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Red Rising Saga #3

Morning Star

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

Finally, the time has come.

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

526 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 9, 2016

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About the author

Pierce Brown

51 books32.7k 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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Displaying 1 - 30 of 13,846 reviews
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 90 books232k followers
September 24, 2016
When I'm starting a big multi-volume story, one of the big concerns isn't just if the individual books are good. And it's not just whether or not the books work well as a series. (Because a series is different than a multi-volume story.)

No. The big issue with a multi-volume story is how the *whole* thing wraps up. And as anyone who ever watched the Matrix movies knows, the final part of a trilogy can, in effect, go back in time and ruin the previous otherwise enjoyable story.

I'm happy to say that this multi-volume work rounds out very nicely. (Honestly, I probably wouldn't have talked about it here at all if it ended as a train wreck.) Meaning that you can read the series confident that you aren't going to get screwed by some "it was all just a dream" bullshit, or something to that effect showing up in the last book.

Not only is the series well-written. But it has a lot more complexity than I'd originally expected. Both in the characters, the plot, and in its morality. And personally, I'm a big fan of complexity.

The other thing that really stands out is the fact that the books are unpredictable without being irritating or disappointing. I'm pretty good at anticipating where a story is going to go, and these books constantly zigged when I expected them to zag. But (and this is a really important note) while the ziggs the book took were surprising, they were always sensible and fit smoothly into the overall narrative and world.

So yeah. Good books. Good trilogy. Unpredictable. Clever. Well-written. Very much worth your time.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,469 reviews9,632 followers
September 1, 2020
FairyLoot Edition!! And then them put together to show the scythe!


God!!!!!!!!! This book was so freaking good I can't even people! But there were more deaths. There always are, but I had forgotten on purpose some of the deaths. One damn near broke my heart.

One of my loves is gone..... I have to stop loving people in books, damn it!

The crew is fighting all of the evil peeps once again and it finally comes to a head. A few heads.

Re-reading these books on audio has brought me right into the world where it just got me on the edge the first time I read them. They are one of my favorite trilogies now and we have a saga taking the books farther. I'm going to be stressed so much on these next three books. How many more of my loves are going to be killed. How many more people am I going to fall in love with and then they die or maybe not.

There were so many parts in the book I wanted to kill the bad people myself. It was so horrible I can't even stand it! And I was a little mad at Mustang for things she did but I also understand too. I know that doesn't really makes sense but there you have it.

The ending made me cry so much. Good tears and that's all I have to say.

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.

little Pax . . .

Happy Reading!

Mel ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

**Old Review**

I have to get this off my chest first. When I got halfway or a little more than halfway (hell I don't know) through the book I wanted to toss it!

and then I wanted to jump into the book with my clones and take them all out!

and then the way things were done and the way someone was ripped apart and then the ending I was like okay fine.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooo, I'm not going to say what led me to all of these issues. <--- whatever you want to call them.

Moving on. In the beginning there is a good amount of torture that happened to one of our main characters. They were finally saved about a year later. I didn't like how was of the saviors was killed because of stupidity, but that is neither here nor there.

There was a death that I wasn't happy with at all and I would have traded that death for another in the crew, but that's neither here nor there either.

The ending was pretty sweet though, I mean I can't deny that and if you have read or do read the book then you will or know what I'm talking about. Pax. . . .

I wanted to slap about a million people just getting to the end game though! Accept Sevro, his wit made the book awesome. =)

I have to say again, the death of one of the evil people was sooooooooooo good. I could re-read that over and over! And the death of another evil person was pretty good too. No one helped them die <-- only the ones that have read this will know what I mean by that unless you forgot :-D

Either way, good ending.

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,523 followers
Want to read
August 10, 2016
If the zombie apocalypse happens before this book is released I will never forgive you, Pierce.
Profile Image for Petrik.
675 reviews43k followers
May 26, 2023
This review is a copy of the transcript of my video review on Morning Star and Red Rising Trilogy.

Morning Star is an absolutely prime conclusion to the first trilogy in Red Rising Saga, my favorite sci-fi series of all time to date.

“If this is the end, I will rage toward it.”

I don't usually create an updated review on a reread. Even after rereading a book, with the exception of grammatical fixes, I tend to leave my first review of a specific book untouched. This way, on the reread, I can look back and observe my past reaction and thoughts on the first time I read that book, then I can compare them. But I can't do that for this book. It would be an injustice. Morning Star deserves a rare exception. I first read Morning Star and the entirety of the first trilogy in Red Rising Saga within nine days, on January 2017. That was more than six years ago. Sleeping hours were sacrificed back then, as it was sacrificed again on my second read, and it was all bloodydamn worth it. On my first dive, I was adamant about Golden Son as the reigning champion of the entire series, and this notion lives even after I read Iron Gold and Dark Age. But there is a change in the equation now. On this second dive into the story of Darrow and the individuals surrounding him, I am pleasantly surprised to say Morning Star is now my favorite volume in the entire Red Rising Saga series so far, up to Dark Age. If you love science fiction or space opera series, I urge you to read Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown.

“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.”

The plot in Morning Star begins a year after the traumatizing end of Golden Son. Brown weaved an intensely unpredictable storyline through his empathizing characters, devastating betrayals, deadly political machinations, and space opera bloodbath. However, this does not mean the narrative was all battles and actions like in Golden Son. There were solemn and slower moments to let the events and hardships the characters went through settle in. I remember the first time I read Morning Star, I was slightly disappointed with the relatively slower pacing of the novel. I mentioned I preferred the non-stop exhilaration of Golden Son. I will have to retract the statement. Binge-reading the first three books in Red Rising Saga might have led me to feel impatient to turn the page faster because I wanted to know what happened next, and I cannot deny I failed to appreciate the deep and mature themes of the series during my younger state six years ago. And now, I have absorbed these emotional and resonating themes like a sponge on my second read.

“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.”

We are humans, and we are, in a way and on some level, broken with rage, regret, and pain. The first trilogy in Red Rising Saga is supplied with war, bloodshed, sorrow, and loss. But it never plunged into becoming a grimdark sci-fi series. Brown made it clear that some of the most integral main themes of the trilogy are to gain the determination to fight what you can’t control. To overcome oppression but never lose sight of the most precious aspects of your life. Family, legacy, loyalty, redemption, friendship, and love. These are not options. These are necessities. A driving force and strength to replenish the empty space in our hearts. Broken bonds can be mended. Mistakes can be redeemed. There isn’t a better way for me to reinforce this aspect than to let you hear what Brown said about this subject.

"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."

And personally speaking, this is why I feel I can easily connect with Darrow’s story and struggle in the trilogy. Another theme that has been there since the first book is friendship, and its importance is made extravagantly evident in Morning Star. It is the core of the series.

“A man thinks he can fly, but he is afraid to jump. A poor friend pushes him from behind... A good friend jumps with.”

Picture: Morning Star by Tommy Arnold

Darrow was 16 years old at the beginning of Red Rising, and he is now 23 years old in Morning Star. A LOT has happened since the Golds came to bring him war. And Darrow and many characters in the series have received substantial character development and went through life-changing events. Darrow, Sevro, and Ragnar remain my favorite characters in the series. Especially Darrow and Sevro. I found their unbending friendship an utter delight to read. I have read more than 600 books since the first time I read Morning Star, and on this revisit, I realized extensively just how extremely well-written their friendship was. Darrow and Sevro are my favorite bromance/duo in speculative fiction. At the very least, it is up there with Fitz and The Fool from The Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb, Royce and Hadrian from The Riyria books by Michael J. Sullivan, or Locke and Jean from The Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch. It is that good. And my vast investment in these characters, plus the addition of Brown's merciless plotting, allows me to seamlessly enter the pages of the novels and experience the terror of adversity the characters endured. Reader's emotions and investment are Brown's toys, and playing around with them is Brown's spectacular expertise.

“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.”

For the superbly written protagonists and antagonists, their journey finds closure here. Some will live; some will die. And that, in my opinion, is a good thing to have in stories. No matter how much I love a character, I need to feel a sense of urgency in what they are fighting for. I need to know they’re not protected by the “author’s immortality barrier,” as many stories did. I need to feel that what they’re fighting for could truly cost their lives, and their actions will always have repercussions. Especially in a series like Red Rising Saga that deals with war, vengeance, and destruction resulting in thousands of casualties.

“Shit escalates” –Sevro au Barca

Not all SFF books need to have the authors killing off their characters, but in the hundreds of books I have read since I read Morning Star, it is shocking how few authors are willing to kill off their characters. It’s war! One of the most horrific acts of violence. The kindness and courage of a character shouldn’t mean they’re safe from danger and death. If a favorite character of mine dies for a good cause, and I feel sad or angry about it, that’s bloodydamn good. It means the author has succeeded in making me emotionally invested in the characters, and it also launched the story toward an unpredictable path that enhances the tension and stakes of the narrative. Some of my favorite authors of all time do this. And I am confident in including Pierce Brown in the list. He is not afraid to kill off his characters when necessary, and I personally assess that a strength every storyteller should possess. This is not exclusive to books but to all forms of storytelling mediums.

“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.”

Characterizations and character development were never neglected, and in the meantime, Brown's intricate world-building and complexity improved consistently with each book in the series. New planets, cultures, rules of hierarchy, and scientific devices/weapons are established and explored in every volume. And the action scenes seem to get better and better in accordance with the overall quality of each book in the first trilogy. Brown excels at writing gripping action sequences; he is a bloodydamn world-class talent. Morning Star may not be as jam-packed with actions and battles like Golden Son, but still, every harrowing mission and battle scene matters. The final 150 pages in Morning Star were space opera warfare at its best. Right from the unquestionably epic 50 pages long Battle of Ilium, Brown's storytelling explodes with creativity and tension-packed space opera battle. The devastations and moments of ingenuity imbued into this battle were incredible. The drill of the Helldiver brought hell to the infinite landscape of space. And it doesn't stop there. The hellish heartbreaks, glory, and twists and turns inflicted by the clash of wolf's howl versus lion's roar persists until the end of the novel. Without spoilers, the climax sequence is instilled with texts to conjure an electrifying adrenaline charge. The terrible calamity, burning wrath, and concluding chapters made me internally scream and want to fist-pump the air. Multiple times. Who will be the conqueror? Which justice will prevail? Let me do you a favor; read it and find out for yourself. But when the silence is loud, and you are left staring at a void in your vision, you will know the deed of a brilliant story has been accomplished.

