Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series is a bit of a phenomenon. Brown’s Red Rising seemed to come out of nowhere and quickly got a lot of attention and gained a following (or so it appears to me). I’ve mostly enjoyed the ride and very much enjoyed this latest edition in the series.
It is ten years after the revolution where Darrow, born a Red, escaped his Red servitude and had himself surgically altered to appear a Gold so that he could bring down the caste society from within. Now there is a new democracy, with an all-color senate, so everything is ‘right.’ Or is it?
Some of the Golds have managed to hold on to their control in off-world colonies and if they have one thing in common, it is their hate and desire for the head of Darrow. Darrow hatches a plan to kill the Ash Lord – the worst of the Golds trying to bring back the Gold rule – but in order for the plan to take effect, Darrow must leave Luna with his closest allies and attack Ash Lord in his own territory, surrounded by his own guard. And Darrow’s family will have to remain on the hostile Luna without his protection.
This book features a number of different characters who take a chapter’s focus. I don’t remember the other books changing the POV as much as this one, and that did become just a bit distracting. Additionally, some of the characters were not distinct enough for me (and often working toward similar goals) so that it often took me a little extra time to make sure I knew who I was following – and these are dense books which already take a good deal of time to properly read!
I did feel that this book was in many ways a return to the adventure, action, and angst of the first book that started it all. Darrow is driven, for a reason that is established here, and that carries through the book. But so are the others that we follow. This may seem obvious – of course they are! – but I felt, perhaps, that in books two and three, Darrow’s drive was still what had been established in the first book. The immediacy of the motivation definitely has an impact.
Brown manages to build heart-pounding action sequence after heart-pounding action sequence without losing sense of the story – which also is a nod to the first book. And Brown definitely writes his action scenes extremely well. One man’s determination to go off to his death (I won’t say who) with resolve and dignity is an incredible scene.
This has been an enjoyable series (and actually, this is the beginning of a new trilogy, I understand) but it definitely requires a commitment. This is not the sort of book (or series) that one reads for light entertainment or to keep oneself occupied on the beach. You need to be willing to commit to the characters and their story, but the payout is worth it.
Looking for a good book? Iron Gold by Pierce Brown is the 4th book in the Red Rising series, with all the intensity and excitement of the first book. Fans of well-written action and science fiction will enjoy this book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Pierce Brown
series: Red Rising #4
publisher: Del Rey
hardcover, 601 pages