Iron Gold: Book 4 Of The Red Rising Saga by Pierce BrownIron Gold: Book 4 Of The Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown

Iron Gold: Book 4 Of The Red Rising Saga

byPierce Brown

Hardcover | January 16, 2018

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Red Rising Series 4

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the epic next chapter of the Red Rising Saga, the #1 bestselling author of Morning Star pushes the boundaries of one of the boldest series in fiction.


They call him father, liberator, warlord, Slave King, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the war-torn planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-third of his life.
A decade ago Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk all he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?
And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever: 
A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp, and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.
An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.
And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the Sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.
Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe. Iron Gold is the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.
Pierce Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star, Iron Gold, and Dark Age. His work has been published in thirty-three languages and thirty-five territories. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next novel.
Title:Iron Gold: Book 4 Of The Red Rising SagaFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:624 pages, 9.53 × 6.33 × 1.56 inShipping dimensions:9.53 × 6.33 × 1.56 inPublished:January 16, 2018Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:042528591X

ISBN - 13:9780425285916


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great next book in the series, can't get enough! The whole Red Rising Saga is a great read of sci-fi and dystopian fiction. I can't get enough of Pierce Brown's writing. He's engaging and thoughtful, and the plot is very well though out. It's also great that the books incorporates themes found in today's society as well, like war, loyalty, politics, etc. It is not only written for entertainment, but as a veiled commentary on society's shortcomings in the present day. Filled with action and a progressive plot, this is a must read and great continuation to the sage. I can't wait for the next book!
Date published: 2019-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I can't get enough Honestly, every time I think this series can't get any better, it does. I am completely obaessed.
Date published: 2018-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Series just gets better and better I'm a huge fan of the first 3 books so I was wary of this one, they're pretty hard to top TBH. But OMG this book was excellent. The same characters you love but 10 years later - you see how they've grown, how the war has affected them, their flaws. Although the pace is not as action-packed as the other books, this was a great read. I cannot wait for book 5.
Date published: 2018-08-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Iron Gold - Looks like: the softness being burned out of you - Sounds like: fabric and metal being ripped apart - Tastes like: sour victory - Smells like: raw meat and blood - Feels like: the most dangerous game of chess
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not sure how I really feel yet I think I would have to come back to this book when the rest of this sequel trilogy is completed, as there were some things that weren’t really wrapped up. I like the different viewpoints, but honestly wasn’t sure if all of them were necessary.
Date published: 2018-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Republic Under Attack! “Iron Gold” the fourth book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series begins a decade after a revolution that spelled peace and freedom in a new Republic, but which has brought only death, deprivation and endless war. Wanting to end years of struggle Darrow petitions the Senate headed up by the elected Sovereign of the Republic, Virginia au Augustus his wife and a Gold, for ships and manpower to storm the fortress of the Ash Lord on Venus. But instead of their approval he’s targeted for arrest and must escape so he can wage his final campaign against the tyrant. Cleverly woven into the main thread of the story are subplots that include the deliverance of an eighteen-year-old Red girl and her blind nephew from tragedy and deprivation to a new life on Hyperion; the downward spiral of a disillusioned Gray who fought in the revolution that killed his husband and turned him into a professional thief; as well as the struggle of Lysander the exiled Lunar heir and his friend Cassius to escape their captivity as political upheaval erupts in the Rim after the rescue of Romulus au Raa’s daughter. Exciting and chilling as the Golds controlling Mercury, Venus and the Rim begin to rise in rebellion, and anarchy shakes the Senate of the Solar Republic, intensity and suspense mount as Darrow condemned for the “Iron Rain” unleashed on Mercury without governmental approval is indicted and relieved of his position. Choosing duty over his wife and son and believing the peace negotiations proposed by the Ash Lord to be bogus he undertakes his own military campaign. With twists and turns as the plot becomes more complicated with the underlying currents created by Lyria of Lagalos, Ephraim ti Horn and Lysander au Lune intensity and suspense quickly escalate. Well-developed and intriguing with its deadly battles and sinister intrigue the action never stops in a story that’s fast-paced and utterly riveting. In an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear as the government of the Republic teeters on the edge of collapse Pierce Brown introduces a darker complexity to Darrow’s personality after his fall from grace, his duty outweighing his responsibility to his wife and son Pax. Honest about his mistakes, insecure about his decisions but with clear insight into his nemesis's strategy he is determined to bring his self-righteous and menacing adversary to justice. Among a host of compelling and colourful characters empathy sparks for twenty -year -old Lysander au Lune who’s not the cold and brutal heir he was destined to be, but is sensitive and honorable. Haunted by tragedy Ephraim ti Horn a professional thief who doesn’t fear dying and has been swept up in the machinations of the Syndicate masks a caring nature behind sarcastic banter and a roguish heart while Lyria of Lagalos a Red with a temper who has seen too much death is quick-witted and astute when dealing with Golds. Progressing smoothly and quickly to a climax that promises another thrilling clash in the next book, I thoroughly enjoyed “Iron Gold” as the war continues, and the Golds of the Rim rise to take back the way of life they once knew.
