before blasting through the reinforced metal of the bridge walls, through the steel of the hallways till at last I slam bodily into a bulkhead a hundred meters through and past the bridge. Dazed. Can't find Sevro. I call him over the com. He groans something about his ass. Maybe he did shit himself.

Okay, so here is a moment that Darrow and Sevro had together after finding out a revelation. It brought a tear to my eye for reasons, there's always reasons people. Well, the tear to my eye came after the first part and some stuff and then the other stuff =D

Sevro spits in my face, right under the eye. "Guess wrong again and I leave you like this." He snaps his fingers. "I will not come back. I will not help you. I will not bleed for you. I will not sacrifice my friends for a man who doesn't give enough of a shit about me to put his neck out just once. Trust goes both ways, Darrow. This time you have to take a leap."

shfosehgsoihgsiodhfsidfhsifh some stuff and. . .

He can't say any more because I'm hugging him and crying. I sob and hold on to him, shaking, scaring him. He doesn't move except to pat me on the head. All the weight falls from my shoulders. Someone knows. He knows and he's here. He knows and he came to help me. To help me. I can't stop shaking and saying thank you. Eo was right. I was right. "You are my friend," I tremble out like a child. It almost makes him cry seeing me this way.

Once again, that ending! I can't even! It was messed right up and sad but good. We can't have it all!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
July 1, 2021
the best thing about this reread is i already knew what happens, so i didnt feel so personally betrayed this time around. but that ending is still so gorydamn painful. ugh.


lets talk biology. goosebumps are a fight or flight response. usually (temperature excluded), they occur when experiencing intense emotions towards something and adrenaline is released throughout the body.

so what does it say about this book that i had goosebumps pretty much throughout the entire thing?? it means this book is straight up chilling and, good gosh, i am in utter disbelief right now. i honestly dont know if i finished this book or if it finished me. thats how im feeling right now.

the range of emotions i felt whilst reading this is exhausting. i feel like a wet towel that has been wrung out for every last drop of water. i never knew i could feel so much. i am R E E L I N G.

ps. i still think pierce brown is a total hottie and, after reading this, im pretty sure im in love. <3

5 stars
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 9, 2020

Psst. A new video is up - all about the bad books I've read this year!

Now that you know that this one is on it, check out the Worst Books of 2019 video to see what other ones made the cut!
The Actual Review
I don't know what's wrong with me but this one is so gory-damn boring that I could scream.

Am I the only one?

Does it get better???

- An Eternity Later -

It didn't get better, but on the plus side, this book is over! I can FINALLY read something else!

The Review

Okay. So. A lot happens in this book.

And most of it isn't important.

The premise is still the same - Darrow's world is incredibly caste-divided (Reds - workers, Golds - rulers, Pinks - sex slaves, etc) and thanks to genetic modification, everyone is perfectly adapted to their role.

However, Darrow, a Red, is transformed into a Gold and given a secret mission to infiltrate the higher-up world of Golds in order to dismantle their world from the inside-out.

Last round we had a hunger-games-esque free-for-all only with far more brutal murders and actual scheming.

It was hella-interesting to have the Greek-themed houses strategize and overthrow. I was so invested in the howlers and the fate of Darrow...but this round? Ehhh.

Darrow flies around on a ship, wheeling and dealing as he gains more power. There's a couple of big bads but Darrow's big brain saves him every time.

I just really wasn't feeling it - too much was happening and it was all too big.

We are talking about the fate of billions of beings and intricate worlds and politics galore - and I'm just not about that life.

It's the sort of issues which take decades to resolve in any meaningful manner and I just don't feel like sticking around for it.

Sorry folks - I'm out.

Audiobook Comments
Read by Tim Gerard Reynolds - the only good thing about this book was the quality of its narration.

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Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,261 reviews8,754 followers
March 24, 2018
Updated Review:

I have this quirk . . . I call it my "false sense of urgency."

It sometimes makes me impatient and unforgiving when I'm reading a book for the first time, and if the new book happens to be the latest installment of one of my favorite series, the possibility of that first read suffering the effects of my FSoU goes up exponentially.

*glances sheepishly at GOLDEN SON*

1. I don't care about the bloody Ash Lord.

2. There was TONS of info about Obsidians and Stained, it just wasn't the info I wanted, so I threw a temper tantrum.

3. The sequence that I felt heavily resembled a sequence from STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS . . . I don't know if it was b/c I had watched the movie just prior to reading it, or if it was another byproduct of FSoU, but this time . . . Yeah, it didn't bother me at all. *shrugs awkwardly*

4. I downplayed it in my original review, but I was also extremely aggravated by Darrow continuing to keep his friends at arms-length, even as he recognized the damage his withholding was causing to those relationships.

On this second pass, not only did it no longer feel redundant and obstinately foolish, but the friend I most resented being kept at a distance came across as petulant and self-righteous (more about that it the spoiler-tagged section).

Funnily enough, before my reread, I thought I might have to lower the rating (to 4.0 from 4.5) now that the post-first-read-high had worn off.

Instead I'm raising it to 5.0.


Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Right. SO . . . after finishing GOLDEN SON did I:

A. Shriek incomprehensibly. Over and over (and over) again.
B. Sit in a semi-comatose state staring at nothing for an indefinite period of time.
C. Explain (in detail) to my poor mother (whom I was visiting) EXACTLY what my problem was, despite her having never read either book from this series, and thus being unable to understand what I was ranting about.

That was a rhetorical question. Obviously, I did them all.

Pierce Brown, (handsome) devil that he is, lured us into a false sense of security in RED RISING. He taught us that, yes, Bad Things would happen--LOTS of Bad Things--but by the end, we'd have found our footing. We'd know that there was more coming--and HOORAY for that--but the individual installment would be resolved<------LIES.

But there is far more to GOLDEN SON than it's epic cliffhanger of DOOM.

In fact, if it weren't for a few minor issues, I'd say it was even better than RED RISING, which tied for first place on my Best Books of 2014 list.

GOLDEN SON continues to reveal the complexity of Darrow's situation: a Red who is a Gold/a Gold who is a Red.

What Darrow originally imagined as a simple infiltration and sabotage mission has become infinitely more complicated, and where his hard-learned lessons from RED RISING were painful, his mistakes in this newest installment are downright agonizing.

He makes those mistakes in both his personal and professional life, while you are forced to watch helplessly.

You watch helplessly as Darrow enters into an alliance with Jackal, and visions of


dance through your head.

You watch helplessly as Darrow continually keeps his friends at a distance, even as he acknowledges the potentially irreparable damage to the relationships.

You watch helplessly as the chaos of battle ensues, knowing something . . . something terrible . . . is about to happen.

And yet, once again, Brown was able to offset the trepidation and dread he made you carry along like travel companions with both well-placed hilarity, like Kavax au Telemanus, who feeds his pet fox jellybeans, and also with fascinating new details about the caste system Darrow is trying to overthrow, like a branch of Obsidians referred to as Stained.

So it was fantastic. GOLDEN SON will probably be my favorite book in 2015.


While Brown's ability to paint truly vivid pictures, and to elicit real emotions remains uncompromised, several details were still unclear to me by the end of book.

The Ash Lord. I did a word search in both books and found that, yes, he had been mentioned briefly in RED Rising as having nuked the world of Rhea into oblivion, and as being the minion of Octavia au Lune, the Sovereign Consul. Various mentions are made to his burning and pillaging in GOLDEN SON as well, but always in a seemingly offhand way so that I never really grasped what was supposed to be so terrifying about the man.

