Golden Son

Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Red Rising, Book 2
Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (34,759 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.49

Buy for $31.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown's genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown's continuing status as one of fiction's most exciting new voices.

©2015 Pierce Brown (P)2015 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Golden Son

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28,689
  • 4 Stars
    4,949
  • 3 Stars
    875
  • 2 Stars
    162
  • 1 Stars
    84
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28,298
  • 4 Stars
    3,275
  • 3 Stars
    401
  • 2 Stars
    61
  • 1 Stars
    38
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25,824
  • 4 Stars
    4,852
  • 3 Stars
    1,010
  • 2 Stars
    204
  • 1 Stars
    90

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Modern Classic Which Will Endure

Where does Golden Son rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Golden Son is among the finest audiobooks I have ever read. My reading habits tend somewhat towards classics, and I am frequently disappointed by modern fare. I took a chance on Red RIsing, and couldn't get the characters out of my head when I finished. Golden Son is a greater achievement in every way when compared to its predecessor. The plot pulls the reader frantically from set piece to set piece as Darrow struggles with failure, guilt, disillusionment, and hope. The characters, introduced well in the first novel, become organic in this novel in a way I have not experienced in a novel since reading The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.While I was reading, I briefly forgot about the world outside as I was so invested.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Roque, the warrior poet of the first novel, returns to this world in grand fashion. His continually deepening alienation with Darrow makes the reader compulsively question the state of that friendship even when reading about other characters. While the love story between Virginia and Darrow was compelling, it was practically an obligatory aspect of the novel. Roque's growth as a character was highly original. I had no idea what he would do until he acted. At the same time, I fully empathized with his situation and understood his motivations for his actions once he acted. He is a masterfully executed character.

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

Ragnar was voiced wonderfully. While the character was essentially a replacement for Pax, the voice acting imbued his journey with dignity, grace, and magnificent resonance. However, each character was read well. I could not imagine simply reading a book like this. It must be experienced through audio.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending. All I will say.

Any additional comments?

This is my first review on audible.com, as this is the first time I have felt so strongly about a book that I needed to share my opinion. It is a work that takes the best of current trends from novels like The Hunger Games and adds the power and philosophical complexity more commonly found in classical literature. Pierce Brown, if you are reading this, please take your time in completing the third book. This trilogy has the potential to truly endure once it comes to the public at large's attention, but a slapped together finale could easily destroy the world you have so carefully built.

68 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Extraordinary work

Exceeds the first in its brilliance--well worth the credit. It is books like this that create a void in their wake as I try to find something half as good (an experience that I love as I'm listening and hate as the book ends and i scrabble around for something else). I can count on one hand out of hundreds of series the times I have felt this way--and this is one of them. Other fingers listed below.

Four other audible series I've had the same reaction to:
The Kingkiller Chronicles by Rothfuss: the Name of the Wind and the Wise Man's Fear
The Stormlight Archives by Sanderson: The way of Kings and words of radiance
Raven's Shadow novels by Anthony Ryan: Blood song/tower lord
The Outlander Series, some better than others but in the end an amazing 300 hours of listening bliss

I'm glad to add another series to my "I really can't stand the wait" list. Now if only someone could give me a list--like this--of books I've never read and they'd work for me as well as these!

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A bit disappointed

I found this sequel to be a bit disappointing. I'm not sure if it was the length or the lack of depth, but I just didn't connect with it nearly as much as I did with Red Rising. Also, contrary to what The Empire Strikes Back would have us believe, middle stories need an ending, too. The book should stand on its own rather than relying on the knowledge that there will be a continuation of the series, and should have some sort of conflict resolution, rather than starting an entirely new conflict in the last ten pages of the book. But what do I know? Clearly I'm not an author. All I can say is, I enjoyed Red Rising much more than this book, and I hope that Morning Star is a vast improvement over it. 3 stars.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finished book 2 yesterday ordering book 3 now

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I got home from work and had to sit in my car in the garage for some time while a scene ended. This series is gripping

Any additional comments?

I am above all honest, so my reviews are not sugar coated. This is a truly great series. I dinged the performance a star in book one for an Irish accent, seems the author must have had other questions about this situation and it is explained in satisfactorily in book 2. The performance is outstanding and should get bonus stars on the performance of Ragnar alone. The prose of Pierce Brown is so damn good, I recommend any aspiring authors to listen to this series. I have read authors who seem to posses exceptional Thesaurus' which I find annoying. Pierce uses every day dialog so well I feel he is a brilliant artist with language, quite possibly up to the par of Samuel Clemmons although of a completely different style. Example (setting, a long ago mentor comes back as an arch rival, one of the protagonists greets him upon discovering the antagonist's identity) "Fitchner! How nostalgic." Simply beautiful use of language from start to finish. This is a Prime series my Goodmen. Question for Pierce did your last name have anything to do with the theme of the series or is it just happy coincidence?