Date published: 2018-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Same old brand new world And just like that, I slipped back into the world of Red Rising. It's the tenth year of the Solar War and our favourite characters have all grown older but wisdom has not been guaranteed. The universe as we knew it is no longer the same, and so is Red Rising as a series. It wasn't an easy ride back into the series, afterall it has been 2 years since Morning Star . Events and characters needed to be reminded, and the mood had to be reestablished. The leap forward in time meant that the beginning chapters were spent trying to get you up to speed as much as possible and fill you in on the gap without giving too much away of what's to come. In a sense, it served as a Book 2, a sort of bridge between the beginning and the climax. I gushed about how Golden Son was the best sequel I'd ever read, and while it's unfair to call this a (sophomore) slump, Iron Gold definitely started off shaky. But once I had gathered my bearings and once the story got its groove, I fell into the rhythm that Pierce Brown's writing has so easily that I polished off the last two-thirds of the book in a day and a half after dragging out the first third across two months. A big change outside of the time leap is the way the story is told. It isn't linearly structured from one point-of-view as the past books have been but rather jumps between four criss-crossing narratives. The Red Rising Saga isn't just Darrow's story to tell any longer; it is the voices of the people of the Republic. We have a Red in Lyria of Lagalos, a refugee from the mines of Mars, a Gray as told by Ephraim, an ex-Son of Ares and husband to the deceased Trigg from Morning Star, and a Gold's perspective... not just any Gold, but the exiled Lysander au Lune, grandson to the overthrown Sovereign Octavia from the original trilogy. Of course, Darrow still has his to share. Darrow the Reaper, Darrow the father, and Darrow the anti-hero. What is most interesting is that while our golden son is still the breaker of chains and carries the guilt and the pain from yesteryears, and while he's always been a flawed protagonist, Iron Gold paints him in a very different light than what we are used to. It's less favourable and more unlikeable. You question his psyche, his motives, his endgame, and ponder about the goodness of his actions. The other characters whom we get to hear from definitely do question and even rebel against it, and so that does colour and sway your own perspective on Darrow and his war. It's not an easy thing to do - make your main character be lesser in the reader's eye - but it's a creative risk that I applaud Brown for taking, and one I think that will pay off in the longer run. Every coin has two sides, and Iron Gold is showing the other side after having been caught up on the side of Darrow's own mind and mythology. I'm curious with the arc that will come which will redeem Darrow for not just the other characters, but for us too. With Dark Age announced (and what an apt title for the next installment after how Iron Gold ends off), we needn't wait too long for that, thank the Republic! "For those who dine with war and empire, the bill always comes at the end." I'm still rooting for you, Darrow, and I know Pierce Brown is definitely going to have the receipts for all those bills.