Yes, cerebrally I can comprehend that destroying an entire planet is a terrible thing, but I need meaningful details for something to matter, and in reference to the Ash Lord, there were none.


Then again, watching Alderaan get blown to bits never made much of dent either, so maybe I'm a sociopath. *shrugs*


Yes, I was fascinated by them, but I was never satisfied with the introduction of the Stained.

As far as we've been told, there are two kinds of Reds: underground slaves like Darrow, and those who live above ground and work as menial laborers. The distinction may or may not be arbitray (I have suspicions, but that's for another time). There are also several types of Golds, but the separations are self-imposed and based on achievement, or lack thereof, and are explained as such. If there are deviations within the other colors, we have yet to learn of them.

And yet, the Stained, a subdivision of Obsidians, are tossed at us as elite bodyguards without explanation. Elite bodyguards, who like the Ash Lord, inspire fear with only the mention of their name. In the first half of the book, they are an almost constant background presence . . . in the retinue of some Gold or another . . . making everyone inexplicably nervous . . . and then we find out why:

Ragnar Volarus.

Ragnar Volarus, "a dread creature stitched from shadow and muscle and armor, " and who is, incidentally, one of my new favorite characters. If there are any WHEEL OF TIME fans out there, Ragnar reminded me a lot of that honkin' myrddraal, Shaidar Haran. For the rest of you, that means he's a Stained to make even other Stained quake with fear, who seems capable of intelligent and independent thought, unlike other Obsidians and Stained who simply follow orders.

But regardless, we never learn the reason for the divide between Obsidian and Stained, and while that may seem a small thing, for an OCD reader (like myself), every, single time I read the word "Stained" on a page, and every, single time Ragnar was present, in the not-so-back of my mind, I was screaming, "Why? Why, why, whyyyyyy?"

It was a consistent distraction.

And I'm not going to harp on it, b/c nobody else (that I talked to) even picked up on it, but the scenario where we first met Ragnar . . . It (to me) bore a striking similarity to a certain memorable scene in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.

But all of those are piddly complaints. The only reason they warrant mentioning at all (except the STAR TREK thing, b/c that really bugged me), is b/c they are the reason I'm giving GOLDEN SON 4.5 stars instead of 5.0, when I thought the story and writing were even more compelling than in RED RISING, which I did give 5.0 stars. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Bottom line: Read it, read it NOW.

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)
Morning Star (Red Rising Trilogy, #3)
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
548 reviews34.7k followers
April 8, 2018
“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind - how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

It’s been three days I finished “Golden Son” and I still don’t know how I feel about it, let alone what I think about it. >_<
I’m just so confused and devastated and my heart is nothing but an empty void.

There seem to be three bloodydamn good reasons why I feel that way though:

1.) Pierce Brown ripped out my heart and gave it to the pitvipers.
2.) He broke my mind and didn’t leave any glue.
3.) His book shattered my soul and fractured it into tiny little pieces.

YES! “Golden Son” quite literally destroyed me and I have no idea how I’m supposed to survive the third book. I got so attached to all those characters and whenever something happened to them, I almost got a heart attack. The pacing was so fast, I barely managed to keep up with all those many plot twists and every time I thought I knew in which direction it was heading, the entire story line changed once again. To read this book was like playing chess without any rules. *lol* You have all the familiar chess pieces you need in order to play a decent game of chess, but your nice little figures never do what they are actually meant to do. It’s like they constantly give you the finger instead! XD

That’s so rude Pierce!!
So mean
and cruel
and painful!!!
You hear me?!
*mental breakdown*

Okay, okay I’m fine again. *clears throat*
Where was I again? Oh, yes the plot!

”How could so frail a girl have such a spirit, such a dream as freedom, when so many strong souls toiled and kept their heads down for fear of looking up?”

The plot:

”They say a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. They made no mention of the heart.”

After graduating from the Institute, Darrow Au Andromedus spent his last three years as a Lancer of House Augustus serving no other than Nero himself. Left to his own devices and without any guidance from Ares he didn’t just try his very best to find his way amongst his fellow Golds but also worked more than just hard to become an integral and important part of Nero’s forces. This however isn’t as easy as it seems and all it needs is a small mistake that’s able to destroy the good reputation he has built. After all there are plenty of enemies that want to get a piece of him, first and foremost Cassius au Bellona and his entire House which still holds a deadly grudge against him. With his loyal Howlers scattered all over the galaxy and only Roque at his side, the growing pressure on Darrow’s shoulders might soon become too strong to stand it any longer. Will he rise like a comet or will he tumble into red dirt?

”Your people. My people. We have languished in darkness. But there will come a day when we walk in the light. It will not come from their mercy. It will not come by fate. It will come when brave hearts rise and choose to break the chains, to live for more.”

The characters:

”We’re all just wounded souls, stumbling about in the dark, desperately trying to stitch ourselves together, hoping to fill the holes they ripped in us.”

This is the moment you enter my spoiler section. There will be lots of quotes and information about the individual characters and most definitely also way too many subjective emotions for your own good! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;-P


”I’ve seen her hanged a thousand times now as her martyrdom spreads across the worlds, city by city. Yet each time, it strikes me like a physical blow, nerve endings shivering in my chest, heart beating fast, neck tight just under the jaw. How cruel a life, that the sight of my dead wife means hope.”

Oh Darrow, my torn and insecure child! This boy is hurting so much, not just because of the things people are doing to him, but also because of his past, his current present and the things that might eventually happen in the future. He wears a burden that is too heavy for him but he still tries his best to stay strong, to keep on moving and to fight for the things he values. *sigh* He’s such a torn man, it’s exceptionally painful to watch. For instance Darrow still loves Eo and his family, but he also grew fond of some of his fellow Golds and to say he is walking a thin line between acceptance, betrayal and loyalty is actually putting it more than just mildly. In fact it doesn’t even get close to the truth! >_< That moment when he realised that Sevro knows about his true identity and accepts him the way he is, oh boy did it kill me!!! I was right there crying with him! <333 Darrow has a too gentle soul for what he’s about to do, but his determination and will are incredible! XD I loved how he treated Mickey and I’m really sorry for what happened to the poor Carver. I mean just like Darrow he’s a product of his environment and he certainly didn’t deserve to be abused by Harmony. Still, as much as I admire Darrow he definitely made some huge mistakes as well and I think the ending of “Golden Son” made that more than just clear!!! Urgh that ENDING!! I can’t even… T_T

”In so many ways, I’m still a boy, lost and afraid, seeking warmth and love. When I feel dirt, I honor Eo. And when I see fire, I remember the warmth and flicker of the flames across Mustang’s skin as we lay in our chamber of ice and snow.”

”He can’t say any more because I’m hugging him and crying. I sob and hold on to him, shaking, scaring him. He doesn’t move except to pat me on the head. All the weight falls from my shoulders. Someone knows. He knows and he’s here. He knows and he came to help me. To help me. I can’t stop shaking and saying thank you. Eo was right. I was right. “You are my friend,” I tremble out like a child. It almost makes him cry seeing me this way.”

”Because you’re my friend.” I bring his hands to my lips, kissing them gently as he looks up at me with hopeful eyes. “Weird as you are, wicked as you were. I know you want to be better. You want to live for more. We all do. And there’s not a place they could take one of my friends that I would ever abandon them.”


