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Golden Son
Cover of Golden Son
Golden Son
Red Rising Series, Book 2
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead...
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead...
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  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom.
    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR, BUZZFEED, AND BOOKLIST • “Gripping . . . 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
    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

    “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
    Don’t miss any of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga:
    RED RISING • GOLDEN SON • MORNING STAR • IRON GOLD • DARK AGE • LIGHT BRINGER
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • Chapter One 1

    Warlords

    My silence thunders. I stand on the bridge of my starship, arm broken and held in a gelcast, ion burns still raw on my neck. I’m bloodydamn tired. My razor coils around my good right arm like a cold metal snake. Before me, space opens, vast and terrible. Small fragments of light prick the darkness, and primordial shadows move to block those stars on the fringes of my vision. Asteroids. They float slowly around my man-­of-­war, Quietus, as I search the blackness for my quarry.

    “Win,” my master told me. “Win as my children cannot, and you will bring honor to the name Augustus. Win at the Academy and you earn yourself a fleet.” He likes dramatic repetition. It suits most statesmen.

    He’d have me win for him, but I’d win for the Red girl with a dream bigger than she ever could be. I’d win so that he dies, and her message burns across the ages. Small order.

    I am twenty. Tall and broad in the shoulders. My uniform, all sable, now wrinkled. Hair long and eyes Golden, bloodshot. Mustang once said I have a sharp face, with cheeks and nose seemingly carved from angry marble. I avoid mirrors myself. Better to forget the mask I wear, the mask that bears the angled scar of the Golds who rule the worlds from Mercury to Pluto. I am of the Peerless Scarred. Cruelest and brightest of all humankind. But I miss the kindest of them. The one who asked me to stay as I bid her and Mars goodbye on her balcony almost a year ago. Mustang. I gave her a horse-­crested gold ring as a parting gift, and she gave me a razor. Fitting.

    The taste of her tears grows stale in memory. I have not heard from her since I left Mars. Worse, I have not heard from the Sons of Ares since I won at Mars’s Institute more than two years ago. Dancer said he would contact me once I graduated, but I have been cast adrift among a sea of Golden faces.

    This is so far from the future I imagined for myself as a boy. So far from the future I wanted to make for my people when I let the Sons carve me. I thought I would change the worlds. What young fool doesn’t? Instead, I have been swallowed by the machine of this vast empire as it rumbles inexorably on.

    At the Institute, they trained us to survive and conquer. Here at the Academy they taught us war. Now they test our fluency. I lead a fleet of warships against other Golds. We fight with dummy munitions and launch raiding parties from ship to ship in the way of Gold astral combat. No reason to break a ship that costs the gross yearly output of twenty cities when you can send leechCraft packed with Obsidians, Golds, and Grays to seize her vital organs and make her your prize.

    Amid lessons of astral combat, our teachers hammered in the maxims of their race. Only the strong survive. Only the brilliant rule. And then they left and let us fend for ourselves, jumping asteroid to asteroid, searching for supplies, bases, hunting our fellow students till only two fleets remain.

    I’m still playing games. This is just the deadliest yet.

    “It’s a trap,” Roque says from my elbow. His hair is long, like mine, and his face soft as a woman’s and placid as a philosopher’s. Killing in space is different from killing on land. Roque is a prodigy at it. There’s poetry to it, he says. Poetry to the motion of the spheres and the ships that sail between. His face fits with the Blues who crew these vessels—­airy men and women who drift like wayward spirits through the metal halls, all logic and strict order.

    “But it’s not so elegant a trap as Karnus might think,” he continues....

About the Author-

  • Pierce Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star, Iron Gold, and Dark Age. His work has been published in thirty-three languages and thirty-five territories. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next novel.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 13, 2014
    Misdirection and chaos mark the twisty second book of Brown’s SF trilogy (after Red Rising), set mostly on a near-future Mars divided between the ruling Golds and the peons called Reds. Red-born Darrow has been recruited by radicals, disguised as one of the elite, and sent to spark a revolution, but Brown makes it clear (often through scenes of mopey self-reflection) that Darrow’s not suited to the task. As a sleeper agent, he is forced to manipulate both friend and foe, a burden described vividly and to great effect. Brown shows everything organically, from the Roman influences on the culture to the exciting potential hidden in both halves of society. Dramatic battles with a real sense of loss, and a final chapter that slams into both Darrow and the reader, make this the rare middle book that loses almost no momentum as it sets up the final installment.

