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Pierce Brown debuts new Red Rising trilogy, cover, plot

Meet ‘Iron Gold’

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You can’t just break an entire galaxy and not pick up the pieces.

Howlers have reason to howl once more as Pierce Brown, author of the sci-fi adventure trilogy Red Rising, has revealed a heap of information about the brand-new story that will continue the series: Iron Gold.

The book launches a new trilogy (yes, trilogy!) following a new set of protagonists in addition to Darrow, the society-toppling hero who rose from the depths of Mars to conquer a color-coded empire and seize control of its soul — and its ammunition stockpiles.

EW is thrilled to debut the exclusive first look at the cover for Iron Gold, which will be released by Random House in Aug. 2017. The cover alone is an intriguing departure from the rest of the series, boasting a blazing feather against a bright white foundation that sits directly opposite of the dark cosmic tone set by the first trilogy’s cover aesthetic.

To accompany our burning interest in the new cover, Brown also answered some of our burning questions about the exciting trilogy, the news of which should serve as enough inspiration to convince you to reconsider your holiday book binge and revisit the bloody damn world of Red Rising.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What inspired you to write a new trilogy?

PIERCE BROWN: To be honest, I was curious. Not just about what happens to an empire once it has been broken, but what rises from the ashes. What happens to rebels once they take on the mantle of rule. Authority is a pressure cooker of responsibility that twists and hardens. Darrow and Mustang will learn it was easier to throw proverbial Molotov cocktails than it is to govern ten billion souls.

And did you at least take a break after the Red Rising trilogy ended!?

I took a meager little break, mostly to stretch my screenwriting muscles.

The book picks up 10 years later, correct? What’s the state of the galaxy?

Yes. And 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.

How will Darrow and Mustang factor into this new story — or not?

Both will be integral characters. They’re barely into their mid-30s, so I’d wager they have a few more tricks up their sleeves.

What can you tell us about this trilogy’s hero and POV?

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.

What should we make of the title Iron Gold?

The term “Iron Gold” refers to the original Gold conquerors; the founders of Society who were infinitely tougher, smarter, and more brutal than their descendants would become after 700 years of rule. It is an ideal that many of the former ruling class wish to bring back in their fight against the Rising.

What challenges did the new story arc present to you?

Its scope is huge. Far more ambitious than Red Rising. It spans the solar system, weaves in disparate cultures and moons and planets — most of which had to be created from scratch. It has been an exercise not only in world-building but in understanding how the world would affect these diverse characters.

How is this trilogy similar to the types of grand space-hopping stories you established in Red Rising, and how is it notably different?

It has the firefights and midnight duels and blood feuds, but many of the characters are not wrecking balls like Darrow. They must use other means to achieve their goals. Not everyone can blast through the bridge viewport of a Dreadnought, after all…

Now that you’re writing a fourth story, is there anything you perhaps wish you maybe hadn’t done (or killed off) in Morning Star?

I do miss a certain giant. But he casts a long shadow, even from the grave.

Last question: Give me one infuriatingly cryptic tease for fans that won’t make sense until after the book is released.

The sins of the past are not forgotten.