“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.”

Before I end this review, I should mention that my passion for this series is possible because Brown's prose clicks with me on every level. Insanely readable, tense, and yet filled with many beautiful passages to highlight. Action scenes were breathtaking, and moments of magnificence were written to last. As it is now proven on my reread experience. Brown's prose covered a range of emotions effectively. Poignant, poetic, dark, wrathful, savage, and yet still sprinkled with love, humor, hope, and happiness. As I said earlier, although most of Morning Star and trilogy undoubtedly brims with pulse-pounding scenes, the scenes depicting love, family, contentment, understanding, and friendship were easily crystallized into permanence. This is what Pierce Brown does best with his storytelling skill. It's not all brutal violence and splattering crimson on the ground and space. Brown equally juggles life and death, hope and despair, love and hatred, intensity and serenity. Impeccable, vivid, and relatable prose written with an extraordinarily sharp edge that cuts at the reader's heart, it is safe to express Red Rising Saga fully satisfied my desire for a mind-blowing space opera series when I read it for the first time, and it continues to do so on my reread.

“Everything is cracked, everything is stained except the fragile moments that hang crystalline in time and make life worth living.”

This is why I try to reread some of my favorite books frequently. The result can be irreplaceably rewarding. I loved Morning Star on my first read. On reread, I feel resolute in declaring Morning Star as an astonishing space opera magnificence. Incredibly climactic, fulfilling, and loaded with relentlessly thrilling adrenaline rush and immense emotional impact, it is said that light shines brightest in the darkness, and I tell you to allow the heart and light amidst the rollercoaster of mayhem in Red Rising Saga bring you that light. Containing everything I love in stories, Morning Star is the best sci-fi novel (along with Dark Forest by Cixin Liu) I have ever read so far. With the possibility for it to be topped by Iron Gold or Dark Age on reread, or maybe the upcoming Light Bringer or Red God. Yes, my goodman. If you are here for the first time, although this absolutely marvelous novel concluded the first trilogy in Red Rising Saga, it is not the end yet. After all, the main reason I’m rereading the series in the first place is in preparation for the release of Light Bringer. And I’m glad I enforced this decision. Morning Star taught me to love. It taught me bravery. It taught me loyalty. It taught me endurance. Red Rising Saga inspired me to live for more.
Per Aspera ad Astra, Howlers.

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

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

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Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
July 24, 2021
‘if your heart beats like a drum, and your legs a little wet, its because the reapers come to collect a little debt.’



gorydamn, my goodman. i. am. obsessed.

this is the best sci-fi series i have ever read. without a doubt.

and as if i needed any more reason to be madly in love with pierce brown, he incorporated ‘bye, felicia’ in one of the most iconic ways possible. i literally screamed.

if you have been sleeping on this series, you need to wake up! this has been your public service announcement for today. youre welcome.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,706 followers
February 28, 2016
2/28/16: Okay, FOLKS, that's TWO amendments I've made to the spoiler-tagged section, so if you object to the first half of my issue, you now know that the second part is my biggest issue, and there's nothing you can say to change my mind about it, b/c it's one of those BLACK AND WHITE areas, as far as I'm concerned. <------ Read between the lines.

Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

I'm a mess. FYI.

Usually, when I'm this torn over a book, I take some time to reflect, to settle my FEELINGS--so many bloodydamn FEELINGS--but I can't do that this time, so I reserve the right to revise at a later date.

Moving on.

At the end of GOLDEN SON, the world explodes. Figuratively, not literally. Either way, it's not surprising that MORNING STAR hits the ground running with Darrow being kept in a box at Jackal's compound.

Of course he escapes. There'd be no book otherwise, and with a few surprises along the way, one of them HUGE and WONDERFUL , Darrow is reunited with the Rising, and . . . things are a shambles.

Oh, not on the surface, maybe, but take a closer look, and even if you're distracted by ALL THE THINGS that keep your stomach in a constant state of dread, like a mini abyss living inside you--seriously, this book should come with an FDA warning: Do not consume if you have a history of ulcers or acid reflux. Contact your doctor and discontinue usage at onset of symptoms. Or something like that--it doesn't take long to draw that conclusion.

And if you hear the sound of glass being hurled from a rooftop onto pavement, don't worry, it's only my heart. When you've survived it yourself, I invite you to come back and tell me what your heart shattering sounds like. Most creative gets . . . absolutely nothing, but, come on, it'll be FUN.

And that's my way of informing you that if you (inexplicably) thought you might get a break from the agony of the previous two books . . . *laughs at you* . . . you would be WRONG.


Sometimes pain is necessary. Take Darrow, for example. If he hadn't suffered the Jackal of Mars' tender mercies, he wouldn't have faced his mortality, and a man filled with the hubris of youth is ill-equipped to lead a rebellion.

And every war has casualties . . .

I know all of that sounds unpleasant, and it is, but, once again, Brown proves himself a dab hand at balancing PAIN with humor.

Servo and Ragnar become brothers-from-another-mother in Darrow's absence, leading the Rising together, and they are damn hilarious:

“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.

Then there's the pain of gratitude and loyalty and friendship, which is more delicate, but equally affecting:

“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.”

Kavax . . . I consider myself blessed to have met you.


I have one major issue with this installment, and unlike last year's issues with GOLDEN SON, this one will NOT go away with the (inevitable) reread:

SO. Minus one star for that.

But overall, I bloodydamn loved MORNING STAR, and I thought it was a brilliant conclusion to an exceptional trilogy. It made me feel . . . everything. I can't wait to see what Brown has for us next, b/c this world . . . Nothing but potential. Highly recommended (but maybe with chocolate and baby animals for fortitude).

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)
Golden Son (Red Rising, #2)
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
532 reviews34.5k followers
April 17, 2018
”Never mind the darkness you spread, never mind the night you summon, we will rage against it.”

In my “Golden Son” review I remarked that reading the second book of this amazing trilogy was like playing chess without any rules. Well, guess what?!
Yes, you already figured it out!
To read “Morning Star” was even worse! *lol*

Forget renegade chess figures that give you the finger!
This time around it’s the storyline, nature, two fleets, gravity AND the countless chess figures that all riot like there would be no tomorrow. XD In short the entire book is one big middle finger and its only reason to exist is to rip out your heart, to crush it and to feast on it while you desperately try to save your precious soul!
Yep, that’s how reading this book felt for me. >_<

But don’t let me keep you from reading “Morning Star” because there are numerous gorydamn good reasons why it is worth it. For instance Pierce Brown isn’t just a good looking piece of cake (if you don’t believe me look him up ;-P *lol*), but also a skilled storyteller and an incredible genius! You just gotta respect the hell out of the mind of that brilliant human being. XD



Oh, did I forget to mention that he’s a cruel, cunning and deceitful creature too? XD
No? Well, I guess now you know. Sorry Pierce!
Anyway, now that this is settled it seems like we can finally head to the plot! ;-)

The plot:

”The greatest weapon a rebellion has is its spiritus. The spirit of change. That little seed that finds a hope in the mind and flourishes and spreads. But the ability to plant that idea, and even the idea itself has been taken from us. The message stolen. We are voiceless.”

I think this is the beginning of the book in a nutshell and if I’m entirely honest I don’t want to reveal all too much. Since the second book ended on a horrible and devastating cliff-hanger there is nothing I could write in here which wouldn’t give away the plot of the last book. So yeah, bear with me? *lol* All I can say is that there were so many twists and turns that my head and heart suffered from a serious whiplash and probably won’t recover all too soon. To those of you who have the gift of premonition or foreboding: Don’t even try it. *shakes head* You’ll never be able to see through all those many layers and plot twists. Believe me, I’ve tried! ;-P

The characters:

”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.”

And this is where the fun begins! Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section! If you don’t want to be spoiled return back to the start and never look back. If you want to be spoiled: Leave your hats and good conscience at the door and follow me into the depths of my realm! ;-P Don’t worry, we have cookies! XD

Darrow – The Reaper:

”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. All I have is the darkness.”

My broken and poor boy! Oh gosh, how much I suffered with him when he was in captivity of the Jackal. To read the beginning of the book was so painful and sad and I couldn’t believe that no one of those stupid “noble” Golds did anything against it!!! How could they let this happen to him?! It was just inhuman and brutal and oh hell, my poor Darrow. My fallen little star!! T_T Thank the gods for Darrow’s awesome family and skilled carvers like Mickey. *lol* I loved that he found strength in them and that he finally became the man he needed to be. Not the man he wanted to be, mind you! But in order to overthrow an established system there was no other choice than to become the voice of the rebellion he started. Still, after everything he’s been through Darrow still had his principles and was driven by his convictions. I think in many ways this made him the most honourable person in the entire series and it actually caused me to root for him until the very end! XD He’s such an awesome protagonist and his fear to fail the people he loved was more than just relatable! =)

”I am just a boy, and I shiver and cower and hide from my enemy because I know the price of failure, and I am so very afraid.”

”I sob uncontrollably, sharing all the pain my solitude forced me to hoard. The tears a deeper language than my tongue can afford.”

”Tomorrow the war can have me again. But tonight I belong to my family.”


“You’re not invincible.“ She touches the armor of my chest. “Some of us might want you around after all of this. After all, what’s the point of all this if you go and die on me? You hear?”

I loved her so much in the first book but after reading “Golden Son” my opinion about her changed. I’m sorry to say it but I still don’t like her. I understood her better, but I can’t say that I dig a relationship between her and Darrow. Yes, they love each other and yes they have a son now (PAX what a revelation!!! What and epilogue!!! OMG!! I’m still not over it!) but I think it needs more than that to make their relationship work. They both made mistakes, I know that, but I still think her reaction to Darrow being a Red was really, really wrong! I’m aware that might be an unpopular opinion but it is the way I feel! Fight me! *lol*

Cassius au Bellona:

When I meet his eyes, I do all I can to not fall into sobs. The way he looks at me is sad, nearly tender. What a shadow of myself I must be to earn pity from a man I’ve hurt so deeply.

