If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably already know that I am slightly obsessed with the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. It is easily one of my favorite series/books. Obviously, the fourth installment – Iron Gold – was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. It’s here. I read it. And I have A LOT of thoughts. Seriously, let me know if you’d be interested in a spoiler-y discussion post of this book, because there are SO MANY THINGS I need to talk about.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(From Goodreads) They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.
A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?
And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever:
A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.
An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.
And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.
Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Gold is the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.
Iron Gold is the first book in a new trilogy set ten years after the events of Morning Star. I love the idea of exploring what happens after a revolution succeeds. Historically, it isn’t all sunshine and roses for the victors, and Brown illustrates that well in this book. There are a lot of pieces still in play, and it’s interesting to see how they all interact. I’ve always loved how Brown incorporates politics into his novels, and that definitely comes into play here (though not quite as much as I had anticipated).
I will say that I was a bit skeptical about the addition of three new narrators, because I’ve grown so used to Darrow’s voice in the previous novels. But it was done really well! I thought the different perspectives added a lot to the story. Darrow is in such a position of power, it was great to see how the rest of society was living ten years after the Rising. I particularly enjoyed the chapters narrated by Lyria and Lysander, which were kind of unexpected. Lysander reminded me a lot of Darrow in Golden Son, which was really great. His story connects least with the others, so it adds a completely new element to what is going on. Lyria’s story was great, because it gave a glimpse into what Red life is like after Mustang takes power (spoiler: it’s not exactly ideal). And, finally, Ephraim’s story highlights the political conflict that still exists in the galaxy. Overall, they were each great in their own way (and they provided the perfect respite when I felt like yelling at Darrow). Interestingly enough, I’d say Darrow’s perspective or story in this book was my least favorite. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there were definitely a few times I had to stop reading because I was so annoyed with him. I’m keeping my fingers crossed he redeems himself in the next book, because I kind of wanted to strangle him (as did Mustang, I’m sure).
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I will say that it felt a bit less intense than the original trilogy. I think a lot of that was just me getting used to the alternating perspectives and the inclusion of more world building. Not a bad thing, per se, just something I noted while reading. It wasn’t until the last couple of hundred pages that I was too engrossed to put this book down. Then again, I definitely drew out the process of reading this because I was afraid of what was going to happen next.
Naturally, Iron Gold ends on not one, not two, but FOUR huge cliffhangers – Pierce Brown is literally one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, but man is he brutal on paper – so I am even more glad we only have to wait until September for Dark Age. That said, I’m kind of glad I can’t read the next book yet because I don’t think I’d be able to handle it right now.
★★★★★ – As always, Pierce Brown blew me away with Iron Gold. I was really impressed with how the series matured, I loved seeing some of my favorite characters again, and I am excited to see where this new trilogy goes.
Iron Gold is available in bookstores – and on Amazon – now.
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose Iron Gold as one of your two free books. (I HIGHLY recommend the audiobooks of this series. They are easily some of my favorite audiobooks – I’ve listened to them several times.)
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