I feel so out of it! I am mired in one of the worst reading slumps I’ve ever been in – I’ve read 3 books in the last 2 months. That hasn’t happened in years. And it’s been more than a week since I finished this. I usually write the review the moment I shut the book, and i feel like a lot of this has slipped away. My poor brain.
4.5 out of 5 Gold Stars
This is the third book in the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown. I freaking loved it. Brown is a master at putting his characters in IMPOSSIBLE situations. You wonder, how in the hell are they gonna get out of this one? I admit, toward the end, it got to be a bit much, and then last little bit I found a little hard to believe, but oh my God, what a story.
At the end of the last book, Darrow’s plan had tanked and he got caught. The Golds gave him over to the Jackal, who put him in a box with a feeding tube and basically tortured him for a really long time. So long that he doesn’t know where he is or who he is inside the box. Worse, everyone thinks he’s dead… because he was publicly executed. Luckily for Darrow, one person believed he was alive.
Who else could it be? Sevro, of course. He’s basically in charge of Ares now, after the death of his dad and Darrow. It’s pretty clear, pretty fast, that he hasn’t got the vision of Ares previous leaders. He’s really just bound for revenge. Darrow has taken on a subordinate position… and has to watch as Sevro tries to slice and dice his way through the Golds… but seems to be taking out a lot of lowcolors as well.
The political turmoil is really amped up in this one, and it’s kind of masterful. Brown uses his characters as representatives of each political view. We’ve got some Reds that won’t trust Golds, no matter that they are on their side. There are some of Darrow’s former friends who are progressive, and some that are so caught up in what the Society has taught them that they can’t see any other way. They actually think that the Gold enslaving “lesser” colors is the only way to maintain the society. Then of course, there is the media, the gobbling money whore represented by the Jackal. He has higher sites now, though, and has wormed his way to being Archgovernor of Mars. His reign is even more brutal than his father’s: so brutal that even the Soveriegn is alarmed. It’s just a maelstrom of political and idealogical ideas blended into an amazing plot.
There are so many switchbacks, double crosses, terrifying situations – it is a whirlwind. It is a fantastic final installment. This has definitely joined the holy series of holy series for me – up there with Lord of the Rings, The Toby Daye series, Throne of Glass, Dark Tower and Parasol Protectorate…. It is fantastic.