Date published: 2018-06-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ummm... This was very much a "filler" book for me. Not very interesting to read but a necessary precursor for understanding the following books. Lots of world building which is usually interesting for me but not here. There were other POV characters introduced in Iron Gold and I found them completely annoying. If you're coming fresh off the high of the first three books, adjust your expectations. Iron Gold is in the same universe but feels very different in its style.
Date published: 2018-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love It! The series could have ended with Golden Son but I'm happy they didn't... I think the next two books coming out are going to pack a punch!
Date published: 2018-05-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow read I loved the other books in the series, but I found this one a Slow read.
Date published: 2018-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very enjoyable! So I’m participating in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge this year and saw an opportunity to have all four books from this series into the challenge. Red Rising was a title with alliteration, Golden Sun was a book with twins in it, Morning Star was a book with a time of day in the title, and finally Iron Gold was a book published in 2018. I was very excited to finally get to this series, as it’s been on my TBR for several years, probably since the first book came out. What I did not expect was how much this series would capture my heart. Darrow was a character that was extremely interesting to me right from the start. He is also quite different from most other revolutionaries and heroes from other stories. He showed that he could be merciless when he wanted to be, but he also showed compassion to his enemies. He really reminded me of Ender Wiggin from Ender’s Game. The bonds he developed with his friends were inspiring. I was really motivated to keep reading this series to see what happens next. When I got to the end of Morning Star, the final book of the planned trilogy, I was very happy with the ending. Pierce Brown had done an exceptional job of finding a good way to end the series, which is why I will admit that I was wary about starting Iron Gold. This book is set approximately ten years later, though it feels like almost no time has passed for the main characters. It felt like time almost stood still for them as they had experienced no further development in that time. A lot of stuff has happened, just not to the main cast from the original trilogy. The author decided that this book would not just be told from Darrow’s point of view, so he included three other Point of View characters set up in a similar system to A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin. I was very concerned about this new direction as I like to follow a single character from their first-person perspective and I didn’t know much about these other characters. But I am very proud to say that they grew on me over the course of the book, in fact, I think I liked the other three characters more than I liked Darrow in this book. Where GRR fails, I think Brown succeeds because he limits it to only four characters. Let’s start with Darrow. Ten years have passed since the end of Morning Star and Darrow poorly attempts to lead the military while being a father and husband. He is almost never home, it seems, and this drives a wedge between him and his son. He is also a huge risk-taker, often ignoring the commands of the Republic that he helped to create. His disobedience fit his character in the original trilogy, but I feel like it should have evolved by this point. Next up is Lyria. She is a Red from Mars, who was born in the mines and brought to the surface sometime between the events of Morning Star and Iron Gold. I really liked her because she was a pretty strong character that would always be seeking out opportunities for herself and her family. She feels betrayed by The Sovereign (rightfully so), but this does not stop her from being a good person. I would love to read more about her in the upcoming books. Ephraim was a character that I really enjoyed, as well. He is a Gray that has become a professional thief. My impression is that he respects his crew and his job, but not his life. There is some loss in his past that I do not want to spoil, but it really adds to his character. Throughout this book, he is hired by an organization called the Syndicate to perform a very dark job and it was interesting to see his inner struggle towards the end of the book. He also gets to interact with Lyria at points, which I was not expecting. I really would like to see them continuing to interact in future books. Lastly, we have Lysander au Lune, the grandson of the former Sovereign. He is now twenty years old and in exile with Cassius au Bellona due to how the original trilogy ended. They understand what the original purpose of being Gold was and so they set out to help those in need. Their journey takes them to The Rim planets unexpectedly, which ended up being a very interesting sequence to read. Lysander’s chapters certainly set up events that will happen in future books. I feel the story was pretty great, the world-building was also very strong by being able to continuing developing worlds/moons already fleshed out. I felt like the previous books were mostly self-contained (my opinion, I know that there was a trilogy in mind), but this book feels like it’s only a setup for future books. Overall, I felt like the book was very good, but not quite as good as the original trilogy (a thing that can be said about many things). I am very eager to read Dark Age, which is due out later this year.