”Shame you don’t respect me enough to suppose that I have my own plan. You think I’m here because my aching loins thrust me into Bellona arms. Please. I’m no bitch in heat. I protect my family by any means necessary. Who do you protect but yourself?”

I don’t even dare to say it but I was kind of disappointed by Mustang in this book. I mean yes she’s still cheeky and she was one of the good guys, but after “Red Rising” I really would have expected her to play a more important role and to fight for her opinions and rights. First she decided to work for Octavia au Lune and then she became Cassius girlfriend?! Like seriously?! We all know what a - excuse my crude language - bitch Octavia is and to date Cassius because she thinks she might protect her family by doing so?! WTF!?!! Where is her fire?! Where is the snarky spark I loved so much?! She doesn’t have to resort to the typical tricks of a woman, she’s way better than that and the fact she chose to use her femininity instead of her strength, intelligence and will power was just frustrating. Truth be told I think Victra was a way better role model in this book! She didn’t care what others thought of her, she did what she wanted to and she took what she needed! Yup, I think I liked Victra more. *lol* Oh and don’t even get me started about Mustang’s reaction when she found out that Darrow is a Red!!! It’s like she wanted to support all the classes and change the system and then BAM! Darrow tells her he’s actually a Red and she hates him!? I mean yes she’s entitled to feel betrayed, everyone would do, but to react like that?! Preach water and drink wine, right?!

”If she gives me her heart, I’ll break it. My lie is too great to build a love upon. When she discovers what I am, she will reject me. Even if she could survive that, I would not.”

”The human spirit tries to break free, again and again, not in hate like the Dark Revolt. But for love. They don’t mimic each other. They aren’t inspired by others who come before them. Each is willing to take the leap, thinking they are the first. That’s bravery. And that means it’s part of who we are as people.”


”He stands quietly in his armor watching us, watching Roque hold the girl Sevro loves but has never told, the girl he could never have. The pain is raw and etched deep into the lines of his hawkish face. Impervious Sevro, immune to hurt, to sadness, to having his eye gouged out by Lilath, the Jackal’s lieutenant; it all falls on him now.”

I still L.O.V.E that boy to bits and pieces!!! He’s truly the best thing about this series!!! <333 Sevro is the best friend anyone can have and he’s so damn loyal and gentle it’s a pleasure to watch! Yes, I said gentle!! Because behind all his rabid-wolf-attitude and the tough façade he shows to others, he’s actually the sweetest and kindest soul ever! Plus I love his humour!!! XD And just like Darrow I seem to have a weakness for men with only one eye and a really sassy demeanour. (Yes Lucien I’m talking about YOU here!! ;-P) I wasn’t really surprised to find out that he’s half Red, I have to admit that Fitchner’s true identity threw me though. *lol* Who would have thought Fitchner had it in him? Well, I certainly didn’t! XD

”Audentes fortuna juvat,” Sevro chuckles.
“Fortune favors the bold? You deserve to die if that’s really going to be the last thing you say in this life.”

”Sevro?” I look around for him. He’s loitering around Pliny’s eyeball some twenty metres back. We turn to look at him and he shuffles his feet awkwardly.
”Can I …” He gestures to it.
“What?” Mustang asks.
“Can I have it?”
Mustang squints at him. “All yours.”
He scoops up the eyeball and jams it into his pocket, grinning merrily. He runs to catch up. “Collecting the set, hopefully.”

”I can’t do this without you.” After a desperate moment, “Are you with me? Sevro?”
He pulls back and wipes snot from his nose, muddying his face. Tears make lines in the mud as he looks up at me, voice cracking like a child’s. “Always, Darrow. Always.”


”We are not our station in life. We are us – the sum of what we’ve done, what we want to do, and the people who we keep close. You’re my dearest friend, Darrow. Mind that. No matter what transpires, I will protect you as surely as you would protect me if ever I needed it.”

Roque… my precious poet with principles. My kind spirit in a cruel world. OH GOD, I CAN’T EVEN!!! I knew this would come, I saw all the signs, Darrow’s betrayal, Quinn’s death, the fact Darrow shut him out of his inner circle over and over again. It was so damn hard to read!! Every little moment, every small action, every single word that left Darrow’s lips… it was poison for their friendship, poison for my poor Roque. Darrow should have tried to mend things between them, he should have given him time and an honest and long conversation but he did absolutely nothing and just left him out in the rain. Grief is a powerful emotion and it can change people in ways no one would have ever thought possible. Darrow of all people should have known this!!!! DAMN IT!!! Roque was so lonely and isolated, so broken… broken beyond repair and no one noticed. It’s really no surprise he did what he did…. I saw it coming, yet I still wasn’t prepared to face it. My heart is bleeding! I AM HEARTBROKEN! I feel so torn about Roque right now, but I can’t hate him. I can’t dislike him for what he did. He’s still my Roque. My gentle poet. *sobs* ARGH!! I hate Pierce Brown for making me feel this way. And how it happened in the end… I guess I finally have my answer how Roque made it through the passage…. I wish I would have never found out… It just hurts… T_T

”I didn’t mind that it was always about you, Darrow. That was what burned Tactus, but not me. I’m not in love with you like Mustang. I don’t worship you like Sevro or the Howlers. I was a true friend. I was someone who saw your light and your dark and accepted both without judgement, without agenda. And what did you do to me? You used me like a man uses a horse. I’m better than that. Quinn was better than that.”

”Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair,” he says, turning to glance over his shoulder. “We’ll talk again soon.”

A needle from his ring pricks my wrist. Gentle, like the kiss he now plants on my cheek.
“And thus go liars, with a bloodydamn kiss.”
One word shatters a thousand lies.

The Jackal:

”Come now, Father …”
“You are not my son.”
Adrius flinches. With those few words, Augustus releases something. And the small part of Adrius that held out hope to be loved disappears. He shakes off his humanity, leaving only the Jackal.

Cunning, cruel, conniving, relentless, heartless and creepy. In short: The perfect villain! Adrius is certainly a force to be reckoned with and this time around I actually truly and completely blame Darrow! He knew what he was getting himself into, he knew “The Jackal” wasn’t to be trusted, yet he still hoped his wrath wouldn’t reach him?! I mean what did he expect?! That the Jackal would stand aside while he became his father’s successor?! Didn’t the death of Leto teach him anything?! Adrius acted exactly the way I expected him to and I can’t believe Darrow actually fell for his trap! I don’t even want to know what he’s going to do with him… Knowing the Jackal it’s going to be cruel and savage though! >_<


“Golden Son” was brilliant and ingenious! It caused me to laugh, it caused me to cry and it thoroughly broke my fragile heart! *sobs* I think I’ll never get over that ending… never ever as long as I live. It’s just too gorydamn painful! T_T

This said, I actually must be a masochist because I really can’t wait to read the last book. *lol*
Thank you Pierce Brown, you successfully turned me into a sappy and weeping mess! ;-P
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.8k followers
June 2, 2022
Warning: Snarkiness ahead, which might be offensive to anyone who actually enjoys this series.

Everyone says the second book is better than the first, so I gave it a try. And I agree. If I squint hard enough, it is a smidge better. But it doesn't really improve enough to push it from "just ok" to "actually good" for me.

I appreciate that we are no longer inundated with the tedious worldbuilding of the first book, which does speed up the pacing of this one. It's more action-filled and less waxing poetic about the greatness of first-person narrator Darrow.