Well if that isn’t a perfect case of redemption! XD I knew there was still something good in Cassius! I just knew it!!! BUT BOY!!! DID I HATE HIM IN THE MOMENT HE BETRAYED THE OTHERS!!! *lol* Jeez!!! I was so shook I couldn’t even breathe!!! Damn Pierce, you gave me a bloody heart attack!!! I’m too young to have one of those! Hell, come to think of it I’m pretty certain we’re actually even the same age. XD Either way you shouldn’t mess with my feelings like that… Where was I again? Yes, Cassius, right! I’m so glad he and Darrow sorted out their problems and I really hope they’ll continue to be close friends. I loved their relationship in the first book and I was so heartbroken when it ended the way it did. Their close bond was so nice back then and I really hated to see it break. Let’s hope Cassius takes good care of Lysander and gives him a better ethical education than his grandmother bestowed upon him.

”I’m tired of this war, Darrow.”

Sevro au Barca:

”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.”

HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE SEVRO??!!! It’s impossible!!! That boy is so awesome he should have had his own freaking book!!! *lol* I just love his weirdness and the fact that he actually took Darrow’s eyes! Boy, he’s such an adorable freak it’s not even normal! Haha! It was amazing to see his character development throughout the books and even though his burden seemed to be too heavy in “Morning Star” I still thought that given the circumstances he was actually doing a great job! He held the rebellion together while Darrow was gone and this alone is a more than considerable achievement! I still love his humour and his tender heart and even after three books I still feel like I want more!!! Admittedly not everything he did was amazing and there were times I wanted to knock some sense into him, in general I could understand and follow most of his actions though. Of all the many characters in the books Sevro is definitely my favourite and I don’t think this will ever change! ;-)

His wrinkled little face hardens as he watches his Howlers run to do my bidding. “You get them killed, I’ll never forgive you.”
“Makes two of us. Now go.”

”His wife,” he says more deeply. “And my father never met. But they shared a dream. One of a free world. Not built on corpses, but on hope. On the love that binds us, not the hate that divides. We have lost many. But we are not broken. We are not defeated. We fight on. But we do not fight for revenge for those who have died. We fight for each other. We fight for those who live. We fight for those who don’t yet live.”

Roque au Fabii:

Framed by fire, he cycles through images, issuing commands like a great conductor summoning the passion of an orchestra. His mind a beautiful, terrible weapon.”

Oh, Roque. My poet! My gentle soul! Why did he have to go that way? I can’t hate him for the things he did because deep down within him, he was convinced that he was doing the right thing. After the loss of Quinn he was a pliable lost soul that got saved by the wrong people and I JUST CAN’T HATE HIM FOR IT!!! He did what he thought was necessary, he believed in their system, he followed his supervisors, he paid with his life. T_T I think his shout into the wind was a Greek tragedy and I’ll never get over his loss. *sighs deeply*

”If you care so much for life, tell yours to stop firing,” Roque replies. “Tell them to fall in line and understand that life isn’t free. It isn’t without sacrifice. If all take what they want, how long will it be till there’s nothing left?”

”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.”


”His heart’s a black little thing. But it can break. I’m here to make sure it doesn’t by keeping you nice and cozy. Oh, and I want to say hello to Roque.”

I absolutely loved and adored Victra!!! She’s so savage and honest! It was really refreshing to read! I actually liked her more than I liked Mustang and this says quite a lot!! That girl is just amazing and to be able to keep up with Sevro she really had to be a special brand! Haha! They definitely make an awesome couple and I can’t wait to read more about them. (Maybe even in Iron Gold?!) I admired that she also showed her weaknesses in front of others and instead of being afraid of their reaction; she used them as a weapon. Only very skilled people can pull that off and Victra certainly is one of them. ;-) She’s basically what I expected Mustang to be, so it’s really no wonder I ended up liking her even more! XD

”He was incorrigible the whole journey out here. Laughing, pulling pranks, and slipping off to Victra’s room whenever he thought no one was looking. Ugly little man’s in love. And for what it’s worth, it seems to go both ways.”

The Jackal:

”All my life I’ve been given lions. Nothing of my own. What does it say about me that my greatest enemy knows me better than any friend?”

I AM SO GLAD HE IS FINALLY DEAD!!! XD And yes, I mean it!!! *lol* Gosh that boy gave me the creeps and I was constantly disgusted by his actions and personality! Nero really raised a monster and I still have no idea where he went wrong. I mean Mustang was his twin sister, why did she end up being a decent human being and Adrius became such a horrible creature?! Something must have gone clearly wrong with him and I’m really glad his reign is over. I don’t think he deserved Mustang’s love and kindness in the end but she was his sister and you can’t escape or deny such a strong bond. May he rest in peace, and may he never return! Like never ever! Do you hear me, Pierce? No resurrection!! XD

”This is always how the story would end, Adrius,” I say down to him. “Not with your screams. Not with your rage. But with your silence.”

Ragnar Volarus:

”I fired a sarissa out the back of the cargo bay from a shoulder launcher.”
“You shot a missile at them while we were falling?” Mustang asks incredulously.
“Yes. And I attempted to gather gravBoots. I failed.”
“I think you did just fine,” Mustang says with a sudden laugh.

Ragnar! *sobs* I loved that gentle giant!!! PIERCE, WHY DID YOU HAVE TO KILL HIM TOO?! Ragnar was only introduced in the second book but he really grew on me and I loved his character. He was a man who had been born for war, yet all he sought was peace and quiet! I was so happy that he found his way and tried to save his people and I was devastated when his fierce and bright fire went out! His death on the ice was so unnecessary and I hate Aja for taking his life! Wherever he is, I hope he is happy now. RIP Ragnar Volarus!!! <333

”The Shield of Tinos,” he echoes, voice catching. “He loved the name.”
“I know.”
”I think he’d always thought himself a blade before he met us. We let him be what he wanted. A protector.”

Darrow’s & Sevro’s bromance:

”He never stopped looking for you,” Dancer explains. “I thought he was mad. He said you weren’t dead. That he could feel it. That he would know. I even asked him to give up the helm to someone else. He was too reckless searching for you.”

Because this is the best bromance I ever read about, it even gets an extra mention in my review!!! THOSE TWO ARE #FRIENDSHIP GOALS!!! Like seriously! I loved their brotherly friendship and tight bond and I was so glad they had each other. Whenever one of them was faltering, the other one was there to pick him up and boy, if that isn’t true friendship of the purest kind I really don’t know!!! They loved each other so deeply it was a pleasure to watch and except of in “The Raven Cycle” I never saw such an amazing portray of a friendship. (TRC boys are #FRIENDSHIP GOALS too, I guess we can all agree on that! *lol*) Still, to see Sevro crying broke my heart, it was necessary for the plot though. I just loved how Darrow and he worked out their problems and how they only got stronger after sorting things out! THAT WAS AWESOME!!! <333 Pierce you definitely get kudos for writing one of the best bromances in modern literature! ;-P Please, keep it up! XD

”I sit up, feeling ripped apart by the sight of him. I don’t hold him, but I put a hand on his head. And he surprises me by not flinching away, but instead crawling up to put his head on my knee. I put my other hand on his shoulder. In time the sobs slow and he blows the snot from his nose.”

”It’s moments like this that I know I’m not alone. Damn the world, so long as I have my mangy little guardian angel. If only I was so good at guarding him as he is at guarding me. Once again he’s done all I could ask and more.”


“Morning Star” was the perfect crescendo to an already amazing series! It was brilliant, it was haunting, it was intense and full of emotions. It kept me on my toes and never even gave me the slightest chance to catch my breath!

In short: It was ingenious and I couldn’t help but enjoy every infinitesimal moment of it!
Yes, it was THAT good! ;-P
Profile Image for Dorreh.
63 reviews199 followers
August 16, 2017
"Everything is cracked, everything is stained except the fragile moments that hang crystalline in time and make life worth living."

4.5 stars because that was superbly concluded, truly!!!!!!

It's one thing to have a good book throughout, but it's another thing entirely to have a marvelous book, then slam the readers in the face with a ridiculously wonderful yet entirely unpredictable ending. I did not see that coming, not at all.

The book was a rather enthralling ending to a action packed and thoroughly entertaining series. The book progress with delightful speed and gets better and better. The stories have a way of being built up and simply torn down piece by piece and then being rebuilt once again. Looking at the series as a whole, I'd say there isn't anyone who doesn't find at least one likable ground to make them want to read this series. The setting alters between so many different planes, whether spanning the broadness of mankind's reach in the galaxies of a dystopian future or the movement from learning institute to actual battlefield. Never a dull moment when you are reading.

Aside from being a fantasy thriller with an excellent plot, it's a deep and compelling story with a vast underlying message. It's not just how a society built into a flawed utopia functions, but how it's meant to function once it's torn down and expected to be rebuilt. No foundation rising from chaos can be expected to heal in a day. The message of the unnecessary slaughter of innocents because of someone else's war was emphasized over and over. Although this book has a fantasy setting, the wars are very much like the modern world, where one mans greed for power, over even one nations desire for consistency costs the powerless everything. There was a brutal honestly about the ugliness of war and bloodshed, regardless of who you fought for. That was something I mentally applauded multiple times.

The characterization also expanded the horizons quite dramatically. The progression brings about so many new faces, each with some new betrayal or the other. There are, simply said, so many characters that at times it might be hard to keep up with. The themes portrayed in this book are the same reflected throughout the series, its a representation of how a persons limits are tested and when one can have no other choice than absolute faith in others. For all his flaws, my favorite character was Sevro, and along side him I found a weak spot for Victra. What can I say? I love the whole *poison runs through my veins* attitude until she found someone who saw through all the rough edges and envelopes her in his warmth (radiation kind of heat actually) and you the façade melt away. At a point in the book I almost passed out given pierce browns reputation for killing off important characters, and I didn't think I would like this book without Sevro in it. But thank goodness for incredible plot twists.

Darrow is your typical hero, not necessarily born to greatness, but carved to it (pun intended). Like I mentioned before in this book everything builds and then burns, letting something better rise again from the ashes. This is who Darrow becomes, a person who is riddled blind by his confidence, paying not only by his own suffering but those of countless others. One would think that with all the characters, jumbled events, and alien vocabulary that this book wouldn't workout. Especially given that it was even more occluded than its predecessors, but it somehow worked out quite beautifully!

