The Four Horsemen series by Laura Thalassa is all of the sexy, epic fantasy that I’ve been missing during my most unwanted reading slump. Aside from the occasional highlight (hello, all things Nalini Singh and the always reliable Kennedy Ryan and Ruby Dixon) it’s been a rather ‘meh’ reading year. And then I see this gorgeous cover for War on my timeline, and I’m reminded that I’ve yet to read book 1, Pestilence of the Four Horseman series, that’s been perched on my shelf for months. I knew War was book 2, but something told me to screw convention and dive right on in and Oh. My. Gawd. I’m glad I did. And after tearing through War and hurling through Pestilence. I’m here to share why you definitely, definitely! should too.
Blurbs for Pestilence and War:
They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.
When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.
Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed. Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.
And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.
The day Jerusalem falls, Miriam Elmahdy knows her life is over. Houses are burning, the streets run red with blood, and a traitorous army is massacring every last resident. There is no surviving this, especially not once Miriam catches the eye of War himself. But when the massive and terrifying horseman corners Miriam, he calls her his wife, and instead of killing her, he takes her back to his camp.
Now Miriam faces a terrifying future, one where she watches her world burn town by town, and the one man responsible for it all is her seemingly indestructible “husband”. But there’s another side to him, one that’s gentle and loving and dead set on winning her over, and she might not be strong enough to resist.
- Read War first. Trust me. Don’t start with Pestilence. While they are in the same world (of sorts) they feel exceptionally different. The vibe, tempo and overall feel of both books are all very, damn near tangibly different. War captivates and ensnares in a way that Pestilence did not, however, Pestilence was light and fun in a way that War, too busy seducing you with its dark awesomeness, didn’t get around to. I don’t think anything about War felt light until the HEA and even then it was like HOT DAMN! So read both (both are Kindle Unlimited titles). But read them out of order. Trust. Me. Both intro the world perfectly in a way that I wonder if the author didn’t intend for them to have built in reading order flexibility. Regardless. Read. War. First.
2. Culturally rich and immersive. Surprised to see this as a selling point for a sexy fantasy tale? Well it’s fantastically true. War, set, in the Middle East is dripping with culture and authenticity, an abstract beauty in direct juxtaposition with humanity that is on the brink of total destruction and eradication. The descriptive passages illustrating the sacred lands and flawed but spirited people were nothing short of riveting. Major Kudos to Thalassa having the chops to infuse such depth in this work.
I bite back a moan as his thick girth slides in and out of me, our bodies making slick sounds as they come together. He leans his head against mine.
“I’ve wanted to be this close to you,” he says. “Close enough to feel your heart beating against my skin.”
I press my hand to his chest, right over his own heart. Beneath my palm I feel it pounding away. He closes his eyes at the sensation. When he opens them, they glint with so many emotions… He marvels at me as I writhe beneath him. I clutch him tight, forcing each one of his strokes to go deeper as my core clenches around him. Pestilence groans at the sensation…
Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.
“What are you doing?”
My voice sounds breathless, but those damn nerves have come back. War’s only response is a slow kiss on my inner thigh. My mouth goes dry. I’ve never done this, I’ve never ever done this and I think I might be panicking. War has me wholly and completely at his mercy. And he doesn’t have all that much fucking mercy to begin with. I try to move my legs, but War has them pinned in their current, uncompromising position. He glances up at me, steadily trailing those kisses inward, towards my core.
“Relax, wife, you’re going to enjoy this.”
Why is he doing this? The sexual favors were supposed to be to his benefit, not mine. War is a good kisser, but I don’t find out just how good until his mouth makes its way to the end of my thighs.
4. Strong, powerful, resourceful,uncompromising heroines who (literally) save the world. The Horsemen are formidable, terrifying and the catalysts for unimaginable death and destruction, yet, the heroines are the true linchpins and heroes and it was freaking amazing to behold. As different as each woman was, they were identical in their sheer survival and triumph.
Girl Power! Sexy times, rich in cultural influence and distinct tales that run a spectrum of light entertainment with an air of danger to total, heart pounding dark annihilation, this is definitely the Fantasy Romance series you didn’t know you needed- and Laura Thalassa most definitely came to play! I’m already supremely devastated that book three probably won’t be released soon enough (yesterday!) to slake my thirst. Good thing both novels totally re-read value!
War Grade: A+!
Pestilence Grade: B