The Reaper is a legend, more myth than man: the savior of worlds, the leader of the Rising, the breaker of chains.
But the Reaper is also Darrow, born of the red soil of Mars: a husband, a father, a friend.
Marooned far from home after a devastating defeat on the battlefields of Mercury, Darrow longs to return to his wife and sovereign, Virginia, to defend Mars from its bloodthirsty would-be conqueror Lysander.
Lysander longs to destroy the Rising and restore the supremacy of Gold, and will raze the worlds to realize his ambitions.
The worlds once needed the Reaper. But now they need Darrow, and Darrow needs the people he loves—Virginia, Cassius, Sevro—in order to defend the Republic.
So begins Darrow’s long voyage home, an interplanetary adventure where old friends will reunite, new alliances will be forged, and rivals will clash on the battlefield.
Because Eo’s dream is still alive—and after the dark age will come a new age: of light, of victory, of hope.
Just when you think Piece Brown has hit his apex, the NEXT book in the series comes out and blows it away. This is the 6th installment of the Red Rising Saga and if you haven’t caught on by now you’re totally missing out. Some good friends we’ve come to expect from this series – pain, war, indiscriminate killing, deceit, manipulation, more war, tactics, and glorious brutality – are all included in Light Bringer. But what’s most important is that there’s something more.
The elements that put Light Bringer over the top, and undoubtedly enriches the reading experience, are the overtones of compassion, friendship, ascension, and heart. The way that Pierce Brown weaves these threads through your heartstrings is what all readers crave – the connection to this story.
Amidst the epic warring factions and desolate ‘war is hell’ attitude lies Darrow, stuck in a war that he wants out of. He’s tired of playing this role and wants to return to his family, he wants to become civil again. His taste for battle is turning sour and he wants only to have a peaceful world in which his son can grow up into. But his duty as The Reaper ignites that flame of righteousness and he carries on amongst the stars, determined to gather the necessary allies to finally stomp out his enemies.
On the other side is Lysander. He too, struggles to be finished with The Reaper once and for all and reign in a world of hierarchy and peace. He struggles with being content in a life as a puppet to the more powerful, or make a play to usurp the chair and put himself at risk of being devoured by the sharks he swims so closely to.
I felt that this book reflected a more realistic cast of weary soldiers and commanders while still staying true to the brutality of the world. On more than one occasion tears were held back, but also shouts of joy and hearty laughs were had.
This is an immaculate and wholly satisfying achievement in the Red Rising universe that runs deep on an emotional level and combines the typical gut-punches with a grinning stab in the heart. Well done, sir!