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I can't believe there isn't more hype about this series!!

I never ever write reviews, but this book truly merited one. I can't believe all the other YA tripe has been made into movies and not this series- this is so much better. The plot takes you for an awesome roller coaster ride- one you'll want to ride again and again. It's the perfect blend of love, loss, sadness, joy, humor and hope. It doesn't even have improbable "saved in the nick of time" situations that you can't suspend reality for. The narrator does and excellent job as well. No wonder this book has a 5 star rating!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

IS THIS A JOKE? DO YOU SEE US LAUGHING?

PRIDE IS JUST A SHOUT IN THE WIND
At times I thought of The Gladiator, Outlander, Dune, Game of Thrones, and several fantasy epics. The book has a lot of good sparks to it and Brown is a very smart guy. The book has about everything, space battles, sword fights and lots of politics.

EVERYTHING IS POLITICS
The first two hours are excellent and did remind me of The Gladiator. Brown humiliates his main character, in what seems beyond repair. That was followed by two hours of inner strife. Than there is a really good sword fight. The next seven hours was mostly politics and conversations. Like most fantasy epics, there is a lot of talk about this family, that family, the histories of these families and the violence they did to each other and why they hate each other. I don't mind a little inner strife or even the history on certain houses, but not seven hours of it. If you stick with this occasionally something exciting will happen, you just might have to wait several hours. The politics got confusing and I had trouble figuring out who I was suppose to be for and who were the bad guys or why I should care. After twelve hours I lost patience and moved on to another book.


HORIZONTAL DIPLOMACY
The narrator is very good, he does a great Scottish accent. He did not have a huge range of voices and at times I was confused on who was speaking.

141 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

i love this story

I love the way this book flows and ends. My heart aches, my blood pumps, and the hair on my arms stands tall.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Em
  • 06-24-15

The Second Book Is Better than the First

Don’t get me wrong. I am RAVING about Red Rising to everyone I possibly can around the office. And if you haven’t picked up this series yet, you need to start at the beginning. But Golden Son is even better than the first book – which is such an unheard of rarity and a delightful surprise that I had to review this book first. I don’t want to give away any spoilers here, and it’s hard to say much without doing so, but I can say that this series is a total genre-bender: I’d call this “Post-apocalyptic-dystopian-YA-crossover-military-sci-fi-with-history-and-general-awesome-geniusness”. All these elements shimmer here and meld together into one whip-smart saga that stays with you for months after finishing it. Needless to say January (when the third and final book in Brown’s trilogy releases) can’t get here soon enough.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

You liked the first one? You'll like this one.

If you could sum up Golden Son in three words, what would they be?

gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, action

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ragnar. His monologue near the end.

What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Reynolds is well-known, his reading is gripping and his voice exceptional.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"BRING SOME TISSUES"

Any additional comments?

It's worth the bloody damn credit.

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I felt like the first book was a great Epic story

I felt like the first book was a great epic story and this second book was really just a filler. it didn't quite grab my attention like the first book did. still loved it but not quite as good as the first.

7 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Skegg
  • Skegg
  • 05-01-15

Dune on amphetamines

It's a sci-fi super blockbuster. More grown up than the Hunger Games but with the same pace and Jack Reacher as the principal character instead of a teenage girl. Don't read this until you have read Red Rising as it's quite a complicated scenario already and Golden Son moves at such a pace, you'll never catch up.

The plot picks up with Darrow a couple of years after the events of Red Rising. He's doing pretty well for himself but it turns out he should have heeded the old adage about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, so before too long, he is right back in the action which does not let up for a full 19 hours!

Yes, some of the plot twists are a bit predictable and the characters are ludicrous but I can honestly say I've found this story absolutely irresistible, listening at almost any opportunity. It's good, clean fun and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys an all-action sci-fi fantasy story. Possibly some who don't too.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Iron Duke
  • Iron Duke
  • 01-12-16

Getting better and better 

Much less derivative than the first in the series and so a more interesting story. There's a lot of signposting of the way characters are going to develop but there are one or nice surprises. Being critical, there's a lot of a) plan for a fight, b) fight doesn't go to plan, c) miraculous event happens d) rinse and repeat which began to test my patience by the end. That said, I did marathon listen to this book and I will definitely get the third in the instalment.

