Book Review

Pestilence, War, Famine & Death {Combi Book Reviews: The Four Horsemen series by Laura Thalassa}

Pestilence, War, Famine & Death {Reviews: The Four Horsemen series}

Hi everyone! Today I’m once again combining book reviews for a series I recently read: The Four Horsemen by Laura Thalassa.

I’d been wanting to read this series for a while, and since they are currently being re-released with shiny new (beautiful) covers, they were available for request on Netgalley. I was lucky to get a copy of the books for review and while I did a separate review for Pestilence already, I really wanted to combine the entire series in one post, so here we are!

While I had some issues with repetitiveness throughout all four books in the series, I still enjoyed reading these and would definitely recommend this series if you’re looking for a dark, post-apocalyptic paranormal romance series with spunky, fierce heroines and dark, powerful ‘villains’. The story can be quite bleak at times (it is the apocalypse after all), but there is hope and love and humor in there too. And steaminess, let’s not forget the steaminess.

So let’s just dive into my reviews for each installment!

Pestilence by Laura Thalassa

Pestilence (The Four Horsemen #1)

Release date: 15 August 2023 by Bloom Books

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.

Purchase on: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

Now let me just say, this was a dark, bleak book. Of course, it’s about the end of the world and we follow around Pestilence and his prisoner, Sara, as he spreads his plague. Yes, we do see him grow to care about Sara and find his humanity throughout the story. But be warned, it’s still a deeply unsettling read and also an intriguing exploration into what mankind is capable of, both the horrors and the kindness.

That said, I did get into the romance, even if I thought at first it would be too dark for me. But Laura Thalassa does a good job at writing Pestilence as a divine being set to destroy mankind, but also someone who is feeling all of it for the first time, someone who does not enjoy what he does but does so because it is his task, and someone who is learning that humanity has some good in them yet. And as such, I could feel Sara’s connection with him as well, I ate up their banter and I ended up rooting for these two just as much as wondering how I could ever root for them. But I did. The romance is slow-burn and I thought it was built up well.

I sped through this story in a matter of 2-3 days, as I was obsessed with reading on and finding out what would happen next. That said, it does get a little repetitive near the end and I think it could have been a little shorter to avoid some of that repetitiveness.

Four Stars
War by Laura Thalassa

War (The Four Horsemen #2)

Release date: 15 August 2023 by Bloom Books

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.

Purchase on: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

This is the second book in the Four Horseman series and as the title suggests, this time we focus on War, another Horseman. Our main character is Miriam, who lives in Jerusalem until the day War comes and Jerusalem falls. Miriam won’t give up without a fight, but when War sees her, calls her his wife and takes her with him instead of killing her, everything changes.

I really enjoyed the start of this book and the set-up with War calling Miriam his wife and taking her with him gave me major Khal Drogo vibes. I also really enjoyed the battle of wills between Miriam and War, as the two of them collided and bickered all the time but there was still a palpable connection. The build-up of their relationship did feel a bit more natural than the one between Pestilence and Sara, maybe because Miriam resisted her connection to War way longer.

But that said, I did have the same issues with War that I had with Pestilence: the story starts off strong but then it’s a lot of repetition. I struggled to keep reading as it was always more of the same: War destroying another city and Miriam trying everything she can to sabotage him, travel and repeat. While this repetition bothered me just a bit in Pestilence, it bothered me a lot more the second time around.

I also wasn’t a fan of the turn the plot took near the end (keeping it vague to avoid spoilers).

So while I love Miriam and War as characters, the book as a whole is my least favorite of the series.

Famine by Laura Thalassa

Famine (The Four Horsemen #3)

Release date: 15 August 2023 by Bloom Books

Ana da Silva always assumed she’d die young, she just never expected it to be at the hands of Famine, the haunting immortal who once spared her life so many years ago. But if the horseman remembers her at all, he must not care, for when she comes face to face with him for the second time in her life, she’s stabbed and left for dead.

Only, she doesn’t quite die.

If there’s one thing Famine is good at, it’s cruelty. And how these blighted bastards deserve it. Try as he might, he can’t forget what they once did to him. But when Ana, a ghost from his past, corners him and promises pain for what he so recently did to her, she and her empty threats captivate him, and he decides to keep her around.

