Iron Gold

Iron Gold

Title: Iron Gold

Author: Pierce Brown

Series: Red Rising Saga, #4

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Release Date: January 16th 2018


Five Stars

They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armour 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.

– Blurb courtesy of

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“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.”

It’s been ten years since the end of Morning Star, and Darrow is still fighting the same war he was back then. Despite liberating Mercury and forcing the Ash Lord back towards Venus he is still a threat that needs to be taken down. Darrow wants to make one more strike, to end the war and the Ash Lord once and for all, but he doesn’t have the support of the council and so he finds himself setting out on his own, risking everything in a desperate mission.

Despite Iron Gold picking up Darrow’s story ten years after the end of Morning Star I had no problems diving into the book and this new instalment to the Red Rising Saga. Instead of just following Darrow’s journey we’re introduced to new players; Lyria, Ephraim, and Lysander. Sometimes in books with a lot of POVs I find the writing disjointed as the author tries to cram in too many characters and stories, but that wasn’t the case with Iron Gold.

“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.”

We see how all four stories intertwine. As Darrow fights side by side with Sevro and his Howlers once more to try and reach Venus and the Ash Lord, Lyria struggles with adjusting to life after being pulled from the mines on Mars. Ephraim gets mixed up with the wrong people and is forced to plan a dangerous heist, and Lysander gets mixed up with the Rim where Darrow’s actions from so long ago still overshadow the lives of the people living there.

While there was plenty of action in Iron Gold it felt like a lot of what happened with Darrow, Lyria, Ephraim, and Lysander was building up for something explosive in the next two books of the series. There was a lot to expand on as Pierce Brown catches us up on the ten years in between the two books and also introduces us to new players but I thought this was a strong start to the second half of the series, and after way we left things with all four of our main characters I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.

…The Characters

“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.”

Darrow has changed a lot in the ten years between Morning Star and Iron Gold. After so many years he’s tired of fighting; he’s missed out on so much of his son’s life and all he wants is to finish the Ash Lord and end the war once and for all. Darrow is tired, he isn’t sure who he is or what happened to the boy in the mines from so long ago, but he sees a way to end the war and he is determined to go after it with everything he has.

The relationships Darrow has with his friends and loved ones are still the strongest part of this book. I loved seeing his friendship with Sevro expanded on in this book, but I do wish we’d seen more of Mustang and Darrow together. The two have always made a great team and I would have enjoyed seeing more of that teamwork in this book, especially when they are both fighting for the same goal from different angles. It seems like because they are apart in this book Darrow and Mustang are struggling with everything that comes against them.

“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.”

Lyria has only faced hardships in her life outside of the mines, and she blames Darrow and the sovereign who promised them a better life but left them wallowing in the mud in cramped refugee camps. When her home is attacked and Lyria makes a new life for herself and her nephew she finds herself lost in a world she doesn’t understand where there is no one she can really trust. She’s lonely, but despite her tough exterior it seems like there’s still some hope in her.

Ephraim lost everything once, and now he’s a man driven by grief who tries to drown his emotions in alcohol. He keeps those closest to him at arm’s length and has a very dim look on people and on the world. The chapters told through Ephraim’s POV are dark, coloured by his grief and his standoffish attitude to those around him. He finds himself trapped between two impossible choices in Iron Gold, but he makes the only one he can to preserve his own life.

“He let Darrow destroy my world and bring chaos to the Society. I can never forgive him for that, but neither can I repay the debt I owe him. He kept Sevro au Barca from killing me.”

Lysander is a relic of an age long gone. He travels with Cassius and as much as Cassius tried to instil honour in Lysander there are some things that can’t be untaught, and the teachings Lysander’s grandmother and Aja gave him are the ones he follows. Lysander and Cassius find themselves getting mixed up with the tension on the Rim, and you can see the two slowly drifting apart as they clash on how to deal with the mess they have found themselves in.

All four characters had their own internal battles to fight. All of them have been shaped and scarred by the war that was started ten years ago, all four have their own demons to fight, and by the end of this book I feel like I can almost see how all four characters are going to be shaped by the choices they made in Iron Gold in the next two books of the series.

…The Setting

“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.”