Yet, this book didn't really click with me. The vast majority of the plot feels like a space invader video game, with a constant stream of fights and skirmishes and battles, culminating in a boss fight. There's so much double-crossing and triple-crossing that it was hard to keep straight who were allies and who were enemies, with people switching allegiances frequently for small gains. All that constant side-changing made it hard to even care about anyone's motivations and reasons.

The other thing I'm not a fan of is how pretentious the writing style is. Where one simple sentence would suffice, Brown would instead supply five pompous sentences filled with flowery words, at the end of which the meaning is still not clear. At times, it's almost as if the author is so pleased with himself and his overwrought prose that he forgot what he's writing.

I very much doubt I'll continue onto the next book. Each book has been getting longer and longer, and I'm not getting enough out of them to make it worthwhile. I don't care to find out what happens to Darrow and his friends, which is probably a good sign that I should just stop and call it good.

See also, my thoughts on:
#1. Red Rising

Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 11 books7,644 followers
January 6, 2015
This comes out today. And you should read it because it's fucking awesome.

RTC when I'm done with my re-read and can find the words to do this beast justice.
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
February 2, 2015
This 5 star rating might come as a surprised to some of you who know how conflicted Red Rising left me. In fact, it's one of the only books I've read, but NOT rated. How often does that happen? Hmm... never. So how did I go from "unable to rate book one" to "loving book 2 something fierce"? The short and lazy answer is, I don't know. The long and complicated version is this review. Huzzah!

Golden Son is a remarkable improvement over some of the issues I had with Red Rising. The writing and plot are noticeably stronger. The characters are fleshed out more. The action and suspense are cranked up several more notches. Really, I couldn't ask for more in a sequel.

Fixed Issue #1: Super Slow Beginning

First off, unlike Red Rising where I struggled with the first 100 pages, Golden Son starts off strong with plenty of action to keep the reader interested. Since the pesky job of world  building has been taken care of long, it gave Brown the opportunity to focus on what really mattered: making heads roll. What surprised me with Golden Son was just how many heads actually did roll, but more on that later.

The majority of this novel focuses on Darrow outside the academy and the war he purposefully started. We find out a lot more about the Sons of Ares and the inner workings of the politics of the Golds. I was a little wary about that because a ton of political intrigue can lead to boredom. But in this case, that was not something that ever happened.

Fixed Issue #2: Treatment of Female Characters

My biggest issue with Red Rising was the treatment of female characters, specifically Mustang. I felt she was put into deliberate situations that forced Darrow to swoop in and save her lest her virtue be ruined. I'm so over that trope in books, so I was disappointed to see it in Red Rising.

The good news is that Brown clearly took more care with showing us Mustang's strength. (slight spoilers, but not really) There's one scene in Golden Son where Darrow finally has a chance to talk to Mustang after certain events have pulled them apart and she ends up close with Cassius. He claims that he understands how she must feel, but she quickly corrects him. This is my favorite scene in the entire book:
"Now, I'm sure you understand that I felt lost. One, because I thought I'd found someone special in you. Two, because I felt you were abandoning the idea that gave us the ability to conquer Olympus. Consider that I was vulnerable. Lonely. And that perhaps I fell into Cassius's bed because I was hurt and needed a salve to my pain. Can you imagine that? You may answer."

I squirm on my cushion. "I suppose."

"Good. Now shove that idea up your ass." Her lips make a hard line. "I am not some frill-wearing tramp. I am a genius. I say this because it is a fact. I am smarter than any person you've met, except perhaps my twin. My heart does not make my brain a fool."

I really love how confident Mustang is in that scene and how unashamed she is about it. In that same scene, she goes on to tell him that he is not as invincible as he thinks and how he needs her if he has any hope of winning the war.

I just really wished Darrow listened more.

Fixed Issue #3: Darrow's a Super Gary Stu

This can't be denied. No matter how much I admit to liking Red Rising, there was no doubt about it: Darrow was a Gary Stu in every possible way. He's The One. The Only One who can bring down the Golds and help the Reds rise. He can overcome any situation, no matter how horrible or impossible. I can completely see why this may bother some readers even if the novel contains intense fight scenes and dramatic rescues. It just gets to a point where you start to say, "COME ON ALREADY."

Golden Son completely crushes that. Right from the first scene in the book, we see Darrow failing at something important and non one wants anything to do with him besides Roque. It was a little jarring to see Darrow that low, considering how far he had fallen. But shortly after, Brown played an interesting hand that *somewhat* annoyed me and the Gary Stu-ness returned in Full Gundam Force. However, just like in Red Rising, this didn't bother me much because I was too focused on fact that Darrow was busy giving someone the ass beating of a lifetime. What can I say? Priorities, I've got them.

What's interesting is how the other characters continually call Darrow out on his apparent invincibility several times. My favorite one being this quote:
“You are but a mortal," Roque whispers in my ear, riding his horse alongside the chariot, as per tradition.
"And a whorefart," Servo calls from the other side.
"Yes," Roque agrees solemnly. "That too.”


When the ending finally came, I realized Brown had me right where he wanted me (get your minds out of the gutter). After thinking that Darrow could pull through out of anything that opposed him, I was not prepared for the ending. Truly, the last 25% of this novel is what bumped my rating from 4 starts to 5. There was so much death in that scene that it made Red Rising look like child's play. And that took balls. It made me angry, shocked, confused and immensely distraught. I absolutely have no idea how Darrow is supposed to pull through this mess. It's that bad.

My feelings are so conflicted about the ending, it can only be described by way of Kanye and Jay-Z lyrics.

Ball so hard.
Dat shit cray.

Then there's my ship. Mustang and The Reaper. I really need this to work out. This is my OTP. My ship that I might just go down with. Unfortunately, Brown hasn't said anything to calm my fears and I'm sitting on the edge of my seat in fear.

 photo Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 2.31.57 PM_zpszmnmaqep.png


More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
July 1, 2023
Golden Son has officially wrecked me. I'm actually checking my pulse right now to make sure I'm still alive.

Status unclear.

Picking up approximately 2-years after the events of Red Rising, we continue to follow our intrepid hero, Darrow au Anadromedus, also known as, The Reaper.

His secret war against the Golds, rages forth. The ultimate goal of which is to demolish the status quo.

Full of the same action-packed, pulse-pounding battle scenes as the first book, this installment amps up the level of political intrigue.

It left my head spinning, and yes, that's a good thing!

My favorite part of this continues to be the world-building. Brown has created a dark, dystopian world with all of the brutality of ancient Rome, but set in space.

As we all know, everything is better...

Additionally, the characters are compelling and well-fleshed out. Darrow is particularly riveting. I love his evolution as a character and have truly felt for him as he grapples with impossible decisions that ultimately end up haunting him.

It's hard to lead a revolution. Particularly one that is hidden. A proverbial snake in the grass, who can he trust with his secrets?

Darrow's pain and joy are visceral. I felt every moment.

Relationships are continuing to develop and as always, there is a healthy dose of back-stabbing and ruthless betrayals mixed in for good measure.

I am really looking forward to moving on with this story. My plan is to continue with the audiobooks. The narrator is Darrow to me.

They couldn't have selected a better voice artist! So well done.

If you haven't picked up this genre-bending series yet, I cannot recommend it highly enough!
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
March 9, 2018
What do you live for?

Money? Fame? Glory? Love? Family? Ambition?
For the autumn leaves that rustle under your feet? For the smell of the soil after rain? For the juicy peaches that melt in your mouth? For the sound of the tumultuous waves when they reach the shore? For the laughter of a child that views the world as a wonder?

