By Carl Slaughter: Pierce Brown’s debut novel, Red Rising, received 1,300 reviews on Amazon. The sequel, Golden Son, 1,800 reviews. The conclusion, Morning Star, released in September 2016, 1,500 reviews. These reviews were overwhelmingly 5-star.
I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”
“I live for you,” I say sadly.
Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
PRAISE FOR RED RISING
- “[A] spectacular adventure . . . one heart-pounding ride . . . Pierce Brown’s dizzyingly good debut novel evokes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender’s Game. . . . [Red Rising] has everything it needs to become meteoric.”—Entertainment Weekly
- “[A] top-notch debut novel . . . Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field.”—USA Today
- “Red Rising is a sophisticated vision. . . . Brown will find a devoted audience.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
- “A story of vengeance, warfare and the quest for power . . . reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones.”—Kirkus Reviews
- “Fast-paced, gripping, well-written—the sort of book you cannot put down. I am already on the lookout for the next one.”—Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of The Sword of Shannara
- “Pierce Brown has done an astounding job at delivering a powerful piece of literature that will definitely make a mark in the minds of readers.”—The Huffington Post
- “Compulsively readable and exceedingly entertaining . . . a must for both fans of classic sci-fi and fervent followers of new school dystopian epics.”—Examiner.com
- “[A] great debut . . . The author gathers a spread of elements together in much the same way George R. R. Martin does.”—Tor.com
- “Pierce Brown’s empire-crushing debut is a sprawling vision.”—Scott Sigler, New York Times bestselling author of Pandemic
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.
A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.
He must live for more.
PRAISE FOR GOLDEN SON
- “Gripping . . . Both author and lead character have cranked up the emotional stakes. . . . With Golden Son, Brown avoids the sophomore slump, charging the novel with the kind of dystopia-toppling action you’d expect in a trilogy ender, not a middle volume. On virtually every level, this is a sequel that hates sequels—a perfect fit for a hero who already defies the tropes. [Grade:] A”—Entertainment Weekly
- “Stirring . . . Comparisons to The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones series are inevitable, for this tale has elements of both.”—Kirkus Reviews
- “Brown writes layered, flawed characters . . . but plot is his most breathtaking strength. . . . Every action seems to flow into the next.”—NPR
- “It’s a far superior sequel, in fact: one of the rare breed of reads that improves upon its predecessor in every conceivable category. . . . In a word, Golden Son is stunning. Never mind how little we’ve seen of 2015: Among science fiction fans, it should be a shoo-in for book of the year.”—Tor.com
- “Pierce Brown is a prodigy. As great as the first book of the Red Rising Trilogy is, Golden Son is even better. A wild ride full of suspense, intrigue, and serious ass-kicking bravado, it’s expertly written and emotionally engaging, with top-notch universe-building that begs for further exploration. I want more!”—Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Snowblind
- “The stakes are even higher than they were in Red Rising, and the twists and turns of the story are every bit as exciting. The jaw-dropper of an ending will leave readers hungry for the conclusion to Brown’s wholly original, completely thrilling saga.”—Booklist (starred review)
- “Dramatic . . . the rare middle book that loses almost no momentum as it sets up the final installment.”—Publishers Weekly
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 honor 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.
PRAISE FOR MORNING STAR
- “You could call [Pierce] Brown science fiction’s best-kept secret. In Morning Star, the trilogy’s devastating and inspiring final chapter, . . . he flirts with volume, oscillating between thundering space escapes and hushed, tense parleys between rivals, where the cinematic dialogue oozes such specificity and suspense you could almost hear a pin drop between pages. His achievement is in creating an uncomfortably familiar world of flaw, fear, and promise.”—Entertainment Weekly
- “There is no one writing today who does shameless, Michael Bay–style action set pieces the way Brown does. The battle scenes are kinetic, bloody, breathless, crazy. Everything is on fire all the time.”—NPR
- “Morning Star is this trilogy’s Return of the Jedi. . . . The impactful battles that make up most of Morning Star are damn near operatic. . . . It absolutely satisfies.”—Tor.com
- “Excellent . . . Brown’s vivid, first-person prose puts the reader right at the forefront of impassioned speeches, broken families, and engaging battle scenes . . . as this interstellar civil war comes to a most satisfying conclusion.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
- “A page-turning epic filled with twists and turns . . . The conclusion to Brown’s saga is simply stellar.”—Booklist (starred review)
- “Multilayered and seething with characters who exist in a shadow world between history and myth, much as in Frank Herbert’s Dune . . . an ambitious and satisfying conclusion to a monumental saga.”—Kirkus Reviews
PIERCE BROWN BIO
Graduating college in 2010, Pierce Brown fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body.
So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.
Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.