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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.

624 pages, Hardcover

First published January 16, 2018

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About the author

Pierce Brown

49 books32.6k followers
Hello. I'm Pierce Brown, the author of the Red Rising Saga, a NYT #1 bestseller.
I figured I'd write you myself than have corporate copy pasted below my totally natural author photo.

In my books you'll find stories of men and women finding their inner strength when all seems lost. You'll also find me exploring themes of love, violence, hope, and power--what it means, why people seek it, and how they hold onto it.

IG @piercebrownofficial
Twitter @pierce_brown

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Profile Image for Petrik.
674 reviews42.8k followers
June 1, 2023
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

A bloodydamn spellbinding return to my number one favorite sci-fi series of all time.

There haven’t been any changes to my list of favorite authors of all time for a year now. I’m gratified to say that after reading his Red Rising trilogy and Iron Gold, Pierce Brown deserves to be included in the list.

For those of you who don’t know, Iron Gold is the continuation of the highly acclaimed Red Rising trilogy, which has now become a saga; making this book the fourth installment in the Red Rising Saga. The story takes place ten years after the end of Morning Star and to tell you what the book is about—spoiler-free, of course—there’s really no better way than to let Pierce Brown himself explain it:

“Iron Gold is about the struggle to preserve liberty in a bleak landscape, where heroes of the past look suspiciously like villains and the inspiring dream of liberty has been hijacked by politicians, dirtied by social strife, and muddled by interest groups and competing factions.

How in such a world can good prevail? On the back of one man? Certainly not. It takes a village—a host of disparate people who, despite their conflicting views and disparate pasts, must band together to find their own purpose, to replenish the dream of liberty with their own sacrifices and come together for the common good…”–Pierce Brown

Full article here: https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1...

There you have it. And as for my thoughts and review, here it goes.

I found the plot of Iron Gold to be superbly compelling; it was extremely hard to put down, and the pacing was executed masterfully. Most of the chapters in this book tended to end on a cliffhanger, and there wasn’t any moment where I was bored, not even for one bloodydamn page. The main reason for this is the transition to a multi-POV narration. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the first trilogy; told solely through Darrow’s perspective, the first-person narration in the first trilogy was utterly magnificent and immersive. However, if Pierce really intends to continue this series with another trilogy, I honestly don’t think another single character POV would be a good idea; it might end up becoming tedious, to say the least. Hence, this is why the shift in narration to a four-character multi-POV was a brilliant move.

Picture: The main POV characters of Iron Gold. Art by Magali Villeneuve.

Seeing the plot unfolding from several characters’ perspectives with different backgrounds and personalities instead of one provided the series with a new level of depth and complexity, especially regarding the characters and scope of the series. I immensely enjoyed the grand and majestic story told here. Pierce Brown really knows how to create a dramatic, dynamic, and cinematic reading experience in his books; every character’s POV was engaging and addictive in their own way. Iron Gold is the biggest installment in the series so far, but it still felt too short for me; I finished it within three days. Each word kept me turning the pages late into the night, and Brown also managed to connect the few loose ends from Morning Star seamlessly. It’s a book about liberty, penance, politics, love, and many more aspects that contains a heavy resemblance to our society. This is actually one of many reasons why I love Red Rising Saga; even though this is a sci-fi series and the majority of the time the story doesn’t even take place on Earth, the themes still felt incredibly scary and relatable. It was almost prophetic how the mayhem in this book and series can be correlated to our world and civilizations.

“I know it may be impossible to believe now, when everything is dark and broken, but you will survive this pain, little one. Pain is a memory. You will live and you will struggle and you will find joy. And you will remember your family from this breath to your dying days, because love does not fade. Love is the stars, and its light carries on long after death.”

I’ve talked already about the brilliant narrative change to multi-POV, but to be honest, I had my doubts about this at first due to the fact that these four POVs were all done in first person POV. There’s nothing wrong with it; I’m just more used to multiple third-person POVs. I really shouldn’t have worried; Pierce Brown nailed it with finesse. Not only was the story more epic in scope, but more importantly, Brown successfully made each character's distinct voices and personalities shine, even when all four of them were done in first-person narration. Although it took me a while to warm up to one of the POV characters, once I was halfway through the book, I was fully engrossed in the four POV characters equally. These character’s emotions, their rage, friendships, loss, love, and dilemmas, they were easily palpable through each word that Pierce carved; it was emotionally impactful for me. All the characters in Iron Gold were flawed and genuine; they’re complex, and the burden of their past and the weight of their choices and actions felt believable. They did questionable things with understandable motivations, and I loved this book more because of that. Humans are complex by nature, and Iron Gold exhibited just how complex each individual can be, especially when they’re all trapped in the cycle of death, hatred, and violence. It’s safe to say that I’m emotionally invested in all the characters, both main and side.

One of the things that differ in this novel compared to the previous three books was the action scenes. And I’m not talking about the quality because those have always been exhilarating and breathtaking since Golden Son. Iron Gold is not an exception to this; pulse-pounding, explosive, and stunning as ever. Iron Gold, however, contained more violent scenes, and they were written elegantly. The set-pieces, the buildup, the execution; they all made the action scenes so powerful and beautifully destructive, and I thoroughly loved them.

Picture: Deepgrave by Sam Burley

Pierce Brown also did a spectacular job with his world-building in Iron Gold; it was enlightening to read what has transpired to the characters during the past ten years—in the narrative—within the solar system. We also get to see the character’s journeys on several different planets. The settings, atmosphere, and weather were vividly described, and this, in my opinion, enhanced the reading experience. That said, my favorite part of the world-building in Iron Gold was the exploration of cultural differences between the colors; it’s fascinating to witness how myriad of changes doesn’t immediately mean that circumstances have indeed improved. And the implementation of Japanese culture in the House Raa family was especially delightful for me to read. For example, the terms gahja (outsiders) that the House Raa used probably derives from the word gaijin, which means foreigners. Plus, the House Raa upholds the code of honor and respect reminiscent of the Japanese culture.

Picture: Iron Gold by Sam Burley

Before Brown’s Red Rising trilogy became a saga, the division between those who loved and those who hated the series stemmed primarily from Brown’s prose. Fortunately, I fell on the loving side, and I continue to love his writing style. I always think of Pierce’s prose as evocative, philosophical, compelling, vivid, and elegant. From my observation, his capability to pull off first-person present tense is top-tiered. In addition to that, the prologue of Iron Gold displayed a fraction of the amazing story he can tell if he decides to write a novel from third-person perspective narration one day. I hope it will happen one day; the prologue was short, and it was transcendent. Regardless of my wishful thinking, this once more demonstrated Brown’s incredible talent as a writer.

“It is my duty as a free man to read so I'm not blind being lead around by my nose”

The year 2018 has only just begun, and I’m confident that Iron Gold will be included not only as one of my favorite reads of the year but also as one of my favorite books of all time. Personally speaking, Iron Gold is my second favorite installment in the series so far; just below Golden Son, and it is up there with . Red Rising Saga is truly my favorite sci-fi series of all time, and I highly recommend this to all sci-fi fans.

One final thing. I’ll leave this passage from the acknowledgments in this book for all of you to read because trust me, Pierce Brown understands his readers. Who knows? This could be the extra push for those of you who are trapped in the Bermuda Triangle of Fantasy (George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch) to finally invest in the Red Rising Saga if you haven’t.

“A single, standalone book is a fling. A series such as this is a relationship between author and reader. You trusted me to give me your time, your imagination through the initial trilogy. And, by buying this book, you trusted me yet again.

So my greatest thanks to you, the reader, for that trust. Know that I do not take it lightly, and will not abuse it as we spin further down the rabbit hole.” –Pierce Brown

Side note: The homage to A Song of Ice and Fire is perfection.

“House Leo sends their regards.”

Okay relax boyo, there is no House Leo. I made that up to keep this review spoiler-free but you get my point.

