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Persepolis Rising is the seventh novel in The Expanse series. It was released on December 5, 2017 after being postponed, due to the preceding novel, Babylon's Ashes, also having been delayed.

Its working title was revealed on September 28, 2016,[2] and its release window has been known since June 17, 2014.[3]


In the thousand-sun network of humanity's expansion, new colony worlds are struggling to find their way. Every new planet lives on a knife edge between collapse and wonder, and the crew of the aging gunship Rocinante have their hands more than full keeping the fragile peace.

In the vast space between Earth and Jupiter, the inner planets and belt have formed a tentative and uncertain alliance still haunted by a history of wars and prejudices. On the lost colony world of Laconia, a hidden enemy has a new vision for all of humanity and the power to enforce it.

New technologies clash with old as the history of human conflict returns to its ancient patterns of war and subjugation. But human nature is not the only enemy, and the forces being unleashed have their own price. A price that will change the shape of humanity - and of the Rocinante - unexpectedly and forever. [1]


The story continues three decades after the Free Navy Conflict. Terra is part of the reformed Earth-Mars Coalition however the Belt is the superpower. Camina Drummer is the fifth and newest president of the Transport Union and she prepares to launch the Transit Station at Lagrange #5 as a first part of the larger network.

The Rocinante and her aging crew are commissioned by President Drummer to the Freehold system to address their repeated violations of Union guidelines.

Once the crew of the Rocinante lands on Freehold, Holden and Bobbie meet with the township's council. Holden's instruction was to inform the citizens of Freehold that they would be cut off from trade with the Gate Network for three years. Unable to conscionably abide with these cruel terms, Holden changes the plan by allowing the Freehold to turn in their governor, Payne Houston, in exchange for not being cut off from the Gate Network. Though the Freehold people are upset, they relinquish Houston to the Rocinante. On the way back to to the Freehold system ring gate, Houston breaks free from containment but is soon recaptured. Continuing their route back to Medina Station, Holden and Naomi discuss retiring from the Rocinante and settling on Luna or Titan. When they approach the rest of the crew about this, it is reluctantly agreed that they will purchase Holden and Naomi's share in the Rocinante, with Bobbie to become the new captain.

A week after the Rocinante returns, the Laconian System announces that it will be taking over Medina Station and the rest of the worlds connected to the Gate Network. The invading Laconian fleet comprises only two ships, the pulsar-class ship Gathering Storm and the Magnetar-class ship Heart of the Tempest. However, their firepower is sufficient to quickly overwhelm defenses within the slow zone, as they destroy several ships during the Third Battle of Medina Station. They promptly occupy Medina Station, instating their rule. The station is now lead by Santiago Singh. While trying to set up a new government, Singh is witness to a shooting by a terrorist group in which his assistant is violently killed. Shaken by the experience, Singh becomes increasingly paranoid, leading him to make impulsive and poor decisions regarding security on the station that alienates him from his subordinates. During this time, the Tempest quickens its schedule and begins its slow approach/invasion of Sol system.

Resistance to Singh's rule among the people of Medina Station grows as an Underground of OPA members, old guard and new, unite with the crew of the now reunited Rocinante family to coordinate attacks. The underground receives news that the Eye of the Typhoon, another Magnetar-class ship like the Tempest, is on its way to reinforce the Laconians in Medina. They decide on a 40-day time table to do the best they can to escape the station before the Typhoon arrives.

During this time, the Sol system is summarily defeated by the single Laconian Magnetar-class battleship Tempest, in the Tempest Jovian battle. Pallas Station, and the void city Independence are both destroyed as the ship slowly advances towards Mars and Earth. Coalition ships throw everything they have at The Tempest in a last ditch defense effort, but the ship is virtually unaffected. Drummer, the president of the Transport Union, surrenders, wanting no more needless deaths.

