If you are looking for an amazing Sci-Fi YA series to indulge yourself in, then Red Rising has to be at the top of your list.
Especially if you have never read this series before, you might be unsure of where to begin, that is why we have put this list together so you know exactly where to get started.
The 6th book in the series should be released soon, so this is the perfect time to get into the series.
So, if you are interested in this series, then keep reading to get all the information you need about it!
The series is seen by some as a combination of Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games, the first story in the series especially has a strong tone that is very similar to The Hunger Games with the competitions of death, but also has a house concept that is incredibly reminiscent of Ender’s Game.
So, if you are a fan of either of these series, you will definitely want to at least consider these stories as something you should check out.
However, since this series already has quite a few books in it, and they come out relatively frequently, we have put this guide together that will give you all the information you need about this series.
So, if you are looking to introduce yourself or someone else to the Red Rising series, but you do not know where you should begin, keep reading to get all the information you need on this amazing YA series!
About The Red Rising Books Author – Pierce Brown
Something that we have not addressed yet in this Red Rising guide is the person that is responsible for authoring the series. This is Pierce Brown who is an author who currently lives in Los Angeles.
Before he wrote the Red Rising series he had a wide variety of different jobs like being a writer for ABC and NBC as well as working as an aide for a Senate campaign.
Before he had come up with Red Rising he had written 6 other books which were met with rejection letters.
However, the Red Rising series has been met with plenty of success, and while the author does not seem to be too bothered with social media, however, he has put significant effort into engaging with fans of the series.
The Red Rising Books In Order
It is worth noting that this is a book series that takes place in a specific order, so reading the books in a specific order is going to be important to ensure that you get the best experience possible when reading the Red Rising series.
On top of this, there are also the Sons of Ares comics that have been published alongside the Red Rising series and do fit into the chronology.
For this guide, we will go through each of the main stories in the main novel series of Red Rising books.
After we have given you a short introduction to every story in the Red Rising series, we will move on to explaining the Sons of Ares series so you know the best way to interact with this series as well.
After this, we will combine the two and give you all the information needed on how to approach the series as a whole taking the main Red Rising books into account, as well as the Sons of Ares comics too!
Red Rising (2014)
We follow Darrow who is labeled a Red, this is the lowest caste in a society that is color-coded based on ranking.
Living life as a Red means that Darrow has to spend the whole day working, working with the belief that he and other Reds are working on Mars to make its surface liveable for future generations.
Because of this belief, he is willing to work with the knowledge that this work will pay off in a better life for future generations.
But it is not long until Darrow and the other Reds are betrayed. He learns that the rest of humanity had gotten to the surface more than generations in the past.
The planet has been covered with massive cities and wilds full of nature.
So, the Reds are not working to make life in the future better for their people, but are instead slaves to a ruling class that has tricked them into a better quality of life.
This light Darrow up with a desire for justice further spurned by the memory of his love who he lost.
Because of this, he sacrifices his lifestyle to get into the institute which is a proving ground for the Gold caste, these are the next generation of overlords who are struggling for power amongst themselves.
This means that he will need to compete to stay alive and the future of civilization for the Reds up against the most brutal competitors in the ruling class.
He will not stop at anything, even if that means he will be just like them.
- The introduction to the world by Pierce is done masterfully and makes this an incredibly engaging read.
- It takes a while for certain sections of the story to click into place.
Golden Son (2015)
Darrow had spent his life as a Red just working in the mines all under Mars’s surface, he had put up with the atrocious labor conditions all with the promise that he was building a better life for his future descendants.
However, in Red Rising, he learned that this truth was a lie, and the people he was serving had betrayed the Reds.
The Golds had betrayed them, and now the Reds know that the only way they will ever be liberated is by revolting.
To do this Darrow is willing to sacrifice himself for Eo, the greater good, as well as his inspiration and love, who had already died for him.
To do this he becomes a Gold with the goal of infiltrating the world of the privileged so that he can destroy it from the inside.
Darrow is a lamb amongst the wolves, however, in this cruel world Darrow is able to find friends, respect, and most surprisingly, love, however, he has also gained the attention of rivals who will take a lot to beat.
He wants to wage a war that will ensure that the destiny of humankind will be changed forever, and wants to get revenge for the betrayal he and his people have faced.
He hopes to be able to avoid a revolt that is too violent, but instead a rebirth full of hope.
But the road to this is full of danger and he must choose what road he has to follow to get what he wants.
- Does a great job of building up the foundations of the first story.
- Does not have the same shock factor that Red Rising book 1 did.
Morning Star (2016)
Darrow had spent his whole life living in peace, however, the actions of his enemies led him to be taking part in a war.