Darrow au Andromedus fights for the freedom, the opportunity to live for the above. For an oppressed people that hides in the shadows of the so-called superiors for centuries. But in order to escape the monster, you either hide or fight. And fighting is the path, the painful, bloody, sinister path Darrow chose. Betray your friends. Scheme with your enemies. Rise next to people who stole your everything. Alienate those who genuinely care about you. And in doing so, become the monster yourself.
“We are not our station in life. We are us - the sum of what we've done, what we want to do, and the people who we keep close.”

Darrow is a Peerless Scarred now, but he's not even close to his mission; destroy the Society, and the Colours, before the Society destroys him. After an unfortunate incident in the Academy his position is precarious, and Nero au Augustus is ready to renounce him and leave him unprotected against the Bellonas, the powerful family that wants his head on a silver platter. But then the Sons of Ares reemerge, giving him orders too cruel to follow, and Darrow realises that the way to make the Society fall apart is civil war.
And so it begins.

“Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.”

Red Rising was a superb debut that set the standards for the sequel very high. You all know the dreadful term 'middle book syndrome', right? Well, forget it, because instead of a lame, weak second book, the genious called Pierce Brown gave us a masterpiece.

As the story progressed, and Darrow had to make difficult decisions for the sake of his mission, I mourned him; I mourned every piece of his soul, of his conscience, of the past Darrow he had to sacrifice in order to make Eo's dream come true, and give a future to those who were denied it. Sometimes he was lost beyond redemption, a cocky, brutal Gold that stabbed his friends in the back and led armadas and thousands of people to their death with a simple order. But some other times, those rare moments he chose to trust, to protect the weak, to arm a terrifying giant and make love to the girl who stole his heart, he was a fiery Red. In the end, Darrow is both. The amagalm of two cultures, the weapon to divide only to unite.

“Rise so high, in mud you lie.”

Golden Son is focused on war and politics, plots and treason that put you on constant alert. Pierce Brown imagined and brought to life vivid, heartpounding space battles and massacres, he crafted high-tech spaceships and luscious palaces brimming with poisonous snakes. He introduced radiant new characters -let's take a moment to appreciate Victra and the glorious House Telemanus - and explored old ones, giving them voices and backrounds and motives and actions that shook you to the core. The death toll was extremely high. The nameless lives lost unimaginable. But this battlesong of deviousness and blood was injected with moments of jolly laughter and camaraderie that made your shields crack, and a ray of sunlight crawled into your petrified insides. There were also a couple of scenes so powerful and raw, in their simple gestures and scarce dialogues, that make you sob and feel and want to reach for Darrow and hold his hand. There was grandeur in those scenes. In the entirety of this magnificent, soul-ripping book.
“Hic sunt leones. Here be lions.”

But except from lions, there are also jackals. And in kindness, there is malice. Darrow kept friends at arm's length and miscalculated people, only to pay with blood in the astounding, devastating ending that shred my soul to pieces. Please, please, please , read this series. And trust Pierce Brown to lead you to a dangerous journey that will stay with you for a while.

[Source of this gorgeous Red Rising fan art]

*You can find this review and more on BookNest!*
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
302 reviews40.2k followers
January 21, 2018
Rating: 4.5 stars

It's hard to believe that there can be even more action after Red Rising, but lo and behold! My heart breaks for these characters... they have loved and lost so much, but they just keep on fighting for what they believe is right.

It was great spending more time with this crew, and meeting some fantastic new characters, too! I love Darrow's brain - he comes up with the most clever, and often crazy, plans, and it was so much fun (yet stressful) seeing them unfold.

Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews45 followers
March 14, 2022
Golden Son (Red Rising #2), Pierce Brown

Golden Son is a 2015 science fiction novel, by American author Pierce Brown, the second in his Red Rising trilogy. The sequel to 2014's Red Rising, Golden Son continues to follow lowborn Darrow's plan to destroy the Society from within. The third novel, Morning Star, was published in February 2016.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه مارس سال2017میلادی

عنوان: پسر زرین - کتاب دوم از سه گانه قیام سرخ؛ نویسنده: پیرس براون؛ برگردان: مهنام عبادی؛ ویراستار: نیما کهندانی؛ تهران، نشر بهداد، سال1395؛ در401ص؛ شابک کتاب دوم9786008203469؛ در401ص؛ چاپ دوم نشر باژ، سال1396؛ در378ص؛ چاپ سوم نشر باژ، سال1396؛ در401ص؛ شابک جلد دوم سال9786008941064؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

کتاب اول: قیام سرخ؛ کتاب دوم: پسر زرین؛کتاب سوم: ستاره سپیده دم؛

حماسه‌ ی بی‌نظیر «دارو»، سرکشی که کتاب نخست از سه گانه (قیام سرخ) را شکل داده، اینبار در کتاب «پسر زرّین» ادامه می‌یابد؛ تا او برای رهبری مردمان سرکوب‌ شده‌ ی خویش؛ و رهایی همگان از دست سرورانِ آینده‌ ای که بر روی کوه‌های دروغ بنا شده است، مبارزه کند؛ «دارو» حالا در طبقه‌ ی حکمرانان زرین پذیرفته شده است؛ او مسئولیت خود را ادامه می‌دهد، تا حکومت را از درون، به ورطه‌ ی نابودی بکشاند؛ و ...؛ «پسر زرّین»، روایت انتقامی سرگردان میان زندگی و مرگ است، که قهرمانی فراموش‌نشدنی در قلب خود دارد، و اجازه می‌دهد «پیرس براون» همچنان به عنوان یکی از صداهای جوان و هیجان‌آورِ ژانر فانتزی شناخته شود؛ کتابهای این سری را با سری کتابهای: «ارباب حلقه ها»؛ و نیز با سری کتابهای: «نغمه آتش و یخ»؛ برابر مینهند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 06/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 22/12/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Mike's Book Reviews.
149 reviews6,239 followers
March 3, 2023
Full video review here:

(Updated 2023 video review above)

I'm not sure there's enough I can say about this book that would do it justice. After feeling lukewarm about the first book, Golden Son gave me everything I hopes when I began the series. I like my Games with less Hunger and more Ender, and this one delivered just that. Incredible action, deeply emotional character connections, stunning betrayals, and exactly the sci-fi adventure I've been looking for. This series went from one I wasn't certain I'd continue to one I can't get enough of now. The highest of recommends and the best science-fiction novel I've read since Ender's Game.
Profile Image for Samantha.
441 reviews16.8k followers
November 3, 2017
I am never emotionally prepared for this series but I am even less emotionally prepared for that cliffhanger.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,607 reviews5,995 followers
January 31, 2015

Two years after Red Rising left off we meet the Reaper/Darrow again. He has moved on to the Academy-He is the Golden child right? Then right as he tastes that brass ring; it gets yanked away.
That's one thing about the Red Rising stories. They will twist you into a million different knots before they destroy you.

If your heart beats like a drum,
and your leg's a little wet,
it's 'cause the Reaper's come
to collect a little debt.

In this book I didn't love Darrow-sometimes I found him just plain whiny or inconsistent (yes, I know he was supposed to be that way-doesn't mean it didn't get on my nerves). The star of these book as was in the last book..Sevro and the Howlers. Sevro makes no apologies for who he is. He will either end up cutting your throat or cussing you out, or maybe just both.

I don't know why I'm rambling on. There is no explaining this book. I give up to it. Just read it and buckle your seatbelt..Because it's going to be a bumpy ride.

