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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