Morning Star : Red Rising

  • by Pierce Brown
  • Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Series: Red Rising
  • 21 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of the Great Trilogies

The story of Darrow and his compatriots has been one of the purest pleasures of my recent memory. It is at once literary on the grandest of scales, comparable to Tolkien or Herbert, yet manages to encapsulate pulsating and driving action. There is an inaudible, but extremely present, heart thumping beat throughout this series and this finale.

I have long been a fan of the third act in a trilogy- for example I am more of a Jedi fan than Empire, even though I know Empire is objectively the better movie. I feel similarly about this book. Golden Son was, I feel, a better book. But, I love Morning Star the most because we have, in its words, the conclusion and driving point of the sword. It has hit its mark, deep in our souls. I, for one, am a better person for having heard this story. The message contained within is not one of violence for violence's sake, but rather one obsessed with the perils of humanity. What drives us. What makes our souls weep in joy and sadness. This is not to say that vengeance isn't part of the story- some of the most important moments in history and humanity have been fueled by vengeance. As it is with violence. But also love, forgiveness, and the capacity to change. Honor. Loyalty.

Brown takes us on a journey that tries, and succeeds, to balance these ideas masterfully. We are plunged into sadness and taken to the heights of victory, only to have the two become one in the end. Death begets death, begets death.

I was afraid, ever so slightly, that Brown would lose the momentum in this third book, that he would fall into some trap of writing or storyline inconsistency. This was, thankfully, a deeply unfounded fear. The storylines merged seamlessly in the end, to a truly satisfying conclusion. Please notice that this does not spoil anything- only that I thought the ending fit. There were many options and I am content with the one Brown chose.

At the beginning of this review I spoke of Tolkien and Herbert. I am going to say something which many may find offensive or wrong- I believe Brown has beaten them both, as well as many others. This series is, in my most humble opinion, the pinnacle of science fiction or fantasy. It does not matter in this listener's opinion if others agree since I have had the absolute joy of experiencing this story; for this I am quite thankful.

My highest marks possible, the book (and series) against which all others are judged. Magnificent.
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- Charlie

A trilogy that ends on a high note

I usually have 2 audiobooks going at once since I listen to one book while commuting and another while running. For the most part, the two books stay in their assigned places but occasionally one of the two books will grab my attention and cause me to listen to it continuously across both activities. Morning Star was such a book.

As this series has gone on I have found myself more and more invested in it. Red Rising was good but I felt that it contained a few standard YA tropes that forced me to keep my distance. Golden Son was better but as the middle story of the trilogy it was a bridge that went nowhere ending with a cliffhanger. That left Morning Star with a built in obligation to build upon the unfinished foundation laid before it and it does not fail to deliver. For me it was the best book of the series.

Darrow's exploits in this one contain highs and lows alike and he finds that he must make a final determination of the trustworthiness of almost every person in his life. From the dead who helped shape him to the living who still try to manipulate him, Darrow melds all of their influences together with his own opinions to finally become himself. He no longer fights for Eo's vision or Ares' cause but rather for his own reasons. He has all sigils removed from his hands and transforms himself into a simple human that is neither red nor gold. He has no color at all and represents the future that he desires to create for all of humanity.

Pierce Brown takes you a non-stop wild adventure ride in this one and he keeps you guessing. Sometimes you are in on the plans, and sometimes you are not, but you never lose interest in the outcome. The events build to a final showdown with the Sovereign and every character is eventually forced to pick a side to stand on. Loyalties are up in the air until the very end but this one is no cliffhanger.

Tim Gerard Reynolds is brilliant once again and without a doubt enhances the written word with his narration. Is this book perfect? No it isn't but I am not going to dwell on any negatives as they are easy to overlook. It grabbed my attention from the start and didn't let go until it was over which makes this the best book of the series.

Break the chains!




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- Lore

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-09-2016
  • Publisher: Recorded Books