Picture: My copy of Iron Gold. Thank you, Haifa! I will cherish this birthday gift!

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!

My Patrons: Alfred, Alya, Annabeth, Ben, Blaise, Devin, Diana, Dylan, Edward, Ellen, Gary, Hamad, Helen, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Lufi, Melinda, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Sarah, Seth, Shaad, Summer, Wendy, Zoe.
Profile Image for Pierce Brown.
Author 49 books32.6k followers
October 25, 2017
Scintillating. Just scintillating. This author seems to really understand the way my clock ticks.

If you know what I mean, boyo.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,463 reviews9,618 followers
August 9, 2019

I HAVE MORE PICS OF GOODIES! HOLY SH*T BALLS! Don't forget to scroll down after these pics to see the link to the special HOWLER BOX W/ GOODIES



This is the black stained/signed edition of the book. Love it!

I don't keep stained editions on the same shelf, I just wanted to add these to see what they look like next to each other. Of course they are falling over! I made me a special edition shelf & I have a shelf just for stained books.

UPDATE OMG!!!!!! I have just had a panic attack! It came! My Howler Box! Clink the link below the pic to see the unboxing. THE BOOKMARKS PEOPLE!!!!! (Also one of my 2 black sprayed/signed editions came)


Silent, she waits for the sky to fall, standing upon an island of volcanic rock amidst a black sea. The long moonless night yawns before her. The only sounds, a flapping banner of war held in her lover's hand and the warm waves that kiss her steel boots. Her heart is heavy. Her spirit is wild. Peerless knights tower behind her. Salt spray beads on their family crests--emerald centaurs, screaming eagles, gold sphinxes, and the crowned skull of her father's grim house. Her Golden eyes look to the heavens. Waiting. The water heaves in. Out. The heartbeat of her silence

Men 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.

So much of this book was talking out loud to Darrow. Mainly, "What are you doing?"

Obviously, I'm not going to spoil anything with all of that stuff.

All of my babies are having babies =) Well, two of them more so than others. I wouldn't expect less of those two =)

Some of the main characters that came back took a little bit of a backseat to some new characters. And when I think I might find one I'm going to love, they get killed so what's the point. Although, I really want to see what's going to be up with Tongueless. I'm very intrigued by him.

I did fall in love with Lyria. Her story starts out horrible right from the start. I felt really bad for her. And even though she does some dumb things, I think she's learning and going to be a great character. At least she better be!

I know some people might be upset over someone's death in the book but for some reason I don't think it really happened. Pierce Brown doesn't usually do it so calmly and by that I mean, sort of push it off to the side and moving on. Nope. It didn't happen. We shall see in Sept!!!!

Yes! PB is the man! Who puts out the second book of the trilogy in the same year! THE MAN that's who. Now watch, I just jinxed it!

Anyway, we have some other characters come back from the original trilogy and take a front seat. They were good but all I wanted to focus on was Sevro and Darrow. I love Sevro so much and I'm so afraid something is going to happen in the next two books or at the end of the third one. Pierce Brown you better not! I have so many scenario's in my head that I can even think straight. But, it will be what it will be.

This book is more of a picking up after the wars sort of book. You have some people that were lied to, you have some people that turned traitor, you have people that keep doing stupid things, you have other people that do more stupid things. You have people being set on fire. That was fun. Evil person gets set on fire. We have underwater stuff that I thought was cool. We have some blood and gore as usual. Not tons but still. I'm not sure Darrow taking on an evil person to help him take another person out was such a good idea, but it worked. Now lets just see what havoc they are going to start in the next book. Or they could just sit on one of the planets and be all nice. Right!!

Either way, I loved the book. I loved being with my peeps again. I actually want Sevro and Victra to have their own book with some of the howlers in it with them. They need to have their own planet and just do the crazy things they do =)

I really, really, really hope Darrow comes to his senses. What is wrong with you Darrow?

I just don't know what to do with that ending. I hope it's going to end well and maybe Darrow knows something we don't know. I feel like I don't know who he is and I felt that way in the very beginning. We shall see...

Happy Reading!

Mel ♥

PS ~ When the cool stuff arrives, I will be adding it =)

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Profile Image for Anne.
3,918 reviews69.3k followers
April 26, 2018
3.5 stars

Ok. Well.
I'm a huge fan of the original trilogy and was incredibly happy with the way Brown ended it. Fantastic job. I was so grateful he didn't shit the bed on that one.


But then I heard there was a new book coming out with new characters.
Ok, ok. Well, new characters sounds cool.


So, I went into this sort of expecting it to have a bit of stuff with the original cast, but mainly it would be about the new guys fighting to make the new Republic work and whatnot.
Now, I'm not saying that's what I should have expected! But for whatever reason, that's what I did expect.

WARNING: I'm going to try very hard not to spoil any major plot points, but if you would rather know nothing about this book before reading it? Turn away now, because some of you are stupid crybabies.


Aww. I'm just kidding. Kinda.

So, a bunch of this is about Darrow, and how sucky his life is because he's chosen to chase the Ash Lord instead of retire and hang with his family. <--um, what?! No. No, no, no, no, no.
Why is he even in this? He did his part, and I don't want to read more about him.
And because of that, I didn't really enjoy any of the stuff about Virginia or Sevro, either. Just stop already with those guys, ok?


I honestly do not need to know what happens to my favorite characters in the future. If I want to imagine them out in the stars still battling evil, I will. If I want to imagine them tucked into bed safely every night, I will. If I want to imagine that they broke up with the love of their life and then got killed by their evil son, I will.
And I'm terrified that's where this series is headed.
Just give me new characters and tell me a different story, please.


I also get that a lot of people feel much differently about things than I do, and my opinion isn't the only one that matters. I'm not saying they're wrong, either. It just makes me very nervous when an author goes back to a successful series that has already supposedly ended, because rarely have I ever enjoyed what they did with the new stuff. <--personally!
But hey, I realize it's the author's choice...


Now, I would not have rated this a 3 star book based on my fears of what could be.
My god, I'm not a total savage.
Anyway, it wasn't until about the 60% mark that I wasn't somewhat bored with the plot, and it wasn't until I hit the 90% mark that stopped putting it down for days at a time.
Here's the thing, there are books that are well written that I just have to force myself to read. An example of one I'm reading right now would be The Shining. It's fabulous! And yet I just don't care. I'm seriously making myself read a bit every day so that I can keep up with a group of friends that I'm buddy-reading with. I've been reading it for close to a month now, and I couldn't give less of a shit what happens to Danny, his mom, or his dad.
But this is an INCREDIBLY well-written book - just ask the 10 bjillion people who loved it.
Sadly, I'm bored.
And that is exactly how I felt while I was trying to get through the majority of Iron Gold. It's a good story, it's well-written, yadda, yadda, yadda...
I just didn't care.


You know what I did like?! Darrow's kid, Pax. Oh, and Sevro's kid...whatsername. But they weren't really (as characters) a huge part of this one. Maybe in the next book, they'll have more of a starring role? <--yes, I believe so.
Anyway. I'm a lot less excited about the next one, but I imagine I'll read it just the same.

Profile Image for Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~.
347 reviews932 followers
April 4, 2018
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

So here we are, back in the elaborately ruthless world of Red Rising. And boy-o-boy was it a glorious return.

Honestly, it's not often that I find myself with much hope for continuations of series that have concluded. Many times it's easy to see when new material is... uninspired. Money/deals/obligations have the potential to create sticky situations. I loved the first three Red Rising books & I was worried that this new addition may be unnecessary, even if the prospect of continuing on with such an amazing tale was exciting.

But let me just say, Iron Gold is purely additive.

Pierce Brown doesn't write like he's in it for the wrong reasons. He writes like he has a story to tell, and he's gonna tell us the bloodydamn story the way it's meant to be told. Period.

