Book Review: Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

Friday 19 January 2018 by

Iron Gold is the first in a sequel trilogy that picks up ten years after Morning Star (the third book in best-selling Red Rising trilogy). Darrow is still a soldier and war hero, with his Howlers around him, Mustang is still the Sovereign, answerable to an elected senate that represents all the colours, and the Republic they have built… isn’t going as well as they hoped.

I had the pleasure of receiving an ARC from publishers Hodder & Stoughton that came with an instruction to not reveal plot details before publication, plus I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone anyway, so this is going to be light on what actually happens in the book.

Unlike the Red Rising trilogy Iron Gold features more than one point-of-view narrator. Darrow remains, of course, but he is joined by Lysander au Lune, Ephraim ti Horn, and Lyria of Lagalos. I had a bit of trouble settling in as the story hopped from narrator to narrator, and remembering where we had left off when re-joining someone after several chapters away. Not that that should be counted as a fault against the book, I know plenty of people who love multiple narrators, but at the rate I was reading it could be three or four days before I got back to someone’s storyline. I did like the new characters, though, and the broader perspective they brought. The multiple viewpoints also allow us to be in several places at once, which becomes particularly rewarding when some of them start to converge.

Ten years was enough time to show how much characters have changed and also how they’ve stayed the same. Parenthood is a recurring theme of the book, and the struggle between one’s responsibility to the world and to family. It’s not a YA book full of revolution and lofty ideals anymore, it’s more grown-up than that, acknowledging the need to compromise and that perfect isn’t possible. But without losing the desire to keep making the world better, even if you have to do things you’d rather not on the journey. And it also shows how those compromises and imperfections impact the people who have to live with the consequences of the decisions those in power make.

Iron Gold is most definitely a worthy successor to the original trilogy, adding increasing complexity and political intrigue to the world Brown had already built. And for those who appreciate his uncanny knack for pulling the rug out from under you just when you started to hope don’t worry, he hasn’t lost one bit of it.

Iron Gold is published by Hodder & Stoughton on 16 January 2018

You can follow Catherine on Twitter: @dogandbooks

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