Morning Star

Morning Star


Title: Morning Star

Author: Pierce Brown

Series: Red Rising Saga, #3

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Release Date: February 11th 2016

Rating:

Five Stars

#1 New York Times bestseller. Red Rising thrilled readers and announced the presence of a talented new author. Golden Son changed the game and took the story of Darrow to the next level. Now comes the exhilarating conclusion to the Red Rising Trilogy: Morning Star.

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 honour 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.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“If you’re watching, Eo, it’s time to close your eyes.
The Reaper has come. And he’s brought hell with him.”

After his triumph ended in bloodshed, ended with the deaths of his friends and Darrow’s betrayal at the hands of Roque and Jackal, Darrow has been left in the darkness with nothing but his own mind going over and over the mistakes he made. Darrow lost the war, the truth that he was nothing more than a Red masquerading as a Gold has been revealed and he lost everything, including Eo’s dream.

The story opens with Darrow in a very dark place. He’s been captured and for the past nine months he’s known nothing but the darkness of the hole Jackal buried him in. There’s a way out, Darrow just has to give up, but he refuses to give Jackal that satisfaction. Unlike Red Rising and Golden Son this was the first time I picked up Morning Star, and holy god this book was incredible. This review is going to be pretty much me gushing about how amazing the conclusion to the Red Rising trilogy was.

“In war, men lose what makes them great. Their creativity. Their wisdom. Their joy. All that’s left is their utility. War is not monstrous for making corpses of men so much as it is for making machines of them. And woe to those who have no use in war except to feed the machines.”

I’m not going to go into too much detail when it comes to the plot, simply because I don’t want to risk spoiling anything for anyone. After Darrow escapes from Jackal (I don’t really consider that a spoiler, how would there be a story if Darrow didn’t manage to escape?) he’s back with the Sons of Ares but after spending a year in captivity Darrow isn’t sure if he can be the leader they need. Having lost Mars to Jackal there’s so much Darrow needs to fight for, and he’s not giving up. Even if he has to tear society down to nothing he’s going to achieve the dream Eo died for.

Morning Star was everything I wanted from the last book in the trilogy and more. I was terrified for the characters I loved so much, and at one point I was so shocked that I was tempted to throw my Kindle across a crowded train, (I managed to refrain myself, simply because I needed to know what happened next). Morning Star has more action, more danger, more incredible characters and incredible relationships. It was un-put-down-able and I never wanted it to end.

…The Characters

“They call me the Morning Star. That star by which griffin-riders and travellers navigate the wastes in the dark months of winter. The last star that disappears when daylight returns in the spring.”

Darrow has lost everything, and his year spent at the mercy of Jackal has broken him. He no longer has his faith and he can’t fight for Eo’s dream now he knows what he stands to lose. Before Darrow would throw himself into the heart of every battle, believing that if he died he would see his loved ones in the Vale, but he no longer believes in the Vale and it changes him. Darrow is left unsure, lost, and his friends can all see that change in him.

He’s still an incredibly developed character, and I think his fracturing in this book made him an even better character. There was no way he could come out of what happened at the end of Golden Son unchanged, and his time with Jackal gave him a new perspective on the war he’s fighting. Darrow is still a natural leader, still incredibly intelligent and adapt at manipulating his foes in order to have them play into his hands, and I loved seeing that part of his personality come back further into the book.

“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.”

My favourite character in this book, and possibly the whole series, was Sevro. He’s been at Darrow’s side since the very beginning and is wholly loyal to him. When Darrow was captured Sevro took leadership over the Sons of Ares, keeping the rebellion and Eo’s dream alive, and even when everyone else believed Darrow was dead Sevro never gave up on him, he kept searching for where Jackal was keeping Darrow.

I feel like in the first two books the friendship between Darrow and Sevro was more of a leader/follower relationship. They were friends but Darrow always had that extra authority over Sevro, that changes in Morning Star and the two become equals which only makes their friendship stronger. Like Darrow Sevro isn’t sure what he’s doing, but also like Darrow he learns from his mistakes and from his past. Both are strong leaders, but in different ways.

“I used to think the life strands of my friends frayed around me, because mine was too strong. Now I realize that when we are wound together, we make something unbreakable. Something that lasts long after this life ends.”

The relationships Darrow has with the people around him are what makes him so strong, makes him able to fight for what he knows is right. His relationship with Mustang remains unchanged, still just as solid as when they were working together in the Institute. No matter what the two know the other’s mind and word incredibly well together. We see more of Darrow’s family in this book, which I loved, and there’s also so many incredible friends, both old and new, who make appearances throughout this book.

…The Setting

“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.”

I thought it would be hard to top the setting of the second book, which opened up the world created in Red Rising and took us from Earth to Luna to Mars and all over space as Darrow fought for the ArchGovernor of Mars, but in Morning Star we go even further. With Darrow we travel all the way to the Rim made up of the outer planets and the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. There’s a whole other war being fought between the Rim and the Sovereign, a war Darrow plans to use for his own fight. We also discover more about Ragnar’s people, the Obsidians, Darrow’s people, and all the colours in between. Morning Star takes the world that was started in Red Rising, built upon in Golden Son, and ran with it in this final book of the trilogy.


After the ending of Golden Son and after what I’d heard people saying about Morning Star my expectations were sky high, but Pierce Brown more than lived up to them in this final book of the trilogy. Everything about Morning Star; the plot, the characters, the world building, was incredibly written and developed. I was hooked, I couldn’t read this fast enough but at the same time I never wanted it to end.

One reason I am glad I waited so long to start Morning Star, and to re-read this whole trilogy, is that now I don’t have too long to wait until the release of Iron Gold.

