Dark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5)by Published 30 Jul 2019
|Dark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5).pdf|
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Morning Star returns to the Red Rising universe with the thrilling sequel to Iron Gold.
For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?
Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile, has returned to the Core. Determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword, he must overcome or unite the treacherous Gold families of the Core and face down Darrow over the skies of war-torn Mercury.
But theirs are not the only fates hanging in the balance.
On Luna, Mustang, Sovereign of the Republic, campaigns to unite the Republic behind her husband. Beset by political and criminal enemies, can she outwit her opponents in time to save him?
Once a Red refugee, young Lyria now stands accused of treason, and her only hope is a desperate escape with unlikely new allies.
Abducted by a new threat to the Republic, Pax and Electra, the children of Darrow and Sevro, must trust in Ephraim, a thief, for their salvation—and Ephraim must look to them for his chance at redemption.
As alliances shift, break, and re-form—and power is seized, lost, and reclaimed—every player is at risk in a game of conquest that could turn the Rising into a new Dark Age.
Dark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5) Reviews
OMG! OMG! OMG! THE DARK AGE HANGOVER KIT CAME! CLICK ON GOODIES LINK UNDER THE PICTURE TO SEE THE FREAKING GOODIES! OMG! ALTHOUGH, MY SEVRO PLUSHIE IS THE BEST!
THE FREAKING GOODIES LINK
Another special and numbered edition came today! Supposedly tomorrow, my Dark Age Box with Sevro plushie should be here! Fingers Crossed!
If I live to read the next book, I’m afraid!! 😳
Well, one of my special editions came today 😉
Gory (literally) damn insane, violent, bleak, and ruthless. Helldivers, prepare your soul to be hell-drilled by Dark Age’s brutality.
“During war, the laws are silent.”—Quintus Tullius Cicero
Two things first. If it has been a long time since you’ve read Iron Gold or Red Rising Saga, I strongly recommend you to reread the entire series before you read Dark Age. I didn’t do this and I truly believe that my reading experience of this book suffered from it. Secondly, throughout the years since Red Rising publication, many people still insist that this series is for YA audience; by the time you read this book, you’ll probably be traumatized or maybe even loathe this book for its extreme darkness. Seriously, Dark Age is one of the darkest, bleakest, and goriest novel I’ve ever read in my life; the humor and heartwarming aspect of the series that’s usually common to find are close to non-existent in this installment. I will edit this review in the future when I’ve reread the series from the beginning in preparation for the sixth and—maybe—last book of the series, but for now, this is my thoughts and opinions on my first read-through Dark Age.
“With every new endeavor, there’s always the hope that you will find happiness, be less lonely.”
I’ve mentioned this before, out of all the books released in 2019, A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie and Dark Age by Pierce Brown are at the top of my most anticipated release list. I’ve pre-ordered Dark Age since February 2018, that’s one year six months ahead. I’ve never done that for any book, ever. My expectations for these books were extremely high, A Little Hatred exceeded it, but sadly, for the first time ever, I have to say that although I still enjoyed it overall, I didn’t find Dark Age, a book hailed by many of his fans as the best book in saga so far, as enjoyable as I hoped.
“I once thought the greatest sin of war was violence. It isn’t. The greatest sin is it requires good men to become practical.”
Dark Age is the fifth and penultimate installment of the Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown. By this point of the series, it’s safe to say that I can’t talk about the plot at all unless I risked spoiling the story, so I won't be talking about the plot at all. Let me just say there’s no happy moment for the protagonists, and everyone is constantly tortured, tormented, maimed, and killed. How about that? The title of the book pretty much implied the tone of the book already: full-throttle darkness, depression, gore, brutality, bleak, death, violence, violence, and violence; this is by far the bleakest and darkest installment in the series so far. I honestly never expected the series to ever become this dark, and with the escalation of darkness, the pacing of the book felt off to me. There were many moments of supposed intensity that felt desensitized because of everlasting pages of explicit gorefest with no break. Imagine reading attempted rapes, impalements, genital mutilations, drug abuse, maimed, gore, deaths; you name it and it’s all here, for hundreds of pages. After a while, the constant exposure to explicit details of violence ended up becoming boredom. Pierce Brown is at his best when he combined hope, humor, and heartwarming moments with despair and terror into his narrative that’s full of thrilling action sequences. Unfortunately, this brilliance was lost most of the time in this book. Do note that if you check my reading history, you should know that I don’t mind reading violence, gore, and grimdark SFF in heavy doses. They just need to be paced accordingly, and I—with sadness—can’t say that Brown nailed the pacing of his action sequences correctly this time.
“No god listens. There are only men. And what one does, another may undo. That is my only religion. That of the hand and the lever.”