Date published: 2018-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great A wonderful read. Complex characters. Many POVs. Great trilogy.
Date published: 2018-03-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth the Read! I love the world and characters Pierce Brown has created. Keep writing because I cannot wait to keep reading these books.
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as good as the original series This took me about half the book to get into. Felt a little slower paced than the originals and like a lot of storyline being set up for the next 2 instalments.... But I still read it and enjoyed it. And I'll read the next two too! I do really enjoy that Pierce Brown is portraying the results of a revolution as complicated and not all happily ever after. It's maybe more honest than the first series, but less entertaining for some looking for quick paced action.
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read, Almost as good as the original 3 I'm a huge fan of the Red Rising universe, but I'm not too sure how I feel about this continuation to what was an amazing trilogy. Starting 10 years after Morning Star, it's great, but doesn't exactly live up to its predecessors. Don't get me wrong. It's nice to pick up with old characters, and great to follow multiple POV storylines that span the galaxy. Some characters (Sevro, Victra, Cassius), have come a long way over the years and Brown has worked magic making them come to life in completely different ways that we never expected in the original three books. While, Darrow seems to be up to his same tricks, same hangups, and hasn't evolved with the passage of time. It leaves him looking like a shallow character, who I felt that I could no longer connect with. New characters and original secondary characters fill in a lot of the voids that Darrow leaves behind. All things aside, I'm still looking forward to the next one.
Date published: 2018-03-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Iron gold Book was quick at some parts, slow at others. Nice to have found pierce brown as an author. A great build up book, for the next two upcoming books in the series.
Date published: 2018-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtakin Another incredible contribution to the world of fantasy and sci-fi from author Pierce Brown. The depth of his characters and the breadth of the world they occupy is a gift for many generations to come.
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AHH I LOVE THIS SERIES This is the 4th book in the Red Rising Saga and it did not disappoint, although it was not my favorite of the series. This book takes place 10years after the events of Morning Star and really focuses on how to build back up this society after years of war.
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth The Wait Wow. I'd forgotten how much I missed this series. Talk about being worth the wait! The story was just as gripping as its predecessors and brought in new, engaging characters I couldn't help but love, even when I knew I wasn't supposed to. I was really surprised at the dark turn Darrow's story took, and while I still adore him, there were a few choices he made that made me want to shake him. That said, it made him an even more complex character and has me hoping for more depth into this new Reaper. Lysander also had an excellent side story which makes him engaging, and makes me eager to see where his story goes. Lyria is one of my new heroes, a relatable character who you can't hope but root for. Ephraim is also an engaging tormented soul and I want to see more from him. The action was heart-pounding and visceral. The world building is stellar and every sentence is beautifully crafted. I've been waiting for this book ever since I heard it would be written, and it surpassed its hype. I cannot recommend it enough!
Date published: 2018-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A typical chilling-exciting book from Pierce Brown I have been a fan of Pierce Brown since the beginning of the Red Rising serie and I was SO excited to learn that he would continue the story with Iron Gold. At first, I was not a fan of the POVs and different characters but the closer you come to the end of the book, the more it all makes sense and you start to appreciate it and all the subtilties it came with! It was interesting to discover and follow 3 new characters even though it's the Darrow-parts (obviously!) that were the most captivating and I wish we spent more time with him but I can understand that the 3 other books were all focused on him. Overall I loved this book, how can you not when you are a fan of Pierce Brown and I am already hooked on this new series and can't wait for the next books!
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing This book consumed me. I lived in every word, and felt every feeling.