10 years after the events of the original trilogy, the social & political structure of this world is balanced on a knife's edge. Rebellions, criminal organizations, and the looming threat of the Ash Lord plague the visions of peace & prosperity Darrow once held for the future.

Given the time gap, there's a healthy amount of nostalgia present here with many old faces making a meaningful return & the next generation taking up the mantel to make their own way in this world ravaged by war. Resulting consequences of actions from the past ripple through the story, touching every corner in a way that feels realistic & plausible.

The new characters whose perspectives we follow are all excellent compliments to Darrow. Together they create a complex circle of interconnection that forces the reader to be on constant swivel when deciding who to support & who to condemn. As situations pan out, it becomes clear that characters on many sides of this conflict are represented, and that they often hold justifiable points of view.

A set up like this is only improved by the choice of sticking with First Person POV for each character, which is probably the last thing I thought I'd ever hear myself say. But truly one of the biggest strengths of Brown's series is how he forges the bonds between the readers & his characters, and I believe he is aided by giving readers a glimpse into the minds of his central cast.

Speaking of characters, many people seem to dislike Darrow but for me, his flawed are exactly what make him such a magnificent character. In fact, I can't think of any other character who upsets me repeatedly, does literally everything I'm screaming for him not to do, and yet somehow still manages to gain my sympathy & wrangle my emotions into knots. Darrow is his own man, slag what I or anyone else thinks. And that's why I love him, even when I want to throttle him.

Brown's talent as a writer is on full display here. Not only does he beautifully capture the rage & brutality that fuels a war driven society such as this, but he creates situations that resonate deeply with his audience. Scenes of blood & gore that are not there for simple shock value, not there for purpose of a momentary gasp or a whispered "Ouch."

Moments of clarity, friendship, passion, defeat, anger, understanding are interwoven to give the violence a meaningful shape.

The the juxtaposition of cruelty & elegance stands starkly unique against the backdrop of this violent world he has called forth. Each scene is penned with such an individual significance that they will surely be replaying over & over again in your mind.

One of my favorite aspects of this series is how Brown finds interesting ways to paint a detailed picture of a high-tech society without boring me to tears. I've personally struggled a lot with Hard Science Fiction as a written genre because I tend to get bogged down in its densely worded walls of unnecessary sci-fi jargon. Red Rising as a series is not Hard Science Fiction, but the advanced tech of the era is critical to the story being told & I appreciate that it is communicated in a way that gives me clear imagery without assuming I'm in need of a physics lesson.

The only reason I knocked off half a star (more like a quarter of a star if I'm being honest but I don't normally divide my ratings down that far) is because I felt myself being just a little less interested in Ephraim's point of view when compared with Lysander, Lyria, and Darrow. His arc definitely paid off in the end but if I absolutely had to pick a least favorite POV, it'd be his. He's still a great character with a solid presence in the book, but he stood a little shorter in the shadows of the others.

This is truly one of my absolute favorite series. It's taken the concepts & formulas we've seen before & breathed new life into them. These are the ideas that resonate with humanity or else we wouldn't see them told over & over in so many different ways. Iron Gold is just the newest masterpiece to devour in the Red Rising series, and it's exactly what I needed to read at this moment in my life.

If you haven't gotten your hands on this series by now, what the gory hell are you waiting for?

This review and other reviews of mine can be found on Book Nest!
Profile Image for Lucia.
733 reviews804 followers
August 24, 2022
"War eats the victors last."

SPECTACULAR STORYTELLING! I knew before that Pierce Brown had a great way with words. But with interweaving 4 different POVs into one story, his storytelling skills reached new heights. I was spellbound from beginning to the end and as cliché as it may sound, I could not put this book down. Pierce Brown definitely knows how to make me FEEL while I read his books!

Once again, Darrow's POV and storyline touched me the most. He is the ultimate tortured hero and author spares him nothing. After everything that Darrow sacrificed, it broke my heart to see him doubting himself and blaming himself for so many things.

"It feels like the world is doing this to us. But is it the world or is it the me? The way I am built? A breaker, not a builder after all."

Among new main characters, Lyria has become my favorite. She is direct, always does what is need to be done. She goes through so much but remains empathetic towards others. She may be naive and inexperienced but she has genuinely good heart, strong backbone and she is a person of high morals. And I have to respect her for that. Together with Darrow's POV, hers was the most emotional one.

Lysander's storyline was a fascinating one. Not because of what he did or said but because of the situations he found himself in and people he met. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of Lysander himself; there is something about him that rubs me the wrong way. But all in all, I'm very curious to see where Pierce Brown will take his character in the next book.

"Using claws of others is not brave, nor it is the same as having claws."

The last one of new characters, Ephraim, is another proof that Pierce Brown likes his characters to be complex, complicated and never ever fully good or fully bad. I'm going to repeat myself but the die is cast and I am super excited to see how Pierce Brown is going to play this game when it comes to Ephraim.

All that said, I have to admit that Iron Gold didn't have the same wow factor as previous books. This book felt like it was "only" setup for bigger things to come. And to imagine that there are even bigger things to come, I truly cannot wait for Dark Age!


Whatever Pierce Brown writes, I read it. It's that simple.
I can't wait to find out more about this project!

Read basic info about this new series in USA Today article and Entertainment Weekly. WARNING: Article contains spoilers from Red Rising trilogy so do not read if you haven't finished Morning Star yet!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.5k followers
July 29, 2019
‘you will survive… because love does not fade. love is the stars, and its light carries on long after death.’

and the love affair i have with pierce browns storytelling could fill the night sky with an infinity of stars, making the sun jealous of their light.

what absolutely blows me away is the emotional complexity of this story and how that is conveyed through the writing. PB excels at fast-paced action-packed scenes, which is a must for a sci-fi novel. but consistent words of beauty and heaviness give this story such a depth of humanity that anyone, even those who do not enjoy sci-fi books, are able to find something worth relating to when reading this.

i once said this is the best sci-fi series i have ever read, and that claim still stands. in fact, after this, i swear my little crush on PB has now turned into a full blown obsession. im meeting him next week, so wish me luck on my proposal. i hope he says yes. :P

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Gavin.
862 reviews392 followers
August 20, 2019
This series is without a shadow of a doubt my all time favourite sci-fi series. It has the perfect blend of action, drama, romance, and shock happenings. The story is pretty dark and intense, but that is mitigated by the humor and the undercurrent of hope that ran through the story.

I felt like the Red Rising trilogy had a near perfect, fantastic, ending but I was still looking forward to this sequel series (despite the dreaded 10 years time jump) because I always felt like this world was so awesome that it had a lot more stories worth telling. So it proved with Iron Gold as it lived up to all my high expectations!

I say it all the time but I'll say it again Pierce Brown really is my sort of author. His writing is highly engaging and has a beautifully melancholic and poetic feel to it. His books are always intense and exciting and really drag me through the emotional ringer from start to finish. It is great when you find a book where you find the story super exciting and can emotionally engage with the characters and happenings.

The story in Iron Gold was great. The action picked up a decade after the fall of the Society in the Core and we got to see that establishing Darrow and Virginia's new Republic was no easy endeavour. I feel that Brown's decision to expand the POV cast to include three new characters really helped to flesh out the world building and add more depth to the story. I still love Darrow the most but I did manage to warm to two of the three new characters. The third needs a pulseFist to the face though!

All in all I loved this one and felt like Brown again got the balance spot on between the triumph and the tragedy. There was some real heart-breaking moments but also some inspiring and hope filled ones as well. It is that sort of balance that makes a great story so great!

Rating: 5 stars. An easy rating to give. It is only January but I have my doubts I'll read a better book anytime in 2018 than this gem.

