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Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga #4)
Author:Pierce Brown

Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga #4)

Pierce Brown


DARROW OF LYKOS/THE REAPER ArchImperator of the Republic, husband to Virginia RHONNA Niece of Darrow LYRIA OF LAGALOS A Gamma Red DANCER, SENATOR O’FARAN Senator of the Republic, Ares lieutenant DANO Colleague of Ephraim


VIRGINIA AU AUGUSTUS/MUSTANG Reigning Sovereign of the Republic, wife to Darrow, mother to Pax PAX Son of Darrow and Virginia MAGNUS AU GRIMMUS/THE ASH LORD Former ArchImperator to Octavia ATALANTIA AU GRIMMUS Daughter of the Ash Lord CASSIUS AU BELLONA Former Morning Knight, guardian to Lysander LYSANDER AU LUNE Grandson of former Sovereign Octavia, heir to House Lune SEVRO AU BARCA/THE GOBLIN Howler, husband to Victra VICTRA AU BARCA Wife to Sevro, née Victra au Julii ELECTRA AU BARCA Daughter of Sevro and Victra KAVAX AU TELEMANUS Head of House Telemanus, father to Daxo NIOBE AU TELEMANUS Wife to Kavax DAXO AU TELEMANUS Heir and son of Kavax THRAXA AU TELEMANUS Daughter of Kavax and Niobe ROMULUS AU RAA Head of House Raa, Lord of the Dust, Sovereign of the Rim Dominion DIDO AU RAA Wife to Romulus, née Dido au Saud SERAPHINA AU RAA Daughter of Romulus and Dido DIOMEDES AU RAA/THE STORM KNIGHT Son of Romulus and Dido

MARIUS AU RAA Quaestor, son of Romulus and Dido APOLLONIUS AU VALII-RATH/THE MINOTAUR Heir to House Valii-Rath THARSUS AU VALII-RATH Brother to Apollonius ALEXANDAR AU ARCOS Eldest grandson of Lorn, a Howler VANDROS a Howler CLOWN a Howler PEBBLE a Howler


HOLIDAY TI NAKAMURA Legionnaire, sister to Trigg, a Gray EPHRAIM TI HORN Freelancer, former Son of Ares SEFI Queen of the Valkyrie, sister to Ragnar, an Obsidian WULFGAR THE WHITETOOTH ArchWarden of the Republic, an Obsidian VOLGA FJORGAN Colleague of Ephraim, an Obsidian QUICKSILVER/REGULUS AG SUN Richest man in the Republic, a Silver PYTHA Blue pilot, companion to Cassius and Lysander CYRA SI LAMENSIS Locksmith, colleague of Ephraim, a Green PUBLIUS CU CARAVAL The Copper Tribune, leader of the Copper bloc, a Copper MICKEY Carver, a Violet


SILENT, SHE WAITS FOR the sky to fall, standing upon an island of volcanic rock amidst a black sea. The long moonless night yawns before her. The only sounds, a flapping banner of war held in her lover’s hand and the warm waves that kiss her steel boots. Her heart is heavy. Her spirit wild. Peerless knights tower behind her. Salt spray beads on their family crests—emerald centaurs, screaming eagles, gold sphinxes, and the crowned skull of her father’s grim house. Her Golden eyes look to the heavens. Waiting. The water heaves in. Out. The heartbeat of her silence.


Tyche, the jewel of Mercury, hunches in fear between the mountains and the sun. Her famed glass and limestone spires are dark. The Ancestor Bridge is empty. Here, Lorn au Arcos wept as a young man when he saw the messenger planet at sunset for the first time. Now, trash rolls through her streets, pushed by salty summer wind. Gone are the calls of the fishmongers at the wharf. Gone are the patter of pedestrian feet on the cobbles and the rumble of aircars and the laughter of the lowColor children who jump from the bridges into the waves on scorching summer days when the Trasmian sea winds are still. The city is quiet, its wealthy already gone to desert mountain retreats or government bunkers, its soldiers on its rooftops watching the sky, its poor having left for the desert or upon cramped boats destined for the Ismere Islands.

But the city is not empty.

Huddled masses fill the public transit systems that wend beneath the waves. And in the upstairs window of a tenement complex on the ugly fringes of the city, far from the water, where the working poor are kept, a little girl with Orange eyes fogs the window with her breath. The night sky sparks. Flashing and flaring with spurts of light like the fireworks her brother sometimes buys at the corner shop. She’s been told there is a battle between big fleets high up there. She has never seen a starship. Her mother lies sick in the bedroom, unable to travel. Her father, who builds parts for engines, sits at the little plastic dinner table with his sons, knowing he cannot protect them. The holoCan washes them in pale light. Government news programs tell them to seek shelter. In her pocket the girl carries a folded piece of paper that she found in the gutter. On it is a little curved sword. She’s seen it before on the cube. Her teachers at the government school say it brings chaos. War. It has set the spheres on fire. But now she secretly draws the blade in the fog her breath has made on the window, and she feels brave.

Then the bombs begin to fall.


They come from high-orbit Thor-class bombers piloted by farmboys from Earth and miners from Mars of the Twelfth Sunshine Squadron. Curses and prayers and tribal dragons and curved scythes have been sprayed upon them in aerosol paint. They dip through the clouds and fall over the sea, outracing their own sound. Their guidance chips are made by freeColors on Phobos. Their steel is mined and smelted by entrepreneurs in the Belt. Their ion propulsion engines are stamped with the winged heel of a company that makes consumer electronics and toiletries and weapons. Down and down they go to race shadowless over the desert, then the sea, carrying the weight of the newest empire under the sun.

The first bomb destroys the Hall of Justice on Tyche’s Vespasian Island. Then it burrows a hundred meters into the earth before detonating against the bunker buried there, killing all inside. The second lands in the sea, fifteen kilometers from a fleet of refugees, where it sinks a Society warship, hiding under the chop. The third races over a spine of mountains north of Tyche when it is struck with a railgun round fired from a defense installation by a Gray teenager with acne scars and the charm of a sweetheart around his neck. It careens off its course and sputters across the sky before falling to the earth.

It detonates on the fringes of the city, far from the water, where it turns four blocks of tenement housing to dust.