I’m trying not to completely devour Iron Gold. Part of me wants to keep turning the page until I know everything that happens in this start of the next installment to Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series. But another part of me knows I need to let myself enjoy the story as it plays out. With that in mind, I don’t want to wait until I finish the book to drop some thoughts about it.
This article contains some early spoilers from Iron Gold! Read no further if you don’t want to know anything about what happens in the first nine chapters!
I read the first nine chapters. Just enough to give me a sample of each point-of-view character in the story. I absolutely love that Brown split the narrative up between four characters. It’s clear from the start that this story is too big to be funneled through one character. And after reading a bit of the book, it really does feel as though this series has leveled up enough to put us in the minds of different people in different places and still feel very much like a Red Rising book. What better way to expand the story than with new perspectives.
With that said, I’m glad we started with Darrow. I’m eager to get to know these new characters, but let’s face it, the first thing we want to know is what Darrow’s been up to for the past ten years. War is the answer. With “trying to be a good father and husband” appearing to be a potentially distant second. War appears to be taking up a lot of Darrow’s time. He can’t put down the razor yet. Darrow’s a dreary character at the start of this book, but I’m ok with that. As much as Reaper has to lose at this point in the story, he also has something to gain: peace.
I’m in love with the fact that Sevro and Victra are building a virtual litter of little Howlers. In the days leading up to Iron Gold, I feared these two might’ve gone the Han Solo and Leia route, and we’d find them split up, unable to make marriage work after the Rising. So far, they’re still together, with three little barcas and another baby on the way. Thanks for that Pierce.
Next we have Lyria, a young Red who seems brimming with potential. Trapped in a gloomy Mars existence, she’s offering us a view of the struggle the former enslaved lowReds are facing in the wake of the Rising. Her life only seems to be getting worse at the start of this story, but I can’t wait to see where she goes.
The third perspective is Ephraim, a gray former Son of Ares who’s introduced to us as he’s teamed up with a ragtag mix of colors as they steal the razor of the Lightbringer, Silenius au Lune, from the Hyperion Museum of Antiquities. He’s been hired to do this job and doesn’t know who he’s stealing it from. (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s Lisander who wants the weapon, but we’ll get to that.) Ephraim appears to be in a pretty rough state. He’s popping an illegal drug called zoladone to numb is empathy. And likely his grief over the loss of his husband Trigg. As tragic as it is that he’s self-medicating, I like to believe the the drug-use is a sign that he isn’t ready to sort out his issues, but maybe off the pills, he’ll eventually tackle them. Brown does great things with characters who need a bit of redemption.
Sidenote: I already adore Volga. The cast-aside Obsidian won me over with “If I had a muffin, I would eat it.” Admittedly, that’s an actual thought I’ve probably had numerous times in my adult life. Love. Her.
Finally, we have Lysander au Lune, the character I’ve been most anticipating since Iron Gold was announced. The Red Rising series built so much potential for Octavia and Lorn’s grandson. Raised with the ideals of his grandmother, and born with the potential to inherit his grandfather’s skill with the razor, Lysander idolized Darrow as a boy, only to watch him see to his grandmother’s death before his very eyes. That’s a grudge that has the potential to run very deep. Mix that in with having been raised and trained to adulthood by Cassius, whom he admits he hasn’t forgiven for his part in Octavia’s death, but also feels indebted to for looking out for him. There are so many layers here, and at twenty, he’s at the perfect age as a budding adult to really start sorting them out.
If Lysander isn’t the one who secretly paid to have Silenius’ sword stolen, then perhaps someone else did with the intention of giving it to Lysander to avenge his grandmother’s death and/or bring Gold back to the top. That’s just a theory I’m brewing right now. And another theory is that the truth about Lysander’s parents’ death — whatever the story is — will complicate matters further for him somehow.
I’m prepared to be wrong about all the speculation, but that’s what’s going through my head right now.
I’ll probably have more to say once I make it through Part 1. In the meantime, so far, so great.