2 Ways to Read Red Rising Books in Order by Pierce Brown

Ah, Red Rising. It’s hard to think of a better YA Sci-Fi series. Whether you’re a newbie starting at the very beginning, or an experienced Howler looking for more info on the elusive Book 6, we’re here to help with a list of Red Rising books in order.

Red Rising (to me) is a cross between The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game.

The first book especially has heavy Hunger Game vibes with an arena and competitions to the death along with the house concept of Ender’s Game.

Later books in the Red Rising series develop more of the interstellar war aspects of Ender’s Game or the Halo books even. Just without the alien race bent on annihilating human kind.

Before we dive into the list of Red Rising books in order, let’s learn a little bit more about the author, Pierce Brown.

Who is Pierce Brown?

Pierce Brown lives in Los Angeles and worked a variety of jobs before becoming a writer from NBC to ABC to even being an aide for a U.S. Senate campaign. He wrote six books and suffered rejection letter after rejection letter before coming up with the idea for Red Rising.

His story is a classic tale of why you should never give up your dreams as you’re only one great idea away from success.

Pierce is a pretty cool dude. No, I’ve never actually met him, but I have friends who have and they love to sing his praises.

He doesn’t post a ton on social media, but when he does it’s always down to the earth and pretty personable.

To illustrate my point, I saw this video years ago where Pierce Brown surprised Red Rising fans and I think it about sums him up.

Red Rising Books in Order

You may or may not know that in addition to his books, Pierce Brown also has published some Red Rising comics called the Sons of Areas. So this section will be divided into both Red Rising books in order and the Sons of Areas comics in order

#1 Red Rising Saga in Order of Publication

Red Rising Books in Order

The Red Rising Saga are the main novels. If you’re not into side stories, this is the series you’re looking for.

  1. Red Rising (2014)
  2. Golden Son (2015)
  3. Morning Star (2016)
  4. Iron Gold (2018)
  5. Dark Age (2019)
  6. Light Bringer (2023)
  7. Red God (TBA)

Are All Books the Same Series?

Yes and no.

Look anywhere online and you’ll see Iron Gold labeled as Red Rising Book 4.

And it is.

Yet it isn’t.

There’s no doubt that Iron Gold and Dark Age continue the story set that began back in 2014 with the publication of Red Rising.

But that doesn’t mean that Books 4-6 directly relate to the story told in the first three books. You need only look at the book description for Iron Gold to see that 10 years have passed from the events of the first three books.

Darrow is a father now!

That’s a huge shift in tone from the original series.

In fact, I’ve only read the first three books, and having everything neatly tied off at the end of Morning Star I chose not to continue on. Not because I don’t like the series.

I love Red Rising!

But because I felt the story was complete and didn’t wish to change that ending in my mind.

Speaking of endings…

When Will Red Rising Book 6 Be Published?

After years of waiting, Red Rising Book 6 finally has a name! It’s called Light Bringer and is scheduled for publication on July 25, 2023.

Up until now, there’s been a new Red Rising book every year. Is Pierce Brown going the way of the Martin & Rothfuss?

I hope not.

Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, George RR Martin Meme

Red Rising Book 6 isn’t the end of the story, so hopefully Book 7 doesn’t take as long.

All we know about Red Rising Book 7 is that it’s titled Red God. Goodreads has it’s expected publication as May 2023, but that’s before Light Bringer publishes, we so know that’s wrong. I’ll update this info as it becomes available.

Sons of Ares Comics in Order

If you need something else to keep channeling your inner Howler, check out the Sons of Ares comics. The Sons of Ares follow Fitchner au Barca before the birth of Sevro, everyone’s favorite Howler.

  1. Sons of Ares #1 – The Child on the Rock
  2. Sons of Ares #2 – Now / Then
  3. Sons of Ares #3 – Drowning on Triton
  4. Sons of Ares #4 – Double Life on Mars
  5. Sons of Ares #5 – Raw War
  6. Sons of Ares #6 – Birth of a Myth
  1. Sons of Ares Vol. 1
  2. Sons of Ares Vol. 2: Wrath
  3. Sons of Ares Vol. 3 (TBA)

What’s Different about the Sons of Ares Volumes?

The first volume of the Sons of Ares was originally published as six separate issues. You can still purchase all those issues individually if you prefer.

Volume 1 compiles the six initial issues.

Volume 2: Wrath was only published as a 6 chapter graphic novel containing all six issues that would have been published had they been done so separately.

There will also be a third Volume coming…

…at some point.

Don’t hold your breath. Book 6 will likely arrive before Volume 3.

#2 Red Rising Saga in Chronological Order

If you read both the books and the comics, you can actually read them in a different order for a totally different reading experience.

I would only recommend reading the Red Rising Saga this way in a re-read of the series.

Here are the Red Rising Books in Chronological Order:

  1. Sons of Ares Vol. 1
  2. Sons of Ares Vol. 2: Wrath
  3. Sons of Ares Vol. 3 (TBA)
  4. Red Rising
  5. Golden Son
  6. Morning Star
  7. Iron Gold
  8. Dark Age
  9. Light Bringer (2023)
  10. Red God (TBA)

Summary of Red Rising Books in Order

For the list below, we’ll take a closer look at just the Red Rising books in order, excluding the comics.

Red Rising Books in Order

1. Red Rising

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he toils willingly, trusting that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.

He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Golden Son Pierce Brown

2. Golden Son

As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies.

Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.
A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth.

Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.
He must live for more.

Morning Star Red Rising Saga

3. Morning Star

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back.

Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends.

To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

Iron Gold Pierce Brown

4. Iron Gold

They call him father, liberator, warlord, Slave King, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the war-torn planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy.It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-third of his life.
A decade ago Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk all he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?
And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever: 
A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp, and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.
An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.
And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the Sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Dark Age Red Rising Books in Order

5. Dark Age

He broke the chains. Then he broke the world….
A decade ago Darrow led a revolution, and laid the foundations for a new world. Now he’s an outlaw.
Cast out of the very Republic he founded, with half his fleet destroyed, he wages a rogue war on Mercury. Outnumbered and outgunned, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will he become the very evil he fought to destroy?
In his darkening shadow, a new hero rises. 
Lysander au Lune, the displaced heir to the old empire, has returned to bridge the divide between the Golds of the Rim and Core. If united, their combined might may prove fatal to the fledgling Republic. 
On Luna, the embattled Sovereign of the Republic, Virginia au Augustus, fights to preserve her precious demokracy and her exiled husband. But one may cost her the other, and her son is not yet returned.
Abducted by enemy agents, Pax au Augustus must trust in a Gray thief, Ephraim, for his salvation. 
Far across the void, Lyria, a Red refugee accused of treason, makes a desperate bid for freedom with the help of two unlikely new allies.
Fear dims the hopes of the Rising, and as power is seized, lost, and reclaimed, the worlds spin on and on toward a new Dark Age.

Light Bringer Red Rising Book 6

6. Light Bringer

Darrow’s story continues in Light Bringer, Red Rising Book 6. This is a direct sequel to Dark Age, but is not the end of our hero’s story.

Once, he was the Reaper, and he was a man the world needed at the time. But now, after the Dark Age, they need Darrow, the father and husband, to lead them into a new age of light.

Final Thoughts on Red Rising Books in Order

Which way are you planning on reading the Red Rising books in order? Will you just read the main books in publication order? Or are you planning on reading in the comics in chronological order?

Any way you choose to read you’re sure to be in for a grand spacefaring adventure.

Looking for more books in order?

Check out this list of Brandon Sanderson books in order.

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