Audio Note: I had some serious concerns going into Iron Gold when I heard that Recorded Books had decided to limit Tim Gerard Reynolds role in the book by brining in three new narrators to voice the three new POV segments. The only positive was that they had retained TGR for the Darrow POV segments. I'm still puzzled by why they thought this was a good idea as TGR is one of the best narrators out there and his performance of the original Red Rising was fantastic. One of the best performances of any audio I've ever heard (and I've listened to hundreds of audios over the years!). The guy was so good he enhanced the quality of an already great story with his ability to convey emotion with his voice and his excellent voice acting.

It goes without saying that TGR's Darrow POV section of Iron Gold were as fantastic as one would expect. His Apollonius interpretation was stand out good!

So how did the new narrators get on? They were a bit of a mixed bag.

John Curless - He did the Ephraim POV segments and I thought he was fantastic. Almost as good as TGR with his ability to convey emotions and he really got the tone and humor of the story. If he had a flaw it was that his character voices, while pretty good, were just not quite as good as TGR's. Still, he gets the thumbs up from me and I'll be happy to listen to more books he narrates in the future.

Aedin Moloney - She voiced the Lyria POV segments. I felt like she did an OK job. She struggled a little with the set voices and accents of the established characters but seemed to get the tone of the story and was also quite good at conveying emotion with her voice. She over did a few bits but all in all I still felt like she did an OK job.

Julian Elfer - The guy voiced the Lysander bits of the story. I felt like he was the real weak link and the only narrator not up to the job. He was pretty awful. The only good think he had going for him was that he was well-spoken and his voice was a great fit for an upper class Gold. The downside is that he was a poor voice actor and just read everything in a monotone. He even failed to get the humor which sounded decidedly off and stilted via his poorly timed delivery.

At least the production by Recorded Books was not awful. To their credit the had the new narrators retain the accents used by TGR in the original RR trilogy. It is a minor thing but really makes a difference as it helps with consistency.

Reread Update: Just as awesome the second time around!


Pre-Read moans!

I just checked Iron Gold on my Audible pre-orders and was aghast to see that a few more audio narrators have been added to Iron Gold. Why oh why is my luck with audios so bad in the last few months? Tim Gerard Reynolds did a FANTASTIC job with the Red Rising trilogy so what idiot thought it would be a good idea to limit his role in this 4th instalment?

I was super looking forward to this one but now some of the enthusiasm has been sucked right out of me. I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the person running Recorded Books has never actually listened to an audio series in their life to understand the value of consistency of interpretation!
Profile Image for Celeste.
906 reviews2,342 followers
March 6, 2018
Full review now posted!

Well done, Pierce. This was a bloodydamn phenomenal reentry into a story I thought had come to an end. It was phenomenally handled, and I applaud both your bravery and finesse in this continuation of a series that has already left its mark on the sci-fi world.

It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to revisit a series that you thought was ended well. Some authors don’t know how to let a world go and move onto another, and sometimes a world revisited but revisited poorly can sour a reader’s memories of a story they loved. I think that was a legitimate concern when Pierce Brown announced that the Red Rising trilogy would not remain a trilogy, but would instead evolve into a saga. Iron Gold, the fourth book and the one that would begin the new strand of the saga, would take place ten years after the events in Morning Star.

There are other authors who have expanded a world they created, and have done it well. But generally, these expansions take place either before the plot of the original story, or more than a generation later, after the main characters of the original plot have passed on. I though Pierce’s plan for the Red Rising saga was ballsy from the moment I heard about it, but thankfully the man followed through brilliantly.

With every book I’ve read from him, I’ve been more and more impressed with Pierce’s writing. His prose is incredible, and I would put it on par with the majority of authors in the genre of literary fiction. Most of the time, science fiction and fantasy are about the characters, the setting, and the story. Rarely does the writing itself shine, but Pierce’s does. I’m beginning to view him as the Patrick Rothfuss of the sci-fi genre in terms of prose, and there’s no greater compliment I can give in regards to the sheer beauty of someone’s writing.

“I will love you until the sun dies. And when it does, I will love you in the darkness.”

An aspect of this book that I was nervous about but ended up appreciating greatly was the use of multiple points of view. One of the things that made the original trilogy stand out in my mind was the fact that it was told in a limited first-person perspective. I’m not usually the biggest fan of first-person, but I thought it was used brilliantly in Red Rising. In the continuation of the series, however, we have four perspectives, all presented in first-person. I thought this would be difficult to follow, but each point of view character had a completely different voice and way of thinking than their counterparts, and all four of them were compelling, fallible characters. All four of them had some wonderful character traits, but all four of them made some terrible mistakes.

“They all want a part of it. A part of the pain that's not theirs. Nod their heads. Wrinkle their foreheads. Now they want to pity it, gorge on my pain. And when they're done or bored or too sad, they whisk themselves away to stare at a screen or stuff their fat faces, thinking 'How lucky am I to be me.' And they they forget the pain and say we should be good citizens. Get a job. Assimilate...

They planted us in stones, watered us with pain, and now marvel how we have thorns.”

One of the reasons that Darrow worked so well as a main character in the original trilogy was his fallibility. Is he noble? Yes, he certainly can be. Is he honorable? Yes. Is he a hero? That depends on who you ask. Is he a perfect? Definitely not. And each of the other three point of view characters share that last trait with Darrow. They are far from perfect. They make mistakes. But they are beautifully, achingly human, no matter what Color they are.

“A new wound can take a body. Opening an old one can claim a soul.”

We have Darrow, the hero of the the Rising. We have Lyria, a Red of Mars whose life has been made infinitely harder by that hero. We have Ephraim, a Gray who has been embittered by the Rising and has turned to a life of crime. And we have Lysander, a young Gold of the old order, whose loyalties have never been tested and are as displaced as he is himself. Four widely varied characters. Four points of view of the same struggles that have ripped apart the solar system. Four sides of what appeared to be a two-sided struggle.

“I know it may be impossible to believe now, when everything is dark and broken, but you will survive this pain, little one. Pain is a memory. You will live and you will struggle and you will find joy. And you will remember your family from this breath to your dying days, because love does not fade. Love is the stars, and its light carries on long after death.”

Getting to revisit characters from the original trilogy, and to see how they have changed over ten years, was wonderful. It was an ode to the Howlers, both the literary characters and the readers who have loved Pierce’s work since they opened the first book. But what I really loved was the expansion offered by the other point of view characters, an expansion that allows readers to experience far more of the world Pierce has created. We see that nature abhors a vacuum, and that whenever power is removed from a despot, another tyrant will rise up to take their place. We see that friendship covers a multitude of sins, but even it can only be stretched so far. We see love in all of its forms, and betrayal in just as many. We see that war touches everyone, and that everyone’s voice deserves to be heard. We see that an uprising is never truly finished. We see victory and defeat, pain and passion, dreams and despair. We see life in all of its beautiful chaos and horrendous patterns.

“War eats the victors last.”

I thought that my favorite sci-fi-fi series would always and forever be Ender’s Saga by Orson Scott Card. While Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow will indeed always remain among my favorite books, I can unequivocally say that Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga has become my favorite science fiction series, and I can’t wait to read future installments.

“Change isn’t made by mobs that envy, but by men who dare.”

Original review can be found at Booknest.
Profile Image for Steven.
1,065 reviews382 followers
August 26, 2019
First reread, just as good as the first time. Now on to Dark Age.
Thanks to the publisher, Penguin Random House, for providing me with a Netgalley copy of the book in exchange for an honest review as a result of a contest!

You'll have to forgive my language, but DAMN YOU, PIERCE. How could you do this to me? Rip my heart out by making the stakes even higher, making me care about even more characters in this incredible world you've built, only to leave fates hanging in the balance and the universe on the brink of an even bigger war? HOW COULD YOU MAKE ME WAIT FOR MORE?

Okay, sorry, now that I got that out, I can take a breath and try again. DAMN YOU, PIERCE. Oh, sorry, there was more.

