Iron Gold

This article contains spoilery references to Pierce Brown's Red Rising trilogy, so if you're not all the way through it, look away (and get to it, because that story only gets better with each book).

The cover reveal for Pierce Brown's Red Rising trilogy followup Iron Gold dropped today, along with some new details about the authors planned trilogy, which will take us further into the timeline of Darrow's story. And it's apparently not just Darrow's story this time around. The original trilogy kept us in the mind of the former low-red from Lykos as he rose up the ranks of the solar system's color-coded Society, and helped to implode it from within. According to the author, the new trilogy will introduce additional perspectives. When asked about the POV and hero of Iron Gold, Brown said the following...

There are four heroes, if we want to use that word flexibly. Darrow is a POV character. You will recognize one of the others. But two are brand new faces.

The above quote came from an interview EW conducted with Pierce Brown, to go along with the Iron Gold cover (the feather has returned, and this time it's burning). From what Brown says, we'll have four heroes in Iron Gold. Well, four protagonists. It sounds like maybe not all of them are the standard definition of hero, but that's ok. That could probably be said for most of the best characters in the original Red Rising trilogy.

Set a decade after the events of Morning Star, Iron Gold will offer four perspectives to the narrative. As Brown stated, one will be Darrow's, now in his mid(ish)-thirties, one will be from someone we've seen before, and the other two are brand new faces.

It's impossible to speculate on those brand new faces right now, but who's the familiar character who's getting a POV? The obvious guesses would be Sevro or Mustang, both of whom would be great options. Mustang's always had an interesting perspective on things, coming at conflicts more politically than Darrow, which could prove to be particularly relevant, especially when taking into account what Brown says about the plot of Iron Gold:

The solar system is in turmoil. The new Solar Republic, led by Darrow and Mustang, has replaced the Society on Mars, Earth, and Luna, and is locked in an existential struggle with the remaining Golds of the Core. A decade-long peace still exists between the Republic and the Golds of the Rim worlds, but something stirs in the darkness out beyond the asteroid belt.

Of course, assuming Sevro is still alive and kicking (and I refuse to consider any other scenario), we could be getting his perspective in Iron Gold. I'm morbidly curious to know what goes on inside Sevro's mind, despite knowing it's probably filthy in there. Or maybe because of that, I can't quite decide.

Speaking of Sevro, Victra would be another great possibility for a POV character. Introduced in Golden Son, Victra au Julii (eventually au Barca) proved to be an extraordinary loyal (and delightfully sassy) character, and invaluable to the Howlers in their efforts to take down the Society. Victra is also pretty guarded, which is why it would be awesome to get her first-person perspective on things.

But if I were making a bigger leap on who I think one of the POV characters might be, I'm going to guess Lysander au Lune, the surviving grandson of both Octavia au Lune and Lorn Au Arcos. My alternate guess here would be Cassius, who was looking after Lysander when Morning Star wrapped up, but I'm inclined to guess that young Lysander could be very relevant to Iron Gold, for better or worse (for Darrow). For better would be to say that he and Cassius aren't holding any grudges against Darrow & Company for their varying roles in the deaths of their family members (RIP Grandma Lune and all those Ballonas, right?)

But it's just as possible that Lysander grew up with vengeance in his heart against his childhood idol for killing his grandmother right in front of him. And then there's the likely odds of Lysander inheriting his grandfather's skill with the razor. If he turns out to be a razor-master with even half the ruthlessness of his grandmother, it's fair to say Lysander would make a formidable foe, should that be Brown's plan. There's one vague thing Pierce Brown mentioned at the end of EW's interview that only firms up this theory for me...

The sins of the past are not forgotten.

Of course, that could mean a few things. I'm sure there are people on the Rim who haven't forgotten Darrow's manipulation during the events of Morning Star. That could come back to bite him in Iron Gold. And though things seemed to be relatively smoothed over between Cassius and Darrow at the end of Morning Star, who knows if Cassius is really, fully over his grudge against Darrow? Factor that potential bad blood in with whatever influence he may have had over Lysander growing up, and the chances of Lysander still being a bit salty over what happened to his grandmother increase, in which case, Darrow may have cause to worry. By the 10-years-later timeline, Lysander would be 20 in Iron Gold, so I think it's fair to rank him high on the list of returning characters, and potentially integral ones.

Regardless of who the new POV characters are, it's exciting to know that Brown is aiming to branch out. It'll likely give him more flexibility in how events unfold. There were moments in the original trilogy -- particularly Morning Star -- where Darrow held information the reader wasn't supposed to know right away. Pierce Brown did a great job navigating those waters, especially during the final act of the last book. Keeping the reader in the dark from information a first-person character has can't be easy, but he pulled it off. With four POVs, he'll presumably have an easier time keeping some twists and turns up his sleeve as things unfold.

Iron Gold hits shelves in August 2017. Amazon already has it available for pre-order here. Meanwhile, a movie adaptation of Red Rising is currently in development.

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