I received an arc copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Now what am I going to read? Destroyed for all other books at this moment.
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,315 followers
February 10, 2017
❝My son, my daughter, now that you bleed, you shall know no fear, no defeat, only victory. Your cowardice seeps from you. Your rage burns bright. Rise, warrior of Gold, and take with you your Color’s might.❞

THAT ENDING. I AM SPEECHLESS. I don't even know what to say. This book was full of surprises. Literally. I did not see any of this coming. This series just keeps getting better and better. You'd think that Golden Son would suffer the "book before the finale" syndrome but NOPE. Not even close. Pierce Brown just set us up for one of the most epic finales ever. I just know it.

My poor Darrow. My heart breaks for him so much. He's lost so much and he's been betrayed so many times. I can't handle this. All my favorite characters, everyone, is NOT safe and it scares me so much. Please protect my babies!

And let me just say that I ship Darrow and Mustang 1000%. I ship them so much, it literally hurts. Mustang is a goddess and I hope she finally comes to her senses soon!


I can't even write a proper review because that ending just destroyed me and now I have to go binge read the finale. BYE.
Profile Image for Edward.
377 reviews1,013 followers
February 6, 2023
Re-read - somehow even BETTER than I remembered.

Holy Moly that was a real ending. I'm pretty gobsmacked. This is an absolutely phenomenal read.

Even though I wasn't mad on the beginning, Golden Son really ironed out any issues I had with Red Rising, developed the already great characters and threw in some amazing twists and turns. Not to mention that the ending was incredible, my heart was in my mouth.

5 gory damn stars.
Profile Image for Luna. ✨.
92 reviews1,236 followers
May 8, 2017

What a fun Buddy Read with team Howlers; Speedy eye Oppa, Whorefart Aga, Dewi, Minxy & Voldemort

'If your heart beats like a drum and your leg's a little wet, it's 'cause the Reaper's come to collect a little debt.'

that ending...... That MOTHERFUCKING ENDING.









Hear that sound? Relax. it's just the sound of my mind being blown and my brains splattering the walls.


Holy balls is right folks. How the hell did the author think of such an awesome ending?!

Sweet baby Jesus it's been 24 hours since I finished and I need a whole bottle of wine (to myself). This goddamn book has killed me, I am now currently deceased. Sorry but I have to say it again; THAT ENDING.. I have honestly in my whole 24 years of existence, never been so mind blown before. That cliffhanger left me breathless, strained & stressed, as soon as I put this book down I ran into my lounge room like a possessed mad woman and tore book three off the shelf and started straight away. I thought book one was good, book two was even better! *puts on favourite shelf and starts worshipping for eternity*

Warning and an apology in advance for anyone reading this rubbish. I'm actually at a lost for words, so this is just word vomit. I feel like if I vomited out a pile of dog shit it would be coherent & more interesting then this review.

“You are but a mortal," Roque whispers in my ear, riding his horse alongside the chariot, as per tradition.
"And a whorefart," Servo calls from the other side.
"Yes," Roque agrees solemnly. "That too.”

Did I read that shit correctly or are my eyes deceiving me... A whorefart?! I'm pissing myself & stealing this brilliant saying.

I'm so glad this surpassed my expectations. I thought I hated space opera turns out I secretly love it, all thanks to this book. I enjoyed this book more then book one, all because it felt more spacey. In book one the competition on Mars felt like Earth to me so it was kinda unoriginal. I'm happy I can't say that about this book, it felt like a proper Sci-Fi. I loved the space ships I loved the pulse weapons I actually just loved everything, the world building was fantastic, the character development (especially Darrow) was so realistic and awesome & it was so exciting the action didn't stop once. I'm also happy to say I've grown use to the first person POV now and it isn't bothering me at all now, I find comfort in Darrows POV for some reason, mainly because I know he is a crazy dude and he will fuck the golds up. So I'm happy to safely say this book was more my cup of tea then book one, it had more fighting & action. We also didn't go through 200 pages of information dumpage. *phew wipes sweat from forehead*

I couldn't get enough of Darrow in this instalment, it was so refreshing to see him fail & go through hell for the second time. (Yay?)

Also my baby, my darling, my Sevro. I swear I'm jealous of other women liking him, I love him that much and he isn't even real. There were some moments in this book i truly adored. Like when him and Darrow confess everything to each other what a wonderful heart warming bromance. Also his entrance towards the beginning *heart eyes* I love HIM. *howls at the moon like a mad bitch*

“You're a sinister little shit, aren't you?" Victra asks.
"I'm Gold, bitch. What'd you expect? Warm milk and cookies just because I'm pocket sized?”

Also my new second favourite character of the series is.... drum roll please...... The big badass Ragnar, what a cool dude. He is like a space version of the bloody nine. I wanna see him go batshit & kill everyone.


"Like a sheep invited to a banquet in his honor thrown by wolves.”

I literally can't fault this book I'm just so happy, thrilled & impressed with the hottie known as Pierce Brown. Awesome book dude and if you ever see me at a convention prepare yourself. *wink*


Just take all my money Pierce Brown & give me more badassery and keep quenching my blood thirst. Please & thank you.


I do not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 16 no idea why this brutal masterpiece is on the fucking YA shelf. Should be military space opera or just plain old Sci - Fi.
Who I do recommend this to is everyone who loves a good blood bath, also I think just everyone on this planet should read this book it's awesome and full of so many unexpected twists. I think you would also enjoy this if your a whorefart like me.

Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
614 reviews764 followers
December 21, 2018

After the underwhelming and super unsatisfying Red Rising (which started out well then went downhills), Golden Son turned out to be a complete surprise in every aspect but one. And it would’ve been a solid 4⭐️ read, were it not for the characters.

The Plot:

Golden Son continues with Darrow’s quest for vengeance and retribution and right off the bat, it started out with some much needed humbling and a vicious learning experience for him, which hyped me up for the rest of the book because the constant unstoppable successes he’d been having and the whole 'too good to lose' thing was seriously getting far too much and plain unrealistic (the boy desperately needed some lesson in humility).

In comparison to RR, almost everything in Golden Son was a step up and I found the setup generally impressive. The stakes were higher, the need for vengeance even greater (though, personally, I didn't buy it), the balance of violence and the action was also a lot more even - with much more entertaining scenes of spaceship battles & combat with advanced weapons. We also find out a bit more about the Sons of Ares as well as the inner workings of the politics of the Golds, which I was pleased about.
So, generally, sounds great right? NO. Because while I enjoyed the plot (still could've done with a lot more edge but ima let that slide), my hate for Darrow and the rest of the characters grew a considerable amount.

The Characters:

Heavens, how I hated them! Which I still can’t understand because this book had all the types of characters (layered, flawed and morally-grey) that I'm always drawn to without fail but for some reason, I couldn’t get behind… these bunch.


Darrow — "The young man chosen to be the saviour of his oppressed people on Mars. The secret hero of the Red rebellion" *eyes rolling*. What hero?? All I saw was a know-it-all, endlessly arrogant kid, who quite literally, thinks he's a gift to humanity. If not the gift.
The road with him has been a difficult one, to put it mildly. And I will say this with absolute certainty - I would've enjoyed this book (series) a hell of a lot more if it’d been any other character but Darrow. I couldn’t stand him in Red Rising and I hated him even more in here.
For starters, and this only made matters worse because I HATE first-person narratives (with a few exceptions), I had endless problems with how he talked about himself and the perpetually smug way in which he interacted with others, or how he'd let it be known that he's "not one to be crossed", like, get over yourself. I got so tired of being inside his head that at some point, I think I succumbed to my rage and simply screamed - 'Just shut up, already!'