Pierce Brown has done it again. First, in the original trilogy, he built a world from the ground up, then tore it down spectacularly. Now, he's upping the stakes and bringing more characters into the fold... more characters for us to learn to love, and leaving more of our hearts available for him to rip out and shred into tiny pieces. You've done it to us before -- you know the ones I'm talking about, Pierce. You remember what you did to us in the first trilogy. And you know what you're doing now. And you know that, no matter how much pain you cause me, no matter how many of my tears keep you fed and satisfied, I will keep reading. Because the world, the characters, the stakes, the loss... it's all worth it. You've made a masterpiece, and keep on adding to it in masterful ways.

Dark Age can't get here soon enough.

Review to be posted on release date... but... damn. Stakes are definitely upped. Mistakes are definitely made. "Winter is coming" lol.
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
724 reviews1,205 followers
September 5, 2019
After being back and forth on this book over the last year, my brain cells finally have a consensus: Iron Gold was a satisfying continuation to the original trilogy.

I first picked up the book shortly after it came out, then ended up abandoning it several chapters in. It took me too much time to re-immersed, and every time it started to gain momentum, there’d be a new POV. I lost interest, then I started confusing characters, so I got fed up and put it down.

I’m glad I picked it back up.

I thought the additional POVs added nice perspectives to how the system had changed since the uprising. It gave a glimpse into the after-effects felt within each cast (which Darrow’s view alone wouldn’t have conveyed sufficiently). It’s ironic that the exact thing that made me abandon Iron Gold a year ago is now one of the things I liked most about the book.

Another thing I didn’t like originally was the timeline – how soon after Morning Star the story began. I was expecting a next-generation spinoff and didn’t know how to feel about a full-blown continuation. As it turns out, this is also something I ended up appreciating about the book. It would’ve been much easier for Brown to start relatively fresh after ending on such a high note, but I actually thought it took a lot of balls to pick up where it left off. We’ll see if it pays off, but after this 4th book I’m left applauding his creativity and commitment to seeing this story through. I’m eager to see how the overall conflict is going to resolve.

Recommendations: Iron Gold is definitely worth the read if you loved the first trilogy. It has that same dramatic writing that’ll gut-punch you left and right (it’s nice to be back, lol), and it’s a truly bonafide continuation. The beginning suffers a pacing issue with a bunch of POV changes, but the momentum it builds off of that is worth the investment.

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com

Other books you might like:
Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1) by James S.A. Corey All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1) by Martha Wells Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1) by Orson Scott Card Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1) by Dan Simmons Planetside (Planetside #1) by Michael Mammay Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1) by Anthony Ryan
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,967 followers
February 25, 2018

The man ain't sliding on his storytelling.

Expect excellent things. Difficult things. Tragic things. And best of all, NEW CHARACTERS! And old, of course. :) The wheel turns and turns and turns.

Yep. I'm a fanboy. It's not just the fantastically detailed worldbuilding or the way the author colors all the planets upon a mythological background or how awesome all the space-opera plays out or the really cool battles or the blood.

It's the whole package. It only gets deeper with this new book. We have a real sense of history and the cast is pretty immense. When we say epic, we talk about a whole series. The weight of everything that came before, propelling the rest forward. This is definitely all that and more.

And Brown is exceeding expectations. :) No spoilers. A lot of plot happens here as well as character development. Huge changes after ten years and even more changes during this text... even early on.

Little is resolved. This is a bona fide start of a new trilogy (or more).

And I don't care because I'm fully invested in these big books. :) :) :)

War. War never changes. Boys grow into their fathers.
Profile Image for Mike's Book Reviews.
139 reviews5,691 followers
April 4, 2023
I think what makes the sequel series of Red Rising books so special to me is it takes that one foot out of fantasy that the original series had and embraces the real life consequences of war and regime change. Our heroes are more jaded and battle weary a decade later and you quickly see that things aren’t as easy after you win as you think they’ll be as an idyllic teenager.

Iron Gold is different enough from the original trilogy to feel fresh yet still retain those Red Rising elements that make the series so addicting. The same fast-paced action sequences are there along with the superb dialogue. But Brown paces things differently this time by coming up for air and observing the consequences of the Rising around the solar system.

The way he does this is by deciding to move away from the singular first person narrative of Darrow and adding 3 more POV characters in Lyria, a Gamma Red, Ephraim, a Grey with a death wish, and a surprise character I don’t want to ruin for you here.

The great thing about adding these new POVs is Pierce doesn’t have to try and work a magic trick with his twists and turns by hiding the fact we are in the main characters head and should know the plans. And give the new characters time; they’ll grow on you. If you can count on Pierce Brown for one thing it is his character work, which remains exceptional.

Lastly, this book just feels more grown up as our characters deal with the weight of a decade plus of their choices on their backs, being parents, and dealing in (in-world) politics. It was the shot in the arm the series needed and I think it’s better for it.
Profile Image for Geek Furioso.
99 reviews3,165 followers
February 6, 2021
Yo durante el 50% de este libro: ¡NO, DARROW, NO!

Yo durante el 50% de este libro: ¡NO, LISANDRO, NO!

Yo durante el 100% de este libro, he estado con el corazón encogido, tirándome de los pelos y mordiéndome las uñas. Hora de saltar a Edad Oscura. No puede ser un mayor descalabro que este, ¿verdad?

121 reviews57 followers
February 3, 2018
Four Stars: ✰✰✰✰

I have a love/hate relationship with Pierce Brown.

On the one hand, his books are just ridiculously cool, and they combine so many elements of many genres that I love dearly. It almost feels like a Sci-fi/Space Opera-Dystopian-Fantasy hybrid, and he does a really great job of this, without making it difficult to read. The first Red Rising trilogy is probably one of the most recommendable series that I've ever read - not because they're the most amazing books ever, but because so many different people could read those books and enjoy them, regardless of their preference for genre. They are even great books for first-timers to any of those genres.

It's one of the reasons why I think that these books have been so successful, and I applaud Pierce for what he's managed to accomplish with these books. They truly are one of a kind, in a lot of different ways, and this book was no different.

In fact, I think that Iron Gold is his best book yet.

I'm among the minority of people who - even though I definitely enjoyed reading the original trilogy - also found it to be vastly over-rated. I wasn't particularly drawn in by any of the characters; the scope felt limited due to the singular first person POV from Darrow; the writing, at times, felt clunky to me; and just honestly so many sequences of the book felt way too dramatic.

This book solved a lot of those problems. Rather than just having Darrow, we get FOUR individual POVs, creating an almost entirely new cast of characters we never really got to know before, while still giving people who loved the original trilogy all of the connections and references that they could hope to have. Darrow is still the main protagonist, but splitting up the airtime among Lyria, Lysander, and Ephraim gave the book a much broader scope. Having Ephraim and Lyria, in particular, was great because it gave us a glimpse back into the lower reaches of the society.

We also see a much darker side of characters like Darrow, as he needs to deal with the consequences of the Rising. Entire groups of people have slipped through the cracks. Injustice is rampant. The government teeters on the edge of collapse. It was a super realistic glimpse into the real-world problems that a world would face following something like the events we saw in Red Rising. I loved that about this book.

With all of the positives however, even considering that it was my favorite among Pierce Brown's books, I still don't really understand the appeal to Darrow's character. His POV had me yawning yet again, and felt extremely over dramatic. I didn't like Darrow even in the original trilogy though, so this is probably just my own tastes. Lysander's POV, as well, didn't really grab my attention, just because I had basically zero reason to care about what happened to him as a character. Lyria and Ephraim are what made this book shine, for me, just because their position in society, and also their motivations, were extremely relatable. It didn't feel stretched.

I also have a weird thing with Pierce Brown's writing, ever since book one. SO MANY of his descriptions just seem so.... odd? Like at one point in this book there was a whole lot of gunfire going on, and he described the attack as being "like hail on wet bread".

I'm sorry, but if you're talking about a GUN FIGHT, there simply MUST be a better analogy than HAIL on WET BREAD. In what circumstance would hail even be falling on wet bread? Has Pierce seen this happen that this is the thing that instantly came to his mind?

