Sack up, you slagging pixies. We’re back.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve visited Darrow’s worlds – I needed some recovery time after Morning Star broke my heart and shat all over the pieces. I just hadn’t been emotionally ready for a reread. So I went into Iron Gold a little blind which was nice in some ways and not so nice in others. The book also starts suuuper slow but once it finally gathers momentum and starts running, it goes full Juggernaut, barreling through walls and people and your happiness.
I’m not going to catch us all up on the events of the Red Rising saga because if you haven’t read them, my recap would be time not spent reading them. Go. Shoo. Pick them up and prepare to have your world SHOOK. Man I wish I could read them for the first time again.
Iron Gold picks up ten years after the events of Morning Star. The Sovereign has fallen but she was only ever one woman and humanity numbers in the tens if not hundreds of billions, spread far across the solar system. The new demokracy is trying to make a better system, they really are, but it always comes down to people and people are corruptible and sometimes they just plain suck. The goal is to defeat the Ash Lord and fix shit, generally. Venus is still in bad hands and the Rim is plotting revenge (this is where not having reread the books lost me, I couldn’t remember the particular moment this plot hinges on). Darrow is largely viewed as a warmonger and Mustang’s leadership hangs on by a thread – and his story is the least interesting of the bunch. Even Sevro gets a little stale.
But Brown has smartly realized that we spent enough time getting to know his original players and broadens his world. In addition to Darrow, we get first-person chapters from three other characters: Lysander, a Gold and grandson of the old Sovereign; Ephriam, a Gray, a disillusioned ex-Son turned antiquities thief; and Lyria, a low Red, “rescued” from the mines of Mars to fight for survival in overcrowded refugee camps on the surface. It is an excellent device that adds so much more dimensions to the worlds and characters Brown has built. Through new eyes, Mustang feels like a person instead of an ideal. It’s great.
If you liked the first three, this one will not disappoint. It will take a while to really get into it, just be forewarned. But ooooh man am I pumped to be back.