Brown sacrificed many staple moments of the series such as fantastic character developments, clear and concise plot coherence, engaging banters, in exchange for the extreme bleakness. Plus, there’s a severe lack of appearances from my favorite characters of the series; characters for me to root for were truly lacking compared to the previous books. There were many instances where the POV of the new characters from Iron Gold felt like fillers put for the sake of adding pages count. What Brown tried to achieve with them became clearer at the end but even then I still believe that it didn’t require that many pages. Thankfully, there’s a new perspective character to follow here; her chapters were relatively small compared to the other four POV’s but her storyline was easily my favorite in this book. I would like to also add that plot device that revolves around dead characters being resurrected is a personal pet peeve of mine; sometimes they worked, most often they don’t. Let’s just say that the one that Brown pulled off here didn’t work for me.
“How many do not know you. How many will soon forget you. How many praise you today to offer contempt tomorrow. Permanence of fame, power, dominion of the individual, are illusions. All that will be measured, all that will last, is your mastery of yourself.”
I’ve rambled on about the things that didn't work for me here, but rest assured that it’s not all bad. It’s time for me to talk about the incredible parts of the book that I loved. I have always loved Brown’s prose, that didn’t change here. If it weren’t because of his writing style, I probably would’ve DNFed this book somewhere in the middle. Although I have complained about the excessive bleak and violent nature of the book that made the pacing awkward, I won’t deny the fact that there were several devastating scenes that, in my opinion, were written so damn well. These characters suffered, a LOT. The horrible things they have to endure were insane, to say the least. And I can’t help but feel empathetic towards the key characters of the series. It’s also satisfying to see how much of the series has grown in terms of scope. Dark Age is massive in scope; the level of escalation in its scale is something that took me by surprise, and I’m thankful for it.
“You know I believe we all begin equal parts light and dark. I fear you think your strength lies in your darkness. But the measure of a man is not the fear he sows in his enemies. It is the hope he gives his friends.”
One last thing before I close this review, Brown successfully ended Dark Age with a bang. The closing sections of Part 3 and the entirety of Part 4 was absolutely brilliant; tremendously immersive, the twists and turns were written with magnificent clarity. These sections were a return to the greatness that I loved from Brown’s storytelling style. Action scenes full of palpable intensity and fury told in a cinematic fashion that made every brutal scene damn vivid. If I were to rate this book based on these parts, I would give it 5 stars rating in a heartbeat. It was truly brilliant. Plus, it also set up every single plotline for the grand conclusion to come in the next and final book.
“But for all this new civilization’s love affair with technology, they’ve been seduced by their own cleverness and fail to understand the simple truth: lying is not a science, it is an art. And art will always be a human language.”
Dark Age may not be as entertaining and enjoyable as the previous books, but it was certainly bleak, heart-shattering, and epic in scope. Many fans have started claiming that Dark Age is the best book in the series so far; unfortunately, I have to disagree with this notion. However, from the way the story ended here, the next book might truly end up becoming the best in the series for me. I bloodydamn look forward to seeing how it all concludes. Until then, I will endure. See you there, Helldivers.
You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)
You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
‘the man is broken, but he is not allowed to break.’
but gorydamn, my goodman, this book broke me and then drowned me in my own tears.
i took the day off from work yesterday just so i could stay home and dedicate my full attention to reading this entire beast of brutality, with full focus and no distractions or interruptions. after meeting pierce brown last week and listening to him talk so passionately about this, i knew that was the only way i could show the complete respect this book deserves. and boy, what a day yesterday was.
a reviewer for NPR wrote, “browns plots are like a depth charge of nitromethane dropped in a bucket of gasoline. his pacing is 100% him standing over it all with a lit match and a smile, waiting for us to dare him to drop it.” no truer words have been written. in fact, pierce went and dropped the match in the prologue, because this crudely self-photoshopped meme is pretty much live footage of my reading experience.
you would think that, by now, i would know what im getting myself into every time i open a red rising novel. on the same level as ‘golden son,’ this new installment (in what is the most epic sci-fantasy series i have ever read) shows that intelligently crafted bedlam, anxiety-inducing chaos, and the absolute dissonance of violent oblivion can be a sweet, sick addiction.
i fall on my knees and bow down to the evil genius that is pierce brown. this story (and series) is unparalleled.
↠ every star in the gorydamn galaxy
George RR Martin called and would like his lack of conscience back, PB. Dark Age makes Golden Son look like child’s play.
Click on over to https://fanfiaddict.com/ to check out this and other reviews!