Date published: 2018-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANS REJOICE! I received an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review: This novel is the first in a new series that is a continuation of the Red Rising trilogy set ten years in the future. Fans of the series should be able to easily flow from Morning Star to this one. Pierce bridges the gap seamlessly and all the same characters and nostalgic elements are present to satisfy Red Rising fans. I would say the major change here is that we are reading from multiple POVS, which allows Pierce to diversify his story and world greatly. The major focus of this book is loss. The loss of family, friends, the loss of self. Pierce focuses in on how the events of the rebellion in the red rising trilogy have affected Darrow, his family and friends, the world around him and several new POV characters. One of the new POV characters is a young girl, helping to give younger readers someone to relate to, as they may have trouble connecting with an older Darrow. We also have an LGBT POV character who adds a whole new heist aspect to the novel. Overall I believe mature teen readers who have read the Red Rising trilogy could easily enjoy this book. However, the entire series does contain dark, violent themes, swearing and dark humor. Sexual references are present but minimal. Darrow himself is also an adult now so his focus has shifted to include things like his children, his wife, and his regrets. This might make it harder for some teens to relate to him as a main character. This is a great continuation to the series. 5 Stars. Only complaint is that the book does put a lot of time into catching you up on the events you missed in the ten-year gap.
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book consumed me. I lived in every word, and felt every feeling.
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I adored this. 5 out of 5 stars I received an ARC of this work. So, this is the start of the next instalment in the Red Rising world. Time has passed and we are looking at the aftermath of the breaking out of a dystopian society, a nice topic since most books get to the direct aftermath of the revolution and leave it right there. But there is the issue of picking up the pieces and trying to build a new social order and that is what this book gives us. We are ten years in and, despite the colours not being a formal thing anymore, there is still a ton of institutional prejudice and ingrained beliefs and behaviours. This is especially topical right now, looking at the racism still existing in the United States. Sure, they are not technically slaves anymore, but was the wealth immediately redistributed or are the whites/golds still rich and the blacks/reds still poorer? Can they get into the exclusive schools and get the better jobs? How do you dismantle an oppressive system when the oppressors are the ones with all the weapons and all the wealth? It is a good question to explore. This work also brings up the conflict between democracy and efficiency. One of the characters (no spoilers though) recognizes that a society under wise and good golds will be more efficient than a democracy. When you don’t have to put everything to a vote, things get done faster. The revolution came because the golds in charge were petty and spoiled and weak. But, he asks, wouldn’t it be better to put golds that exemplify wisdom be a better choice than democracy? The new democracy is especially slow because many of the horrible, spoiled people still have a lot of clout because of their wealth and the lower colours have a lot of anger, so all of politics is a tug-of-war between conflicting interests, with neither side getting what they ultimately want. Pierce Brown breaks from his normal writing style and has done a multiple POV book, with chapters skipping between Darrow, Lysander, Ephraim (a thief and general pessimist) and Lyria (a red refugee in the aftermath of the revolution). I generally liked the inclusion of other viewpoints, especially since Brown is a skilled enough writer to really make the character voices distinct. Those that like the Gentlemen Bastards series by Scott Lynch are definitely going to love Ephraim and the sense of wry humour and tension that character brings. Darrow grows as a man, and is now a husband and father. This really gives him a perspective on his actions that he did not have as a boy with nothing to lose and that is echoed in Sevro as well. We get to know, more and more closely, the real cost of conflicts and wars and see the characters change and evolve. Not every problem can be solved with violence, but there some that may need bombs and guns and lost lives. Darrow, Mustang and Sevro have to find the balance between the two and learn to live with the consequences. This is a completely fantastic addition to an already strong series. I loved the growth we get to see in the characters as well as new additions to the cast. There is, as always, an excellent balance between the action and the politics and everything is nuanced and fun. This is a must-read.
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impatiently waiting! I cannot wait to read this! Loved the first three, can't wait to see what Pierce writes this time. "Funny thing, watching gods realize they’ve been mortal all along.” - Pierce Brown, Red Rising
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read! so glad that this has expanded! I love the first 3 books.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Started as a trilogy. Glad it has expanded. Great read
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Good Change I found this was a good change from what I typically have been reading (historical fiction). It reminds me a bit of The Hunger Games, but obviously with it's own twists. I find it's an easy read, captivating but not predictable. The young Darrow is quite a character. I recommend this as a break from the norm or maybe an intro to someone who isn't hooked on books yet.