If there is something that I would complain about, and it's not just in this book, but all of them, is that the author has created such a vast expanse of a world that the wording sometimes loses you. With all the names and places, weapons, strategies, etc. Making it slightly difficult to fall into the rhythmic flow of reading at times. But then again 40 pages or so into the book you get into it. But for me personally the books content itself was so rich, that I could overlook this minor discomfort.

Overall the book was everything and anything a person could want in a story. Characters to love, an immensely entertaining storyline, and a universe of chaos to render tamable. It's a recommendation I would make to anyone who loves fantasy with a touch of violently barbaric atrocity.
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
301 reviews40.3k followers
January 22, 2018

This book threw my heart through several hoops, dropping it a few times and trampling all over it.
I need some time to recover, but I am really satisfied by the conclusion.
Profile Image for Ira Perkins.
18 reviews27 followers
June 1, 2023
This book (which is my pick for best in the series) has elevated the Red Rising series to be my favourite sci-fi series of all time!

Final Rating: 4.7/5 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗

What a fantastic final book! Having now closed the last pages of Morning Star, the stunning conclusion to the saga of Darrow au Andromedus, I am left in awe. His journey, filled with blood, tears, mass murder, and sacrifice, was a hard-fought battle towards a better future for the oppressed victims of the Gold caste. While not quite enough to make me a full on convert to sci-fi, this series goes a long way towards "breaking the chains" that fantasy holds over my heart.

Storyline: 5/5
Plot-wise, this epic journey of Darrow is so compelling it left me breathless. The story beautifully treads the path of our hero, who was broken and helpless, tortured and tormented, only to rise wiser and more understanding. This profound evolution of Darrow's character within such a magnificently woven plot had me thoroughly absorbed.

The storyline of Morning Star is a brilliant blend of destruction and creation, showcasing the harsh reality of war entwined with a dream of peace. The narrative intricately portrays how friendships are tested, unlikely relationships forged, and how traitors found their atonement. The dream of a young girl who sang the Forbidden Song, the dream that started this all, started taking shape in the most heart-wrenching way. Yet, the price was steep and demanded loss of innocence and the spilling of blood.

“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.”

World Building: 4/5
The world-building that Pierce Brown accomplishes in Morning Star is great. From the unfriendly land of the Valkyries to the high society of the Golds, each setting is meticulously detailed, richly imagined and perfectly fitting within the grand scale of the narrative. The structure of the Society, its brutal politics, its devious castes, all meshed together to create a universe that is both thrilling and terrifying.

Characterisation: 5/5
When it comes to characterisation, I believe Morning Star truly shines. Pierce Brown's characterisation is nothing short of brilliant. Every character in Morning Star, whether primary or secondary, is crafted with such precision and depth that it's impossible not to be invested in their arcs. They're complex, flawed, and real, which is what makes them so compelling and relatable.

Darrow, our protagonist, underwent an incredible transformation. His journey from a tortured shell to a formidable warlord was nuanced and heart-wrenching. He faced an immense burden, the weight of an entire society's hope rested on his shoulders, and this inner struggle was beautifully portrayed. His decisions, often painful and demanding, echoed the torment of a leader fighting for a cause greater than himself.

Then there's Sevro, who not only is easily my favourite character of the whole series, is also a character who grew leaps and bounds. His evolution from a seemingly reckless, foul-mouthed misfit to a loyal, fearless leader was one of the most satisfying arcs in the series. He grappled with his own demons, faced immense losses, and yet managed to retain his raw honesty and fiercely protective nature.

Victra's character was also a pleasant surprise. Her veneer of indifference and nonchalance hid a deeply loyal and caring individual. Despite being a high Gold, she defied societal expectations and stood up for her friends, regardless of their colour or rank. Her strength and resilience added a unique flavor to the narrative.

Ragnar Volarus, the Moderately Friendly Giant, was another character who left a deep impact. His decision to abandon the superstitions that kept his people chained and to fight for their freedom was incredibly moving. He discovered that there was more to life than killing and remained loyal to his ideals till the very end.

And Mustang, the golden princess, emerged as a force to be reckoned with. She denounced the oppressive structures her colour had established and fought for a fairer world. Her intelligence, political acumen, and unwavering dedication made her one of the most intriguing characters in the series.

In essence, each character in Morning Star had a purpose and a journey that was brilliantly executed. They were not mere props in Darrow's saga; they were integral parts of the story that added layers of complexity and emotion. Their victories, defeats, joys, and sorrows felt personal, making Morning Star a truly immersive and unforgettable reading experience.

Writing Style: 4.5/5
Pierce Brown's writing style has just got better and better throughout this series, and in Morning Star is unparalleled. His prose is visceral and raw, yet beautifully lyrical. His ability to pen such brutal battle scenes and poignant personal moments with equal finesse is truly commendable. The interspersed hilarity of the pre-battle banters, the poignant moments of loss and love, all wrapped in Brown's distinctive narrative voice made for a truly riveting reading experience. My only problem is that sometimes some of the phrasing comes off as a little cliche or young-adulty.

“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.”

Enjoyment: 5/5
This is my favourite book of the bunch, so obviously I think Morning Star was a resounding success. It was a stunning, powerful, and thought-provoking conclusion to a series that has not only become one of my favourites, but also set a new standard for its genre. Morning Star resonated deeply with me, a tale of hope, courage, sacrifice, and the indomitable spirit of freedom. It was a saga of a man who set out to change the world, to break the chains. And, by the end of this journey, he did just that. Pierce Brown, through his words, made the world catch fire with Darrow's rebellion. While I still find certain parts of it a little cliche, he made us all believe that change is possible, that chains can indeed be broken. OMNIS VIR LUPUS!

Final Rating: 4.7/5 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗

My favourite books of 2023 in preferential order
1. The Shadow of the Gods - (My Review)
2. The Lies of Locke Lamora
3. The Forgetting Moon - (My Review)
4. Kings of the Wyld - (My Review)
5. Morning Star
6. Red Seas Under Red Skies - (My Review)
7. The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World
8. Empire of the Vampire - (My Review)
9. Assassin's Apprentice - (My Review)
10. Golden Son
11. Leviathan Wakes - (My Review)
12. The Winter King - (My Review)
13. Gardens of the Moon - (My Review)
14. Deadhouse Gates - (My Review)
15. The Song of Achilles - (My Review)
16. Red Sister - (My Review)
17. Babel: An Arcane History - (My Review)
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
January 22, 2018
“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”

It's over.
Darrow au Andromedus, the son of Lykos, the Helldiver, the Howler, the Reaper, concluded his epic journey, a journey paved with blood, tears, mass murders and sacrifices, seeking a better future for the oppressed, the slaves and the victims of the Gold caste's cruelty. Break the chains. He was tortuted for months, and was left broken and helpless, a husk of the mighty warlord he once was. Break the chains. But he survived, and emerged wiser and more understanding, ready to wreck havoc to the Society, to bring war to their homes. Break the chains. Assisted by his band of oathbreakers and misfits, like the Morning Star, he led the Valkyries away from their cold and unfriendly land, from darkness to light. Break the chains. He bent the will of fearsome lords to his own. Break the chains. He fought against his former friends and allies, he crossed the galaxy, he convinced thousands to follow him, but this time, he did it as Red. BREAK THE CHAINS!
And he set the world on fire.
“If you're watching, Eo, it's time to close your eyes. The Reaper has come. And he's brought hell with him.”

Now that Morning Star is over, and my pulse rate is finally back to normal, I can proudly admit that this series earned a place among my all-time favorites. It was a stunning, powerful, thought-provoking and inspirational conclusion, featuring brilliant space warfare and intense interplanneraty battles, mind-blowing conspiracies and strategies, hilarious pre-battle banters, adding intriguing new characters only to brutally rip beloved ones from your grasp (leaving you a wet, sobbing mess), and making you gasp before the greatness of the perfect, terrible Pierce Brown. Morning Star was a saga of destruction and creation, of the reality of war entangled with a dream of peace. Friendships were tested. Unlikely relationships were forged. Traitors found their atonement. And the dream of a fearless young girl who sang the Forbidden Song right before her execution started taking shape. Only the price was too high, and demanded bloodshed, and the loss of moral sense.
“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.”

One of the things I admired the most was the evolution of the secondary characters. Sevro became the man he was meant to be, he managed to face his losses and darkness and the overwhelming need to belong, without losing his trademark foul mouth and raw honesty. Victra, she was loyal and dedicated, and even though she tried to pass as a superficial and indifferent bitch, she had one of the purest souls and stood for her friends, despite their Colour and ranks. Ragnar Volarus, the Moderately Friendly Giant who turned his back to the superstitions that kept his people chained and gave his everything to open their eyes, who discovered that there is more to life than killing, and stayed true to his ideals until the very end. Mustang, the golden princess, the lioness and cunning politician that denounced everything her Colour had built in hope for a better, fair world.

And then there was Darrow. He came a long way from the reckless boy of Lykos, and I couldn't help but love the man he became. My heart ached for the decisions he had to make, for the pain and suffering he went through, but, in a way, everything was necessary to forge him to the sword to reshape the world. What Darrow and his friends proved throughout their story, what Pierce Brown kept shouting, was that people can change. In Greece, we have a saying; that even though the wolf grew old and his hair turned white, he never changed his mind. After this trilogy, I am not so sure. Because in the end, it's a matter of free will. How gloomy and desperate the world would be, if our thoughts and actions were predetermined, and we couldn't take control of our own fate! That's what the Society of Golds tried to teach, to establish, but Darrow showed another path. For Golds, Reds, Obsidians, it was hard to shed years of propaganda and mind-washing. There was hatred and a wrong sense of superiority to overcome. But even a bad person can decide to stop being bad, to amend their mistakes and, simply, try for something better.
“This is always how the story would end,” he says to me. “Not with your screams. Not with your rage. But with your silence.”

Whether you're a fan of science fiction or not, Red Rising is a bittersweet, sometimes loud and some other times soothing, melody that awaits to sing to your soul. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Source of this gorgeous FanArt
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,911 followers
February 16, 2016
There will be a thousand reviews telling you about this book. I'm just going to ramble as usual. Expect no spoiling here.

