by Laura Thalassa
Book 2 in The Four Horsemen series
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.
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.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Violent Mythical-Fantasy Interesting
TRIGGER WARNING: Scenes depicting brutal death and war, as well as a sexual assault. Please be advised.
War is the second book in Laura Thalassa's Four Horsemen series, and centers around Miriam, a twenty-two year old woman, who is carving out a small existence for herself by making weapons from junk. After losing her father to an accident when the horsemen first arrived, and her mother and sister to an accident escaping a civil war, she doesn't think life can get harder. Until War arrives, and his army destroys her city. Just when she thinks she will die, War takes one look and claims that she is his wife, and brings her back to camp. While Miriam tries to figure out a way to stop War and his merciless killing, she also fights her feelings and attraction to War. Can she change his views on humanity, or will she have to put aside her heart, and figure out a way to end War for good?
War is a continuation from Pestilence, which I came across while cruising around #booktok. And this book .... hmmm. How do I put this? I liked it. But I hated that I liked it. Don't get me wrong. Laura Thalassa is a good writer. War (and the series in general) is mostly (I got BIG Jason Balboa in GoT vibes reading this) original, and mostly interesting. And it is a book that has a love interest that brings on the apocalypse through war and violence, so going in and knowing that, the violence doesn't bother me. Not really. What bothers me, is the actual characters of War and Miriam. War is meant to be brutal, but I felt like the brutality doesn't ease up soon enough for me. The more Miriam pushes for mercy for her people, the worst it gets. And Miriam, as kick ass as she is at times, she is also harder to like. Many times, she should have left his ass, and all he has to do is kiss her and she caves. No. Just no! Stolkhom syndrome at it's finest.
War was harder for me to get into because I just couldn't understand why Miriam would be attracted to someone who was as relentless as War. As uncompromising. I liked him in the end - but it shouldn't take that long to like a character. At least with Pestilence, I could tell early on he didn't enjoy his task. It just was. And while this story is recycled in a lot of ways with Pestilence, one of the differences is War's devotion to his task - to the point of breaking his "wife's" heart. While War was a more difficult book to get through than Pestilence, it wasn't terrible. This is on the darker side of romance, so if you can handle violence, and an admittedly unhealthy start to a relationship, you will like this. The smut alone is *chef's kiss*
War secretly healing Miriam when she gets heat stroke
Their first kiss
War healing Miriam after her assault
War moving Miriam's tent next to his made me laugh
I love how they travel ahead of the army, for alone time and getting to know one another
Miriam making War save her friends nephew
Miriam managing to get some birds out of the aviary, warning people that war is coming.
Their first time
War telling Miriam that he loves her
Miriam killing the remaining of War's phobos riders.
Death releasing War, and making him mortal.
There's obviously no point threatening him. If anything, I'm getting the impression that he finds the whole thing endearing.
War: "You're going to be trouble, aren't you, wife? Yes, definitely trouble. You're wrong if you think that angers me."
His smile is menacing.
War: "Everything you are has been made for me. I saw you, and for the first time, I wanted. And so I took."
Miriam: "I believe in God. I just don't believe in your God."
War: "That's too bad, because He seems to have taken an interest in you."
Miriam: "If I'm your wife, why don't I sleep in the same tend as you? And why don't -"
War: "Go on. Tell me, Miriam, all about the rest." I don't. War: "Why don't I fuck you raw and feast on your pussy and keep you chained to my bed like a proper husband?
Chained to the bed like a proper husband?
Miriam: "Who the hell educated you on marriage?"
Seriously, what the fuck?
Forget God. This dude has to be a demon.
War takes one look at my face and laughs.
War: "Is that not what proper husbands do?"
I have no clue if he's actually kidding.
Holy fucking balls.
War: "Is my wife concerned for my wellbeing?" Miriam: "I forgot - you're used to hotter climates. I hear hell is particularly warm this time of year."
War: "I am yours and you are mine, Miriam. But I am not like you, and you should never forget that."
War: "I wouldn't be a proper husband if I couldn't make my wife comfortable."
Him and this proper husband business.
I glance around.
Miriam: "Where are the chains you're supposed to shackle me with?"
Pretty sure that was on the list of things a proper husband should have.
War: "Packed with the rest of my tent, unfortunately."
War says it so calmly that I think he may not be kidding - until a sly smile creeps up on his face.
Miriam: "Next time then."
War: "I'll hold you to that, wife."
Miriam: "I can't."
Miriam: "Because tomorrow you're still going to ride out with your army, and it's going to break my heart."
Miriam: "Do you want me to leave?"
War: "And miss your reaction, wife? Never."
Miriam: "You don't need to go to bed because I am."
War: "I don't want to be awake when you're asleep. Talking with you reminds me of how lonely it is to exist."
War: "So you find love beautiful, Miriam?"
Miriam: "No. Not love itself. It's the power of love that I find beautiful."
War: "Wife, I have no been living until this moment. You must make that sound again."
Miriam: "How do you feel about your heart getting involved?"
War: "Exhilarated. It is as thrilling as war."
War: "'God didn't send me a wife. He sent me my reckoning."
Miriam: "Take this off."
War: "First you get me to break my rules, now you give me commands? You're playing a delicate, dangerous game."
Miriam: "Aren't dangerous games your favorite?"
War: "Savage woman, I don't play games."
War: "So you're fleeing then?"
Miriam: "Isn't that what all us humans do?"
War: "Not you, savage woman. You fight even when it's unwise to do so."
Miriam: "You're so used to commanding people that you think you can command me too."
War: "Of course I can."
I'd throttle War if I could get away with it.
Miriam: "That's not how marriage works. At least, not a good marriage - and you want this to be a good marriage, don't you?"
War: "Of course I do, wife."
Miriam: "Then you need to listen to me and you need to respect my opinions."
War: "And you need to respect my will. As my wife, you should be obedient the few times I demand it of you."
I'm seeing red.
Miriam: "Fuck it. I want a divorce."
Uzair: "Eating our food, sleeping in our camp. Sucking the warlord's cock."
Miriam: "Just because War won't let you suck it himself doesn't mean you have to get jealous."
War: "For millennia I've craved this. For millennia, it's been just out of my reach."
A moment later, War steps out next to me, a smile clinging to his lips. One look at him and the entire camp will know that the horseman got himself some ass last night.
War: "If you were anyone else, wife, I would kill you myself for your actions."
Miriam: "Then kill me and let me be free."
War: "Being with you makes me feel as though I have swallowed the sun. Everything is brighter, fuller, better because of you."
War: "Why are you doing this?"
He gives me a smile.
War: "For your soft heart."
Check out the rest of the Four Horsemen Series below