Relevant posts: Red Rising
*Please be aware that, as this novel is the third and final installment, there will be spoilers about previous books and the direction in which this book is heading in.
Darrow is the Reaper of Mars.
Born to toil, carved to fight, destined to lead.
But he is a broken man.
Exposed as a Red in a world ruled by Golds,
he has been captured and tormented until he is something less than human.
And yet, he is humanity’s last chance.
In facing a godlike, ruthless enemy, he must call on every last ounce of strength to prove that loyalty, friendship and love are more powerful than any coldhearted machine of war.
He has been first Red, then Gold. Now, he must transcend them all. He must become the hero his people believe he is.
Morning Star is the third and final novel in the Red Rising trilogy that sees our main protagonist, Darrow, attempt to overthrow the hierarchy and the Sovereign of Luna in an attempt to unite the colours and bring change to a world where your colour defines your path in life. In an attempt to realise the dream of his late wife, Eo, Darrow brings together a string of people from a variety of colours who all have faith within this new world. The final novel sees the rising come to an end as Darrow and his friends attempt to hoodwink their enemies, and bring into their rebellion those that have been wronged by the Golds and those in positions of power.
It could just be me, but I felt like the first two books in the series were definitely worth of their 5*, finding Morning Star to be just slightly sub-par. I only gave this novel a 4* and I didn’t feel as hyped for the ending as I had felt through the previous novels. That’s not to say that this isn’t a good book – it definitely is, I just found it was a little bit slower this time as Darrow tried to bring everyone together and recover what he had lost from the second novel.
Morning Star, I found, was more about Darrow and righting his wrongs. In Golden Son, he lost a lot of friends and associates when the truth about his colour was revealed. A lot of them felt betrayed, a lot of them attempted to kill him, a lot of them gave him up to his enemies. In this novel, he begins to understand what true friendship really means, and who will and won’t stay by his side. He comes into contact with many old and new characters that he attempts to sway to the cause of the Sons of Ares. Darrow has developed a lot since Red Rising, and goes through a significant change within this novel as he begins to understand why he is leading this uprising, and why his friends, his enemies, have walked the path they have chosen. Far more knowledgeable this time around, he brings everyone together for one big final push that threatens the very future of his society. It can only go one of two ways.
Unlike Red Rising and Golden Son, I felt like this novel was just a little bit slower in terms of pacing. Yes, there was a lot going on as there usually is, but I just found that I enjoyed myself more within the other two novels. There was more betrayal, guts and gore! Though there was plenty within this novel, it was of a different nature and the characters had definitely matured a lot more since Golden Son. I only gave this novel 4* as opposed to the 5 I gave to Red Rising and Golden Son. I did thoroughly enjoy it, I just felt like it was lacking in some way and there was sometimes some confusion as to events taking place (obviously revealed a few chapters later).
The Red Rising trilogy and the world that Pierce Brown created is definitely one that I am going to miss. I loved the different characters that he brought to the table, and clearly identified with a lot of them; understanding their mannerisms and what drove them to their actions, understanding their hopes, dreams, and ambitions. There was a lot of variety with characters and I loved seeing how they all influenced Darrow and how their lives were affected because of him.