After devouring Iron Gold, Red Rising fans have been waiting anxiously for the arrival of the follow-up, Dark Age. The book is coming in a matter of months, if all goes as planned. So let’s break down everything we know (and a few things we don’t) about Dark Age.
What’s Dark Age’s Release Date?
Dark Age is set to arrive July 30, 2019.
Dark Age was originally supposed to arrive September 11, 2018, but then got pushed back to February 12, 2019. The release date was delayed again to July 2019. First, it was July 9, but as of mid-April, the release date has been pushed to July 30, 2019. The up-side to that is that there hasn’t been a rush to get this book onto shelves. Pierce Brown added a lot of pieces to the board in Iron Gold. Shit has undoubtedly begun to escalate. I have no doubt it’ll be worth the wait.
Mild spoiler warning: Vague references to Iron Gold characters and plot below. If you’re caught up through Iron Gold, no major spoilers ahead. If you haven’t read Iron Gold yet, do that, then come back.
What is Dark Age about?
Based on the official description for the book, a lot. The four Iron Gold narrators will return to their POVs. Darrow is busy waging a rogue war on Mercury. Lysander is headed for the Core “determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword.” Lyria’s been accused of treason and may be planning some kind of escape with “unlikely new allies.” And Ephraim is seeking redemption as he helps Pax and Electra survive. That’s the abridged version, but you can read the full description here.
There’s also the matter of Mustang…
Mustang is a POV in Dark Age
We’re finally going to get into the mind of the Lion. Included in the official Dark Age description is the mention that Mustang is busy trying to rally the Republic behind Darrow. Pierce Brown later confirmed that she was being added as a POV. She’s the first major character from the original series to get her own point of view in the new books (besides Darrow, obviously). I have no doubt that her voice is going to bring something really special to Dark Age.
In April, Pierce Brown released a snippet of Mustang’s POV.
Fear Will Exist In This Dojo
Ok, the snakes on Dark Age‘s cover don’t look like cobras, but I had to throw a Karate Kid reference in there anyway.
Pierce Brown hasn’t given up many specifics about the plot of Dark Age, understandably, but at New York Comic-Con last year, he did say that fear would be a theme in the story.
“Dark Age is a book that focuses around the theme of fear. If you look at almost any of the successes of the characters in the series, all of it comes down to them just having guts. In Darrow’s case a lot of times because he doesn’t think about the consequences so he doesn’t know to be rightfully afraid. For Lyria, who’s lived her entire life in fear, how does she then develop guts all of a sudden?… If you have something to lose. No experience with success, no experience with victory, how do you take that leap?”Pierce Brown at NYCC
He also teased more about Lyria’s journey at NYCC. He spoke about her realizing that she needs to lift herself up.
Gorgons Are A Thing in Dark Age
What are Gorgons? We don’t know, as we haven’t met them yet. Back in May, just before the Dark Age cover was revealed, Pierce Brown offered a signed copy of Iron Gold to any fan who could guess the cover art. A few days later, he revealed the cover and included this little Gorgon mention…
And no, not a soul guessed the cover right. Guess that’s because you haven’t met the Gorgons yet.
So, who or what are the Gorgons? Presumably, they’re connected to the snakes somehow. Some theorize that they are baby pitvipers, so maybe Gorgons have something to do with the mines? I’ve tossed my own wild theory out there that they might be connected to the mysterious Venator Pandora in some way. She has an onyx snake implant on her hand, which Lysander recognizes as an old war relic. But who knows? The fact that there are snakes on the cover and that they may be related to “the Gorgons” is all we technically know right now.
There will be duels
In a recent tweet, Pierce Brown hinted that we should expect some dueling in Dark Age.
How many pages is Dark Age?
We may actually have an accurate figure to work with now. Or a closer-to-accurate figure, anyway. Right now, it’s looking like it’ll be over 700 pages.
Pretty much since the book was available for pre-order, Penguin Random House’s website said Dark Age was going to be 480 pages. However, that page number hadn’t updated at all as Pierce Brown continued to deliver updates on the status of the book, which was not finished being written. When Pierce Brown announced that he was finally done with Dark Age, he noted that the book is the largest he’s written to date. Iron Gold clocked in at over 600 page, so we might expect Dark Age to surpass that. Sure enough, at the end of April/beginning of May, Random House updated their listing to show that Dark Age would be 704 pages.
Will there be a Dark Age audiobook?
Yes, Audible has the audiobook for Dark Age available for pre-order. We were assuming Tim Gerard Reynolds (Darrow), John Curless (Ephraim), Julian Elfer (Lysander) and Aedin Moloney (Lyria) would all return, along with a fifth narrator for Mustang. However, Audible recently updated their listing and Julian Elfer and Aedin Moloney are not listed as narrators. Tim Gerard Reynolds and John Curless are both on the list, along with newcomers Moira Quirk, James Langton, Rendah Heywood. So it would appear that Lyria and Lysander will be voiced by new actors.
Audible has the length of the Dark Age audiobook listed as 13 hours and change, but that seems too short to be right, especially when taking into account the updated page number.
Will there be a HowlerFest for Dark Age?
Prior to the arrival of Iron Gold, a HowlerFest took place in Los Angeles. Pierce Brown was in attendance and Howlers who attended received a goody bag that included a copy of Iron Gold a few days ahead of its official release. There’s been no word on another celebration for Dark Age just yet.
Will there be a Dark Age book tour?
Yes, as of early May, there are nine cities on the U.S. book tour for Dark Age. The tour starts in Los Angeles on July 29, a day ahead of the official release for the book, and wraps up in New York City in August. There haven’t been any international cities announced for the tour yet.
Foxes, Space Knights And Duels…
That’s about everything I’ve managed to scrape together for this book. I will do my best to keep this updated as more info comes in. And you can keep an eye on everything that’s ahead in the Red Rising universe here.
I’ll close this out with a quote from Pierce Brown himself, which certainly hypes the story to the levels of Worth Every Second We’ve Spent Waiting For It…
I can honestly say that this has been my favorite of the series to write thus far. There is treason! Death! War! Romance! Destruction! Betrayal! Twists! Turns! Foxes! Space Knights! Duels! Whiskey! Crumbling empire! And a helllll of a jam-packed swervy turvy adrenaline shot of a plot that takes you to the wastes and jungles of Mercury to the tunnels of deep Mars. I can’t wait for you to get your paws on it as soon as possible. (NOW PREORDER IT)Pierce Brown, Facebook
Pre-order Dark Age here.