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Read a full summary of Iron Gold by Pierce Brown now!  This page is full of spoilers so beware. If you are looking for a spoiler-free review of Iron Gold, click here.  If you are wondering what happened in Iron Gold, then you are in the right place!

Pierce Brown

4.3 stars on Amazon
4.3 stars on Goodreads
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The Red Rising Saga Recaps
#1 Red Rising
#2 Golden Son
#3 Morning Star
#4 Iron Gold (this page)
#5 Dark Age
#6 Light Bringer (Read a Synopsis)
#7 Red God

Setting & Society – It is set in a futuristic solar system where Mars, Luna, and other moons and planets have been terraformed. All people are divided into color classes. Golds are at the top, and Reds are at the bottom.  Their ancestors are from Earth.

***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****

What happened in Iron Gold?

Iron Gold picks up a decade after Morning Star ends.  Darrow, now 33 years old, is wary from years of war.  His wife Mustang is Sovereign to the society, and their ten-year-old son is starting to feel the neglect of his always-absent father. 

Sevro still fights alongside Darrow.  He and Victra have three daughters and another on the way.  As it is no longer safe on Mars, they all live on Luna.  Dancer has left fighting to join the Senate and resides on the moon as well.

Darrow has just returned from a battle to liberate Mercury where his troops performed an Iron Rain, and one million souls were lost.  This move, though successful, was in direct disobedience to an order from the Senate to stand down.  Still, Darrow plans to ask the Senate for more men to take on the Ash Lord and defeat him once and for all.

An eighteen-year-old Red girl named Lyria lives on Mars.  She is a Gamma and her Red mine was liberated eight years after the former Sovereign was killed.  That was two years ago.  At first, her people were happy to be free but now their living conditions are so bad that she wonders if it was worth it.  The society has forgotten them.  To make matters worse, a group called the Red Hand is terrorizing Gammas and purging them from the earth.  Lyria witnesses them kill her brother.  She and her family run and only she and her blind nephew, Liam, survive.  They are aided by Kavax, who Lyria rescues from drowning, and so he takes both Lyria and her nephew with him to Luna.

Darrow stands accused at a hearing of the Senate.  Dancer has brought forth Cassius’s mom Julia au Bellona to speak against him.  The Ash Lord had tried to call for peace but Darrow, seeing his lie, did not relent.  His actions and the withholding of this information does not sit well with the Senate.  He accidentally kills a notable Obsidian named Wolfgar as he is evading arrest.  With the help of Quicksilver, he and a select group of Howlers flee Luna.

Ephriam, a former member of the Rising, and current high-end thief, reluctantly finds himself in the service of a pink man known as the Duke of Hands.  The Duke wants Ephriam and his crew to kidnap some high-profile children.

Lysander, now 20 years old, and Cassius have been on their own, keeping a low profile in the universe, often helping ships in need.  They rescue a Gold girl named Seraphina from a band of Obsidians.  She turns out to be the daughter of Romulus au Raa, Sovereign of the Rim Dominion.  They are taken to the moon Io as prisoners.  Before exiting their ship, however, Cassius alters his appearance and they hide identifying objects in their secret safe.  Seraphina had been searching for evidence of lies about how their dockyards were destroyed ten years ago.  She found this evidence, but Cassius also hides that in the safe.

On Luna, Lyria becomes a dog walker for Kavax and Liam is enrolled in school.

Lysander and Cassius get in the middle of a feud among the Sovereign’s family.  They end up with Seraphina’s mother, Dido as her guests.

Darrow and his Howlers release Apollonius from prison (along with a few other prisoners).  He is rightful heir to an army on Venus where the Ash Lord is now ruling.  Darrow hopes to use him and his army against the Ash Lord.  On this mission, they find an Obsidian (who is missing a tongue) that they eventually call Tongueless. He and the warden’s dog join them on the trip to Venus.  Rhonna, Darrow’s niece who he told to stay behind is a stow-away on his ship.  Apollonius agrees to help Darrow.

Lyria goes on a sightseeing trip to the lunar city, Hyperion.  While she is there she is wrongly accused of theft and nearly arrested, but a Gray named Philippe steps in and vouches for her.  They form a friendship and meet a few times after that.  Later we learn that it is actually Ephriam that is befriending Lyria. He gives her a necklace as a gift.

