Red Rising: Taking Youth Literature by the Reins

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By Allainah Meulener

           All the way from the absolutely enchanting emotions to sacrifice beyond compare to strife reigning supreme, Pierce Brown has the students of Estes Park High School loving Red Rising

           The main character Darrow has many names such as ‘Helldiver as Lykos’, ‘Reaper’, ‘Darrow au Augustus’, and many more. 

           Darrow’s wife Eo (spoiler alert), risked and basically takes her own life for the rebellion of the Red society. She and Darrow  take a huge risk and go up one of the air vents in some old tunnels and visit a forest, which they have never seen before. When the two get caught, they are punished and whipped. To lite the fire that will spark the rebellion, she sings Persephone’s Song. The lyrics of the short hymn tell the tale of a rebellion and singing of it is punishable by death. 

           The character Darrow undergoes what people call “The Carving” which is a process where the body is “carved” practically into a entire different person. Darrow was given more muscle mass, golden eyes and hair, and his height is extended at least a few feet. The reason that he went through this huge change was because he was going undercover to start an uprising and save his home, save the people he loves, and avenge his wife’s death. Along the ride he finds a new love, new allies and new enemies.

            Thought it seems like a cliché storyline, the young author Pierce Brown uses his gift of having quite a way with words to make the readers feel like they are watching Cassius and Darrow fight to death while the hypothermia crawls up their fingertips, the stench of blood so intoxicating that you can barely notice the crash of two swords in the crisp winter air. All the students that have read this love the talent of Pierce Brown. The characters in the novel really make the reader feel involved in the story. Darrow, Eo, Mustang, Cassius and even Titus all have relatable stories, in some shape or form. All of us have that secret that no one knows about, or that trait that really defines one’s self worth and character. Pierce Brown did an amazing job handling the writing style and really building up the characters to their full potential.

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This year the freshman, the class of 2020, had the opportunity that not any other class previous to them had. To go along with the Greek and Roman history unit, Mr. Thomas, the world civilizations teacher, and Mrs. Ryder, the English teacher, put together a curriculum called The Red Rising Greco Roman Olympic Games. In this curriculum, students went through preliminary rounds in their English or world civilizations classes participating in events such as soccer, limbo, basketball, archery, rhetoric and many more. Then on October 28 the final games arrived. It lasted practically all day and the students really enjoyed the competition and competitiveness of the entire curriculum.

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