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Iron Gold
Red Rising, book #4
by Pierce Brown
Del Rey, $28.00, 596 pages
Published: January 2018

I really thought Brown did an amazing job with his trilogy and I was satisfied to set it aside and wait for his next effort.  But, as did Douglas Adams…the trilogy continues.

I won’t rehash the background of this series, please read the review of Morning Star which will give you all the background you need.

It’s ten years after Morning Star and the system-wide war continues.  Darrow is tired to his bones; he’s like a wage-earner who comes home late each night, kisses his wife, pats his son on the head and then checks-out in exhaustion from his day.  Only Darrow’s day is spent in war.  The only thing he wants is to stop fighting and be with his wife and son.  But Darrow’s problem, as it has always been, is that he can’t leave the job for someone else; he, and only he, can end this conflict.  A rather arrogant attitude, to be sure; but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong…

Darrow’s wife, Virginia aka Mustang, is still reigning as Sovereign although she rules a decidedly different Society; one in which all colors are treated equally.  Darrow commands her army but tends to ignore orders from her Senate when he doesn’t agree.  And that’s where the trouble begins.  Darrow’s last mission went off the books and although his objective was met, he did it with millions of casualties and against the orders of the Senate.  He is told, most emphatically, that he must withdraw and allow the Senate to negotiate with the Ash Lord, the last opponent to a free Society.  The Ash Lord is in hiding and Darrow decides that the only way to finally end the conflict is to kill him.  And with that goal – and going home to his family – Darrow decides that any means justifies his end.  With the loyalty of Sevro, his Howlers but not the Obsidians, Darrow defies his Sovereign and takes the battle directly to the Ash Lord.

Again the author takes us through multiple points of view with each chapter and does so quite artfully.  He divides the action evenly between Darrow, Lysander (the true heir to the throne), Ephraim (an enigma: is he a good guy or a bad guy?) and Lyria, a young Red girl rescued from the mines only to be left and forgotten by her Sovereign in a heinous refugee camp.

This book is the product of Brown’s growth and maturity as a writer.  While the first three were amazing works by a new author; this book outstrips them all with his plotting, character development and pace.  I am at a bit of a loss for words – it was Just. That. Good.

Read them.  Read them all.  And I wish all of you the same satisfaction I felt after falling into the Red Rising universe. And he’s not done…the universe is not yet saved; another villain lurks in the background and Darrow still can’t go home to his family.  ~~ Catherine Book

For more books in the Red Rising series click here

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