My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As with the two previous books in the series, Morning Star is brutally violent and honest in its portrayal of the darkness of humanity. It’s a strange series that I don’t quite know how I feel. While overall the plot and storytelling are good and I enjoy reading the series, for the most part, I am also frequently horrified by events and actions. As a result, I would recommend again that younger teen readers do not pick this up. Wait until you are older to read the series.
Sevro is such a strange character, but I love him. Some of the things he said, although unintentionally funny, had me laughing aloud (and probably sounding like a crazy person because I was by myself). Sadly, the course of the war and things that he has experienced seem to change him – as the war alters all of the characters. In the third book, he is just as funny and strangely likable as he was in the previous two books despite the horrors that he has endured.
I love the honest wonder of Ragnar, despite his fierce size and fighting skills he was not born to the same world as Darrow. He is genuinely pleased or fascinated by things most would take for granted in that world. Despite the fact that Ragnar is a terrifying killing machine – you can’t help but like him.
Although there is a lot of death and destruction in these books, it is not until halfway through the third book that the pain of a character affected me. I got a little teary-eyed because it was one of the characters that I had grown to care about. I don’t feel a very strong connection to them in general, which I feel is probably the main weakness of this series for me.
The second book fell prey to the typical slow nature of a middle book in a trilogy. In general, I feel that these books take some time to get into but become very engaging eventually. The third book was a little slower to start than even the others, although there were some enjoyable moments early on it wasn’t until a little over halfway through the book that I really thought ‘wow this is where things start happening.’
Once I was in the second half of the book, I felt like this was my favorite of the books in the series. I think Pierce Brown does his best work when he’s talking about a battle. So the fighting you see in this part of the book really shines.
While it is very authentic to a war scenario, I don’t personally like that so many characters die. I know people would complain if no one died because then the stakes wouldn’t be as high for the characters but it makes me so sad when a character I like doesn’t make it.
Despite the slow start of the third book, by the end, I had completely forgotten about it and felt that this was my favorite book in the series. The action, the schemes, everything just pulled me in and I was riveted, guessing, gasping and cheering until the very last page.