April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Geek Lit Review: Iron Gold By Pierce Brown

The setting of the Red Rising trilogy is no more peaceful than it was when last we saw it in the start of this new, ambitious trilogy from author Pierce Brown.

Ryan already reviewed the newest book in author Pierce Brown’s Red Rising  series, but he’s an unabashed Brown Fanboy.  He was almost guaranteed to give the book a glowing review.

Me?  That’s not a guarantee.  I thought the third book had some unnecessary padding in places.

Starting a new trilogy, Brown picks up a decade after the end of the first trilogy.  Darrow is still leading the Howlers into war, this time on the last of the Gold hold-outs in the Core, leaving the Rim beyond the asteroid belt (as promised) alone.  Mercury, under the control of the longtime foe the Ash Lord, is falling, and Venus is all that remains.  But there’s a problem in that political intrigue in the capital on the moon is trying to put an end to things, and Darrow doesn’t see it working out even as his wife Mustang tries to hold onto power.

So, par for the course for Brown, right?  Not quite.

This time around, Brown doesn’t leave all the narration to Darrow alone.  Instead, Brown introduces three more narrators:  Lyria, a Red on Mars living in a refugee camp with a lot of anger at the government; Ephraim, a Gray, former military man turned master thief; and Lysander, a Gold and the grandson of the previous Sovereign traveling with Darrow sorta-ally Cassius around the asteroid belt.

Each of these four, to start, have a separate plot line and one of the things I generally enjoyed about Brown’s work is he manages to create many characters with multiple political or moral viewpoints.  Each of these four comes across as, if not a good person, at least someone with an understandable point of view.  It reminded me, as written, of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and that includes how much most of the characters seem to be unaware of a greater threat to everyone coming from somewhere else as they focus mostly on a massive civil war-type scenario.

If anything, the new characters create some plotting issues early going, where Brown will switch characters after dropping a cliffhanger, leaving the reader a few chapters to go through before getting back to that particular plot line.  Since most of the book has the four working through separate locations, this might be a bit frustrating.  That said, I found the new characters largely growing on me, and even as the book ends with cliffhangers for all four as there already is another book on its way, it still took some time to get going.  8 out of 10 treks to a frozen tomb.

Huh.  Same grade as Ryan.