Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Space Opera, Science Fiction
“My son, my son
Remember the chains
When Gold ruled with iron reins
We roared and roared
And twisted and screamed
For ours, a vale
of better dreams”
Darrow au Andromedus, the son of Lykos, the Helldiver, the Howler, the Reaper, concluded his epic journey, a journey paved with blood, tears, mass murders and sacrifices, seeking a better future for the oppressed, the slaves and the victims of the Gold caste's cruelty. Break the chains. He was tortuted for months, and was left broken and helpless, a husk of the mighty warlord he once was. Break the chains. But he survived, and emerged wiser and more understanding, ready to wreck havoc to the Society, to bring war to their homes. Break the chains. Assisted by his band of oathbreakers and misfits, like the Morning Star, he led the Valkyries away from their cold and unfriendly land, from darkness to light. Break the chains. He bent the will of fearsome lords to his own. Break the chains. He fought against his former friends and allies, he crossed the galaxy, he convinced thousands to follow him, but this time, he did it as Red. BREAK THE CHAINS!
And he set the world on fire.
“If you're watching, Eo, it's time to close your eyes. The Reaper has come. And he's brought hell with him.”
Now that Morning Star is over, and my pulse rate is finally back to normal, I can proudly admit that this series earned a place among my all-time favorites. It was a stunning, powerful, thought-provoking and inspirational conclusion, featuring brilliant space warfare and intense interplanneraty battles, mind-blowing conspiracies and strategies, hilarious pre-battle banters, adding intriguing new characters only to brutally rip beloved ones from your grasp (leaving you a wet, sobbing mess), and making you gasp before the greatness of the perfect, terrible Pierce Brown. Morning Star was a saga of destruction and creation, of the reality of war entangled with a dream of peace. Friendships were tested. Unlikely relationships were forged. Traitors found their atonement. And the dream of a fearless young girl who sang the Forbidden Song right before her execution started taking shape. Only the price was too high, and demanded bloodshed, and the loss of moral sense.
“You and I keep looking for light in the darkness, expecting it to appear. But it already has. We’re it, boyo. Broken and cracked and stupid as we are, we’re the light, and we’re spreading.”
One of the things I admired the most was the evolution of the secondary characters. Sevro became the man he was meant to be, he managed to face his losses and darkness and the overwhelming need to belong, without losing his trademark foul mouth and raw honesty. Victra, she was loyal and dedicated, and even though she tried to pass as a superficial and indifferent bitch, she had one of the purest souls and stood for her friends, despite their Colour and ranks. Ragnar Volarus, the Moderately Friendly Giant who turned his back to the superstitions that kept his people chained and gave his everything to open their eyes, who discovered that there is more to life than killing, and stayed true to his ideals until the very end. Mustang, the golden princess, the lioness and cunning politician that denounced everything her Colour had built in hope for a better, fair world.
And then there was Darrow. He came a long way from the reckless boy of Lykos, and I couldn't help but love the man he became. My heart ached for the decisions he had to make, for the pain and suffering he went through, but, in a way, everything was necessary to forge him to the sword to reshape the world. What Darrow and his friends proved throughout their story, what Pierce Brown kept shouting, was that people can change. In Greece, we have a saying; that even though the wolf grew old and his hair turned white, he never changed his mind. After this trilogy, I am not so sure. Because in the end, it's a matter of free will. How gloomy and desperate the world would be, if our thoughts and actions were predetermined, and we couldn't take control of our own fate! That's what the Society of Golds tried to teach, to establish, but Darrow showed another path. For Golds, Reds, Obsidians, it was hard to shed years of propaganda and mind-washing. There was hatred and a wrong sense of superiority to overcome. But even a bad person can decide to stop being bad, to amend their mistakes and, simply, try for something better.
“This is always how the story would end,” he says to me. “Not with your screams. Not with your rage. But with your silence.”
Whether you're a fan of science fiction or not, Red Rising is a bittersweet, sometimes loud and some other times soothing, melody that awaits to sing to your soul. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
OMNIS VIR LUPUS!