Read a full summary of Dark Age by Pierce Brown (book five in the Red Rising saga) now! This page is full of spoilers so beware. If you are wondering what happened in Dark Age, then you are in the right place! (affiliate links)
Setting & Society – The Red Rising saga 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 Dark Age?
Sevro has returned to Luna to help find his daughter Electra and Darrow’s son, Pax. Darrow arrives on Mercury after an attack by Atalantia. Darrow and his crew save Orion from Ajax and then must devise a plan to thwart Atalantia.
Darrow plants himself in Tyche, where the Morning Star undergoes repairs. He begins to uncover Storm God machines that were hidden by Octavia. Their first plans against Atalantia and Atlas don’t work out since Atlas doesn’t do what they expect.
He finds Alexandar and his other men booby-trapped, but they manage to rescue them. Angelia and a few other cities are bombed.
Darrow loses many men to Atalantia’s attacks. Darrow goes to Tyche, and when they activate one of the Storm Gods, they take down several legions.
Orion is going to use the Storm Gods to destroy the city, killing everyone, so Darrow must stop her by killing her.
Through Screwface, who is undercover in Atalantia’s army, Darrow learns that Ajax’s army is heading to Heliopolis. Alexandar helps the civilians of Tyche escape the city.
Heliopolis is being held by Ajax’s men, but they take it back. Ajax escapes.
Lysander meets up with Atalantia, and he and others join up with her and her Iron Rain.
Ajax plans to take Heliopolis.
As a storm approaches, Lysander remembers the Storm God. He and Seraphina head off to destroy it, but Seraphina is killed, and Lysander is defeated, burning part of his face.
Virginia tells the Solar Republic what has happened on Mercury and that they still need help. Dancer fears retaliation from the Vox Populi and disagrees with Virginia’s glance to send a fleet to Mercury. She continues to try to gain power over the defense fleets by meeting with Daxo, Regulus, and other Silvers.
Sevro goes on a killing spree due to his daughter’s disappearance. He plans to kill the Duke of Hands, but Virginia’s people get to him first. Sevro tries to get to him, but Virginia tells him she thinks Pax and Electra are with Sefi on Mars. She convinces Sevro to return to the Howlers. Sevro is allowed to question the Duke of Hands while he’s under the influence of psychospikes. Sevro leans the Duke had an affair with Dancer.
After this, Dancer agrees to vote with Virginia, and the hope is that the Reds side with Sefi and the Obsidians.
On the day voting takes place, as Dancer is giving his speech, he collapses from poisoning just before voicing his support of Virginia. He dies. Publius and the Vox Populi scream tyranny, and mayhem reigns. Many lives are lost. Daxo is killed trying to help Virginia escape. She is captured, beaten, and hauled off. She learns Lilath is the Syndicate Queen.
Ephraim, Pax, and Electra find themselves on Mars with the Obsidians, where Ephraim has struck up a deal with Sefi. He will teach Sefi’s skuggi his fighting techniques, and in exchange, she will pay him and help him rescue Volga and Lyria from Victra.
Pax reveals his theory of a group of Obsidians called the Ascomanni and how Volsung may lead them. He believes Atlas helped the Volsung into power.
Sefi reveals that the archGovernor of Mars and Virginia were killed in a coup, and Sevro has been captured on Earth. Electra blames Sefi.
Ephraim will aid Sefi as she attacks the Cimmeria mines. Valdir is livid that Sefi accepted Ephraim’s plan over hers.
After the Battle of Ladon, Darrow’s forces find themselves in a desperate situation. Millions are dead or missing, including his men as well as civilians. Harnassus suggests surrender, but Darrow says they will wait for the Republic to send aid.
Atalantia requests a meeting with Darrow, where she shows him the day of the vote when Dancer died. He realizes aid might not be coming. He has 24 hours to surrender. He will let his high command decide.
Lysander ends up with Kalindora and Rhone, and only a few soldiers survive the days in the desert. On their way to Erebos, another sandstorm comes, and they leave Lysander behind. Ajax’s men find him and try to kill him, but he uses the Mind’s Eye to kill them instead.
Apollonius has been following Lysander for a while and offers aid. Lysander refuses. He makes it to Erebos, where Gorgons find him and take him to a cave where Alexandar and some of Darrow’s men are prisoners. He tells them his name is Cato and that Darrow is still alive. They are tortured, and Atlas figures out who Lysander really is. Atlas says Atalantia plans a chemical attack on Heliopolis. Atlas and Lysander trick Alexandar and his men into escaping to Heliopolis. Lysander persuades Glirastes to pledge loyalty to him.