The narrator has eased off on the anti-British with bad guys having slightly less pronounced English accents in contrast to the humble underdogs' Irish brogue. Sadly, there's some butchering of some new accents here: the Scandinavian is painful to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kolif
  • Kolif
  • 08-31-18

Wonderful follow up from the 1st book

The plot twists are sublime, superb, memorising. Makes you cannot and will not want to stop the story. I listened the first book in two days and this one in another two days. Now straight onto the third book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-15-18

Remarkable

i started with Red Rising on a recommendation. Complex, engaging and enormous fun. Brown, you have a reader for life.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Carpetman8020
  • Carpetman8020
  • 08-02-18

As gripping as the first book

Having found Red Rising a wonderfully written and totally gripping read, I couldn’t wait to dive straight in to the sequel and second book in the trilogy. I was not disappointed... Pierce Brown really knows how to create a character and tell a story. Brilliant storytelling. Bring on the third book

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kimberley
  • Kimberley
  • 01-12-15

Good

I loved the first book, but just feel like this was a bit rushed/less immersive

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ian Alexander
  • Ian Alexander
  • 09-16-20

Very good performance and story.

Story takes a slower and less exciting pace than the first book but the story and it’s progression are still captivating. I would highly recommend and I am as determined and excited as ever to conclude the series in the final book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John-Paul
  • John-Paul
  • 08-13-20

Can't praise this series enough

I'd say it is the best gory dam space opera ever i the history of space opera !

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-22-20

Still Perfect

Like its predecessor this is a perfect work of art, there's nothing that could be improved.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JaVe
  • JaVe
  • 06-08-20

Great book but a bit too heavy on the emotions

Good book with detailed world building, exciting plot and interesting multi-faceted characters. My only criticism is that it feels like half the book is either about the protagonist's emotional reactions to everything that happens or him reflecting on said emotions later - it gets a bit heavy and tedious at times, reading more like a brooding teenage diary than a grand space epic.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris Gander
  • Chris Gander
  • 03-10-16

One of the best books I've ever read!!!

Pierce is an author at the very top of his game. His handle on story, dialogue and pacing rivals that of George RR Martin. Golden Son is flawless in every possible way. It really got to me... moved me... made me invest emotionally in Darrow and his quest. I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates quality writing and storytelling.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dandle
  • Dandle
  • 12-01-15

Great story and a perfect narrator

A thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to the first book - I was captivated from start to finish. Moments of laughter and horror - what it does, it does well. a bloody damn great novel.

Tim Gerard Reynolds as the narrator is perfect, and brings a lot to the story. Wonderful performance.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ross
  • Ross
  • 02-10-16

Easy listen

Fairly cliche storyline and the market is saturated with the likes of these tales where from the suppressed classes rises a hero. In typical fashion they make friends with enemies and enemies of friends, fall in love and go through many a trial and tribulation. Just as they seem to reign it crumbles... I guess that's how marketing works and let me tell you this despite being cliches and nothing original- it's characters are well established its an easy listen and you can tell it'll be a blockbuster when released on the big screen. By the end you'll be downloading the next instalment , despite the tack purely because you need to know if good conquers evil, if love lifts you up, if the little guy gets his day in the sun , because the narrator isn't to hard on the ears, there's nothing to watch on tv and it's simple !

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David Talbot
  • David Talbot
  • 08-21-20

A whole book to develop who Darryl has become?

I'm positive the writer was attempting to keep you guessing the whole way through, so many obvious things happen, and even though some sections are overdone some were not.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-05-20

HOLY SHIT!

I'm loving this series and I recommend it to any who are uncertain on whether to continue it after Red Rising. The Performance is great and the writing keeps you guessing until the very end. oh and for anyone who is looking through reviews after finishing it. You'll get my meaning by HOLY SHIT!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sean Mulligan
  • Sean Mulligan
  • 07-29-20

A perfect book for a 15 year old boy

Doesn't suck - but neither is it top shelf spec fiction. The series is YA in disguise. Did not finish due to: 1. The PROFOUND insights by the main character that are largely chringe worthy 2 . The train smash of chivraldric single combat and modern warefare that have no business being near each other. 3. The constant emotional whining by the main character. 4. The constant stupid actions by the supposedly ubermensch main character to increase drama After two book my main takeway is the overwhelming need to shoot the main character in the face

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mike tibbitts
  • mike tibbitts
  • 07-06-20

Good story arc, sometimes too teenage melodrama-y.

I generally enjoyed the book, sometimes the protagonist can be a little whiny, self indulgent and rant on in self righteous diatribes and the mythology of the houses and characters can get a little old, but it is a well woven tale and my misgivings wont stop me listening to the next book. The narrator is really excellent. He brings the characters to life and pulls the whole thing together very well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel
  • Daniel
  • 11-03-19

Superb follow up to Red Rising

If you loved Red Rising, this won't disappoint. And you will finish this and get straight into Morning Star.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kevin
  • Kevin
  • 10-19-19

Very good

Really enjoying this series. This second book has loads,packed in and a rollercoaster of action and emotion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 10-01-19

stunning!

An original, riviting epic. the characters are vivid, dramatic and human, multiple twists and turns in the story that keep you on edge. an amazing listen, thank you Peirce Brown.