As we followed four characters we almost got to see four different parts of the world Pierce Brown has created in this one book. Through Lysander we see more of the Rim and learn what it’s people have gone through since Darrow destroyed their docks in Morning Star, and through Lyria we see more of Mars and learn what the people there face now they have been freed from the mines, still waiting to see the brighter future that was promised to them. Through Darrow we see the heart of the war, we see how things have changed for him now he is fighting for the sovereign instead of against them. There were a lot of differences in the world after ten years of war, but Pierce Brown expanded on things incredibly well in this new book.

The main reason this book didn’t quite live up to Morning Star for me was because of the introduction of the new characters and the new world after ten years of war. Based on the way Iron Gold ended I have no doubts that the fifth and sixth books in the Red Rising Saga will be even better, and the fact that Dark Age is being released this year means there’s not much longer to wait to continue with Darrow’s story.

What did you think of Iron Gold? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

36 thoughts on “Iron Gold

  1. I seem to be in the minority from what I’ve seen so far, but I really struggled with Iron Gold! I loved the original trilogy and binged all three in less than a week, but I almost had to force myself to pick this one up because it was so slow with all of the different story lines that didn’t really seem to connect. I also really disliked Darrow and his actions in this book! I have hope for the next book because I think this one was essentially set up for the next one, but I was so disappointed in Iron Gold.

    Sorry to be such a downer in this comment! It really was a lot of fun to return to this world, and I’m excited to see it continue to expand. And I’m really glad you enjoyed it so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a shame, but I get what you mean because as much as I enjoyed this book it was different starting a new arc of the series with new characters and new POVs to get used to as well. I can see why you struggled a little. I do think the next book will be better, I feel like Iron Gold set a lot up and based on how it ended the next book promises to be epic right? 🙂
      No that’s all right, I guess in a series people love and enjoy as much as this one there’s bound to be a little disappointment every now and again, I just hope the next book is much better for you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can definitely see the potential, and I’m excited to see it all come together in later books! I’m so excited that the next one is coming out yet this year 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Right?! Iron Gold gave me so many Game of Thrones vibes that I was afraid Brown was about to go all George RR Martin on us, and then he announced that the sequel is still coming out this year?! We’re so lucky.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad it was easy to fall back into the story. And it certainly sounds like the story is building to something magnificent- so excited!! I’m glad the relationships were still one of the strongest parts of the book (agree that worked so well in earlier books) and the new characters sound cool- though I get why their introduction prevented it living upto Morning Star. I’m really excited to see how Brown’s built on his world though. Amazing review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh definitely easy, I knew this was going to be a favourite of mine and I wasn’t let down when I read it. Yep, I’m even more excited for the fifth book in the series now! 😀
      Pierce Brown is an incredible writer but his character development really is beyond compare! Yeah takes a while to get used to new characters and understand their backstory, it’s why I think books five and six will be even better though!
      Thanks so much! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a bit surprising, that you’ve never listened to an audiobook before! But it’s kind of cool, too. Some are great. Others are not. But it’s also just not everyone’s preferred medium. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It certainly could be! Audible isn’t that bad of a deal, but if you don’t want to shell out for that (I mean, who actually likes spending money?), you can try OverDrive. It’s not too tricky to figure out, and then you can get free audiobooks on your phone from your local library, so long as it’s participating. In my experience, most are.
        Or not! Printed books are great, too, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I will keep that in mind. I actually have Amazon Prime so I think I get three free audio books as some kind of trial. I should take advantage of that and use them because then I can ‘read’ while at work! 😀
        Ha, print books are always going to be my first love but maybe audiobooks can be a second. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That was an absolutely fantastic review! Very analytic, but without giving too much away for people who don’t want to be spoiled.
    You know my viewpoint on Lysander. Cannot stand the guy and have very little hope for him, but I am looking forward to the other installments of the saga sooo much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Kat, and yeah I tried to keep the spoilers to a minimum but I couldn’t avoid them for the previous books in the series or anything! 😀
      Yeah I will say Lysander was probably my least favourite character in this book, but I can’t deny I’m interested in where his story goes after the ending to this book. Oh Dark Age is going to be amazing, and the fact that we’re getting it this year means I’m that much more excited for it too! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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