I have waited for this book to be released for what feels like eternity. However, I will be the first to admit that the wait was totally worth it. I had the pleasure to buddy read this book with the one and only Analee @Book Snacks (read her review here!) and it couldn’t have been more fun. I guarantee, there were a lot of ALL CAPS conversations going on and I just love that we were able to talk about it in almost real time, even though we are time zones apart.
Before I continue, this review is Spoiler free, nonetheless, I urge you to not read on if you haven’t checked out the original Red Rising trilogy first.
Reading this book was like coming home after a very, very long time, just to find your life in ruins with your friends and family tired and divided. We pick up 10 years after the end of Morning Star and the new Republic is still at war with its bordering regions. I was disappointed in the lack of progress Darrow and Mustang have achieved during their reign and definitely understood the frustration among the people. It just feels like it NEVER ends! The pain keeps coming, the injustice keeps happening and as always death begets death begets death.
The saga was always about racism, but somehow it hit me in the face even more during this part of the series. There were some scenes that might as well could have been straight out of the 21st century with examples of racial profiling and police brutality. Especially one of the new POVs offered insight into this matter and quickly became one of the most stand-out voices.
To put it lightly, shit escalates quickly. I don’t see what good it would do to go into detail about the plot, especially since I promised this would be spoiler free. Instead, I want to focus on my thoughts and feelings for all 4 different POVs.
- Darrow: Reaper has gotten older, but I am not sure he has gotten all the wiser. His decisions weigh heavy on him and there are things he has done that he will most likely never be able to redeem.
It is obvious that he loves his family, the one he was born into and the one he chose, but the war has worn his trust thin and his patience even more so. I am at a loss with Darrow. On the one hand, I understand most of his decisions and that he truly believes he is doing what is best for his people, but on the other hand, I think he has lost sight of who he is.
One of his greatest qualities was always his ability to inspire faith and trust in others, but now that he has lost that in a way, I am not sure how he will fare. I think that the next novel’s title (Dark Age) will also very much mirror Darrow’s inner storm.
- Lyria: Lyria’s POV was the one I could get into the easiest. She is a fierce Red with a tragic backstory. There was an immediate emotional connection and I absolutely loved how her story slowly intertwined with those of the others. She deserves so much better than the crap that life handed her, but she’s a survivor, much like Darrow even if she would hate that comparison.
- Ephraim: Eph sure doesn’t make it easy to like him. He brings a sort of heist-component to the story, but makes it difficult to connect with him. He is bitter and reckless and does just plain wrong things, but he also has one of the most precious crew members in the shape of Volga. I find it hard to see where his allegiance lies. I think he is at a point in his life where he only lives for himself, if what he does can be called living.
- Lysander: Lysander is cancelled for life! I cannot even with this child of a man. All he cares about is Gold and honor, without understanding what either of those things mean. He has one of the most fickle minds I have EVER seen in the history of literary characters and it drove me nuts! All of his decisions were selfish and childish. He refuses to listen, he doesn’t honor those closest to him and I very much doubt he has the stomach for what is to come next. Wherever he goes, people will keep dying and I have no problem blaming him for it.
At the end of it all, Iron Gold was definitely more of a set up and introduction of new players than anything else. I cannot wait for what’s to come next and I am sure Pierce Brown will deliver as per usual. According to Goodreads, Dark Age will be released on Sept. 11 and that means the book gods have blessed us with two releases in one year. I might actually burst into happy tears!
Fazit: 5/5 stars! I have only love for this saga (and a lot of anger)!
Have you read the Red Rising saga? Have you read Iron Gold? What are your thoughts?