We're here to blow shit up." He throws open his arms and cackles. "Any questions?"
Palm Springs commercial photography

I'm horrible about finishing series once I start them. My attention gets taken by another book and I don't have the best memory. That being said, I knew I had to see this one to the finish. Even though it took me a freaking week to read it. This book is a big old chunker. Not that a chunker is a bad thing. Pierce Brown could have milked the money train by putting out two more books instead of this one and I'm glad he didn't. Way to go Brown! Break those chains.

This one does have some draggy moments and even though I re-read Red Rising last year and read Golden Son, at times I was completely lost. This is not a book that you can read out of order. The draggy moments made me wonder if the series had lost it's allure but right about the time I would start thinking that something would get blown up or some of that shit and I would line right back up for more kool-aid.
Palm Springs commercial photography

That Kool-aid is still just as tasty..because of stuff like this.
They felt the death sentences had already been read, and they were just waiting for the hangman to come knocking. Slag that. Death'll have to earn its bounty. I want them to believe in this. In each other. In the idea that we might actually win and live.
For the first time, I do.

And especially for a seven and a half foot woman who installs fear in EVERYONE!

This book by itself is probably a three star honestly, but that last 25% was pretty awesome and the series as a whole is a total five star from me. Because if nothing else..every-time I look up at the stars and sky now I'll wonder.

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.

Palm Springs commercial photography

Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,538 reviews9,831 followers
May 29, 2023
It has finally happened:
I just released the breath I didn't realize I was holding!

Morning Star, the 3rd-book of the Red Rising Saga, exceeded all my expectations. My favorite of the series so far!

Currently, Pierce Brown is in a head-to-head battle with George R.R. Martin to become the 'Author Intentionally Trying to Crush My Soul' the most.

Brown has created a hellishly brutal world here. No character is safe. Ever!

Just when you start to let your guard down...

Without giving too much away, as this is the third in the series, the battle against the Sovereign continues with The Reaper and his allies trying to disassemble the Color System.

The highlight for me, although there is always a ton of action, is watching the relationship growth among Darrow and his friends.

Particularly Darrow and Sevro, which honestly is one of the best male friendships I have ever read. It gives me life.

At the conclusion to this story, six years has passed since the start of Red Rising, so much has happened. It's a complicated story and really very impressive.

I am entertained beyond reason and cannot wait to continue, although I will most likely need to take a breather before I start the next book.

Nevertheless, it's pretty clear that I am low-key obsessed with this series and cannot wait to see what Brown has in store for these characters.

With this story, it could literally be anything!

Profile Image for Lucia.
733 reviews805 followers
February 26, 2022
UPDATE January 16th 2018:
What a POWERFUL story! Even second time around.


I just finished it couple of minutes ago and I think I'm still in shock from what I read.

Morning Star is poignant story that crushed me, gave me goosebumps and consumed all my waking thoughts ever since I started reading it. Pierce Brown can tell a story in a way that only very few authors can. Morning Star is a masterpiece. Whole series is a masterpiece. And I believe that this is a story that children of our children will be taught about in the future.

Morning Star was out-of-this-world amazing.

So all I'm going to say for now is: READ THIS BOOK/SERIES, GUYS!

Sci-fi/dystopian genre can't get better than this.

Pierce Brown, I'm your fan for life!

It is finally here! I’m leaving Goodreads and locking myself in my reading cave until I finish this novel. *brace myself and start book*

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,281 followers
February 9, 2017

❝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.❞

What can I even say? Where do I even begin? When I started the Red Rising trilogy on the eve of Christmas, I never anticipated that the book I was about to start reading would later be my favorite series of all time, dethroning all the other books and series that have claimed that title before. I never thought that Red Rising would impact me as much as it did. How many times have I shelved this trilogy only to remove it a few days later? How many times have I seen people rave about this trilogy only for me to turn away and continue on with what I was reading at the moment? Too many times to count. I've regretted not reading certain books any sooner than I did, but not as great as the regret I carry for passing up Red Rising numerous times.

❝I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.❞

Initially, I thought Red Rising was just another successful dystopian, Hunger Games knockoff but as the series progressed, it became so much more than that. As the storyline developed so did these characters. We lost MANY great friends and allies along the way but we also gained new favorites. Darrow is no longer the 16 year old Helldiver boy that we first met on Lykos. He's grown into this brave, righteous, and honorable young man, who's lost so much, and been betrayed more times than I can even remember. Right by his side has always been Sevro. He's such a loyal friend and just overall a great person to have by your side. I loved that he was the comical relief in the midst of all the tension and major depression. I also can't forget about the warrior queens Mustang and Victra. QUEENS. Absolute queens. Always slaying in their own way left and right.

One of the things that I loved about this finale was how much it tugged our heartstrings. I think the most painful part for me was Roque. Roque was such a sweetheart and so loyal since Red Rising. It ultimately broke my heart how things turned out in the end between Darrow and Roque. I wanted them to repair their friendship so much but things between them have been compromised to the point of no return and it just absolutely wrecked me. Roque had a kind heart and fierce loyalty to his people to a fault, and I wish things just turned out differently in the end. I've cried many times throughout the whole series but not as much as I did when it came to Roque and Darrow. On top of that, Pierce Brown just had to rub some salt onto that fresh wound by showing us those flashbacks, and just ugh. I can't with these feelings. I'll always love Roque as much as Darrow did until the very end! <3

❝'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.'❞

I can't even begin to express my love for this series. The plot and these characters are just so well written. All the hype and awards are all rightly deserved because Red Rising is truly a work of art. After binge reading this series for the past few days, I feel utterly empty knowing that I'm finally bringing my new favorite series to a close. Morning Star was everything I was hoping for for the finale of the Red Rising trilogy. We had death, betrayal, redemption, epic battles, romance, and so much more. This book, THIS SERIES, just had it all. I couldn't ask for a better series to end this year with. Pierce Brown has crafted such a beautiful literary universe and I honestly can't get enough. My mind can rest even just a little knowing that he isn't quite done with this world just yet. I look forward to reading Iron Gold and Pierce Brown's future projects. He's made a loyal reader out of me!
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews869 followers
May 10, 2016
The finale to Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy, Morning Star, packs a punch from action-packed beginning to (surprise) action-packed conclusion! The series was a fun ride! What most impressed me about this final installment was the character development of Darrow and his compatriots. They’ve been through gory hell (war, loss, betrayal (so many betrayals), suffering etc.) and it would be unrealistic if they hadn’t changed. In the new world they’re creating, many have loyalties they can’t shake (part of the hierarchy of color in this world); however, some of them seek redemption in something bigger than themselves. Not everybody will be able to achieve this. And not everybody will live to see this new world. Prepare for the final showdown! 3.5 Stars rounded up.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
696 reviews1,074 followers
November 12, 2020
“You tried to kill me. You could not. I know your power. I know your pride. And I have seen how you will fall...And if we fall, others will take our place, because we are the tide. And we are rising.”

Goryhell and Bloodydamn!

This series has knocked about 10 years off my life I swear!

There isn’t really much I can say here. I was constantly shocked by the characters switching loyalties and plot twists.

The number of people being killed off had me on the edge of my seat.

This trilogy has a good ending but I am looking forward to starting the next series for more drama.

“We’re it, boyo. Broken and cracked and stupid as we are, we’re the light, and we’re spreading.”
Profile Image for Luna. ✨.
92 reviews1,215 followers
March 24, 2017

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

“The Reaper has come. And he’s brought hell with him.”

After thinking on this book for a night I realize I have a lot to say about it, good and bad. Read at your own risk because I'm about to bring the rant, minor spoilers may be included in this review. So I thought Morning Star was a great conclusion to a fantastic series the Epilogue was gorgeous but very short. Let me start with saying I'm going to have an unpopular opinion this time, after completing Morning Star I am a little unsatisfied, I am left feeling like I need more and I'm kinda disappointed.
I personally felt like novel was too full of things that didn't matter, then the last part of the plot and the ending was great but so rushed. I feel like if Pierce Brown just published the last quarter only obviously less rushed, it would have been a more satisfying read for me. Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed reading this novel, I just can't help but feel like this whole book was fillers, and most of the story was unnecessary to the plot. Like this whole book was just basically talking blah blah blah..
The plot was interesting and engaging enough sure, but there wasn't enough action this time around. So like I said if this book had have been the last quarter it would be on my favorite ever shelf next to Golden Son. This is probably even my least liked of the three, definitely the weakest (sorry). But I'm not hating,I did like this book, it just had a few issues that really stood out to me, especially after reading Edge of Bubbles mini review on this book. Also for a whole entire series i kinda found alot of themes samey same as others, like the competition unoriginal, seriously Mars didn't even feel like Mars in book one it was so earthy, Space war also unoriginal. Really there was nothing new in this series, however this series does those 'stereotypical themes' justice, it is interesting, brutal, gorey, full of foul language and foulery (made up word) aka sack fungus. But still something new would be great. Pierce Brown has a funny sense of humor and it shows through his novels, he even managed to add a part into Morning Star that was a quote from one of my favorite movies Friday. The infamous "bye Felicia" & he pulled it off, what a funny human being. :')
“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.”

I'm glad there is so many great things happening in the background to help relieve the brutally & mind fuckery of the plot, I feel like if there wasn't a certain character (Sevro) I would have given this book three stars. Hang on a second this is meant to be the 'good' section and I'm still ranting! Okay let me try again. I loved watching the characters grow up together and grow as friends, it touched my black withered little heart. I also enjoyed the advanced technology in the story, pulse weapons, Moon Beams, Space Ships with AI. Pierce Brown also plays tricks on his reader by making them believe things that aren't true, I nearly hyperventilated a hundred times, like shit it was intense to read he also knows how to mind fuck you superbly, and make u cry like a baby. Im definitely a fan for life. It also opened my eyes and proved not all Space operas & Dystopian books are not all terrible and im looking forward to looking into both genres more.
Reading the whole series in first person POV was shit. I did feel frustrated at times with the first person POV however thats just me, I'm used/like reading multiple third person POV. So it did get overwhelming at times. Also this totally is not a YA, please do not assume that it is and buy it for your 12 year old kid, if you do they will be running around talking about sack fungus & smelly balls while trying to chop each other to pieces with your garden tools. I loved the pace of all three books. Book two being my favorite of them all due to the brutalness and having an amazing ending. The plot is unpredictable & full of twist. Some of the twists I did guess in advance. Cried at happy moments and sad moments, Pierce Brown definitely tells an emotional story. The writing is sensational. Overall a satisfactory series. It's great, it got my tick of approval and is now currently being worshipped by my fan girl self.I loved the twists towards the end of Morning Star, pretty impressed but not wowed, definitely looking forward to a Movie aswell as another series being released this year, apparently the new books are set ten years after the conclusion of Morning Star, so hopefully some questions I have will be answered in the new series.

