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Morning Star by Pierce Brown
Published by Del Rey on 9 February 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Reading Challenges: 2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge
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.
Morning Star. It blew my mind. My brain is scrambled. My heart is broken. My breath is taken.
Morning Star is dark, following several different characters, even if a lot of the narration is from Darrow’s perspective. There is treason, suspected treason, politics, war, torture… and there is still a sense of hope in places, where the characters are ready to continue the war if that means the future will be better for those who come after them. However, there are also characters who are ready to continue the war for their own gain, for greed, to make sure the Golds stay on top of the societal pyramid.
The writing is beautiful, even when the subject matter is ugly. Brown paints his storyline in sweeping colors and large strokes, and it’s impossible not to feel as if we’re in the middle of it all, both the heartache and the triumph, the darkness and the possibility of light. I cried. More than once. And I also laughed. More than once. I held my breath, urging the characters I was cheering for to get it done, and to see the end-game. To counteract their enemies while still staying true to themselves.
And I think Morning Star wins the ‘Most vague review’ competition. There is not really a lot I can say without spoiling anything, but I can say I loved this story, it beautifully finishes a trilogy that has kept me thinking about it over the past two years. With characters who may lose themselves in the battle between good and evil, in all the gray areas of life, love and war. And it’s a series I think I will re-read in full now that all the books have been released. Run! Run! Run! to get your own copy, and let yourself be swept into a dangerous world in which nothing can be won in advance.
I would have thought there to be worse fates than this, but now I know there are none. Man is no island. We need those who love us. We need those who hate us. We need others to tether us to life, to give us a reason to live, to feel.
I don’t remember feeling so frightened before the Iron Rain. Was I braver then? Maybe just more naïve.
And Mustang has. More than that. She’s proven Eo right. And it wasn’t because of me. It wasn’t because of love. It was because it was the right thing to do.