Review: Dark Age (Red Rising Saga #5) by Pierce Brown

Rating: ★★★★★+


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.


How in the world do you sum up your thoughts on a book that you have been awaiting for what seems like a decade? (it as only been a little over a year and a half BUT IT FEELS SO MUCH LONGER). Is the hype real? Was it worth diving into the second I received it, devouring it in less than 2 days (it is 776 pages afterall), and not giving myself a second to ponder on what I read so I could bring my thoughts to you? YOU BET YOUR GORYDAMN ARSE IT IS WORTH IT.

I finished Iron Gold (loved it) and slowly ramped up the anticipation for Dark Age once the cover was revealed and a solid date was announced.

Then it was delayed. But you know… I wasn’t upset about it. People have been waiting so much longer for Winds of Winter, The Doors of Stone, and The Thorns of Emberlain. We are talking YEARS, peeps. Pierce Brown can take all of the time he needs to perfect this book.

And by jove did he perfect it.

Dark Age is going to go down as the BEST book in the series. I never thought anything could top Golden Son, but this thick tome puts it to shame. Not only is it almost double the length, but Dark Age doesn’t take its foot off of the accelerator; it literally mashes it through the floorboard and into the base of the engine compartment. There isn’t a single second to take a breath before death, destruction, and bloodydamn mayhem are afoot and every single character you have come to know and love is at its mercy.

The best way to (as accurately as possible) explain this book is as so: Game of Thrones has a baby with The Expanse. Then, said baby, once it comes of age, starts to have feelings/longs for the offspring of Vikings and a mash-up of 300 and Greek/Roman Mythology. BUT THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO IT, YOU GUYS.

Not a single character is left untouched by the chaos that began in Red Rising, and much like the storylines of Iron Gold, we are matched with multiple POVs from the biggest names in the series and a couple we found last time around: Darrow, Lysander, Mustang, Lyria, and Ephraim. As story arcs cross, motivations become muddied, alliances shift, and love becomes an emotion for the lost, power and survival become the only focus, however impossible they may seem.

Massive and intense battles, universe-wide world-building, thoroughly fleshed-out characters, and a never-ending chess match being played across the galaxy. What more can you ask for?

No all in all or in conclusion. If you have been reading up to this point, you already have a copy or plan on it. If you haven’t given this series a try…

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. AH! I can’t wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved books 1-3 but with Iron Gold, I thought the series lost a bit of its magic. I might still give this one a go though, your praise of it makes me curious to see if I’ll like it more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David says:

      Oh, please do!


  3. hobbleit says:

    I have Dark Age to read next week and I am so excited to get to it. It’s one of my most anticipated books of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David says:

      Can’t wait to see your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. HCNewton says:

    Nailed it. 2 days?? Wow. Impressive. Dunno why, but Brown takes extra time for me to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David W says:

      I couldn’t help but feast on it!


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