So this book continues from the massive cliffhanger in Golden Son, these are not spoilers and actually mentioned on the blurb. Darrow is captured and tortured by the enemy, because it's Darrow and he is like a cockroach (ha) he escapes and continues planning his rebellion against the golds. Some old friends join him and others go against him, so it was interesting to see Darrow in the predicament of having to kill old friends to reach his ultimate goal. He also loses some of his greatest friends *sobs uncontrollably*. I thought this book had some fantastic & rememberable moments. I am sad to say goodbye to the characters I have grown so fond of. Can't wait for the new series.

The character development was awesome throughout the series, we watched kids turn into adults. However I had an issue with Darrow the never dying cockroach. Is it just me or was Darrow a tad over the top arrogant, like I feel like I liked his character a lot less in this book. I also hated the fact that the whole book was Darrow making decisions etc like can someone else take charge for awhile? Like I get that his the captain, but his always wrong. I actually wish that something actually went according to plan in this book for a change. Also thinking about Darrow I have another issue, seriously like why does he let all bad guys get away with everything, friends who have in the past tried to kill him he happily welcomes back in his life with open arms. Like this quote made me think he turn back badass.
I am not alone. I am not his victim. So let him do his worst. I am the Reaper. I know how to suffer. I know the darkness.”
However he didn't. It was sad to see friends betray him but he is just dumb and naive. I did not like him having a conscious and mourning old friends aswell as friends turned traitor. It made me sad, so I hate him for it haha.

Sevro's personality in this book was my favorite of all three. Sevro went from a funny smart ass teen to a beautiful smart ass Adult. He was my favorite character and stayed consistent for me through all three books. I absolutely adored him and Adult Sevro (in book three) was my favorite. I love HIM. He has been welcomed into my ever growing harem of book boyfriends. Oh and I finally got my ship yay and predicted it from the beginning :). *howls at the moon*

Mustang is a wonderful character, I definitely had my ups and downs with her. But it's safe to say I absolutely adore her. I liked reading her development through this series, she is one character that grew the most on me. After book two I felt betrayed but it's okay now.

I also throughly enjoyed Victra she was another character who stood out, what a badass.

Ragnar was another perfect faultless character and another of my favorites from the series.
Hyrg la, Ragnar

A few of the friendships absolutely gave my heart a hard time, one being the bromance between Sevro and Darrow, towards the end of book three I realized I didn't actually like Darrow that much but instead was in love with his friendship with Sevro, all you folks out there know Sevro captured my heart in book one. I love them so much as friends, I love watching them grow together. One point in this book had me crying after they cried to each other. My number one ship forever is Sevorrow.

“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.”

The friendship between Sevro, Ragnar and Darrow. Okay so this three way bromance was my favorite thing in the book (apart from Sevro) seriously the banter was good and they had fun together killing people. Seriously I love these three as friends. Especially Ragnar & Sevro *heart eyes*

"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.”

Sorry but not sorry, one more thing that didn't sit well for me was the big build up for Darrow wanting revenge, I feel like he didn't do himself justice, so the whole revenge thing kinda didn't happen.. How bloody dare Pierce Brown promise me revenge and blood without delivering it. description
Also the ending how they handled the worst villain ever was extremely disappointing, rant over.

I recommended this to everyone over 16, even if you don't like Sci-fi or fantasy this book is definitely a winner. I also feel like this book would be a great introduction to Sci-Fi. Please don't mind the fact that it is YA (once again I need to mention this shit) or in the kids section of your library, this is not a kids story. If my child read this book I would be so concerned it is full of violence, swearing, rape, cannibalism & slavery. Hence the over 16.
If everyone's awesome reviews on this book aren't enough to convince you to read it, believe me when I say I'm even trying to get my husband to read it, because I know he will love it. Trust me on this he is a total book hater, I can't even get him to read a book if I read it out loud. (Lol maybe this is the reason why his a book hater?? I have an annoying high pitched voice). So go do yourself a favor and read it, it's bloodydamn good.

Whole Series rating: (totally stole this idea from Petrik)
Profile Image for Geek Furioso.
99 reviews3,168 followers
March 17, 2017
Ha pasado más de un año desde que cometí el descaro de escoger Amanecer Rojo como una víctima más de mis reseñas. A día de hoy ha debido de ser una de las mejores decisiones de mi vida, porque me permitió conocer a ese gran escritor que es Pierce Brown, su inmensa jerarquía solar basada en colores y sus personajes profundamente matizados.

Esta serie es verdadera ciencia ficción para adolescentes y no adolescentes. Es un libro que tanto ellos como los adultos pueden disfrutar. Está plagada de acción, inquina política, traiciones, explosiones y crueldad, pero al mismo tiempo de momentos de paz, reflexión, conversación y sentimientos, que al final han sido los que más he valorado (aunque sus momentos de acción son la hostia). Mañana Azul es un libro que hace hincapié en la necesidad de reconstruir la Sociedad, de lograr el avance entre todos. No de destruir a los poderosos y quemar sus mansiones, sino de ofrecerles la mano hacia un mañana mejor. Por supuesto, se negarán, nadie lo discute. Pero Darrow, ese insufrible Gary Stu de Amanecer Rojo que ahora ha pasado por varios infiernos y se ha convertido en un verdadero protagonista y líder, es alguien dispuesto a tender puentes. A pesar de que su motivación inicial era la venganza por la muerte de su esposa, ha madurado, ahora es un hombre que ha visto sufrimiento y penurias y que se mantiene en pie gracias a los amigos y familiares que han permanecido a su lado. Y quiere construir ese mundo mejor para ellos.

Los Juegos del Hambre acababan con un mensaje horrible, con los rebeldes intentando reiniciar el ciclo del odio de los juegos y Katniss rompiéndolo malamente con más muerte y derramamiento de sangre. La Reina Roja aboga por la creación de una sociedad mejor mediante el exterminio y la destrucción brutal de aquellos que se alzan por encima de nosotros. Amanecer Rojo te tiende la mano, te da una oportunidad, te habla del futuro que quieres construir para tus hijos. Y por el camino habrá sacrificios, habrá sufrimiento, habrá dolor y sangre, y tanto tú como tu enemigo lloraréis, y ambos estaréis legitimados para luchar. Darrow lucha por un mañana mejor. Los dorados por el mundo que conocen y aman. Aquí verás la tragedia de la guerra. Y el brillo de la esperanza.

Ave, Pierce Brown. Me quito el sombrero ante usted, y ante su obra. Per aspera ad astra.

Joder, qué ñoño me ha quedado...
Profile Image for Anne.
3,921 reviews69.3k followers
April 21, 2016
So I'm halfway through this thing and I realize...I'm not going to survive it if Sevro dies.
I might be able to handle it if Darrow takes a dirt nap, but if Brown kills off that crazy little Howler, I'll probably set my library book on fire.
What? You didn't think I'd set something I paid for on fire did you?!
Pffft. You obviously don't understand the depths of my frugal...ness? Frugality?
What's a word for cheap that doesn't sound quite as awful? Anyone?

Forget it. The point is, somewhere along the line, I started to realize that THIS was the last book in this trilogy. This trilogy that I'd easily rank as one of my favorites of ALL TIME.
And..oh shit!...what if it doesn't go the way I want it to?!
It was a sobering thought.


This was the first book that I've EVER actively tried to make last. Like, I would read a chapter...then go play Candy Crush on my phone till I screamed in frustration ...then go back and savor another chapter.

Ok, so did I burn my 1st book?
Ha! No. I can't give you any hints without spoiling it.


I will say that I think this was a fantastic ending, and I'm glad that everything happened the way it...happened.
With the exception one minor scene.
Alright, now I don't think this is a spoiler, but for those of you who want to know NOTHING about what happens in this book...WTF are you reading reviews for?!

Now that that's settled.
So did anyone else think that scene where Mustang is telling Darrow that It's not your fault after {name redacted} dies, was janked straight out of Goodwill Hunting?
Like, word for word!
Psst...pretend Mustang is a middle aged guy with a beard for a minute.




So, I couldn't really get into the emotion of the moment, because I kept seeing a young Matt Damon blubbering in his therapist's office.
Whatcha gonna do?
Nothing, that's what! There's no such thing as a perfect book, but (to me) this trilogy comes damn near to it.
Profile Image for Mike's Book Reviews.
139 reviews5,711 followers
April 4, 2023
UPDATED 2023 Video Review: https://youtu.be/07I57294D-I

How do you follow up my favorite science-fiction book since Ender's Game? Well, you write Return of the Jedi without the Ewoks. What Pierce Brown has done with this trilogy has completely blown me away after how lukewarm I was with the first book. Almost all the loose ends are tied up here and the relationships between the characters all come to a head here in explosive fashion. Yes, the action is great, but the character moments that happen when it's just Darrow and another character having a one-on-one is where this book shines. So many emotional high notes that are every bit on par with the adrenaline-packed action Brown has made the staple of this series. A wonderful trilogy that every fan of science-fiction should give a try as it has went from a "I'm not sure I'll be continuing" series after book 1 to one of my favorite series after book 3. I very much look forward to the sequel trilogy and what Pierce Brown will be bringing as an author in the future.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,608 reviews1,481 followers
February 19, 2016
Braveheart in Space is how I’ve heard Pierce Brown refer to this series and that is a good comparison. At some point during this series a favorite character will love, kill, die, betray, change for the better, change for the worse, make horrible decisions, make cold decision, sacrifice themselves or others, inspire, destroy, connive , manipulate or frustrate you to the point you are ready to bloodydamn throw the book across the room.