And those long-winded inner monologues about his constant inner struggles and “emotional distress” about what he’s doing and whether or not he's any different than the people he's trying to destroy. The majority of the book was spent on these constant back and forths with himself - Am I doing the right thing? have I gone too far? what makes me any different than the golds?
Then in a matter of seconds, he'd contradict himself by going on and on about how this is what has to be done, fortune favours the brave, sacrifices must be made, to then only flip over and repeat the same thing over again after a few more chapters. It was exhausting and I did not care for it one bit, nor did I buy it.

I get that this is an attempt to make his character appear more sympathetic despite all the shitty decisions he continues to make but, NO. It did not endear him to me and it only made him seem like an indecisive kid who didn’t know which way was up or... down.
Another thing that got under my skin was the lack of subtlety in the “emotional” dialogues between him and the rest of the cast, which I found none of it to be convincing.
all I saw in these characters was simply pride, arrogance and the need for control, which left me even more disconnected from them and the plot.


Mustang was… alright, under normal circumstances, I would’ve loved her. She’s an individual, smart, snarky, knows what she wants and stands by her decisions no matter how unpopular they may seem, so I don't understand why I couldn't connect with her. There was something so... exasperating and extremely arrogant about her that really got under my skin.
I didn’t hate her, I simply didn’t like her.


Somebody tell me if I've read the same book as everyone else because I don't get the hype here and I feel like the whole appeal was completely lost on me. However, unlike, Mustang, I didn't dislike Sevro nor did I find him annoying in any way. He was actually my favourite character in the book (with the bar so low, however, I question myself whether or not this is a compliment). I just didn’t get… the appeal. Plus, he was barely in the picture and I didn't get the right amount of time with him as I did with the others.

As for the rest of the characters, none is worth mentioning. With the exception of Lorn au Arcos, whom I really liked and who also gave me a plethora of reasons to hate Darrow even more. And since I can't get into it without spoiling some things, I'll just wrap this up right now.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,645 reviews1,512 followers
February 5, 2016
Re-read with some of my Glorydamn friends at Buddies Books and Baubles because there was a lot of stuff that went down in this and I need to relive it all going into Morning Star.

I'm glad I reread this since I had forgotten so much of what happened early on this this book. And even though I knew what was going to happen at the end and I knew it was coming and I was waiting for it to get there it still affected me so deeply and hurt just as much if not more than the first time.

I'm pretty sure Pierce Brown just stuck a knife through my heart all over again.


The good news is that I now only have to wait 4 days to see how the rest of this bloodydamn series plays out...instead of the year I had to wait before.


Original Review Dec 2014


Everyone is comparing this book/series to Hunger Games, Enders Game and Game of Thrones well I say screw that….THIS IS THE SERIES OTHERS WILL COMPARE THEIR BOOKS TO.

Step 1 - Read or Reread (trust me on this,
unless you read it in the last few
months) Red Rising
Step 2 - Find a quiet space and time to immerse
yourself in this book. Once you start
you will not want to stop.
Step 3 - Gather snacks, comfortable clothes,
pillows and blankets. You are not
going to want to get up for anything
Step 4 - Make sure to have your highlighter
ready there are so many great lines to
Step 5 - READ ALL THE WORDS!!!!!

 photo breakthechians_zps303ecfad.png

Pierce Brown has done it again and created fantastic, complicated characters in a new world with danger, betrayal, humor, epic battles, political intrigue and awesomeness around every corner. I had inklings and theories and suppositions throughout the entire book and I got a few right but most of the time I was so wrong and I loved all the surprises.

I’m not going to give any spoilers because I want everyone to be as surprised and blown away as I was by events as they happen.

 photo DarrowQuote_zps6a3b15c2.gif

Darrow - It has to be hard living in the middle of the enemy and not forgetting from time to time why you are there. He has a lot of personal growth to go through as he tries to find his way in this world with all the Golds. He will take some chances and I will cross my fingers that they all work out. Darrow is struggling to become the man he needs to be to lead his people out of a slavery they do not even know they are in and stumbling along the way I hold my breath rooting for him to win at every instance.

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If you felt the first book was Intense well I have to say that I believe this book to be even more so. But there are still so great characters to add humor and a human face to all of the events. I love Darrow and Mustang I ship them with the intensity of a thousand stars….but SERVO always steals the show for me.

Do you like bromances? I love them. True friendships that withstand anything and everything. Servo is the best friend a man like Darrow could have and he is even more crazy and fantastic in this book.

There are so many great characters in this book, some from the past and more introduced. Plus there was new interesting and exciting information on some of the other colors that we haven’t seen yet. I was drawn into the story and world even more this time around and it was bloodydamn great. New characters to love…RAGNAR and new characters to hate…______ (not telling).

AND THAT ENDING……What will I do as I contemplate for the next year how that is going to work out. I am all a twitter with anticipation.
 photo mind_zps2ca63e41.jpg

THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU to Del Rey publishing via Netgalley for the ARC for review

Profile Image for William Gwynne.
376 reviews1,713 followers
August 29, 2023
A review breakdown of Red Rising can be found here. Do check it out if you're interested - The Brothers Gwynne

“Amazing the power you have, when you’re bloody up to the sleeves and none of it is your own”

I thought Red Rising was great, but that it only really hit its stride about halfway through. Golden Son is different. After the initial reintroduction to characters and the standing of the plot as we always see at the beginning of a second instalment, Pierce Brown instantly hits the mark that he achieved in Red Rising. Golden Son sets off at the intensity and engagement that was achieved at the peak of Red Rising. It is a blood-pumping rollercoaster of a read that widens the scope and increase the stakes.


“Home isn’t where you’re from, its where you find light when all grows dark”

The plot has gone in such a different direction than I expected. There is no guessing what happens in this story. The twists and turns and surprises are constant, making this such an engaging, exciting and immersive read. It is great that whilst the plot juxtaposed my expectations so much, it made sense and it was not done purely to surprise the reader. The progression of this story was really brilliant, with the tension gradually building to such a satisfying and shocking conclusion. Alongside this, Pierce Brown manages to have such a fast paced story whilst balancing the plot so well with the other aspects of this story.

Some great new characters were introduced in Golden Son, as well as many favourites from Red Rising reappearing, and their character growth is executed so well, so that it does not just appear to be done for plot. Like the dialogue and plot, these characters appear to be natural and organic. Sevro, Ragnar, Mustang and Darrow really were explored well in Golden Son, with Darrow becoming much more likeable and less invincible, unlike in Red Rising where everything appeared to come off for him in some sort of deus ex machina fashion. I didn't mind that that happened in Red Rising, but his flaws in Golden Son made him such a great central character.

“Liars make the best promises.”

One of Pierce Brown's strengths is that you actually fear for the characters. He kills or injures so many members of the cast that you know no one is safe, and he does this consistently to his wide cast. This adds an extra tension, because you know he does not care about killing great characters, unlike most books where you are pretty sure who will be safe. Also, he will do this at any point in the story, so that every conflict Darrow enters, I'm worrying about everyone around him.

Pierce Brown adds an epic factor to Golden Son in which is a space opera series, bringing the setting to life, but in a manner that I believe would be a good initiation into science fiction for new readers, but also one that readers enjoy. Darrow rises up to be a central figure in much larger scale battles, as well as intense smaller scale conflicts as well.