Meanwhile, Darrow is worried Glirastes will double-cross him. He returns to Heliopolis when he meets up with Alexandar and Lysander (posing as Cato). Glirastes demands to see Cato, and after determining that they can’t find a reason not to believe Cato’s story, Darrow allows it but will keep an eye on the two.
Publius tortures Virginia, and then during her trial, Lilath arrives and puts Publius and the tribunal in collars. She reveals her Emperor, a boy who is the clone of Virginia’s twin brother, the Jackal. They call him the Abomination.
Sevro and others are brought before the Abomination, and he kills several Howlers in front of him. Virginia requests that the Abomination kill her and Sevro, but he says he could never kill her. Virginia tries to gain his trust and tricks him into touching a poisonous night lily in her room. Lilath comes at his screams, but Virginia fights her off and escapes. Kavax retrieves her.
Lyria and Volga are being held on Victra’s ship. When the Ascomanni attack, the three of them, plus Fig, getaway on an escape craft but crash on Mars. Fig dies after transferring a squid-like parasite to Lyria.
They find a small town where they find a cottage for Victra to give birth. She has a boy she names Ulysses. Unfortunately, the owners of the home are with the Red Hand. They kill the baby and capture Victra and Volga. Lyria is left behind and stays with a woman named Maeve. She puts out a distress call to Ephraim.
Lyria saves Volga, Victra, and several young girls from imprisonment by the Red Hand. They kill Harmony.
Meanwhile, Ephraim receives a ship from Sefi, but he soon suspects something is wrong with her. Volsung Fa kills Freihild and sends her heart to Sefi, saying he contests her claim as Queen.
Sefi confirms Atalantia poisoned her. She reveals to Ephraim that Volga is Ragnar’s daughter, and she wants Volga to be queen when she dies.
Pax, Ephraim, and Electra escape the Obsidian and hear Lyria’s distress call.
They reunite with Lyria, Volga, and Victra after the fight against Harmony’s torchShip.
Pax learns his parents are both still alive, though Virginia is captive and Darrow is in Heliopolis, which is about to be attacked. Pax decides to return to Sefi to let her know Xenophon is an intermediary for Fa and that Ozgard was framed. But Xenophon welcomes Volsung Fa, and he challenges her. He easily defeats her, killing her. Ephraim tries to tell Fa that Volga is dead, but he doesn’t believe him and orders him killed. Ephraim dies, taking Xenophon with him to the grave.
How did Dark Age end?
Darrow realizes Cato is Lysander and that he has gained Glirastes’s loyalty. The EMP will be used against them.
As Lysander prepares to attack Darrow, Lysander realizes that Alexandar and Rhonna know something more than they let on. He kills Alexandar.
The EMP goes off, and the city is in darkness. The city shields go down, and Atalantia’s ships fall from the sky. Lysander has the advantage and rides out on horseback, trampling Darrow and some of his men.
Darrow faces off against Lysander, and afterward, he escapes, injured, to the Mound of Votum with other survivors. Cassius arrives, bringing hope and saves Darrow and his men, taking them to safety.
Virginia arrives on Mars and reunites with Pax. She is given power over Mars. Victra is angry she left Sevro behind, but they come to a truce and agree to save their husbands. They learn that Earth has fallen to the Rim and the Society Remnant.
Lyria retrieves Volga. Kieran arrives with news that Heliopolis has fallen and that Darrow is dead, and they haven’t heard from Cassius. He also says Fa has offered to turn over the survivors from Olympia and leave Mars if they give him Volga. Volga agrees.
Atalantia’s snipers shoot at Lysander during his triumph route, but his pulseShield holds. She gives him his Peerless scar, and though she intends to kill him to become Sovereign, he suggests they come to an alliance by getting married, and so they do.
Kalindora confesses to Lysander that it was on Octavia’s order that his mother be killed. Then Octavia put him in the Pandemonium Chair to erase his memories of his mother. Kalindora says Lysander should not let Atalantia become Sovereign. That night, Kalindora dies.
Lysander meets with Apollonius and offers him freedom from rule if he fights with him against Darrow, Atlas, Atalantia, and Ajax.
There you go! That’s what happened in Dark Age. Hope you enjoyed this Red Rising summary with spoilers.
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