Lysander and Cassius travel to Sungrave, the greatest city of Io.  Here they think for a time that they are safe, but soon they realize that Dido found the hidden safe on their ship.  They refuse to open it.  They figure out who Cassius is on their own and cause him to look like himself again.  They still refuse to open the safe, and so Cassius has to fight blood feuds, one after the other at Dido’s request.  Cassius has told Lysander to just let him die, and he almost does.  He finally relents and tells them who he is and opens the safe.  Seraphina’s evidence proves that it was Darrow that blasted their Dockyards of Ganymede ten years ago, where ten million Ganymedi died.  This information will start a war.  Cassius knows that he is losing Lysander.  The boy cannot be free of his grandmother’s (the former Sovereign of Luna) political thinking. Lysander is told that Cassius died, though he is not allowed to see the body.

Lyria meets Mustang and Pax at Quicksilver’s birthday party.  That evening they are flying on the same plane when the necklace that Philippe gave her temporarily paralyzes everyone on board.  The plane crashes and Ephriam and his crew kidnap Pax and Electra, Victra and Sevro’s daughter.  Ephriam knows he should kill Lyria, but he can’t do it.  He brings her along hoping to save her from their suspicion.

Lyria is with them when Ephriam delivers the children to the Duke of Hands, a pink in the service of the someone known as The Queen.  Lyria is seen at the drop and runs for her life from the Duke of Hand’s guards.  She eventually makes it to a checkpoint and turns herself in.  She ends up with Mustang for questioning.  They learn that it was Ephriam that used her.

Darrow delivers Apollonius to his home on Venus where he confronts his soft brother and then prepares his army to attack the Ash Lord.  They learn that the Ash Lord has not had a public appearance in three years.

Holiday, a gray working for Mustang (also Ephriam’s former sister-in-law) and Lyria confront Ephraim as he tries to leave the moon.  They bring him to Mustang, and she makes a deal with him.  If he will sneak back in and gain an audience with The Duke of Hands, find the Syndicate base and save the children, she will pardon Volga, Ephriam’s sidekick.

Sevro doesn’t feel good about Darrow’s plan working with Apollonius to attack the Ash Lord.  He tells Darrow that after this he is out.  They attack, having to enter an area that they call the dark zone.  They don’t know what to expect because it has been protected from satellite. Communication devices won’t work and the remote for the bomb in Apollonius’s head won’t either.  The bomb is their safeguard.  If Apollonius abandons them, his bomb will detonate in three hours. 

The Howlers attack separately from Apollonius and his men, and it looks like the pack will be defeated, but Apollonius comes to the rescue at the last moment.  Many Howlers were killed.  Together they storm the stronghold.

Romulus’s mother (Seraphina’s grandmother) tries to get Lysander to break Romulus out of jail.  Lysander plays along for a while then turns on her, injuring her Obsidian guard.  This allows him to show his loyalty to Dido and Seraphina.  Dido plans to have her husband impeached and then together they will rule.

Ephraim gains an audience with The Duke of Hands and makes a getaway with the children.  He is badly wounded though.

Mustang realizes that Darrow was right.  The Ash Lord is fracturing their republic.  She asks Lyria for forgiveness for the death of her family and asks if she will join them.  Lyria agrees but is later kidnapped from her room by a Brown claiming to be with House Barca.

How did Iron Gold end?

Darrow finally storms the Ash Lord’s fortress only to find that the man is wasting away on his sick bed and has been for three years.  Apollonius had him poisoned even from DeepGrave.  They have come all this way for nothing.  The Ash Lord is dying and his daughter Atalantia has been making all military calls.  The Ash Lord also delivers the news that they have kidnapped Darrow and Sevro’s children.  Together Darrow, Sevro, and Apollonius kill the Ash Lord.  Atalantia is poised to strike Darrow’s forces around Mercury.  War is coming again, and Darrow started it with his Iron Rain.

Romulus is found guilty of treason as word gets out that he knew that Darrow destroyed the docks ten years ago.  He believes they cannot go against the might of the other colors and begs them to stay far from war even after his death.  He asks Lysander to seek Gold unity and “save the worlds.”  Lysander allies with Dido.

On Ephriam’s travels to bring the children back to Mustang, the “Queen” of the Syndicate takes over his plane.  To avoid capture, Ephriam detonates a bomb in the back of the plane, and he and the children plummet to the ground.  Their fate is unknown.

Darrow disables the bomb in Apollonius’s head, letting him go.  He does not join Sevro back to Luna to see about their children.  Instead, he takes the Ash Lord’s ship along with a few gold children from Venus as hostages. He will travel to Mercury with a few others to stop Atalantia. He sets aside fatherhood and becomes the Reaper once again letting his rage run free.

There you go! That’s what happened in Iron Gold. Hope you enjoyed this Red Rising summary with spoilers.

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5 thoughts on “What happened in Iron Gold? (Red Rising #4)”

  1. Thanks for the summary! I just started Dark Age and realized I needed a recap. This was great!

  2. I’m always in need of a good recap if a few months passed. This was perfect, thanks

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