I digress.

Aside from my few pet peeves with the right, this book was excellent, and while it is definitely a huge change from the original trilogy, it is just as good. It's just good in a different way, and I think the fact that Brown is exploring new means of storytelling is commendable. I'm interested to see how this book fares among people who were die-hard fans of the originals.

Happy reading =].
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,344 reviews4,865 followers
June 3, 2021

3.5 stars

In Pierce Brown's 'Red Rising Trilogy' which precedes this book, humans - who had colonized the entire Solar System - were separated into caste-like Color categories. The ruling "Golds" were on top and the low-level "Reds" were on the bottom. The Reds were essentially slaves, who had short brutal lives in the underground mines of Mars. Other Color groups worked as medical personnel, soldiers, police, artists, sex workers, bureaucrats, household help, and so on.

The original trilogy revolves around Darrow, who was born a Red. After being surgically transformed to look like a Gold, Darrow infiltrated Gold society and - after rising through the ranks - became known as Darrow au Andromedus of Lykos.

Darrow eventually led a revolution that overthrew Gold rule. This led to the establishment of a democracy that would (theoretically) allow all Color groups to have equal rights. Thus, at the end of the trilogy I thought things in the Solar System were running down the right track.


In 'Iron Gold' - the first book of Pierce Brown's new series -it's ten years after the revolution. A Solar Republic has been established, with an 'all Color' Senate on Luna (Earth's moon). The Senate debates and enacts legislation, with input from all sides. The head of the Senate, and elected Sovereign of the Republic, is Virginia au Augustus - a Gold who happens to be Darrow's wife. Darrow is the military leader of the Republic, and he's in big trouble.

After the revolution, Gold factions retained control of Mercury, Venus, and the Outer Rim. The Golds hate Darrow, whom they consider a Red usurper, and call him the 'Slave King.'

To wrest control of Mercury from the Golds, Darrow unleashed a massive bombing attack on the small planet - called an 'Iron Rain.' This was successful, but resulted in immeasurable damage and cost hundreds of millions of lives. The Senate didn't give permission for the Iron Rain and plans to put Darrow on trial. However, Darrow has no intention of allowing this to happen.

To further peace in the Solar System, Darrow feels compelled to free Venus, which is under the thumb of Gold leader Magnus au Grimmus, also known as the Ash Lord. Darrow plans to kill the Ash Lord, a feat that's almost impossible since Magnus never leaves his impregnable fortress home.

Darrow devises a complex plan to slay the Ash Lord, but he must first escape from Luna with his most loyal supporters.....leaving his wife and their son Pax behind. Darrow is torn between his duties as a warrior and his responsibilities as a husband and father, and this haunts him throughout the novel.

Though Darrow is an important protagonist in this new series, other characters also take center stage. These include:

Ephraim ti Horn, a Gray who fought for the revolution, but became disillusioned after his husband was brutally murdered. Grief-stricken and angry, Ephraim left the military to become a professional thief. Ephraim recruited a small group of helpers, and now accepts commissions to steal specific items such as artworks, weapons, and so on. When a vicious crime lord hires Ephraim to steal some very valuable commodities, big trouble ensues.


Lyria of Lagalos, an 18-year-old Red girl who was liberated from the Martian mines after the rebellion. Lyria and her extended family were placed in a refugee camp on the surface of the planet, and promised assistance from the Republic. The administration didn't come through, however, and Lyria lost most of her family to a terrorist attack.

When the government finally sends troops to Mars, Lyria rescues an injured Gold warrior named Kavax au Telemanus from drowning. The wealthy man repays Lyria by taking her into his household on Luna, where she works as a servant. Uneducated, naïve, and lonely, Lyria falls under the influence of a dapper, charming older man. Once again, this leads to trouble.


Lysander au Lune, a 20-year-old Gold who's the grandson of Octavia au Lune - the Sovereign who ruled the Empire before the rebellion. After his grandmother was killed, Lysander was taken under the wing of Cassius au Bellona - a Gold who was once Darrow's friend....but is now his mortal enemy.

As Lysander and Cassius are wandering around the Solar System in their armored craft they come upon a stranded ship in deep space. This leads to the rescue of a young Gold woman named Seraphina au Raa, who's the daughter of Romulus au Raa - leader of the Outer Rim. As a result, Lysander and Cassius - instead of being thanked - are made prisoners of Seraphina's mother, the merciless Dido au Raa.

Lysander and Cassius learn that Dido is planning a massive attack on the inner planets, to try to re-establish Gold rule. The newcomers can either assist with the assault.....or face the consequences. Tough call!


The book is chock full of clever tactics, stealthy maneuvers, and deadly battles, and the characters have all manner of futuristic weapons and protective armor - which I picture as flexible 'Iron Man' suits. Pierce Brown populates the book with a large array of characters, including several favorites from the Red Rising Trilogy, such as: Sevro au Barca (Darrow's best friend); Victra au Barca (Sevro's wife); Dancer (Darrow's former mentor, now a powerful Senator); Kieran (Darrow's brother); Rhonna (Darrow's niece); and more.

The author wisely includes a list of characters at the beginning of the book, with thumbnail descriptions, which I found very useful. Pierce Brown also provides a map of the Solar System, with the location of the various factions, which helped me orient myself in the Solar Republic.

For me, 'Iron Gold' didn't stir the same positive emotions as the original trilogy. In the first three books I cheered on the abused Reds who were struggling for freedom and equality. In this new trilogy, the narcissistic, entitled Golds are scheming to re-take (what they think is) their rightful place in society.....and I'm not on board for that.

I almost wish Pierce Brown had just started a new series that takes place in a different world with new characters.

Nevertheless, the story is well-written, exciting, and suspenseful, and I recommend it to fans of science fiction/adventure tales. The book could be read as a standalone, but for maximum pleasure it's best to read the Red Rising Trilogy first.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Anniebananie.
536 reviews399 followers
June 29, 2019
Jetzt habe ich mir hier extra eeeewig Zeit gelassen mit dem Lesen und es ist trotzdem noch so lange hin bis der nächste Band erscheint und ja das Ende war so fies wie ich es erwartet hatte...
"Asche zu Asche" setzt einige Zeit nach den Ereignissen aus den vorherigen 3 Bänden an. Die Illusion eines Happy Ends wird einem hier dann genommen, denn alles was so vielversprechend aussah und wo Frieden geplant war, ist nun doch wieder nur Gewalt, Machtgier und ein sich anbahnender Krieg. Man merkt wie sehr das Ganze Darrow mitnimmt und wie er zwischen seinen Rollen (Schnitter und Vater) wechseln muss.
Das Buch wird neben Darrow auch von Lyria, Ephraim und Lysander erzählt. 3 auch sehr interessante Charaktere auch wenn ich zu Beginn des Buches noch skeptisch war. Richtig gut wird es bei Erzählungen aus mehreren Perspektiven ja immer dann wenn die Erzählstränge zusammenlaufen.
Auch in diesem vierten Band habe ich wieder mitgefiebert und mitgelitten, wurde getäuscht und überrascht, habe mich gefreut und getrauert.
Und ja nach dem Ende bin ich schon wieder super hyped auf den 5. Band!
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,607 reviews1,482 followers
December 19, 2018
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart
“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.

Notable Quotables:
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.

Profile Image for Sarah.
3,336 reviews1,017 followers
February 1, 2018
1st read - November 2017
2nd read - January 2018

Iron Gold picks up the story ten years on from the end of Morning Star, the Rising was successful but there has been a decade of war and although Mars is now free the Republic are still fighting the Ash Lord for control of the planets on the edge of the solar system. Previously the entire story has been told from Darrow's point of view but here Pierce Brown opens up the world even further by introducing three new POV characters too. I have to admit I was a little nervous about having so many new narrators to the story but it actually worked really well and allowed us to see so much more of the bigger picture. Trust me, there is SO MUCH going on in the wider world that we'd have really missed out if the story wasn't written this way.

