Iron Gold

Pierce Brown. Del Rey, $28 (624p) ISBN 978-0-425-28591-6
Brown adroitly builds upon the intricate future he introduced in his Red Rising trilogy with this accessible space opera, set in a near future where the fledgling Solar Republic has freed Mars from the villainous ruling Society, and is attempting to do the same for several other planets in the solar system that are still under the sway of a military leader called the Ash Lord. The novel combines elements of The Expanse and Game of Thrones: the plot lines include world-shattering developments, but Brown’s focus on crafting memorable individuals means that events such as a devastating attack on Mercury are very emotionally affecting for the reader. That assault was launched by Darrow, the military leader of the Solar Republic. His bombing campaign enabled Mercury to join other free worlds under the Republic’s banner, but his actions were not officially sanctioned, and his wife, Mustang, may face repercussions in her role as sovereign. The repercussions of Darrow’s rogue operation alternate with the situations that three other major characters confront. The most memorable involves Lyria, a Martian, for whom the liberation of her planet was not a happy ending: she faces even more trauma at this book’s outset, “two years and a thousand broken promises” after the Republic’s rise. Fans of thoughtful blends of action, intrigue, and prosaic human drama will find this hits the spot. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Associates. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/05/2018
Release date: 01/01/2018
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-4704-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-5019-6053-6
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