The Underground on Medina Station begins an organized revolt against Singh's rule through a series of strategic strikes. The group's first plan is to get into the air gap security room which connects to the Gathering Storm. This plan nearly does not begin because the guards at the Air Gap room have a dead switch. Holden saves the day by setting off as many security alerts in the area as he can to form a smokescreen for the real attack, sacrificing himself to the detainment of security in the process. The group then attacks a Laconian soldier and steals a set of Laconian Power armor. It is understood that the armor can be remotely de-activated, and the underground reverse-engineers a deactivation signal for all the powered armor units on the station. While Singh is discussing the attack on the Laconian Power Armored soldier, the final underground plan begins on multiple fronts. The prisoners being held by the Laconians are freed by Saba, Drummer's husband, in a mass break out. Naomi, Clarissa and a Voltaire Collective operative named Jordao are tasked with sabotaging Medina Station's sensor system. Bobbie and Amos are tasked with sabotaging the Storm in a mission to destroy it, disable it, or at least prevent it from picking off fleeing ships.

Alex escapes the dock in the Rocinante, leading the Gathering Storm to follow undermanned. Soon, Amos makes his way into the Storm, cutting through its self-repairing skin using his cutting torch. Before they enter, they deactivate all Laconian Marine power armor on Medina Station, locking soldiers in place. Amos heads to the machine shop and Bobbie heads to the command deck. Amos is unable to scuttle the ship due to the confusingly alien technology. Bobbie however manages to take control of The Gathering Storm, forcing its crew out the airlock in vacuum suits.

Naomi and Clarissa begin their plan to deactivate the sensor array, only to realize that the operative Jordao has betrayed them. With the power armored soldiers disabled, five unarmored Laconian security team officers surround Naomi and Clarissa. As the pair are bound with zip ties, their mission objective seems doomed to failure, resulting in a failure of the combined operation. Clarissa, having grown increasingly sick due to her aging and leaking implants, activates her artificial glands for the last time. In the quick melee, Clarissa kills all five Laconians, along with the traitor. She then crashes in Naomi's arms, seeing Ren, before she dies.

With the Gathering Storm subdued, the twenty ships involved with the underground make a mass rush out of Medina, co-ordinating passage through the gates under Naomi's guidance.

In the aftermath of the mass uprising by the underground on Medina Station, Singh forms a plan to cull one third of Medina Station's population to set an example and make it safe. Major Overstreet, Singh's Head of Security, having received Singh's orders to kill Laconian citizens, has the appointed governor of Medina clarify those orders, then explains that he himself has standing orders he must follow. He must make an example of Singh if he violates the Laconian code in such a manner as ordering the genocide of its citizens. Overstreet promptly shoots Singh.

The crew of the Rocinante, now just Naomi and Alex, escapes to a secluded location on the surface of Freehold within a couple of miles of the township. The pair hide out and build a relationship with the locals who they trade with occasionally. The Gathering Storm is hidden in the cave of a moon orbiting another planet in the system. Aboard that alien ship, trying to make sense of it, are Bobbie, Amos, and the Belter crew that helped capture it.

Holden, having been captured, is sent aboard the Lightbreaker to Laconia. It is made known to him that the species that took a shot at the Protomolecule on Ilus IV just took a shot at the Tempest when it used its gravity weapons on Pallas/Tycho Station. It is known that Holden has experience with the species that destroys Protomolecule. Winston Duarte, who has been taking modifying agents with Protomolecule technology developed by Cortazár, no longer sleeps, and has the ability to read others' thought patterns. Duarte ends the book by interviewing Holden, for his experiences and knowledge, saying he will be needed in the fight to come with the Protomolecule destroyers.

Viewpoint characters[]

Major events[]


PR Polish cover

Polish cover

Hardcover editions[]

The book was released as a hardcover on December 5, 2017. Subterranean Press released a limited edition in 2019.

Paperback editions[]

The book was first released as a trade paperback in the UK. A paperback edition was released in the US on October 9, 2018.

Audiobook edition[]

The audiobook is read by Jefferson Mays and is 20 hours and 34 minutes in length.

Other Languages[]

  • Czech: Vzestup Persepole (2018)
  • Hungarian: Perszepolisz felemelkedése (2018)
  • Italian: Persepolis rising — La rinascita (2018)
  • German: Persepolis erhebt sich (2019)
  • Russian: Восстание Персеполиса (2019)
  • French: Le Soulèvement de Persépolis (2019)
  • Serbian: Uspon Persepolisa (2019)
  • Polish: Wzlot Persepolis (2019)
  • Spanish: El Alzamiento de Persépolis (2022)


  • The title likely refers to the ancient city of Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire or also called the first Persian Empire.
  • The book Persepolis Rising was launched the same day as filming of Season 3 concluded.[4]

See also[]


External links[]