[A quick note: While these books occur in succession, they can actually be read as stand-alones. Each one covers a different set of characters. I suppose the 4th book should probably be read last though. My set came from The Bookish Box, and while all 4 books are gorgeous, War’s cover is probably my least favorite. The red foil doesn’t stand out quite as much. Unfortunate since it was my favorite of the four books.]
“𝐋𝐨𝐬𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐬. 𝐍𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫. 𝐈𝐭 𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐛𝐬 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠—𝐚 𝐬𝐦𝐞𝐥𝐥, 𝐚 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝, 𝐚 𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐲—𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐞. 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐛𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧.” —Laura Thalassa
When War rides through Mariam’s city, she fails to kill him. Instead of killing her, he sees a divine sign that she’s meant to be his wife—given to him by God. This stills his hand. Mariam doesn’t agree. Not one bit! She isn’t going to submit to her new husband, no matter what the cost.
YESSS!!!! I liked this one even better than the first!!! Woot woot! War had so much more character development for both MCs! Mariam’s character was great. She’s suffered, experienced loss, and did everything she could to survive. The setting reminded me a lot of the Horde Kings of Drakkar too, which is a beloved spicy series.
The first thing that jumps out? The feel of this book is different. I liked that. My biggest concern was that each book was going to be the same. The most obvious difference was solitude vs camaraderie. While Pestilence travels the world alone on horseback spreading plague, War travels with an army, setting up camp everywhere he goes, killing all in his path. I admit, this took me by SURPRISE!!! Bonus points for that! So…this means that Mariam and War weren’t all alone the whole time. No worries—that didn’t take away from the romance. Mariam was able to make a friend, adding an additional character relationship to the mix.
The romance was also different from the first. Right from the start, War believes Mariam is his wife. Hah! Silly horseman. His character was the perfect alpha-hole. He’s entitled, cocky, and full of it! Mariam certainly fights him at every turn, and he seems to like it?? Hubba hubba. Cue the romantic tension! Oh, and don’t worry, there is definitely some spicy scenes in the second half of the book. YUM.
As for the romantic growth? At first, War cares for Mariam to be a “good husband” even though he’s clueless about love and what it actually means to have a successful marriage. But over time, both of them learn what it means to surrender. I really liked that it wasn’t “instant” even of the sex and attraction was. I especially liked that Mariam felt sexually attracted and teetered between guilt and want and desire and repulsion towards War. Her struggle was believable. War treated her tenderly, and yet, he was okay with murdering thousands (as long as it wasn’t her). That idea alone traversed both books and will probably be a common theme through all four.
I’m enjoying this series SO much and I hope each book is as good or better than War. 𝐌𝐘𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟓/𝟓⭐️