Past: Iron Gold (audio) by Pierce Brown
Finished this fourth installment of the Red Rising series. While the first three complete a story, this latest addition picks up ten years later. While the protagonist, Darrow au Andromedus, has laid the foundation for a republic where all are equal, he still has the Ash Lord to face. Darrow believes this enemy needs to be vanquished now or he will be an even bigger threat later. He believes the republic can finally know peace. But the people are tired of war. Despite the changes in the government ruling the solar system, prejudice still exists against the lower classes, the same classes from which Darrow sprang.
Iron Gold unwinds some big differences than its previous three volumes. While Red Rising, Golden Son and Morning Star present a tale epic in proportion, Iron Gold focuses on four narrative characters: Darrow, Lysander au Lune, Lyria, and Ephraim ti Horn. Brown has definitely focused more on character development compared to his previous novels, but has the epic feel been sacrificed? It’s obvious he is building up the story and leaves a few cliffhangers for the next book, Dark Age, which comes out in September of this year, so Brown has been working hard.
Fans of the Red Rising series will definitely be interested Iron Gold, although some of the reviews I’ve seen indicate they were not as enamored with Iron Gold. Patience is required because the story is just building up.
Past: Last Dragon Standing (ebook) by Rachel Aaron
Heartstriker’s is the second series of Aaron’s I have read, the first being her Eli Monpress books, and I see some similarities. While different genres–the Monpress books are more straight fantasy, while Heartstriker’s can be classified as urban fantasy–Aaron shows she can build up a story to epic levels while handling a large cast of characters successfully.
Occasionally, Aaron using dialogue to set the rules of the world she’s created, bordering on info-dumping (I had a hard time with the fourth book because of this), she makes an interesting world in which Detroit is the center of magic on earth. She is an excellent world-builder. I also grew to like many of her character, and I am excited to hear she is going to write another series set in the same world.
If you are looking for an enjoyable urban fantasy series, I recommend Heartstriker’s.
Currently started incorporating my Checklist of American Literature into my reading. While I won’t be reading exclusively from this list, I have started reading Captain John Smith: A Select Edition of His Writings. I probably won’t read the entire book, but just a few pieces of his writing to get a flavor of his personality. Apparently, he wasn’t all that truthful in his accounts and he was kind of sexist, so I probably will move on down the checklist as soon as possible.
I just started listening to Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson as an audio book. I’ve always enjoyed young adult fiction. Still figuring out if I’m going to like it. Maybe I’m just trying to stay young.