“Wise men read books about history. Strong men write them.”

Golden Son is a fantastic second instalment to the Red Rising Saga, and was in my opinion much more consistent and refined than its predecessor. The characters are crafted in a masterful fashion, with the constant danger to their lives and the wider arc of Darrow's pursuit for vengeance creating constant tension that matches the pace throughout. In Golden Son, Pierce Brown struck a great balance between the character, plot and action, with the smooth prose full of historical allusions adding an additional layer of enjoyment and a depth to the world Darrow exists in.

*Loved my reread even more!**

Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,119 followers
June 15, 2020
Bloodydamn!!! What an epic second instalment.


What do you suppose they would think of us?” I ask. “Of man?” “I suppose they would think we’re beautiful, strange and inexplicably horrible to one another.

This series has me hook line and sinker! Darrow and his band of loyal friends are planning to destroy their enemies.
Meanwhile Darrow has agreements and plans with The Jackal, The Sons of Ares and Augustus. He can’t follow through with them all. But the real question is, who is deceiving him?

Twist after twist. We never know who will do what, or who will die next. It’s constant, edge of your seat battles and politics and I could not get enough!

And when we get to the end I was blown away. I honestly didn’t see that coming at all and it made me so mad! I ordered book 3 immediately because I cannot wait!
Profile Image for Dorreh.
63 reviews201 followers
November 28, 2016
Oh wow, holy mother of bloody/gory damn hell on earth, Mars, Venus and Pluto! What did I just read??!!!!!

This book surpassed the first quite evidently. It was clear from the beginning this would be a great book.

The story picked up where the first book ended, but not quite. The story picks up with a several year gap, where the characters have recovered from the institute and are now members of the active society. They have had a chance to mature and become the people they were meant to be. I think this is what caught me of guard most. The young and relatively naive children of the first book are now the experienced adults with a hidden agenda.

The book wasn't enthralling simply because it was exciting and nerve wrecking, but to me the unpredictability was so enticing. Just when you thought all is well, some major disaster strikes. That ending was the biggest plot twist ever. I mean yes I assumed that things wouldn't go so simple and easy, but I definitely did not expect THAT!

I have complaints though, so so many! First of all, Roque, really? Kind hearted, faithful, poetic Roque?!?! He of all people should not have been the one to betray everything in the end. And then there was Victra, I mean yes, although I was ship mustang/Darrow, I fell in love with Victra all the same. There was a place in my heart for the feisty girl with a soft spot for the revolutionary trouble maker with a love for the smell of wet stone. I think her end is what outraged me the most in all of this.

In reviewing the first book, I compared this to "game of thrones" and this book only proved how right that analogy was. The concept of betrayal and death gives this book a shark edge, one I've only ever seen in GOT. The anticipation of knowing anyone could betray anyone and that anyone could be killed by any other anyone was the true metaphorical experience of waking on a blades edge. It made every page as exciting as the first, and every sentence a plausible death or life decision.

There is a general down to earth reality in the characters of this book that captured my attention since book one. It's like they understand that the deeper darker side of them is controlling them more times than not. It lead me to feel for the characters more than I have in most books that I have read. It's gives them a touch of realism that is ever so lacking in modern fiction. There is always darkness, it's just a matter of which side we fight harder to stay on. It's a constant struggle, they are not some magical heroes of morality born into the light, they are human beings struggling to understand what's right.

Overall I adored this book, and yes even though I have been giving out a lot of high stars lately, I think this one is probably my favorite book since 2015. Can't wait to finish morning star and see what finally happens!!!!!!
Profile Image for Natasha Polis.
70 reviews13.6k followers
October 22, 2015
I finished this baby awhile ago, and loved every action packed minute. I'm anticipated Morning Star this February!!!
Profile Image for Lucia.
735 reviews818 followers
December 18, 2021
Profound and thought-provoking, this novel will rarely allow you to catch your breath with its fast-paced and nerve-wracking atmosphere. Pierce Brown stayed true to all what made me love Red Rising and even upped the game. I couldn't have wished for a better sequel.

"For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword."

In Golden Son, Darrow continues in his quest of infiltrating into Society ruled by Golds, so he can gain freedom for his people. What used to be life to death "game" between students is now even deadlier real life fight that touches all Colors in Solar System. This sequel had different pace, setting and feel than its predecessor, yet I knew I was reading the same story. And I loved it even more.

Characters. Depiction and development of characters in this series is outstanding and after reading this book I truly believe that Pierce Brown knows no bounds when it comes to creating fascinating characters. Character-wise, I learnt my lesson in first book - do not get attached. Because besides action, philosophy and politics; this novel is full of deceits, twists and betrayals. What happens when lines between friends and enemies are blurred? Whom can Darrow really trust?

Writing style has this special melancholic and gutsy quality into it. It fits Darrow's character perfectly. It feels like it truly mirrors his deepest thoughts and moods without any sort of prettification or reserves. It's probably main reason why I feel so connected to Darrow, why I love his character so much. His souls is stripped bare on the pages of this novel, his personality hardened by the life-events he had to go through and it's up to readers to decide whether they accept Darrow the way he is or not. Author does not make excuses. And author definitely does not shy away from despair, brutality and all forms of raw emotions when telling Darrow's story.

"Were I still the man Eo knew, I would have stood frozen in horror. But that man is gone. I mourn his passing every day."

Storytelling. Pierce Brown excels at it and he secured top place among my favorite authors with his madly bloodydamn good storytelling skills. There is nothing I love more than author's ability to completely consume my thoughts and transfer me into the world he creates on the pages of his novel so I feel like I am right there experiencing everything together with the characters. Pierce Brown achieved that with Red Rising and now with the Golden Son as well. I have never read better thought-out story with such an attention to minor details than this one and I can't wait to find out what has Mr. Brown prepared for us in the final book of this phenomenal trilogy!

*ARC provided by publisher as an exchange for honest review*

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
Profile Image for Kyle.
168 reviews59 followers
July 25, 2016

Epic roller coaster ride from start to finish! I'd have given it 6 stars if I could.

At the end of the first book of this trilogy, Darrow Au Andromedus, after winning the Institutes barbaric challenge, kneels before his enemy and agrees to become his adopted son. The second book in the trilogy begins two years later with Darrow at the head of a fleet of warships battling a simulated war against house Bellona's oldest son Karnus for victory in the graduation test of the Academy.

I won't spoil even the first chapter for you. But this author knows how to take you from highs to lows to highs to lows and back again. There were times I wanted to scream "Yeah!!!!" and others when I wanted to throw my tablet across the room. I couldn't help but relate with Darrow in the first book and that continued and deepened in the second. The love he has for his friends continues to grow, as he also gains other friends. He feels terrible guilt because he's constantly having to lie to them about who he really is. The guilt eats at him throughout the novel. I thought it made him so real. I think anyone in that situation would feel the same.

The writing was amazing. When there was betrayal, it came as a shock. When there was a twist or turn, I was surprised that I didn't see it coming. Which is so refreshing! It seems so many authors think they have to foreshadow things. Prepare our fragile hearts for the shock like we can't take it if they don't. I think there is nothing better than reading something and going "BEEEELP!!!" There was enough of that in this book to make it easily my favorites of all time. Seriously, I think I finally read a book that has dislodged Ender's Game as my favorite book of all time.

Grade A, absolutely fantastic material. Definitely a MUST READ!

To read my review of the other books in this series, use the links below:

Book One: Red Rising
Book Three: Morning Star
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