Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

In an alternate universe, I’m a professional fiction author and Pierce Brown and I have beautiful literary babies together. I mean, what greater compliment can I give this series? It’s smart and beautiful and moving. It examines the compromises of society, and the ethics of war and love, and does it all with a stunning sense of humanity rivaled only by Brandon Sanderson, whose books I also loved but not this much. Not this much and that is saying a lot, since Mr Sanderson is the author I respect most in all the world.

So Red Rising was one of the best sci-fi books I’ve ever read, and of course I expected a bit of a sophomore slump with the sequel. Mr Brown defied all my expectations. There were parts where I was all “You’re not going to make me cry, motherfucker” then of course, mere paragraphs later, the tears would be coursing down my face. And then THAT ENDING. I’m so mad. You guys, I’M SO MAD. I want to talk about things but I can’t because there is so much that is gorgeous about this book that to dissect it for you is doing you a disservice when you should really be going out and immediately enjoying this book in its entirety on your own.

Though there was one small thing that didn’t really ring true for me, and that was Darrow’s reaction to the revelation of Eo’s final words, which she chose to say to her sister rather than to her beloved husband. This, of course, might be a defect in my own empathy, simply because what was revealed was something I did not feel quite so viscerally in anticipation vs when it actually happened. And there, I hope I’ve been obscure enough to not spoil it for you when you do read the book, though I hope you come back and tell me what you loved or otherwise about Golden Son once you do.

Once I clear a backlog, I will immediately start on the final book in the trilogy. God, I can’t wait!

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