Part Three does not start on a happy note. In fact it starts drenched in blood, and that is basically where this part of Red Rising will stay. The Institute is nothing like Darrow, or really I, thought it was going to be. I had this idea of weird sort of science fiction version of Hogwarts maybe. Why I thought this book was going to be light-hearted I have no idea, because each new chapter hits me right in the gut every time.
Gold is all about the game that were turns the Golden children into leaders of men and flush out those that are not strong enough to lead. It's a brutal game with rules that are meant to be broken, a place for the Golds to fail and learn from it. Basically it's a game of Capture the Flag, but played in the middle of a real life game of Risk. All while the adults, the gods, watch from their floating mountain, letting teenagers play at real war.
There are moments when I forget just how old our characters are, most are only eighteen. One of the reasons for this is just the way Darrow is. Life of a Red is measured differently than that of a Gold. Most of the characters we meet in Part Three have never really had to do anything for themselves, and Darrow has been married and a seasoned Helldriver by this time. There are little moments however when I was reminded just how young our cast of characters really are. Which just makes everything about the Institute even worse.
Though there are times it's hard to feel bad for some of the Golds and the hardships they are being forced to endure. One of them will end up saying something and I just want to Darrow to back hand them into a wall.
I had a hard time putting the book down by the time I got to this part of Red Rising. Everything was starting to come together for Darrow. He was learning to play the Game, learning how the rules meant nothing, and everything was rigged. Darrow also learned how to be betrayed.
Gold also has given me my favorite character of the book. His name is Sevro and there is absolutely nothing good about him. He is a strange little creature, a lowGold, but he is fierce and loyal. There is an arrogance that all of the others have, privilege of whatever family they come from. Sevro doesn't care about any of it. Doesn't care about the game, just wants to survive until the end. He is a strange creature, and I like it.
Ugh, I feel like I'm not doing this part of Red Rising justice, but to go into too much detail would spoil things. The action in Gold is good and flows well with the rest of the story. Toward the end of it, I was ready to celebrate with Darrow and all the others of House Mars, but there's this thing that's been hanging in the air since the end of Reborn. This little piece of plot that Pierce Brown has sort of swept under the rug, made me forget about it with all the battles, the sieges, and Darrow making bad life choices.
Until the last chapter of Gold. When it was a good thing I was reading my book at home, because I sort of might have yelled. I also might have needed to throw the book, because I didn't want that to happen. I wanted them to be brothers! Alas, once again at the end of Gold we are sort of back to where we were at the end of Slave. To Darrow not being allowed to have nice things.
Enough of my ramblings, things have finally started to get good. I'm into the last section, Reaper. I've already picked up Golden Son, the second book in the series, because I can't wait for it to be my turn for the library book. I just know Red Rising is going to end in a way I'll want the next book right the next second. It's gonna be a long wait for Morning Star.
"I am the Reaper and death is my shadow."
Darrow, Part Three Red Rising