Series: Red Rising #4
Published by Random House Publishing Group on January 16th 2018
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure, Dystopian
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Buy on: Audible
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the epic next chapter of the Red Rising Saga, the #1 bestselling author of Morning Star pushes the boundaries of one of the boldest series in fiction.
They call him father, liberator, warlord, Slave King, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the war-torn planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-third 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 all 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. 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.
“A new wound can take a body. Opening an old one can claim a soul.”
After completing Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series the first time around, I hoped the series would continue so I could witness Io’s dream a reality. Pierce Brown must have heard his fans’ outcry because he decided to write a spin-off series, Iron Gold. While I was happy to finally get my hands on the fourth entry into the Red Rising saga, I still found it difficult to get through it. Not that it wasn’t good. It was. But, nevertheless, it took me two weeks to complete. As of now, I consider the reasoning to be a case of the “Scarletts.” What’s that you may ask? No worries, I’ll tell you.
As a kid growing up I was swept up in the romance of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. The film was one of my favorites, and so was the novel. As a kid I never troubled myself with the way slavery was depicted, or how the slaves were characterized. I was too caught up in one of the greatest romances of all-time. So much so that I was dissatisfied with the memorable ending and wished the story to continue so I could see the pair reunite. I ended up getting my wish when Margret Mitchell’s Scarlett was finally released by her family. Of course, I ran to the store to pick up a copy and devoured it. However, after I was done I felt remorse. Remorse for being told what happens next not living up to my imagination. This was a powerful lesson. Sometimes is better not to know, and leave some ends untied.
Iron Gold picks up ten years after the events in the original trilogy. Readers find Darrow still fighting to bring peace to the new republic he created with the Sons and Mustang. Instead of the ideal world he set out to create, he and his friends are stuck trying to end a decades-long war. However, this war has touched everyone. Alongside the old, familiar characters from the original series, we meet some new ones and get to know others a lot better. Darrow’s POV is just one of the POVs in this novel. Readers also learn what became of Cassius and the exiled heir, Lysander. We also meet Trigg’s fiance Ephraim, who is still grieving the loss of his love. Plus, there’s a Red girl from one of Darrow’s rival tribes who is living the new reality topside. These stories were all interesting, and I actually liked all of these new characters.
“Sharing a life threads more than flesh and blood together. It weaves her memories in and around and through mine. The more I know of her, the more I share of her, the more I love her in a way the boy I used to be never knew how to love. Eo was a flame, dancing against the wind. I tried to catch her. Tried to hold her. But she was never meant to be held. My wife is not as fickle as a flame. She is an ocean. I knew from the first that I cannot own her, cannot tame her, but I am the only storm that moves her depths and stirs her tides. And that is more than enough.”
I also loved reuniting with old “friends,” and learning what became of them. It’s pretty cool to see how different their lives have changed in the past decade, and also how similar. Sevro and Victra are still the best couple, second only to Sevro and Darrow. LOL! I also loved the respectful nature of Darrow and Mustang’s relationship. Both accept the other for who they are, and it’s one of their strengths. However, I was sad to see that Darrow and the Howlers are still fighting instead of living in peace. In my mind, the new republic was going to be the ideal world the gang all hoped for, and readers would bear witness to new intrigues and rivalries. I figured Lysander would be an issue, and that they would steadily fight the Ash Lord and the Raa. Yet, the gang would continue to fight to hold on to the peace so many died for. Instead, Brown took the realistic route. As I read the novel I was glad he didn’t blow smoke up our bums and gave us what we needed instead of what we wanted. I also have faith that this wise decision will pay off better than what I envisioned. Still, I mourned the story I created in my imagination as I became captivated by this new world. Now that I know how things have turned out, I think if I reread the book I’d have a better view on it. Right now, I’m just sad. Sad things didn’t turn out the way I hoped, and sad that as much as I tried to drag things out it’s now over. For now… The Red Rising Trilogy was (and still is) one of the best series I’ve ever read. While I enjoyed every minute of Iron Gold, the jury is still out on how I feel about it. Sometimes things are better left unknown. I hope this winds up not being one of those times.