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2014
    Brown presents the second installment of his epic science-fiction trilogy, and like the first (Red Rising, 2014), it's chock-full of interpersonal tension, class conflict and violence.The opening reintroduces us to Darrow au Andromedus, whose wife, Eo, was killed in the first volume. Also known as the Reaper, Darrow is a lancer in the House of Augustus and is still looking for revenge on the Golds, who are both in control and in the ascendant. The novel opens with a galactic war game, seemingly a simulation, but Darrow's opponent, Karnus au Bellona, makes it very real when he rams Darrow's ship and causes a large number of fatalities. In the main narrative thread, Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and continues to seek ways to subvert their oppressive and dominant culture. The world Brown creates here is both dense and densely populated, with a curious amalgam of the classical, the medieval and the futuristic. Characters with names like Cassius, Pliny, Theodora and Nero coexist-sometimes uneasily-with Daxo, Kavax and Sevro. And the characters inhabit a world with a vaguely medieval social hierarchy yet containing futuristic technology such as gravBoots. Amid the chronological murkiness, one thing is clear-Darrow is an assertive hero claiming as a birthright his obligation to fight against oppression: "For seven hundred years we have been enslaved....We have been kept in darkness. But there will come a day when we walk in the light." Stirring-and archetypal-stuff. Comparisons to The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones series are inevitable, for this tale has elements of both-fantasy, the future and quasi-historicism.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from December 1, 2014
    The second entry in Brown's trilogy picks up two years after the first, Red Rising (2014), with teenage Darrow, a low-born Red sent to infiltrate the ruling Gold society, securing a position in the household of Augustus, the man who ordered the execution of Darrow's wife. Darrow loses Augustus' favor after a battle against a rival house goes poorly and thus must grapple with a major setback in his plan to overthrow the Gold sovereigns. Facing expulsion from Augustus' house, Darrow is tasked with setting off an explosive at a gala held by the Sons of Ares, the revolutionaries who set Darrow on this path. The mission creates a fair amount of emotional turmoil for Darrow, who, despite himself, has grown close to more than a few members of the elite society, including Mustang, Augustus' spirited, brilliant daughter. Darrow's decision ultimately propels him on a new course, forcing him to wrestle with his identity and what lengths he will go to in order to achieve his goals. 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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2014

    In Brown's debut, Red Rising, a rigidly hierarchical society on Mars keeps Reds slaving beneath the soil under the pretense that they are building for a life the dominant Golds already enjoy. But a Red named Darrow manages to rebel. The book, a LibraryReads top pick and a New York Times best seller, was quickly snatched up for film. This second in the "Red Rising" trilogy continues Darrow's saga. Buzzing like mad.

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from November 15, 2014

    After winning the Institute in Red Rising, Darrow has pinned his star to that of Mars governor Augustus. He continues to work toward the goal with which he started this journey: bring down the society that subjugates his people and empowers a mostly spoiled and vicious ruling class. Darrow still moves undetected among the Golds, having been genetically altered from his Red nature to pass as one of the ruling elite. However, when a rival from a Mars family feuding with House Augustus schemes to bring him down, Darrow will have to take extreme measures to stay near Augustus and keep assisting the Sons of Ares, the rebels working to end the society. VERDICT Moving the story from the tight confines of the Institute actually makes this an even better novel than Brown's breakout debut. The scope of the conflict is larger--it's not a child's game anymore but a real battle for the future of the solar system. Darrow remains a fascinating yet tortured martyr, never able to grab any personal happiness when he knows how much rests on his shoulders. [See Prepub Alert, 7/7/14.]

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    November 15, 2014

    After winning the Institute in Red Rising, Darrow has pinned his star to that of Mars governor Augustus. He continues to work toward the goal with which he started this journey: bring down the society that subjugates his people and empowers a mostly spoiled and vicious ruling class. Darrow still moves undetected among the Golds, having been genetically altered from his Red nature to pass as one of the ruling elite. However, when a rival from a Mars family feuding with House Augustus schemes to bring him down, Darrow will have to take extreme measures to stay near Augustus and keep assisting the Sons of Ares, the rebels working to end the society. VERDICT Moving the story from the tight confines of the Institute actually makes this an even better novel than Brown's breakout debut. The scope of the conflict is larger--it's not a child's game anymore but a real battle for the future of the solar system. Darrow remains a fascinating yet tortured martyr, never able to grab any personal happiness when he knows how much rests on his shoulders. [See Prepub Alert, 7/7/14.]

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Entertainment Weekly "Gripping . . . Both author and lead character have cranked up the emotional stakes. . . . With Golden Son, [Pierce] 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"
  • Tor.com "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."
  • Publishers Weekly "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."
  • The Huffington Post "[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 "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 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."--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."

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