What did you think of Morning Star? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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30 thoughts on “Morning Star

  1. I’ve heard really good things about Pierce Brown’s work. While I haven’t read any of it, I have to say that I already have high expectations for the Red Rising series. I’m hoping that by the end of the year I’ll have them read!

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    1. I’ve only really heard good things about Pierce Brown’s work too, and based on what I’ve read all those good things are true. It’s likely not helping your high expectations but this is an incredible series, and I really hope you love it as well! 🙂

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  2. I REALLLLLLLY hope you’e picked up Iron Gold! your review has served as a sort of refresher for me cause I had forgotten some key points after all last I read MS was February 2016. I am now 400pgs into Iron Gold (200 more to go) & can tell you have the advantage here having just finished reading MS. There is a TON of bad blood running through Iron Gold & many things/events brought up from the past. It’s def not as heavy on the action but i think that’s because this is the start of a new spin-off, feels like a continuation but 10 years have passed. Wonderful review & again I’m just sooooo happy you read & LOVED Morning Star!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have picked up Iron Gold, and I’ve actually finished reading it as well (hopefully I’ll be writing and posting my review for it soon!) Oh that is good but yeah I’m glad I re-read the whole series before jumping into Iron Gold, if not I’d be a little confused by some of the things that were happening/the characters we were introduced to. Hopefully you’re enjoying Iron Gold so far Lilly, but yeah in my opinion Iron Gold hasn’t beaten Morning Star for my best book of the series so far.
      Thanks so much! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OMYGOSH I finished Iron Gold last night Beth!!! still thinking about that ending smh…I agree though, it’s no Morning Star GREAT! but I still very much enjoyed it. I have a zillion concerns now, thinking anything goes Pierce Brown *sobs* haha! Happy reading! ❤ 🙂

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      2. Oh yay! I’m really glad you enjoyed it, and after that ending how excited are you for the next book in the series?! I feel like even though Iron Gold wasn’t as good as Morning Star it’s building up to two other books that will be even better! 😀

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  3. The hype is real!!! Sounds like it really blew your mind and delivered on all fronts. Also seems like the stakes were high for these characters. So nice to see that the series is going on strong and that the next one will probably be just as wonderful for you!! Great review as always, Beth! 😀

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    1. Definitely real. So far Morning Star is my favourite of the series and that includes Iron Gold as well! 😀 Everything seemed to be on the next level in this book and honestly I don’t think it would be possible for this series to disappoint me! 🙂
      Thanks Lashaan. 😀

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  4. I’m still only half way through this, but I am loving it so far! I’m hoping to finally get my reading mojo back so I can finish it some time soon XD I am goad to see that you loved this one as well!

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    1. Oh I really hope you manage to finish it soon then Lauren. Personally Morning Star has been my favourite of the series (and that’s including Iron Gold as well!) I’m sure you’ll love this book and I’ll be looking forwards to seeing what you do think when you’ve finished it! 😀

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  5. Ah wonderful review, Beth! I skimmed it a little bit because I didn’t want any spoilers but from what I’ve read it made me really excited for this series 🙂 Of course I knew there was huge hype surrounding it but when one of my most trusted book bloggers mentions it, I know it’s legitimate.
    It sounds like a great time to start, too, considering the new release is just around the corner. I hate waiting for the sequels xD

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    1. Thanks so much Sophie, and yeah definitely a good idea because if you haven’t read this book, or even any of the series, there will be spoilers in my review. It was kind of hard to avoid them in this one! 🙂
      There is a lot of hype but from what I read it’s all well deserved. This has become one of my all-time favourite series and Pierce Brown one of my favourite, auto buy authors! Ha, yeah I hate waiting for sequels as well, which is why I only read this one now! 😀 ❤️

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    1. Oh god Trang YES definitely start this series ASAP. 😀 Honestly it’s incredible and I’m sure you’ll love it!
      I’ve actually read Iron Gold, still need to write and post my review for it, and I don’t think there was any way I could have prepared myself for that book! 😀 ❤️

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  6. I so agree with you!! This was such an exciting, dramatic conclusion!! I loved it and couldn’t stop reading it either!! 😀 I think it did make Darrow more interesting to fracture his character like that. And I loved how the scope and setting expanded with every book 😀 I definitely agree that this meets expectations wonderfully. Fantastic review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it was brilliant, so far Morning Star is my favourite book in the series and it’s going to be hard to top it I can say that for sure! 😀 Yeah and I can’t imagine he’d escape everything that happened to him unscathed, in a way it kind of reminded us he was human too. The world building has been beyond amazing, it’s got better in each book if anything.
      Thanks so much! 😀

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  7. Obviously, I loved this book as well. We’ve talked about this enough now hahaha
    I actually, and don’t ask me why because I never ever do that, read the acknowledgements before diving into the book. Knowing what Pierce went through and how different writing this book was for him somehow amplified my feelings of isolation and loneliness as Darrow went through them.

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    1. Ha, we definitely have but can you ever talk too much about the books we love? 😀 I always wait until the end to read the Acknowledgements (I live in fear of flipping to the end and accidentally reading the last page of the book) but I definitely agree with you there. I loved Darrow’s journey in this book more than any other and reading what Pierce went though kind of added to Darrow’s characterisation. He’s an incredible writer, definitely one of my all-time favourites after finishing this trilogy! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I usually never read the acknowledgements to begin with either. I think I was hesitating to actually start the book, because I was scared. Maybe that was the reason I checked them out beforehand, but somehow it really helped me get into Darrow’s and Pierce’s mindset even more.

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