*Spoiler* section included at the end
If I had to describe Dark Age in one word it would be brutal. This book was absolutely, by far, the darkest of the Red Rising series. I kept thinking throughout this book, especially after a certain part, that this was in fact grimdark Sci Fi because it was just that dark.
I absolutely loved it. Dark Age was a crazy, intense, wild, non-stop, action packed ride that just wouldn’t let up. The pace was very fast and I think this increased the stakes dramatically. Our heroes had to be smarter, faster, and deadlier because their enemies were the greatest they’d ever come against.
One of the biggest weaknesses with multiple POV novels is that sometimes not all of the characters are interesting or there is nothing happening around them so you as the reader become disinterested. This is not the case in Dark Age. Every time I switched POV’s there was always something interesting happening to each character that kept me engaged and intrigued. Of course I had my favorite POV’s Darrow and Ephraim, but seeing Lysander’s machinations, Mustang’s cunning, and Lyria getting some deeper character development was all enjoyable reading.
Speaking of characters, I have to give a shout out to Ephraim. In my opinion, Ephraim has had the best character arc of anyone in the new trilogy so far. He has been the comedic relief often in what so far has been a really dark series. Even more than that though, he is a return to why I started and will continue to read Red Rising. Characters that are real and that you can really empathize with and understand where they are coming from. I was really impressed by the way that Pierce Brown wrote Ephraim’s processing of grief in both Iron Gold and Dark Age. I just couldn’t help but root for him.
I enjoyed Darrow’s POV in this one. The battles of Mercury are epic and intense and he is always in the middle of them. The Reaper has returned in full force and I couldn’t have been more happy with what we saw of the Reaper in action. It is clear in the 10 years of war that Darrow has grown even better as a fighter and commander. There was also a lot of introspection and doubt of the rightness of his cause. This was a return to the Darrow of the first trilogy, but more mature. The Darrow that may not always be sure of what is right, but does the best he can. The Darrow that may not be strong enough, but has his friends as his strong support.
I enjoyed Mustang’s POV. It was fun to get to see the behind the scenes work of the Sovereign and see what she was like from her own point of view. It was also really great to see her support and love for Darrow confirmed time and time again throughout all the darkness of the events happening around them.
Lyria finally got interesting! I never had anything against Lyria in Iron Gold. I just never found her compelling. However, her POV got more and more interesting as Dark Age went along and I started to really love where her story was going and where it will go.
I really enjoyed the politicking between the Core Golds and how it impacts them as individuals as well as the ongoing war with the Republic. Lysander’s POV especially shows a lot of this and it’s really interesting to see it through a Gold’s eyes. Lysander changes quite a bit in this book and my opinion of him changed as well. I can’t give more of my opinion about him without spoilers so if you want to see more of that look in that section.
I think the only thing that I wish Dark Age would have done just a little bit better was to slow down for the big moments. Everything was happening so fast at times it almost felt like those moments just passed us by and we weren’t able to properly process them or give them their due. However, that is my only complaint and it is a small one.
This book shook me and I am still feeling the effects days after finishing it. I never felt that any of the characters I’ve come to know and love were safe. There were moments I laughed and ones where I cried. Where I was scared, horrified, amused, thrilled, disgusted, and just plain numb. I’m still not sure I’ve recovered even as I write this. Undoubtedly, one of the best books of the year.
“Hail Libertas, Hail Reaper!”
Now for *SPOILERS*
Seriously MAJOR Spoilers ahead
I warned you...
RIP Ephraim, Alexander, Orion, Ulysses, Sefi, and Daxo. I hope I didn't miss anyone. Honestly, all of these hit me hard. Ephraim and Alexander because I loved their characters and I did not expect their deaths at all. Their deaths happened so quick! Alexander's death felt almost cheap. Ephraim's though did feel like the logical culmination of his redemption arc. Although I was sad that he died he did it in self sacrifice. There couldn't have been a more perfect ending for someone who started out so self centered and bitter in Iron Gold, although it was rather disturbing having him see his own heart being eaten. I also can't believe Pierce Brown had the balls to have the Red Hand kill Sevro and Victra's day old baby so graphically. That was horrific.
I thought the Jackal clone was completely unnecessary. I wish it was just Lillith coming back on her own and sponsored by the Society as the mastermind behind it all. Just added an unnecessary complexity to the plot and I honestly didn't need to see the jackal again. I loved him as the villain in the original trilogy and felt it wrapped up his role well when he died in Morning Star. I'm just hoping he's not going to be a major player in the next book.
I hate you Lysander. I hate you so much. You think you are so much better than Darrow, but you never even consider how wrong your own actions are/could be. Gold clearly cannot rule well without accountability but you can't see that you self righteous, obnoxious pixie.
Spoilery rant done.