Date published: 2017-02-05

Read from the Book

1DarrowHero of the RepublicWeary, I walk upon flowers at the head of an army. Petals carpet the last of the stone road before me. Thrown by children from windows, they twirl lazily down from the steel towers that grow to either side of the Luna boulevard. In the sky, the sun dies its slow, weeklong death, staining the tattered clouds and gathered crowd in bloody hues. Waves of humanity lap against security barricades, pressing inward on our parade as Hyperion City Watchmen in gray uniforms and cyan berets guard the route, shoving drunken revelers back into the crowd. Behind them, antiterrorism units prowl up and down the pavement, their fly-­eyed goggles scanning irises, hands resting on energy weapons.My own eyes rove the crowd.After ten years of war, I no longer believe in moments of peace.It’s a sea of Colors that line the twelve-­kilometer Via Triumphia. Built by my people, the Red slaves of the Golds, hundreds of years ago, the Triumphia is the avenue by which the Conquerors who tamed Earth held their own processions as they claimed continent after continent. Iron-­spined murderers with eyes of gold and haughty menace once consecrated these same stones. Now, nearly a millennium later, we sully the Triumphia’s sacred white marble by honoring Liberators with eyes of jet and ash and rust and soil.Once, this would have filled me with pride. Jubilant crowds celebrating the Free Legions returned from vanquishing yet another threat to our fledgling Republic. But today I see holosigns of my head with a bloody crown atop it, hear the jeers from the Vox Populi as they wave banners emblazoned with their upside-­down pyramid, and feel nothing but the weight of an endless war and a desperate longing to be once again in the embrace of my family. It has been a year since I’ve seen my wife and son. After the long voyage back from Mercury, all I want is to be with them, to fall into a bed, and to sleep for a dreamless month.The last of my journey home lies before me. As the Triumphia widens and abuts the stairs that lead up to the New Forum, I face one final summit.Faces drunk on jubilation and new commercial spirits gape up at me as I reach the stairs. Hands sticky with sweets wave in the air. And tongues, loose from those same commercial spirits and delights, cry out, shouting my name, or cursing it. Not the name my mother gave me, but the name my deeds have built. The name the fallen Peerless Scarred now whisper as a curse.“Reaper, Reaper, Reaper,” they cry, not in unison, but in frenzy. The clamor suffocates, squeezing with a billion-­fingered hand: all the hopes, all the dreams, all the pain constricting around me. But so close to the end, I can put one foot after the other. I begin to climb the stairs.Clunk.My metal boots grind on stone with the weight of loss: Eo, Ragnar, Fitchner, and all the others who’ve fought and fallen at my side while somehow I have remained alive.I am tall and broad. Thicker at my age of thirty-­three than I was in my youth. Stronger and more brutal in my build and movement. Born Red, made Gold, I have kept what Mickey the Carver gave me. These Gold eyes and hair feel more my own than those of that boy who lived in the mines of Lykos. That boy grew, loved, and dug the earth, but he lost so much it often feels like it happened to another soul.Clunk. Another step.Sometimes I fear that this war is killing that boy inside. I ache to remember him, his raw, pure heart. To forget this city moon, this Solar War, and return to the bosom of the planet that gave birth to me before the boy inside is dead forever. Before my son loses the chance to ever know him. But the worlds, it seems, have plans of their own.Clunk.I feel the weight of the chaos I’ve unleashed: famines and genocide on Mars, Obsidian piracy in the Belt, terrorism, radiation sickness and disease spreading through the lower reaches of Luna, and the two hundred million lives lost in my war.I force a smile. Today is our fourth Liberation Day. After two years of siege, Mercury has joined the free worlds of Luna, Earth, and Mars. Bars stand open. War-­weary citizens rove the streets, looking for reason to celebrate. Fireworks crackle and blaze across the sky, shot from the roofs of skyscraper and