“Change isn’t made by mobs that envy, but by men who dare.”
Well, at least the author loved it!
I absolutely loved the Red Rising trilogy. So much that I’ll tell people to stop at the third book and not touch Iron Gold at all. And I even went that far as to purchase a hardback cover signed! Wasted money.
Don’t get me wrong – there will be people who would say that the book is great! It’s a discussion about what happens at the end of the rebellion – at the civil war that’s splitting the nation – about the political classes trying to squeeze out the revolutionaries out of the government and the need to be PC and compliant and follow the rules. Darrow’s story is reduced to about 10% of the book and that’s a shame ’cause I only read the book to see what happens to Darrow.
The author introduces a lot of new characters, more Reds, more Peerless scarred and jumps from character to character in each chapter. I stopped caring after a while and despite my best efforts I put the book down, in boredom, many many times. It took me 3 books to get back to this one. (Hardcore readers will know what I mean)
“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
The shift from Darrow’s POV to a multi-character universe lost the best feature that the novels had. You no longer feel that you’re alongside Darrow fighting with the Howlers for independence and equality, but you feel like a spectator taken from one person to another like an unwanted child going through their parent’s divorce.
“I will love you until the sun dies. And when it does, I will love you in the darkness.”
Darrow decides to follow Lord Ash and not retire in the bosom of his new family with Mustang. Virginia and Sevro and their children make an appearance. The plot turns domestic at points and extremely painful to read (boooring). Almost everyone is disillusioned and the glory of the Reaper has faded. We are introduced to two new character, Lyria (a young Red female) and Ephraim (a middle-aged professional thief). They are hard to like, to be honest, but kind of grow on you by the end.
“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.”
We also get to know what Lysander (the former empress’ son) is up to and Cassius au Bellona appears on the scene again even though he’s assumed dead. (whoops, spoiler).
You get to see what everyone’s been up to in the last 10 years and see an older Darrow become from hunter, hunted and then hunter again. Side plots like a Star Wars story. LGBT representation. One angry pregnant woman. Four bratty children.
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!
This is not going to the burn pile due to the purchase value but it’s definitely going to the “Look what present I got you!” pile. Stick to the first three books.