Red Rising is like Jane Eyre but without:
- Mr. Rochester
- Jane Eyre
- Wives In Attics
- St. John Rivers (THANK GOODNESS.)
(So basically … it’s nothing like it … but still … )
It does, however, feature a character who decides upon a course of action … and keeps to it. Darrow has a plan, and my word, does he carry through with it.
I am rereading the book series because a) it is one of my favourites and b) Iron Gold is soon to be released.
I adore the world building that Brown has put into his work – there’s a colour coded class system, heavy Roman influences, and an utter ruthlessness that permeates through the upper levels of society.
It’s fascinating. And maddening. (The Reds. Oh the poor Reds. That particular plot twist was ruined before I first opened the book – it was written on the back cover. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. I WOULD HAVE ENJOYED THAT TWIST.)
Occasionally, I grow frustrated with myself; I have this desire to write insightful, intellectual posts analysing books in an interesting fashion. To say: THE MAIN CHARACTER WAS AWESOME!! rather puts a halt to this urge.
But it is true – I find the main character, Darrow, to be quite something. The bee’s knees, so to speak.
- He isn’t a wimp
- Much like Jane Eyre (an analogy that I refuse to regret) he sticks to his guns. To put it more bluntly – he is like a rocket of justice that WILL NOT be swayed by the winds of opposition and peasant feelings. He’s got his mission and by golly, he’s going to do it.
- He is like a legend of old; the whole business of ‘The Reaper’ sends shivers down my spine. (Okay, that is a tad dramatic. But to put in my mindspeak: THIS. IS. AWESOME!!!!!)
- He has a conscious. A heart.
Sevro … is still a creepy, lovable character. The bromance is strong and it does me weathered heart good to see it.
‘I killed their pack leader,’ Sevro says when I ask why the wolves follow him. He looks me up and down and flashes me an impish grin from beneath the wolf pelt. ‘Don’t worry, I wouldn’t fit in your skin.’
As for the others? I’ve read the trilogy, I know what happens and I’m bracing for impact.
I am, however, secretly hoping that some things will change with this reread. But don’t tell anyone that.
With this second read, I think I burned myself out a little, fried zee little grey cells. I binged this book in one day. I looked at its sequel – Golden Son – and left it on its shelf (I know, le gasp, how could I not continue?!) my brain was that fried.
I tried to appreciate Eo (Darrow’s wife); I understood her a little more but … her *spoiler* still seemed somewhat flimsy. But I could feel Darrow’s motivation so much the better for it.
Some people have compared Red Rising to The Hunger Games. I’ve never read The Hunger Games (HEATHEN!) so I wouldn’t know. I can tell you, however, that this entire book is brutal, ruthless, bloody, and unforgiving.
And I love it.
“Tactics win battles. Strategy wins wars,” I say.
“Oooo. I am Reaper. God of wolves. King of strategy.” Mustang pinches my cheek. “You are just too adorable.”
PS. Suzannah Rowntree, from Vintage Novels, has a Proper Review right here. I always find her reviews on books that we’ve both read to be thought provoking; here she puts her finger on some of the issues in the book that I appreciate. (And expresses them in a far more lucid style.)