Of course Darrow's story was the one I was most excited about but I have to admit it was kind of hard to see how far he's fallen here. Darrow has given his all to the war effort and it's cost him in his personal relationships with Mustang and in particular his young son. As much as I know Darrow always does things for the right reasons (as he sees it) he does make some very questionable choices here that make life increasingly difficult for anyone who has been by his side for all these years. I honestly have no idea how he's going to turn things around at this point but the next book is going to be interesting for sure!

Alongside Darrow's POV we also get to see Lysander's side of the story, he's spent the last 10 years in exile with Cassius. It's hard to say much about what they get up to because it would be too easy to spoil things but I have to say Lysander isn't my favourite character in the series right now. Another POV character is Ephraim, he's not someone we've met before but he does have a link to people we're familiar with. At first he didn't seem like an obvious choice for a narrator, he's a disillusioned Rising fighter who has pretty much given up on life and now puts all his effort into criminal activities, but as you get to know him you'll understand why he has an important tale to tell.

By far my favourite new POV character was Lyria, she's a young red who was rescued from one of the mines on Mars by the Rising. She was promised freedom but the Sovereign has failed her and along with hundreds of thousands of other reds she has been living in abject poverty in refugee camps on the surface. It was actually pretty heartbreaking to see that 10 years on life for the majority of reds hasn't actually improved, in fact in a lot of cases it's worse than ever because they now have no sense of purpose. Lyria is a fab character, she's been through so much but she's a fighter and she's looking for a better life for herself and whats left of her family.

As well as meeting so many new characters we also get the chance to catch up with favourites from the previous books: Sevro (always my favourite!) and Victra, the Howlers, the Telemanus family and so many others. It was great to see what everyone is up to but also pretty terrifying, we already know Pierce Brown doesn't pull his punches and none of his characters are ever safe so this book is sure to raise your blood pressure! There is far too much going on for me to detail the plot but the story had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through and jumping to different POVs with almost every chapter just raised the tension even further. This is a very worthy follow up to one of my favourite series, it definitely doesn't work as a standalone so whatever you do don't skip the original trilogy but if you loved those books you won't want to miss this one.

Meet the narrators:






Update 31st January:

I was lucky enough to go to the Foyles event on Monday to celebrate the release of Iron Gold so I thought I'd add a couple of pictures here. He was interviewed by Claire North and followed by a Q&A with members of the audience and then a signing. The interview was hilarious, lots of great questions and some fun insider information was revealed about the series. I was lucky enough to meet Pierce a couple of years ago at a Howler Party for Morning Star's release and was really shocked when he recognised me! I'd made another one of my Red Rising inspired book folds to give him as a gift and I think he was pleased with it :o)

Me with Pierce

Pierce with the book fold I made him


November 2017
I can't believe I got a bloodydamn arc for this! Of course I dropped everything to dive in straight away and it was AWESOME. I've missed these characters so much and it was great to see what they're all up to now. I loved meeting the new narrators and seeing how the world has changed in the 10 years since the end of Morning Star, it's not all plain sailing (which is both heartbreaking and completely realistic) and Pierce once again tries to kill his fans by ripping their hearts to pieces but it was worth every second of pain.

I'm not going to write a full review until nearer the release date but in the meantime I plan to reread the entire series so I can pick this up again with previous events fresh in my mind - I'm sure that will make this book even more enjoyable!


Amazon just changed my estimated delivery date for this until JANUARY 2018!!, please tell me that's just a glitch in their system and that the release hasn't been pushed back until NEXT YEAR!!!


My thoughts on finding out this book is being written:
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,222 reviews2,052 followers
March 13, 2018
I found this to be a very heavy read. 600 pages of pain, misery and death cannot ever be described as enjoyable and I like to enjoy my books! Nevertheless the story had a hold on me and I kept picking it up until I had finished it.

I really felt bad for Darrow as everything slipped away from him, but he only featured as a part of this book as we kept switching to other people's POVs. At first it was hard to see why these people had popped up but as the story progressed everything started to tie up.

Seriously though this book is dark. I cannot recall any person in it not being angry at someone else and the backstabbing within families is out of control. If it keeps going at this rate there won't be any families left!

Still I have travelled so far with Darrow now I will have to see him through to the end, whatever that may hold for him.
Profile Image for Jack.
Author 4 books129 followers
January 28, 2018
Bloodydamn but it’s good to be back with Darrow and company again! Other book commitments kept me from getting on this one immediately upon release, but that’s all water under the bridge now. I’m usually well behind the power curve on new books and series, but I’ve been on the Red Rising bandwagon since the beginning, and the interminable wait between Morning Star and Iron Gold has been excruciating. There are more than a few books that I’ve been hungering for these past few years; The Winds of Winter, the third book in the Kingkiller Chronicles, the last book in Django Wexler’s flintlock fantasy series…but none of them was as anxiously anticipated as Pierce Brown’s latest. This is a series I would miss work for. This is a series I would reschedule a hot date for. This is a series that I would, and have, forcibly coerced friends to read, like the book hooligan that I am.

But with all that hype and anticipation comes a slight fear as well. Am I doing what Star Wars fans are doing to themselves by overhyping something sacred prior to its release (Last Jedi and Force Awakens are prime examples of this with the huge fanbase)? Am I self-sabotaging the book before I’ve even read it? In a twist that will surprise absolutely nobody…the answer to that is a resounding negative. This book is just as well written, just as enthralling, and just as satisfying as the three that preceded it. And no matter my love for a series, I would definitely take quality over quantity, so I would never want an author to rush. Thankfully, the time after Morning Star has been decidedly well spent. This series has always been very heavy with the plot twists and out-of-left-field surprises, and Iron Gold may yet hold the title for the most “didn’t see that coming” moments. It’s clear that much thought went into the framework of the novel before the lion’s share of the writing had begun.

Like I do with all my reviews, I will try to keep this as spoiler free as possible. There’s so much to uncover, so much to experience, and I would never want to rob a fellow reader of that joy of discovery. To the fellow Howlers out there, if you haven’t read this one yet, avoid spoilers at all costs. You really need to read this one with virgin eyes. So if it’s not mentioned in the Goodreads synopsis of the book, I’ll try to avoid mentioning it in the following paragraphs.

So what do we have with Iron Gold, when the originally trilogy seemed to wrap things up rather well? Well, I guess I could liken it to Star Wars: A New Hope. Sure, the Death Star is destroyed, but it was just one piece of a much larger whole, and that larger whole had no intention of capitulating to the new rebel regime. Creating a new empire is not a bloodless affair, and when mighty leaders fall, there’s always a power vacuum that plenty of ne’re-do-wells are more than happy to fill. And so Darrow, and his loyal followers left alive after the fallout from Morning Star, still have an uphill battle to truly bring reform to the solar system at large. Which totally works for the overarching plot. No great struggle happens cleanly, and you can never please everyone, especially when dealing with people in positions of power. Nobody wants to give up what they have power over, and that greatly informs the primary struggle of Iron Gold.

