Crazy, Crazy, Crazy Golden Son by Pierce Brown

First things first, I would like to shower us with some good news: other than managing to finish Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I also completed my goal to devour my current read in only a few days. Golden Son was overall an intense and brutal read though I think those adjectives are still too decent to express all the madness I had gone through in the first place. If you can define the word 'crazy' in a stronger tone, I suppose you can cover my loss of words with it.

Disclaimer: The passages down below will include many spoilers of the first book. If you haven't read it yet please stop scrolling, go to a book shop or a library, buy or borrow a copy of Red Rising, then go home and read it instead. In case you're not convinced enough you can read my review first here.

Following where we left off in the first book, Golden Son starts four years after Darrow agrees to be a Lancer for House Augustus. Though he is now considered as one of the Notable Elites, Darrow is still trying to prove himself worthy in the Academy. However, it's hard to maintain victory if you have to face House Bellona as your number one enemy. After facing a major defeat and being embarrassed in public, Augustus finally decides that Darrow will no longer be a Lancer for his house. His contract will be traded at The Summit that takes place in Luna.

But Darrow realizes that as soon as his contract ends, Cassius will hunt and kill him right away. While Darrow is trying to manipulate his way to win back Augustus' trust, there's also the reigning Sovereign of the Society, Octavia au Lune, to deal with while the questionable Son of Ares is nowhere to be heard.

When I was done with this book, I had only two reactions to show: huge disbelief and shock. I know it's quite unusual for me to start a review by babbling about the ending but the way Golden Son ended was so unpredictable that I made myself read the same paragraphs multiple times to make sure that I wasn't just imagining things. Despite the brutality, I somehow understood why it was bound to occur there. I had sensed since the very beginning that the conflicts were being explored thoroughly to build up something spectacular, although compared to the actual ending, the other scenes seemed less shocking now. Golden Son was certainly full of wars and while it was even more gory and bloody, the strategy and politics were far cleverer also. To put it simply, I very much admired it for its cleverness both in its plot and quality.

Meanwhile, complexity was found in the characters too. In a 500+ pages long book (I read the translated edition so please understand the slight difference) they developed gradually but certainly and it was proved to be necessary by how everything turned out in the end. Considering how betrayal was a common thing in this book, I knew I shouldn't have trusted anyone, and yet every time Darrow was betrayed, I felt like I was too. It saddened me to witness how much some of them changed.

Now, I feel like I should straighten one thing out just for the record: I liked Darrow so much for being clever, badass, and strong, though I didn't exactly fall for him in the first place (but I still shipped him and Mustang the whole timethey seemed to complement each other so well). To my own surprise, the infamous Goblin, Sevro au Barca, started to grow on me. Not in a million years would I have thought that something laughable would be possible in this Golden-Son kind of situation but thanks to Sevro my assumption turned out to be wrong.

In conclusion, Golden Son was crazy as well as amazing and I couldn't suppress the feeling that Morning Star would be even more insane. Since the ending has torn my heart into pieces, I seriously need a moment or two to collect the shattered shards and put them back before I pick up the third installment. If this saga is still on your unread list, please don't hesitate to give it a go. The first two books have proven to be brilliant and I think you'll love it too.

Actual rating: 4.8★