Published: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Red Rising Saga #4
Pages: 600 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
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 Goldis 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.
“And tongues, loose from those same commercial spirits and delights, cry out, shouting my name, or cursing it. Not the name my mother gave me, but the name my deeds have built. The name the fallen Peerless Scarred now whisper as a curse. “Reaper, Reaper, Reaper,” they cry, not in unison, but in frenzy. The clamor suffocates, squeezing with a billion-fingered hand: all the hopes, all the dreams, all the pain constricting around me.”
― Pierce Brown, Iron Gold
This is the book I needed in my life. I SO needed more Darrow, more Sevro, more Virginia, and I NEEDED to know what happened after the end of Morningstar. My gushing doesn’t mean this book was perfect, but it was supremely satisfying, fairly traumatizing, and it ended on kind of a cliffhanger. Good thing the next book, Dark Age, will be out in September 2018. *YAY*
First of all, I listened to the audio version of this and it was fantastic! There are different narrators for each of the four POV’s and as usual, Tim Gerard Reynolds is reading Darrow’s chapters. Each narrator sounds very different so you’ll have no trouble keeping characters straight. I would mention that it took me a little while to get used to Lyria’s chapters because the accent is a bit heavy.
I really loved the broad spectrum of characters we have here – just the main 4 POVs include Darrow, Lysander (an exiled Gold), Lyria (a Red), and Ephraim (a Grey). They each lead very different lives and Pierce Brown makes you feel so much for each of them despite their flaws and shortcoming. In no way does he paint them as the image of perfection, especially Darrow who’s basically this warmonger that neglects his family for the “good of all”. There was this really great scene where he and Sevro argue and Sevro calls him out on being in love with his own heroic image and that’s why he can’t hand off the title of Arch Imperator or think of peace. He’d rather die in an iron rain than go quietly into the void. Darrow is now a relic from an age gone by – a warlord in a time of democracy. I do wonder if Pierce Brown will continue with the historical theme of Rome and bring down the Republic with the rise of a new empire.
Lysander’s chapters were some of my favorites to get to, especially since that meant we get to see what our ol’ buddy Cassius au Bellona is up to in his exile. Cassius has been raising Lysander to be a competent swordsman and generally decent human being, but Lysander still retains the teachings of his grandmother, the Sovereign Octavia au Lune – who Cassius helped to murder. I won’t give away much, but Lysander meets the Moon Lords and things get interesting. Ephraim was also pretty interesting, as he is a former member of the Sons of Ares turned thief of luxury items, heirlooms, and historically significant artifacts. He’s got a skilled team, a chip on his shoulder, and a job unlike any he’d done before at the behest of some very powerful, very influential people. Lyria’s story was emotionally moving, but it took me a long time to warm up to her character. She’s so full of rage, and it’s pretty justifiable, but she also gives the impression that she thinks the government should think of her as an individual and cater to her needs, which simply isn’t logical. She’s very passionate, very alone, and very naïve as to who the world works because she’s been in the mines of Mars for almost her entire life. I warmed up to her as the story progressed and I think she evolved SO much during this first book. Darrow’s chapters are harrowing and stressful and sometimes I’d love to slap some sense into him. He’s a majestic and powerful idiot sometimes. See my previous paragraph spiel.
I was a little disappointed at Virginia’s role here. She seemed so distant and untouchable, even during Darrow’s chapters and she’s lost much of the power she radiated in books 1-3. She was an embodiment of her role as Sovereign in this book rather than carrying the presence that she did before. I hope in the next installment she’ll regain her former awesomeness and become once again a warrior-queen instead of a politician.
Overall, this was a stellar book and I loved it for so many reasons. It was a delight to see how the characters have changed and embraced (or not) their new roles as parents, founders of the Republic, and even renegade do-gooders. I can’t begin to describe how happy I am that Dark Age will be released later this year so I won’t have to wait too long to find out what happens next! Also, I need more Howler merch to represent my love for this series. Like a coffee mug or something, but I haven’t found any designs that I LOVE. If you have recommendations for Howler merch, send them my way. I know Illumicrate has an awesome box containing Iron Gold and some awesome gear for sale so I may check that out!