Where the first three books of the Red Rising trilogy were single viewpoint affairs, only letting us witness events from Darrow’s point-of-view, Iron Gold expands on the tale and gives us multiple viewpoints, truly allowing the narrative to grow and be an epic solar-system spanning affair. Not that the first books weren’t epic…cuz they sure as hell were. But by giving us more viewpoints and more opinions on the events unfolding, the story becomes that much grander, that much more impactful, and definitely more meaningful. And speaking of our characters…

No Red Rising story would truly be complete without Darrow as a main protagonist. He’s the one that put the whole Rising in motion, and was the only POV character for the first 3 books. So he’s the character that returning readers are most familiar with, as everything that was experienced in the first 3 books were filtered through his eyes, his beliefs, his preconceptions. Up until this book, he’s really been our only window into this fantastic universe. And, come on, he’s Darrow! He’s the Reaper, the one who overthrew the existing dynasties and changed the solar system forever. But he’s also just a man. One of the things I absolutely love about Darrow as a character is that, despite being made into the embodiment of physical perfection, he as a person is amazingly imperfect. He makes mistakes (some quite colossal), isn’t good at everything he attempts, and is very insecure about the new roles he has in his life. Those flaws are sometimes small and internal, but they also manifest themselves in rather large ways, and cause him to make occasionally questionable decisions. And he agonizes over the course he must take, because at heart he is a good person. But when your adversary is bloodthirsty and self-righteous, being a good person isn’t enough, and he knows it. The Darrow of Iron Gold is older, and he carries that weight and responsibility in believable ways. There are few characters I’ve come across in books who are as honest with themselves as Darrow is. He definitely peers into himself and sees aspect that he is not proud of, or sometimes even downright afraid of.

While all of the main cast are uniformly well-written and engaging, with the exception of Darrow himself, Lysander is my favorite character of Iron Gold. Falling under the mentorship of Cassius, Lysander is doing his best to become something more than what he was conditioned to be. Given his heritage, it’s a struggle to be sure, but being paired with Cassius has done Lysander nothing but good. Where he was raised in an environment where coldness and brutality are the tools of the trade, Lysander is a person who feels deeply and is desperately seeking the true meaning of honor and sacrifice. His chapters were almost always entertaining, while also being revelatory. Much Lune fun was had.

Then we have Ephraim. Ephraim is one of those characters who is written so well that though you dislike him at the start of the novel (on purpose), once the final pages wrap up, you see him in a different light, and maybe even appreciate him a little. He’s very much the dashing rogue, with a deep and lingering pain from events from the last book, and is generally the also source of the humor in the story. Sarcastic humor, which of course is the humor that I like the best. The way his story plays out is one of the big twists of the book, and I really don’t want to even come within grazing distance of spoilers. So suffice it to say that Ephraim is like an Ogre…he has layers. Some of those layers are even a surprise to himself.

With Darrow being as important as he is, and no longer a man trying to fit into a world he despises and is struggling to understand, it’s up to some someone else to be the heart of the tale. That burden falls squarely upon Lyria of Lagalos, a Red freed on Mars during the Rising. Her story intertwines with that of Ephraim, but to give away any of the finer details would be criminal. Suffice it to say that even a Red freshly thrust into the world at large can make a difference. I think Lyria’s story was the most personal, and through her eyes we are able to experience the after effects of the Rising from a completely different viewpoint. It’s easy enough to focus on the impact to the main characters, the mighty and the wealthy, but what about the common folks who toil behind the scenes?

Outside of the 4 man POV characters, there are so many support characters in the mix; many returning and some great new ones. Sevro, as always, is a hoot. Cassius is…well…Cassius. Victra is her usual waspish self, but I love her anyways. Holiday returns in a cool role. Pytha is a fun Blue, part of Cassius’ and Lysander’s crew. Pax is a slumbering giant, reserved and prone to thought before action, but once he’s awakened…holy hell…can he make a stand. There are plenty of others as well…

Enough about the people, what about the plot? Well, it’s been 10 years since the end of Morning Star, and the hoped for peace hasn’t materialized. I don’t want to discuss any of the actual struggles in the book, but suffice it to say that things are not any easier for our heroes. That said, the conflict makes sense, the enemies are powerful and dangerous, and the solar-system as a whole is weary of war. It’s a pressure cooker situation for sure, and a hell of a minefield for our protagonists to navigate. And since it’s set 10 years later, our characters have had time to grow, to mature, and to have profound changes occur in their lives. These are characters that have achieved great things, but at great cost. There is quite a bit of reflection on the steps they have taken to get where they are at, and what kind of legacy they want to leave behind as they move forward. There’s some deep questions posed, and some of the answers are quite profound.

As for the writing, Pierce Brown has that rare ability to write about action scenes and quiet, personal moments with equal skill. For all the questions posed and actions reflected upon, there are just as many moments of glorious combat. As a guy who likes it when shit goes boom, these books deliver the goods. And Iron Gold is no exception. You want one-on-one razor combat? You got it. You want capital ship and fighter combat? Check. You want armies clashing? Look no further. You want desperate stands, last minute rescues, and meted out comeuppances? Then get your ass on board with these books! I think Pierce Brown must have played with his action figures as a kid the same way I did; massive battlefields spread out in whatever room fit best (or whatever room mom didn’t mind becoming the warzone that day), soap-opera levels of allegiance shifts and surprise characters, custom creations filling in for sets or components that couldn’t be afforded, and a huge sense of scale involving toys from multiple franchises all duking it out for final seniority. He has spectacle down to a science.

After reading a very science “heavy” sci-fi book, it’s actually kind of nice to get back to a simpler version of a futuristic tale. No ecliptics and inertial dampeners and measures of light speed travel here. There’s guns, there’s shields, and there’s engines on a ship. The science is simple, effective, and really only used as a backdrop to tell the story.

That’s a lot of praise, eh? But I’m sure you’re wondering if there’s anything bad about these books? My answer to that is…not much. The single POV limitations have been eliminated here, to great effect. So that’s no longer an issue. I suppose that one of the complaints is that so much happens that it truly does come across as rather soap opera-ish at times. You start looking for the betrayal and secret motives of every character…even when some of them don’t have any. So yeah, by attempting to have so many twists, we as readers start to expect them on every other page, and I found myself thinking super far ahead, trying to solve mysteries before they’d even begun. This did, at times, take me out of the immediate enjoyment of the book. I really don’t read books to try and plumb every depth and nuance. I read to be entertained. These books definitely accomplish that will skill and style, but I did find myself figuring out plot twists before they happened, just by virtue of all the “what if’s” going on in my head. Aside from that, I don’t have much else to gripe about. I could say it’s too short, but hell, 1200 pages in this universe would be too short. I could go all crazed fanboy and be like “it’s PERFECT! Everyone in it is perfect and the world is perfect and blah blah blah”. But I won’t. Is it a perfect book? No. Is it about as close to perfect as modern fiction can get? You bet your bloody arse it is!

So I know that a movie version of Red Rising has been in the works for several years now, and with Pierce Brown himself writing the screenplay. And I have to say, I’m worried. I’m not necessarily worried that Mr. Brown can write a screenplay that will do the story justice; it’s his story, nobody knows it better than he does. I don’t have an issue with the director. The studio has the money to do the effects justice. Everything is in place to help make the movie great. But…the ratio of movies that do justice to great books is rather small. Now believe me when I say that I absolutely LOVE movies. I have regular movie nights at my house with my friends, which are always full-blown affairs. My fear is that with a movie version of Red Rising, so many things can potentially go wrong. With a book, most of the work falls squarely on the author, with an editor sharing some minor responsibility. If it doesn’t work, it’s really only the fault of one person. But with movies…you have all these moving parts; director, actors, screenplay, editors, studio executives, foley and audio, VFX studios, etc. A great movie can be butchered in post-production. So I have a little trepidation. Yes these books are action heavy and full of epic moments, but they are also full of heart and truth and longing, and I fear that will be hard to sell on the big screen in a typical movie’s running time. Will I still watch it? Duh. But I’ll definitely have to temper my expectations going in.

If you are reading this review and haven’t read this one yet, or haven’t even started the series (shudder), then you owe it to yourself to get on it. These are some of the best fiction books out there, and the fact that the sci-fi setting is a cool one is just icing on an already amazeballs cake. Go take a bite already!
Profile Image for P .
687 reviews320 followers
Shelved as 'anxiously-waiting'
February 6, 2017
I knew this would happen.
January 16th 2018

I'm ready for this.
Book four of Red Rising series ? or a new one ?

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