tenement complex alike.With our victory on the first planet from the sun, the Ash Lord has been pushed back to his last bastion, the fortress planet Venus, where his battered fleet guards precious docks and the remaining loyalists. I have come home to convince the Senate to requisition ships and men of the war-­impoverished Republic for one final campaign. One last push on Venus to put this bloodydamn war to rest. So I can set down the sword and go home to my family for good.Clunk.I take a moment to glance behind me. Waiting at the foot of the stairs is my Seventh Legion, or the remnants of it. Twenty-­eight thousand men and women where once there were fifty. They stand in casual order around a fourteen-­pointed ivory star with a pegasus galloping at its center—­held aloft by the famous Thraxa au Telemanus. The Hammer. After losing her left arm to Atalantia au Grimmus’s razor, she had it replaced by a metal prototype appendage from Sun Industries. Wild gold hair flutters behind her head, garlanded with white feathers given to her by Obsidian admirers.In her mid-­thirties, a stout woman with thighs thick as water drums and a freckled, bluff face. She grins past the shoulders of the Obsidians and Golds around her. Blue and Red and Orange pilots wave to the crowd. Red, Gray, and Brown infantry smile and laugh as pretty young Pinks and Reds duck under barriers and rush to drape necklaces of flowers around their necks, push bottles of liquor into their hands and kisses onto their mouths. They are the only full legion in today’s parade. The rest remain on Mercury with Orion and Harnassus, battling with the Ash Lord’s legions stranded there when his fleet retreated.Clunk.“Remember, you are but mortal,” Sevro’s bored voice drawls in my ear as white-­haired Wulfgar and the Republic Wardens descend to greet us midway up the Forum stairs. Sevro sniffs my neck and makes a noise of distaste. “By Jove. You wretch. Did you dip yourself in piss before the occasion?”“It’s cologne,” I say. “Mustang bought it for me last Solstice.”He’s quiet for a moment. “Is it made out of piss?”I scowl back at him, wrinkling my nose at the heaviness of liquor on his breath, and eye the ragged wolfcloak he wears over his ceremonial armor. He claims he hasn’t washed it since the Institute. “You’re really lecturing me about stenches? Just shut up and behave like an Imperator,” I say with a grin.Snorting, Sevro drops back to where the legendary Obsidian, Sefi Volarus, stands in her customary silence. He feigns an air of domesticity, but next to the giant woman, he looks a little like some sort of gutter dog an alcoholic father might ill-­advisedly bring home to play with the children—­washed and rid of fleas, but still possessing that weird mania behind the eyes. Pinched, thin lipped, with a nose crooked as an old knifefighter’s fingers. He eyes the crowd with resigned distaste.Behind him lope the pack of mangy Howlers he brought with us to Mercury. My bodyguards, now drunk as gallants at a Lykos Laureltide. Stalwart Holiday walks at their center, the snub-­nosed woman doing her best to keep them in line.There used to be more of them. So many more.I smile as Wulfgar descends the stairs to meet me. A favorite son of the Rising, the Obsidian is a tree root of a man, gnarled and narrow, armored all in pale blue. He’s in his early forties. His face angular as a raptor’s, his beard braided like that of his hero, Ragnar.One of the Obsidians to fight alongside Ragnar at the walls of Agea, Wulfgar was with the Sons of Ares that freed me from the Jackal in Attica. Now ArchWarden of the Republic, he smiles down at me from the step above, his black eyes crinkling at the corners.“Hail libertas,” I say with a smile.“Hail libertas,” he echoes.“Wulfgar. Fancy meeting you here. You missed the Rain,” I say.“You did not wait for me to return, did you?” Wulfgar clucks his tongue. “My children will ask where I was when the Rain fell upon Mercury, and you know what I will have to tell them?” He leans forward with a conspiratorial smile. “I was making night soil, wiping my ass when I heard Barca had taken Mount Caloris.” He rumbles out a laugh.