Series: Red Rising #4
Published by Del Rey Books, Recorded Books on January 16, 2018
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy
Length: 23 hours, 22 minutes
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble
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.
“We didn’t prepare for this.”
“How do you prepare for a kick in the balls?” I say. “You don’t. You suck it up.”
This is pretty much how I felt for the majority of this book. I wasn’t prepared to see our hero 10 years later still fighting a war that seems like it will have no end. I wasn’t ready for the sins of the past to come back and throw our hero into yet another war. I couldn’t have dreamed of the fate of the Reds of Mars brought up from the mines and saved from slavery only to be thrown into poverty. And I definitely would never have guessed Grey who used to be part of the resistance would fall so low and end up on the wrong side of everything.
Iron Gold is set ten years after Morning star. All the players from the original trilogy are here and it is very interesting to see the roles they have decided to play in the new republic. Still in its infancy, the republic is flagging, there has been war for the last ten years against the Ash Lord in an attempt to consolidate/liberate all of the Core before the Outer Rims rebuild and come for a war of their own. We come back to this world right before the sh*t hits the fan.
While the first three books are all from Darrow’s PoV, Iron Gold flips the script and has four PoVs to really open up the scope of the story and the world-building.
It is interesting to see Darrow wrestle with the choices he has made and the man he has become in this never ending war. Pierce Brown is great at the philosophical ponderings and making his characters really take a deep look at themselves. I think this is why I get so attached to them and can empathize with the pain they are feeling.
I feel the weight of the chaos I’ve unleashed: famines and genocide on Mars, Obsidian piracy in the Belt, terrorism, radiation sickness and disease spreading through the lower reaches of Luna, and the two hundred million lives lost in my war.
The additional PoVs were from Lyria, a Gamma Red from Mars, who is suffering and angry after being displaced from the mines. Lysander, the former heir to the throne, gives us a view of what it is like in outer space as he roams with Cassius. And last by not least, is Effriam, a Grey former resistance fighter who lost his husband in Morning Star and lost his way not long after that.
The thing this book did best was show us that perspective is everything. Darrow has been a hero to us for three books, but now we get to see what others think of the Reaper and his Lion mate. Pierce Brown still knows how to twist up my emotions and stomp on my heart in new and unexpected ways. I’m sure he feeds on the tears of his readers.
The trilogy had a little more humor to it. I found Servo and Victra were really our only comic relief for the most part and the tone of Iron Gold is possibly more severe and downtrodden than the original trilogy. It’s been a long bloody war and you feel that from all of the characters.
Once I got used to the shifting PoVs and built a little rapport with the other characters the story really started to roll for me. I never grew to like Lysander as a character but his chapters were full of action and intrigue. I couldn’t put this down after I got to the 60% mark and needed to read until I found out everything that happened and which of the characters made it out alive.
Iron Gold sets up nicely for the war(s) to come and I’m so excited to see where the next book in the series dares to go.
The man says all I know is war. And he is right. In my heart, I know my enemy. I know his mettle. I know his cruelty. And I know this war will not end with politicians smiling at each other from across a table. It will only end as it began: with blood.
“Skipping supper. No wonder you’re a little twig,” Cassius says, pinching my arm. “I daresay you don’t even weigh a hundred ten kilos, my goodman.”
“It’s usable weight,” I protest. “In any matter, I was reading.” He looks at me blankly. “You have your priorities. I have mine, muscly creature. So piss off.”
“When I was your age…”
“You despoiled half the women on Mars,” I say. “And probably thought it was their honor. Yes, I’m aware.
-Lysander and Cassius
Narration Note: There are 4 narrators for this depending on the PoV. I love Tim Gerard Reynolds (TGR); he is great in everything. It took a little while to get used to the other narrators and I only had issues when they overlapped characters TGR had done in other books. The narrator for Lysander had a cadence to the narrative which I never got used to but overall the audio is very well produced.
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Nice review Robin! I like the addition of the quotes and also the information on audio since I have the first 3 in this series on audio.
Tim Gerard Reynolds is master of his craft and one of my favorite narrators. I love all the books I’ve listened to that he has narrated so far. The first 3 audios are totally fantastic and he really delivers in Pierce Brown’s books.
Pierce isn’t afraid to kill off characters even main players so be prepared because no one is safe.
Okay, I am honest here – I didn’t read the review, because I haven’t read the series. However, my 14 yo son LOVES this series and is looking forward to this book. He wants to get it, but it’s only hard cover now, and he has the trade paperbacks on his shelf. So my question is… it is worth getting the kindle version or tracking down at the library or just wait until he can buy the copy for his shelf?
Jen, I suffer from this dilemma sometimes too. I mean there is only so much space on my physical bookshelf.
I think that it is of the same caliper as the prior books in the series so if your son loved those he should like the direction this is taking. It is a little darker but the makes sense because it is a world at war for the last ten years. So if like me he will reread these a few times I’d say see how your luck goes at the library if he can’t wait for the paperback version to round out his shelf. Since this is the first of a new trilogy maybe the library is better to see if he loves it enough to want to add this new trilogy to his collection.
Oh! I didn’t realize this was the start of a new trilogy! On GR it lists it as book 4. I did put a hold on the book at the library – he is looking forward to reading it. Thanks for your input!
Originally I think he planned to have it be an entirely new cast but set in the same world. Books 1-3 are a completed trilogy and this is listed as 4 but it is for a new trilogy set in this world 10 years after the events of the first 3. So I think you will have time to pick up the paperbacks if your son decided he likes it just as well.
This series has been on my TBR for a while. I really need to move it up my list. So many books, so little time.
there are so many great books out there. I really liked the first three start to finish. I hope you get a chance and if you like audiobooks at all Tim Gerard Reynolds narrated the first three spectacularly.