Wednesday, 31 January 2018

'Iron Gold', by Pierce Brown

Title: Iron Gold (Red Rising #4)
Author(s): Pierce Brown
Release Date: 16th January 2018
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher (ARC)

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.


I am beginning to lose the ability to review Pierce's books without recurring time and time again to words in the 'amazing' and 'mind blowing' spectrums. But let us try, shall we?

One of the most interesting things about this book is the concept behind it all. How many books are out there, where the underdog defeats and tears down the evil regime, and then all you get is the implication of a 'happy ever after'? You never really get to know (with the few exceptions of Epilogues that do not cover much) what happened after, or you are led to assume that everything was fine and dandy.

With 'Iron Gold', you get to dive (pun intended) into all the politics and sacrifices that come with victory.

Like always, Pierce has built a very engrossing world filled with characters more layered than a melon sized onion. Reading all the conversations about politics, and the meetings between all the representatives of each colour was very reminiscing of Star Wars, especially in the novels focusing on Leia. I found the functioning of the Republic in 'Iron Gold' to be very similar to its 'galaxy far, far away' counterpart, but with a good originality to it as well.

In this book, we get to read from a point of view other than Darrow's, and we get three extra POV's, no less. There is Lyra, the Red girl from Mars who has been 'saved' from the mines, but doesn't really
feel saved, Lysander, the heir to the fallen system, and Ephraim, a disillusioned veteran who gets sucked back into a war that might cost him his life. It was incredibly refreshing to read from other character's perspectives, but especially from people that have such different views to Darrow. All three characters, for their own reasons, wish that the rebellion had never happened, and so that against the still hopeful feeling that Darrow has for a better future was a great balance.

With the gap of ten years between 'Morning Star' and 'Iron Gold', it was inevitable that the returning characters would be changed by the events that take place in that span, and they have certainly grown and developed during that time. For fear of spoilers I will not develop much, but it was incredible seeing characters that used to run into danger with no second thought about the consequences now have other people that they care for more than glory, for example. As much as it feels like this could take place months after 'Morning Star', the feelings that it buries within the characters are something that takes much more time to mature, and I cannot find a single fault in the character development here.

The world of 'Iron Gold' is also much more expansive. While the first three novels focused mainly on Mars and Luna, here we get to go all the way to the Outer Rim, and meet the people that live there. This increasing view of the world is, of course, assisted by the fact of the multiple points of view, but I ended the reading of this book with a much fuller vision of what Darrow's solar system is like.

I really cannot get into more detail about how much I loved this book without spoiling it left and right, so I will finish by saying that it was, without a doubt, worth the two year wait. 'Iron Gold' raises the already impossibly high bar that this saga is been set at, and I cannot fathom how Pierce keeps getting better and better with each novel. Plot twists and surprises left and right, you will definitely be finishing this book eager to get your hands on the next.

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