Literary Crush: Darrow from Red Rising and Golden Son by Pierce Brown
I kept seeing rave reviews for these books on my Goodreads page and finally decided to read them over winter break. Reading is not actually what happened – I lived breathed and devoured them both. The story itself is fantastic, you owe it yourself to read them if you haven’t already, but it is Darrow as narrator that really captivated me. He’s so much more than the boy next door, the best friend turned boyfriend or cute rumpled side kick – he is a boy quickly growing into a man in a world that is going to force him to become someone he never expected to be. If you haven’t read the books, you will want to stop reading now to avoid any spoilers! –Keely
What does he look like? To start, scrawny but strong, red hair, fair skinned, scarred, quick to anger and to act. After he is remade, he is beyond strong, imposing in figure, dark eyed, with golden hair and tanned smooth skin – pretty much your typical Adonis type.
What does he do? From his roots as a lowly miner he rises to become a student, a leader of men and the leader of a revolution.
Whom does he love? Eo, his wife, from his first life who was murdered and martyred. Eventually, Mustang – who is from his second life – who saved him.
Why him? Darrow loves deeply and honorably. Everything he does he does to make things better for his people. He’s flawed and makes disastrous mistakes (so many mistakes!), but he is also constantly learning and growing. He loves his family and is proud of his roots – this love both saves and destroys him in turn. His love for Eo was sweet, tender and protective, but also naïve. His love for Mustang is fraught with conflict and my heart aches for his constant need to fight his own feelings of betrayal (of Eo), of not being who Mustang thinks he is, and of not being in a situation where he can love someone. Darrow may be a fictional character in a fictional world, but his flaws and his struggles are tangible and real and that makes him indescribably appealing.
Swoon Worthy Quotes:
“Without me, she would not eat. Without her, I would not live.” (from Red Rising)
“We grew together, and now are grown. In her eyes, I see my heart. In her breath, I hear my soul. She is my land. She is my kin. My love.” (from Red Rising)
“Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome into his house, so I might burn it down.
But then his daughter takes my hand, and I feel all the lies fall heavy on my shoulders. They say a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. They made no mention of the heart.” (from Golden Son)
“Mustang…’ I rest my hand on her wrist. Despite her strength, it’s frail in my hands. Frail as the other girl’s was when I held her in the deepmines. I couldn’t help that girl. And now I feel like I can’t help this woman. Would that my hands were meant to build. I would know what to say. What to do. Maybe in another life I would have been that man. In this one, my words, like my hands, are clumsy. All they can do is cut. All they can do is break.” (from Golden Son)
“But I cannot think only of the Red girl. When I see the moon, I think of the sun: Mustang burns in my thoughts. If Eo smelled of rust and soil, then the Golden girl is fire and autumn leaves.” (from Golden Son)