The downtime and boring moments are few and far between and Morning Star tested my love for just about every character I was rooting for and made be despise to the very depths of my being the villains to our heroes. There is plenty of action to go around and it was an emotional journey.

Darrow is a hero with some reluctance and a lot of heart for a warrior. I am always amazed by his capacity to love and try and to redeem the people he cares for. He tries to give them all chances to break out of the cages of their culture and past to reach to be more and while I respect that greatly sometimes I really just wanted him to murder those who betrayed him.
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.

Darrow is a character I have always found easy to connect with on his journey. Had his wife not died he would never have left his little corner of the world. But now that he has he will never be that man again. In every book Darrow has grown and changed into something more than who he originally thought he could be. He becomes more and more complex and in Morning Star the dream he had Red Rising has to grow and change with him.

After being captured at the end of Golden Son, Darrow has been through so much and it has changed him. The first chapters are really rough as we learn what fate our hero suffered after the betrayals of Golden Son. They are harsh and have humbled him, they have also left him a little unsure of himself. When he actually makes it back to the war he finds that so much has happened in his absence. At first it is hard for him to find his place in this new war….but Darrow is the link that brings everyone together and he finds his voice and confidence eventually.

This is a wild ride. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I yelled at characters, I gave Servo a time out in the corner, I debated with friends over why I loved Mustang and they hated her but I bloodydamn enjoyed every emotion filled moment of it. I’m pretty sure Pierce Brown is an immortal now being fed with all the tears and emotions of his readers.

What I liked the best:

Darrow - It is hard not to love a character who has been through so much. But the best part about Darrow is that he ALWAYS has hope and belief in the best of people. He is always sure that no matter their flaws they can be the best version of themselves if given the chance. Except the Jackal because that dude is just cray-cray and deserves to die the death of a thousand paper cuts.

Darrow is the embodiment of hope but his is not flawless. He doubts himself at times, he makes mistakes, he sacrifices, he cries more the Mustang and he is not without guilt. By the time the book was over he made some calls for ‘The greater good’ that were horrendous but he is our flawed hero and he really carries the story.

The Humor - Remarkably for a book with so many brutal, bloody and heartwrenching moments there is the undercurrent of funny that softens so many blows.
” 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.”
“My what?”
“Your eyes!”
“My eyes…”
“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.”

Sevro and Ragnar were hilarious playing off one another, but is one of the funniest characters in the book.

The Side Characters - Red Rising has some of my favorite side characters of all time. Sevro and his wolf pack of one is an amazingly fun character. We get to see a little bit of a darker side to him in Morning Star. It was always there I fear but with Darrow out of the picture for a while it took over his life. He made some really questionable, cruel and rash decision that I really wasn’t prepared for. I think I even put him in a time out in my head until Darrow could help straighten him out. I think Quicksilver said it best when they met.
“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?”

He is still a favorite character of mine he just went a little off the deep end of power for a bit.

Ragnar became the heart in Darrow’s absence and I love that stained to death. He became as loyal and good a friend to Darrow as anyone could be and even had some fatherly type advice and affection for him.
“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.”

He has come a long way from the slave he used to be and more than anyone has taken the term ”Break the Chains and live for more” to heart and incorporated it into his life.

MUSTANG!!! - I love her! But, in my reading group there was a great debate on her and her ethics/choices/morality etc. Is she manipulative? Yes! Is she cunning? Totally. Did she play the game better than some of the boys and make them cry? Ab-SO-freaking-LuTe-LY and I love her for it and I appreciate the PB didn’t make her some virginal Mary Sue who needed to be rescued. Virginia never needs a man to speak for her, rescue her or come to her defense. Because she can do it all for herself. I like that in Golden Son she was the one that used Cassius and not the other way around. I don’t care that she didn’t care about him at all. I’ve read plenty of books where a man gets to do that so I’m appreciative for the gender equality here. I also adore the fact that Darrow KNOWS exactly who she is and so he lets her come to her own defense and speak for herself. I appreciate that he doesn’t feel the great alpha need to defend her choices or virtues. He as always accepts the people around him for exactly who they are. And as for the big thing at the end….Darrow lied to her for years about being Red and she lied/omitted information to him for much less time. Even Stevens in my book.

There are many more…the Telemanuses, Orion, Holiday etc etc….but you get the jist.

The Action - OMG there was so much of it and it was WOW….Close combat fighting, space opera battles, city revolts the list goes on and on. And every single battle seemed to matter, had something new and different to it and was never boring.

The Villains - There are many and I really couldn’t decide who I wanted to die more. At some point in time all of them were at the top of the list. First The Jackal, then Aja, then Cassius, Antonia, Roque so many horrible people that I wanted to die brutal deaths. The Jackal will be on my most hated character list for a long time I think.
“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.”

The Rip Roaring Race To the End - Okay so the race to the end….I caught on pretty quick to what was happening but still that last 15% was nail-biting and I couldn’t read fast enough. But then at the end I was exhausted.

The Things I Had Issue With

Really there are only a few things and they aren’t deal breakers by any means.

There are a few instances where things go a bit over the top. Sevro for instance really stepped over a line with me. I still love the little guy but his character got really dark at one point and I really couldn’t believe that he very nearly killed one of my favorite characters.

Someone I loved died….(seriously not a spoiler guys lots of people have died in these books) I knew going into a PB book that it was probably bound to happen but I really didn’t want it to and WOW it was brutal. I cried, I had to put my book down and walk away and while sometimes I’m good with character deaths this one just racked me. Even the dialogue surrounding it tore me to shreds….like I said PB probably immortal now from the tears shed. I can’t complain too much because it fit in with the story and PB has killed at least one character I really cared about in every book. But alas I’m still upset hence in the issues section.

Other than that I’m not sure how I feel about the end. It is still really soon and I’m not entirely sure what I expected but it really wasn’t that ending. It isn’t bad mind you and you can’t tear down the entire society in a day it will take time. Maybe I just wanted to see something 10 years down the road to see how people are adjusting. The good news is that there will probably be some more stories in this world so I’m sure I’ll see some other types of closure there.


As overall Dystopian series go I think I only liked the Unwind series more (little less brutal). Everything was well thought out, characters are flawed and three dimensional and there is a great story behind it all.

Audio Note: - The Audio for the entire series is fantastic. Tim Gerard Reynolds really brought this to life.
February 16, 2016

So let him do his worst.
I know how to suffer.
I know the darkness.
This is
not how it ends.

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You know those books where, even though you know it will be cemented into your favorites list until the end of time (the whole series, for that matter), words just don’t describe how you feel?? Like, no matter what you say, everything will seem like useless drivel that couldn’t possibly compare to what you felt while reading that novel?? Well…this is one of those books-One of those books where you have intense emotions throughout; One of those books where you don’t know what to think or say or do the entire time; One of those books where you put it down at the end and go…Holy fucking shit. Well, that was me. I finished. I put the book down. I crossed my hands. I sat there. And I thought….what did I just read?? And I just now have a word that might just capture the essence of this series without selling it short. I may be off, I may be wrong…but this book?? It was magnificent.

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.

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There wasn’t one moment throughout the entirety of this story where I felt like I could comfortably put it down and be able to breathe. How does an author do that? How can they make a story so intense, so compelling, so bloodydamn addicting, that you feel like you can’t breathe without it? I’m telling you, guys, and you can ask any one of my best friends on here-I read this book through thick and thin, night and day, at the cost of sleep, and with a perpetual migraine that I STILL don’t think has disappeared. This book, this series, this author…are absolutely unforgettable.

"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.”

I laughed. I cried. I gasped. I cried again. I lost any sense of a coherent thought. I became a walking, talking, barely breathing zombie (wait, do zombies breathe?? How the hell does that work??). Very few series keep my attention from beginning to end. Very few series are good enough for me to say, 'I wouldn’t change a thing’. But this is probably one of the first and only series where I said just that-I didn’t like it sometimes, and my heart was torn to shreds time and again…but I wouldn’t. I really wouldn’t. I can’t imagine a single thing being different.

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.

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Pierce Brown isn’t a stranger to killing off your favorite characters. You know in your heart of hearts that if you get attached to yet another person, it’s just another gamble that your heart might find itself broken. Yet, with each new installment, each new page, each new paragraph, you find another person to love, another person to admire, another person to respect, and another person you can’t imagine this story being without. And you know, as I stated above, that you have no way of knowing what will happen in the end. You have no fucking clue, to be honest. But, as you weigh out your level of awe and love and undying obsession of the series, you realize something that makes you want to punch yourself in the face: You damn well don’t care and you are willing to risk it all, going along for the ride and hoping for the best even though you know not everyone will make it out alive.

What an inevitable waste it seems. Death begets death begets death.

And death?? What is death, really, when you’ve been betraying your friends, posing as the color they despise? What is death, honestly, when it would almost be better than the knives repeatedly rammed into your back? What is death….when you can’t even trust your best and kindest friends? Darrow has made a list of enemies so long that I can’t even begin to name them (Even if it wouldn’t cause an uproar because of spoilers). Everyone wants a piece of the Reaper; everyone wants his head on a stake. But this series is one that I can honestly say, and this doesn’t happen often, I never could predict. I didn’t know who to trust, who would stand by Darrow’s side in the end, and who would redeem themselves-if anyone. I longed for broken friendships and love lost. I longed for happiness among a group of friends that never had a chance. I longed for Darrow to finally find his peace…even if it meant losing his life.

If this is the end, I will rage toward it.

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Darrow’s journey was one forged from the bowels of hell, beginning as a lowly Red helldiver who wished only to love his wife, Eo, and stay on his knees so they could live their lives to the fullest with children and a family surrounding them. But, even then, before the spark of revolution and war, Eo pushed for Darrow to live for more, to break the chains, to make a difference in a world forged by hatred and color superiority. It cost her life, and it broke Darrow beyond repair….or so we (or I) thought.

"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.”

Darrow’s mind became something absolutely wonderful to behold in this installment. I have always loved Darrow, I made no secret about that, even when people labeled him things I never agreed with. But I really feel that he became someone that every person could love. He was strong-minded, but pig-headed. He used his strength, but didn’t force. He thought with his mind and not only his heart. He developed a sense of empathy he once thought extinguished, wistful in ways he dare not utter to another soul. He loved his Gold friends-almost all of them-and the loss of some of them over the years has killed him inside-he is hurt. He is wounded. And he can finally see-He knows what must be done to lead his Howler’s to victory and a better world…but it pains him to know the lengths he must go to.