His wife has been hanged by the Golds who demanded that they obey, as they enslaved the Reds, but Darrow now needs to fight back.
He has risked everything to breach into Gold society and has battled against deadly rivals and the most powerful warriors in Gold society.
Through doing this he has been able to climb the ranks and has been waiting with patience to unleash revolution onto the Gold society that will tear them apart.
In Morning Star the time for this has come. However, Darrow’s own devotion to his code of honor is at war with his deep hunger for vengeance.
He needs to stand alongside his comrades to face the most powerful enemies and to fight without mercy against those who he had considered friends.
Darrow aims to inspire hope in those who have been shackled in darkness to remake the world for a better future.
- The ending to the original trilogy is a highlight in the series.
- Some of the side characters are lacking compared to previous entries.
Iron Gold (2018)
This story is a follow-up to the original Red Rising trilogy a decade later. To avoid spoilers we will not give too much detail, but the continuation is well worth reading.
- The continuation feels necessary.
- Missing a little bit of the original magic.
Dark Age (2019)
Dark Age is currently the newest story in the Red Rising series and directly follows from the continuation set up in Iron Gold.
- Does a better job than Iron Gold at detailing the new world.
- Some of the characters are a little hard to follow.
Light Bringer (July 2023)
Light Bringer has not been released yet, but it is said to be a direct continuation of Dark Age and the new Red Rising timeline!
- We can not wait to read the next entry in the series.
- We do not know if it will live up to the series standard yet!
Son Of Ares Comics In Order
If you have read all of the main Red Rising stories, but you want some more content from within the world of Red Rising, then we recommend checking out the Son of Ares graphic novel series.
These take place before the main narrative and follow the character Fitchner au Barca all before Sevro’s birth.
If you are invested in the world of Red Rising, we recommend reading this graphic novel series that currently has 6 issues!
- Sons of Ares #1 – The Child on the Rock
- Sons of Ares #2 – Now / Then
- Sons of Ares #3 – Drowning on Triton
- Sons of Ares #4 – Double Life on Mars
- Sons of Ares #5 – Raw War
- Sons of Ares #6 – Birth of a Myth
So, while we have gone over the order of reading the main series of Red Rising, and we have now mentioned the graphic novels, it is worth noting the other way you can read the Red Rising stories.
This is the chronological order which goes over the series in order of events.
It is worth noting that this is only recommended if you have already read the original series and are going back for a rewatch since there are some spoilers that can be pertained from the sequel.
This order of reading the Red Rising series is quite simple, all you have to do is read the Son of Ares comic in order of release and then move on to the main Red Rising novel series.
It is a lot more simple to read the Son of Ares series if you have the compilation volumes being; Sons of Ares Vol. 1 and Sons of Ares Vol. 2: Wrath.
There are also plans for a third Son of Ares volume, however, this has not been released yet.
So for the chronological order of the Red Rising series, you want to read Son of Ares volumes 1 and 2, and then the third if it has been released.
Then you can start the novel series with Red Rising and then work your way to Dark Age, or Light Bringer if you are reading this after July 2023, and maybe even Red God if that has been released.
If you want the best way to read the whole Red Rising series after you have read it the first time, this is what we recommend!
Hopefully, this guide has worked to introduce you to the Red Rising series and has prepared you to read this amazing series.
Whether you plan to read the Sons of Ares comic with the main story as well, or if you just want to read the main narrative, you are sure to have a great time.
Make sure to keep an eye out for the new story in the main series released in 2023!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are All Red Rising Books In The Same Series?
Yes, all of the Red Rising books are in the same series and are in the same universe.
However, it is worth noting (minor spoilers for book 4) every book in the Red Rising series after book 4 takes place after a roughly 10 year time skip after the original trilogy, and it seems like a new chapter for the series has started with book 4 and led into book 5 as well.
What Happens After Book 3?
The first three stories in the Red Rising could be seen as a trilogy, and you can just read these three if you want, however, you do not have to worry about needing to read the books out of order since they are all still in the same series.
When Is The Next Red Rising Book Being Released?
The 6th Red Rising book is called Light Bringer, and while at the time of writing it has not been released yet, it is also not far away with its set publication date being the 25th of July in 2023.
This is the first Red Rising story that has broken the annual release schedule, and while this will upset some fans, we are sure it will be worth it when you finally get your hands on it!
What Is Different With The Sons Of Ares Volumes?
When looking at the Sons Of Ares series, you can recognize that as well as having individual issues, there are also volumes.
These volumes are compilations of the existing issues and they are worth getting if you can get your hands on them.
They are great to look out for since they include some extras which you can not find in the individual issues.
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