“I told you not to leave,” Sevro says. “You’d miss out on all the fun, I said. You should have seen the Ashies route. Trails of piss all the way to Venus. You’d have loved it.” Sevro grins at the Obsidian. It was Sevro who put a razor in his hand in the river mud of Agea. Wulfgar has his own razor now. Its hilt made from the fang of an ice dragon from Earth’s South Pole.“My blade would have sung that day were I not summoned by the Senate,” he says.Sevro sneers. “That’s right. You ran home like a good little dog.”“A dog? I am a servant of the People, my friend. As are we all.” His eyes find me with mild accusation and I understand the true meaning to his words. Wulfgar is a believer, like all Wardens. Not in me, but in the Republic, in the principles for which it stands, and the orders that the Senate gives. Two days before the Iron Rain over Mercury, the Senate, led by my old friend Dancer, voted against my proposal. They told me to maintain the siege. To not waste men, resources, on an assault.I disobeyed and let the Rain fall.Now a million of my men lie in the sands of Mercury and we have our Liberation Day.Were Wulfgar with me on Mercury, he would not have joined our Rain against the Senate’s permission. In fact, he might have tried to stop me. He’s one of the few men alive who might manage. For a spell at least.He spares a nod for Sefi. “Njar ga hae, svester.” A rough translation is “Respect to you, sister” in nagal.“Njar ga hir, bruder,” she replies. No love lost between them. They have different priorities.“Your weapons.” Wulfgar gestures to my razor.Sefi and I hand his Wardens our weapons. Muttering under his breath, Sevro hands over his as well. “Did you forget your toothpick?” Wulfgar asks, looking at Sevro’s left boot.“Treasonous yeti,” Sevro mutters, and pulls a wicked blade long as a baby’s body from his boot. The Warden who takes it looks terrified.“Odin’s fortune with the togas, Darrow,” Wulfgar says to me as he motions for us to continue upward. “You will need it.”Arrayed at the top of the steps of the New Forum are the 140 Senators of the Republic. Ten per Color, all draped in white togas that flutter in the breeze. They peer down at me like a row of haughty pigeons on a wire. Red and Gold, mortal enemies in the Senate, bookend the row to either side. Dancer is missing. But I have eyes only for the lonely bird of prey that stands at the center of all the silly, vain, power-­hungry little pigeons.Her golden hair is bound tight behind her head. Her tunic is pure white, without the ribbons of their Color the others wear. And in her hand, she carries the Dawn Scepter—­now a multi-­hued gold baton half a meter long, with the pyramid of the Society recast into the fourteen-­pointed star of the Republic at its tip. Her face is elegant and distant. A small nose, piercing eyes behind thick eyelashes, and a mischievous cat’s smile growing on her face. The Sovereign of our Republic. Here at the summit of the stairs, her eyes shed the weight from my shoulders, the fear from my heart that I would never see her again. Through war and space and this damnable parade, I have traveled to find her again, my life, my love, my home.I bend to my knee and look up into the eyes of the mother of my child.“ ’Lo, wife,” I say with a smile.“ ’Lo, husband. Welcome home.”

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR PIERCE BROWN AND THE RED RISING SAGA   Red Rising   “[A] spectacular adventure . . . one heart-pounding ride . . . Pierce Brown’s dizzyingly good debut novel evokes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender’s Game. . . . [Red Rising] has everything it needs to become meteoric.”—Entertainment Weekly   “[A] top-notch debut novel . . . Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field.”—USA Today   Golden Son   “Brown writes layered, flawed characters . . . but plot is his most breathtaking strength. . . . Every action seems to flow into the next.”—NPR   “In a word, Golden Son is stunning. Among science fiction fans, it should be a shoo-in for book of the year.”—Tordotcom   Morning Star   “A page-turning epic filled with twists and turns . . . The conclusion to [Pierce] Brown’s saga is simply stellar.”—Booklist (starred review)   “Brown’s vivid, first-person prose puts the reader right at the forefront of impassioned speeches, broken families, and engaging battle scenes.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)