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.

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He knows, more than anyone, the lives that will be lost, the enemies-once old friends-he will have to eliminate. And before, when he was only the Reaper hell bent on vengeance, he only saw rage and justice and what had been done to him before. He didn’t use his wisdom or experience-he wished only to force his hand and to win by brute strength. He has grown, and he wants to do things as honorably as one possibly can during war. And, most shockingly of all, he finally saw Eo in a whole new light.

Death begets death begets death…

He will never forget the girl who began everything, the girl who’s death was a symbol for life and voice, but he now sees her for what she was: a foolish girl who couldn’t possibly know what was to come. And it shocked me. She no longer was the perfect martyr who could do no wrong in his eyes. She was no longer the only reason for breathing, for fighting and gaining something more. He knows he loved her, but he knows they were young and knew nothing of the world…and it’s something he touches on quite a bit. I don’t know why I loved this aspect so much-you know me, true love conquers all and all that shit, but maybe this is something I grasp more than I ever wanted to. I’ve grown as well-And no it’s not the same, PUH-LEASE. But….I feel that this was a strong bout of character growth. No matter how insignificant to others, it touched me deeply. It was sad, and it was raw, and it was real. I was a child, too, in high school. I loved my boyfriend to a point it was almost sickening….and I would tell you, even a year ago, that I still felt I was in the right in feeling all the bad and good and weird things I felt back then. And now, ten years later (yes, it’s been that long, SHUT UP) and in this moment in life…I think, what an effing idealized fool I was. We are married now, and we have our differences-boy do I ever know it-but life is so different than I ever imagined. And it makes me sick to admit that, because I just knew what I needed to do and how to be and how he would be. But life…it’s not as you plan it. It’s what you do to make it. And, again, this has nothing to do with a futuristic, mars-based, dystopian world…but it touched me deeply, all the same. Whatever. Go figure.

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.

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The character growth in this book was just…it was the best. The good face decisions that make them evil, the evil stay evil, some evil are given chances for redemption…and only some are to be saved….whereas others are beyond saving. There are twists and lies and betrayals and death. There are secrets and battles and friendships tested. And, believe it or not, there’s love. Lots and lots of love. Love in the marches of loyal followers. Love between friends. Love from those saved and those lost. And lovers who should never had a chance.

Because I’m a sucker for a fucking wonderful quote

I dunno..I feel like this is a girly review for a brutish book, but I can’t change what I see and who I am. I see the best in everything, if at all possible, and I love a perilistic, death-tastic book. I am a walking, talking contradiction…..and I guess that’s why I will always love these magnificent, well-written, out of this world books. From the moment I pick these stories up, I am a slave to the writing. Beautiful, gritty, raw words sewn onto pages of dirty, rotten, deceitful fights for survival seep into my pores, causing me to always-IMMEDIATELY-take a picture of the first page (highlighted in a rainbow of color, by the way) and send it to all my non-participating friends, almost as if to say: 'Na na na na boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo….look what you’re missing out on-brilliance.’ Pierce Brown is just…he’s beyond words. The grit and hard work that was put into every single page of this series astounds me even now, even after finishing days ago. Authors like these are few and far between, just waiting to be found. I thank GR for pushing this on the side of their site as I searched for other books so that the red wing emblazoning the first cover seared into my brain, making it something I just HAD to read, even if this was completely out of my comfort zone. I’ve been with this book from the first year, from the first page, from the beginning. I walked alone, with no friends who really latched onto this series like I did (by the way, it is NOT for the feint of heart). I don’t quite know where he came from and where he might be going, but I do know this: I’d follow him anywhere. Congrats, Pierce-You’ve created a forever fan.

Oh, and Mustang…I will ALWAYS love you. No matter what. That is all. End of story.

I leave you with this. ♥

For more of my reviews, please visit:


AGHHHHHH!!!! Buddy read with Kat :D :D


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Now let's just hope I don't have a heart attack from all the epic feels lol

Profile Image for Kyle.
168 reviews58 followers
July 28, 2016

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
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
September 14, 2016

THIS happened :P I wrote a recap of the signing here.

*bangs head* I had to wait about a week to even start writing this review. I was stunned speechless. That's only because I had no idea what to write about. I'm going to try make sense of what I thought, wish me luck.

Pierce Brown delivered the last book in timely fashion. I hate to say this, but he is not afraid to kill off his characters in the same lines as Rowling and Martin :S There was always this sense of fearful apprehension that was lurking around every corner. The slower parts made me super anxious. Not only was there the same gut-wrenching (and I mean that quite literally) action was there, the characters themselves are also going through massive size character arcs. Darrow was going through one, and it was odd seeing him feel so powerless. Servo was one character that I immediately liked even more. He reminded me a lot of Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series, a loyal kind friend who will always stick up for friends and give support. My heart just reached out for both of them because they started making mistakes left and right. As for Mustang, I couldn't help but still a little uneasy when she would appear. I still didn't trust her only because she is the Jackal's twin sister, but then I realized that would be too predictable.

Brown doesn't do predictable, he likes to lead you down one path, then twist it around and slap you in the face! There's a part in the book where I had to stop reading just because my heart felt like it would leap out from my chest, it was that intense! The pacing itself for Morning Star is pretty perfect with both highs and lows. And the ending? Well I can't comment about that, but I believe most of my questions were answered.

Needless to say, I am bloodydamn excited to read more from this universe for Brown is also writing a spin-off trilogy about the Golds. An inventive, fast-paced, gut-wrenching and emotional read, you're going to want this on your bookshelves book nerds! Read it before the movies come out :P



"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." (4)

"This is war, boyo. Murder's the name of the game. Don't be sad if we're good at it." (137)

"I'm afraid all the time. I don't want to lose anyone. I don't want to let them down." (169)

"I think the shittiest part about getting old is now we're smart enough to see the cracks in everything." (171)

"To build we must break." (192)

"I am something new, and in this old world steeped in legends, ancestors, and what came before, something new is something very special." (272)

"I want him to have a chance to decide for himself what kind of person he wants to be."
"None of user to be what we want to be. Least not for long." (277)

"What kind of parent would want their children to have servants? The moment a child thinks it is entitled to anything, they think they deserve everything." (320)

"Honor is not what you say. It is not what you read. Honor is what you do." (335)

"Life without love is the worst prison of all." (451)
Profile Image for B .
114 reviews12.1k followers
July 19, 2019
Absolutely INCREDIBLE. I’ve never once been bored reading this trilogy and have always been pleasantly surprised that each book somehow gets better. Pierce Brown is a genius and I adore his work so much. I love how he writes his characters and the politics in this messed up world. And I love how much it makes me think about our reality. I really feel as though he’s become one of my all time favorite authors, If not my favorite author. I can’t wait to move on to the next books, I already know they’re going to be 5 stars.
Profile Image for Edward.
362 reviews916 followers
March 20, 2023
4.5. A quality finale to the first Red Rising trilogy.

Pierce Brown knows how to write an ending, hot damn!
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,839 followers
December 6, 2016
12/6/2016 - Edit at bottom

2.5 to 3 stars. Unpopular opinion time! This will serve as a review of not only this book, but the whole series.

Thank goodness it is over! This drug on forever - I read it on Kindle and felt like I was between 50 and 70% forever. This was not an enthralling series for me - I read it because it is a popular series right now and I am a sucker for pop culture.

Here is the pattern: things are okay, things are bad, someone gives a powerful speech, charge to battle, everyone dies, things are terrible - rinse and repeat about 30 times.

So many characters with weird names - I could never remember who was who or what they were doing. Also, hard to tell from page to page who was on what side.

Another thing - the author tried so hard to build this universe with crazy names, weird weapons/devices, and unusual politics that often the paragraphs were jam packed with incomprehensible verbiage . . . it was hard to maintain focus.

I am sure that many love and will love this series, but for me - NOPE!

Edit 12/6/2016 - I am changing my rating in this book to 2 stars in protest of the Goodreads Choice Awards results. Before you get all grumpy at me . . . I know some people loved this book and series and I respect that . . . but, I didn't and don't think it deserved the award . . . so please respect that! ;)

While I give this series lots of points for creativity, the whole thing was a confusing mess that tried way too hard. As I mentioned, I know some people love it, but this is one where I actually don't get the appeal (even if I try REALLY hard, I just don't get it!). I originally gave it the benefit of the doubt and rounded up to 3, but I felt like it was important to swing my rating closer to how I truly feel.

Dark Matter should have won! Dark Matter is awesome!
Profile Image for Becca & The Books.
312 reviews6,359 followers
September 25, 2021
A dynamic and epic conclusion to the core Red Rising Trilogy.

Pierce Brown once again delivers pulse pounding action with gut wrenching twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Profile Image for Gavin.
863 reviews393 followers
January 17, 2018
This was the almost perfect ending to the trilogy that probably ranks as my favourite sci-fi series of all time. Just like the previous books in the series it was the perfect blend of action, drama, romance, and shock happenings. The story was dark and intense, but that was mitigated by the humor and the undercurrent of hope that ran through the series.

Pierce Brown is my sort of author. His writing is highly engaging and has a beautifully melancholic and poetic feel to it. The story itself was intense and exciting and really dragged me through the emotional ringer from start to finish.

The characters are a memorable and crazy bunch. The heroes are lovable, but filled with flaws, and the villains are a diverse mix who inspire everything from true horror to sympathy.

The story picks up straight after the dramatic ending to Golden Son and takes us on an intense ride as Darrow and the Sons of Ares move into a full scale rebellion against the oppressive Society.

I loved the story and think it had a satisfying ending. It also helps that a few of the things I was hoping might happen in this third book actually did!

Not that is was without flaws. I'm still disappointed by a few decisions made by Darrow that I think were needless and damaged his character in my eyes. I still love him, but not quite as much as I did while reading the first two books in the series.

Rating: 5 stars.

Audio Note: Tim Gerard Reynolds is one of the best and his performance with this series is outstanding. He conveys emotions really well and and gets the humor.
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