In addition to dropping the excellent news that Dark Age is finally complete, Pierce Brown offered a glimpse into the mind of the newest POV to the Red Rising series. I know I’m not alone in eagerly anticipating the insights we’re going to get from Virginia’s mind when Dark Age arrives this July, so this sneak peek from Mustang’s point of view really is the best possible tease Howler #1 could’ve offered…
Pierce Brown revealed that snippet in a post this week, along with the news that the book is finally written and his edits are done. We’re going to have to wait a few extra weeks for the book to hit shelves, but he sounds pretty satisfied with what he’s put together, which is exciting in itself. The excerpt from Mustang is an added bonus.
The whole tone of this excerpt feels fairly forlorn. Mustang seems very much alone in this segment. It looks like we’re catching her in a dark place as she considers the things she’s learned about Octavia since taking over leadership. I suppose there’s a lot you can learn about a person once you’ve inherited their responsibilities and worldly (or other-worldly) possessions.
Mustang has always struck me as the kind of person who weighs and measures everything around her. In a way, her brother did the same thing, except that Adrius sought to manipulate and create opportunity. While Mustang seems to want to understand and then follow the right path accordingly. So I guess I’m not surprised to find her assessing her surroundings and assigning worth to some of Octavia’s trophies, seeing them for what they really are. With age and experience comes wisdom, and Mustang does seem to be a magnet for that. And who knows, there may still be important lessons to learn from the former Sovereign.
The last few lines are especially jarring….
None know the weight, the fear, the anger, the ambivalence, the pride, the love, the disgust, the disappointment, the hope, and the utter frustration of ruling over billions of souls. I thought I could rule wisely. But wisdom has less to do with reign than does sacrifice.
Octavia lost her daughter. If I lost my son, could I carry on?
I hate that she’s even thinking this way, but again it’s not surprising. Mustang has always been a big supporter of the “Live for more” philosophy, and I imagine that applies as much to personal life as it does to her governing approach. Her family – particularly Pax and Darrow – are her “more,” I have no doubt. And as of the end of Iron Gold, she had neither of them at her side. It’s understandable that she would be questioning what the future of her leadership (or her life) might be if she were to lose her son.
While I refuse to believe that Pax will die, I think this whole situation is going to be very eye-opening for Darrow and Mustang, however it plays out. And that’s one more reason I’m really happy we’re going to get to see the story from both POVs in Dark Age.
Moving on to a side-topic…
What is an Ocular Sphere?
The excerpt opens with Mustang viewing Earth from Octavia’s Ocular Sphere. What is this bit of sci-fi gadgetry? Is it some kind of Eye-of-Sauron tool used to keep an eye on planets? Mustang describes it as clever, which seems like a positive opinion. Especially by comparison to the mentioned Pandemonium Chair, which she describes as a “monstrous perversity.”
Well, we still have a few months to wait for more. Something tells me it’s going to be well worth it.