Narrator: Susannah Jones
Series: The Four Horsemen #2
on September 24, 2019
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Length: 15 hours, 1 minutes
Amazon, Audible, iTunes
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.
However, if there's one thing Miriam has learned, it's that love and war cannot coexist. And so she must make the ultimate choice: surrender to War and watch humankind fall, or sacrifice everything and stop him.
Laura Thalassa did something pretty amazing with her book Pestilence, the first book in The Four Horsemen series. She made me empathize with one of the Horsemen of the apocalypse, she made him incredibly sexy and wrote a world in the midst of judgement day that was fascinating. I was more than a little excited to jump into the next book of the series to see what Judgements the next Horsemen would bring and if he could be stopped.
War is the second book of The Four Horsemen series but they do not have to be read in order to be enjoyed. This isn’t going to be for everyone as it can be really hard to root for a romantic hero whose job is to judge and kill off all of humanity, even if it is his purpose, given to him by God. Still, not your usual hero and sometimes his otherworldliness is frustrating, fascinating, fearsome, formidable, freakish, frightening and probably a few other F words.
Miriam is no stranger to war, the act, not the horseman. She grew up in a war zone and knows loss that feelings of helplessness that can come from that. She is alone in the world and has lost all of her family. When War sees Miriam, he is sure she is his wife and instead of killing her along with almost everyone else in her city, she gets to go back to his camp and see what it means to travel with War and be a part or the apocalypse.
The journey Miriam takes with War is a long one. Like Miriam, I didn’t know how she was going to help War figure out there might be more to his existence than his ‘purpose’. I loved Miriam’s determination to help War see humans differently and her efforts to give humanity a chance.
There are atrocities in this book, most committed by War, some committed by man. It makes sense, War is true to his name and his character. Miriam also understands her attraction to him is in no way part of a healthy relationship. But when in the apocalypse, it is time to pull your ovaries up and play a little dirty, in hopes of saving humanity. If that means acting like the wife of a Horseman and having some sexy times along with heartfelt discussions, well so be it.
The location of War is mainly thought the Middle East and Northern Africa. It seemed fitting in the context of the story. I have enjoyed the Dystopianesque world Laura Thalassa has built. I have enjoyed the change up from the normal hero/anti-hero romantic interest for a story. But by no means does it seem like a really healthy relationship in the beginning. Even Miriam’s relationship with War is a little on the Stockholm Syndrome side of things.
Pestilence, is still my favorite book in this series so far but it only beats War by a smidgen. So if you are looking for some romantasy, a little on the dark and dirty side, this might be for you.
“Loss is a wound that never heals. Never never never. It scabs over, and for a time you can almost forget it’s there, but then something—a smell, a sound, a memory—will split that wound right open, and you’ll be reminded again that you’re not whole. That you’ll never fully be whole again.”
“But unlike my brothers, I am unique in one single, fundamental way.” He pauses, his gaze heavy on mine.
“What way is that?” I ask, even though I’m not sure I want to know the answer.
His eyes go to the fire. “I exist solely in the hearts of men.” War gazes at the flames. Now that I’ve opened him up, it seems as though his entire story is tumbling out. “All creatures can experience pestilence, famine, and death—but war, true war, that is a singularly human experience.”
“That was my first lesson in war: everyone loses, even the victors.”
Susannah Jones is a fantastic narrator for Romance and Romantasy. I’ve loved her since first listening to the Rock Chick series. She does both War and Miriam justice in this and I love both the smolder and comedy she brings to her performance. Susannah is one of my favorite female narrators. I listened to this at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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