The Hunger Games in space transforms into Game of Thrones in space.

Written by
Pierce Brown in 2015

What. A. Rush. That’s how I felt after reading Red Rising, chronicling Darrow’s ascension into the family who forced him to kill is wife. How he had to work and build up a support base in the academy to weasel his way into the life of Nero au Augustus. Such satisfaction to know he was one step closer to his goal.

Now, Darrow is leading the charge on behalf of his patron, Nero au Augustus, the father of the woman he’s in love with but can’t tell her he’s in love with her because he wants to kill all the Golds. Yeah. Darrow still has a lot of growing up to do, two years after he and his mates spectacularly trampled all over the academy on Mars, including how to set traps for spaceships in an asteroid field.

Now, Darrow is losing favour with the Augustus patriarch and has only a short amount of time to find a new patron, or have his plans for breaking the society dashed at the second hurdle. But bigger political problems arise as the Soverign calls a grand diplomatic meeting, which predictably goes to hell.

I have to say, this series just keeps getting better. Like marriage. Or was that a fine wine? I can hardly tell these days. There’s action, moralising and comic relief from Sevro the Howler, who has got to be one of the best characters ever invented. And the bromance between him and Darrow is just the best.

I call this book a little like Game of Thrones in space because in the first book, it was a fact of all the characters trying to find their way out of the academy in one piece and without having lost their faculties. In this, everybody is using their faculties to one up each other, the literal cutthroat world of politics in a spacefaring civilization. Pretty scary, but Darrow isn’t scared. No, he one ups everybody.

Except for that ending, which came pretty much out of nowhere, or maybe you expected it because it was too good to be true. Either way, it was a masterful stroke.

If you liked Red Rising, then Golden Son will continue to make you a fan of Pierce Brown’s work. It’s packed with action, but not unnecessarily so, Darrow continues to grow and learn, his control and mind is starting to catch up with his deeds though, and there are always questions about whether he’s doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. This was such an awesome sequel.


It’s all victory and parades until somebody betrays your trust. Damn you Pierce Brown, you had me at that ending.

Read this if you…

Enjoy blood and guts with your politics.

Skip this if you…

Think it’s all onwards and upwards.


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