First of all, I would like to thank Hodderscape for organizing this readalong and finally giving me the excuse to pick up this incredible book. It's been harder than I thought only reading one part per week especially when there always seems to be a cliffhanger to make me want to break the rules and keep going. It does give me time to properly digest everything that is going on and trying to come up with theories for what will be coming next, so it's been a great experience!
Today I am bringing you a review/talk on Part III of the book, entitled 'Gold'. Fair warning, there will be spoilers of the book up to the end of this part! Tread carefully if you have not finished yet or intend to read it soon. I will write a spoiler free review at the end of the month for those of you yet unconverted to this series.
Without further ado, let's dig in! (pun intended)
Part III is the first where Darrow, our protagonist, has been his Gold self since the beginning. Part I (Slave) showed us the world Darrow lived in and the people he loved, while Part II (Reborn) brings the unraveling of that world in his eyes, the discovery of the lies his life was built upon and the gruesome physical transformation he would have to go through to some day bring justice to his people (the Reds).
This is my first time reading the book so when I was choosing a part to review before the beginning of the readalong I did so somewhat randomly. I am so happy now that I chose this one because it was hands down my favorite so far and there is so much I want to talk about!
I am a sucker for some complex character development. Darrow has changed so much since the beginning of this book. Part II was the most heavily marked with physical changes, since most of his body was tweaked and changed so he could pass as a Gold and follow through with Sons of Ares's plans for him. However, it is in Part III that you can see how much his mind is beginning to change as well.
Being a Red at heart (one of the few things that is still his own), Darrow has an intrinsic hate of Golds and of everything that they have made the Reds go through for generations. He also has a very personal vendetta against them since his wife, Eo, gave her life to fight their system (can we talk about that? I'm still not over it).
Still, with every reason that he has to want all Golds dead, he starts finding some kinship with them. To a point where he does not refuse (and even agrees) to be called brother by his tribe mates. He starts to really debate his role and position in the grand scheme of things, and this can lead into the fact that...
Golds are not all Golden...
From the beginning of this book, Golds have been set out as this tyrant, manipulative, awful group of human beings. However, we continue to realize in Part III that not all of them can be thrown into that bag. Sure, they are still Golds, but there are plenty who are also victims of the system along with all the lower colors.
There was such a strong vibe of 'The Hunger Games' meets 'Game of Thrones' throughout this part. The supposedly perfect and flawless Golds are thrown against each other in a game of power, where lives are lost under the vigilance of their House Praetors. Life and Death is nothing to them but a chance to pick out the weak. Under these extreme circumstances, the Golden facade starts breaking and there is much more to all of these people than meets the eye.
My favorite example of someone that goes against the Gold stereotype is, hands down, Sevro. He is so opposite to everything that a Gold is supposed to be that I keep forgetting he is not a Red.
... But Reds are not perfect either
This was one plot twist I did not see coming. Titus was such an awful character that I wasn't expecting it at all when it was revealed that he was, after all, a Red. I really appreciated this inclusion because Titus was everything that Darrow could have become if he had kept on his path of vengeance and the moral consequences of killing someone of his own 'kind' to protect himself will be something that I believe will stick with Darrow going forward.
It was great seeing that this world is not so divided into colors as it seemed and that inside each of these groups there are the same problems and the same flaws. It's yet another reason that Darrow can use to bring this hierarchy down.
Death, Death, Death
At the end of each part there is always a death, and I love the symbolism that it brings, since the end of part III brings Darrow's third 'death' (he's a resilient one). Each of these deaths has a purpose in the grand scheme of things, and they are triggers that make Darrow develop as a character.
This last one seems a bit more serious, though. It's obvious that he will survive, but now that Cassius has the knowledge that Darrow killed his brother, I can't wait to find out what that means for their house and for Darrow's plan.
Until then, all I can picture is this:
So these were the main things I wanted to discuss about Part III. I could go on and on, but that would make for a gigantic blog post! Feel free to start a conversation about it in the comments or over on twitter! (don't forget the hashtag #ReadRedRising)
In the meantime, I'll just sit here and wait for midnight so I can finally go ahead and jump straight into Part IV!