The fifth book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising saga, Dark Age, was slated to hit shelves this September. That the novel was coming within the same calendar year as Iron Gold seemed almost too good to be true, and it seems it is. Assuming the date update over at Random House is official word on the matter, it looks like we won’t be getting Dark Age until February 2019. That’s a shift from the expected September 11, 2018 publication date that was previously listed.
The new date listed for Dark Age is February 12, 2019. That’s about five months from the original September release date. It also puts more than a year between Iron Gold‘s arrival and Dark Age.
Admittedly, I’ve been holding my breath anticipating this news. The September release seemed like a really fast turnaround for Dark Age, considering Pierce Brown has been busy at work writing the novel, in addition to promoting Iron Gold in the United States and overseas.
I have to wonder if the additional perspectives might make writing these new novels a bigger challenge. Iron Gold expanded the story in a big way by introducing three new POVs, building out the story and the world Pierce Brown introduced in the first three books substantially. Random House recently released a description for Dark Age, which left us wondering if Mustang might be a POV character (a portion of the description focused on her.) Pierce Brown later semi-confirmed as much on Twitter when fans asked. While we don’t know the actual reason for the delay in publication (Pierce has yet to comment on the matter), I wouldn’t be surprised if an additional point of view in the mix would make Dark Age an even bigger beast for Pierce Brown to tackle, especially a character as complex as Mustang.
It’s entirely possible that the delay is due to other factors. All we really have to go on right now is the adjusted date and speculation (UPDATE: Pierce Brown says he and the publisher have agreed it’s best not to rush the editing for this book). But as disappointing as it is to know we’ll have to wait longer, if Dark Age does need more time for writing and/or editing, better it gets more time than be rushed to publication.
On the bright side, while this delay means we have to wait much longer for Dark Age than we’d hoped, there’s plenty of time to do a full re-read of the first four books while we count down the days to February.