In spite of themselves, Ana and Famine are drawn to each other. But at the end of the day, the two are enemies. Nothing changes that. Not one kind act, not two. And definitely not a few steamy nights. But enemies or reluctant lovers, if they don’t stop themselves soon, heaven will.

Purchase on: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

My feelings for the third installment in the Four Horsemen series are a little mixed.

I LOVED the beginning as it felt fresh and different from the previous two books and just what I wanted. Then the middle became a bit too repetitive again, too much like the previous two books. But then the last 30% or so was once again amazing and my favorite ending of all the books. It was an exciting page-turner and the cliffhanger at the end only made me want to read the fourth and final book even more.

I also loved the main characters the most from all books I’ve read so far. Ana felt completely different from Sara or Miriam – she’s still fierce and brave but she’s also had a tough life so far and has been working as a prostitute to survive. She’s very sexual and uses sex as a barrier to protect her heart. But pairing her feistiness and crude jokes with the most asshole-ish of the four horsemen was a brilliant combination. I loved how Famine was such an unlikeable character but then he had this soft spot for Ana from day one and I loved getting glimpses of that. Ana and Famine shone together – their relationship development was the best of the series and their banter was amazing.

So while my feelings were mixed, overall I do think this is my favorite of the series.

Four Stars
Death by Laura Thalassa

Death (The Four Horsemen #4)

Release date: 15 August 2023 by Bloom Books

He’s known by many names: Thanatos. Horseman. God’s last angel. And then, of course, there’s the one I’m all too familiar with—


The day Death comes to Lazarus Gaumond’s town and kills everyone in one fell swoop, the last thing he expects to see is a woman left alive and standing. But Lazarus has her own extraordinary gift: she cannot be killed—not by humans, not by the elements, not by Death himself.

She is the one soul Death doesn’t recognize. The one soul he cannot pry free from her flesh. Nor can he ignore the unsettling desire he has for her. Take her. He wants to, desperately. And the longer she tries to stop him from his killing spree, the stronger the desire becomes.

When Lazarus crosses paths with the three other horsemen, an unthinkable situation leads to a terrible deal: seduce Death, save the world. A hopeless task, made all the worse by the bad blood between her and Thanatos. But Death’s attraction to her is undeniable, and try though she might, Lazarus cannot stay away from that ancient, beautiful being and his dark embrace.

The end is here. Humankind is set to perish, and not even the horsemen can stop Death from fulfilling his final task.

Only Lazarus can.

Purchase on: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

I, once again, had mixed feelings about Death, the fourth and final installment in the Four Horsemen series.

In terms of characters, I LOVED Lazarus. I was intrigued with her mysterious ability to survive everything and I loved how that posed such a challenge for Death. I loved her kindness and loyalty and I loved her fierceness when she decided to take on Death and fight for mankind, even if mankind didn’t always treat her fairly. But when it came to the other main character, Death… I was a bit underwhelmed. Maybe it’s because I’d been looking forward to his books most of all and my expectations were a bit too high… but I missed some personality. I thought I would love this horseman the most of all, and yet he felt a bit bland compared to his brothers.

In terms of pacing, my feelings were also mixed. I flew through the first half of the book, in which Lazarus and Death act as nemeses and thwart each other at every possible opportunity. It was fun, it was different and it had me hooked. But then the final 50% dragged a bit. Once Death took Lazarus prisoner, the story felt again too much like the previous books and was too repetitive.

I do have to mention the appearances of the other 3 horsemen. I LOVED seeing Pestilence, War and Famine again and enjoyed their interactions with Lazarus, Death and each other. I do wish we had some more Sara, Miriam and Ana too, but I understand it was not their story.

Overall though, Death was a satisfying and fitting, if a little predictable and repetitive finale. The epilogue did have me tearing up a bit, I’m not gonna lie.

Thank you Netgalley for the review copies!

Tell Me:
Have you read the Four Horsemen series? What did you think about them? What’s your favorite of the four?

Lindsey xoxo

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  1. I think we can the theme of this series is definitely repetitiveness, which is too bad because the author could’ve mixed things up more. I still need to read Death but I’m gonna do that in August.

    1. Yes, it was definitely repetitive. It was one thing if had been just in one book, but in all of them it was a bit too much. But I still enjoyed it overall. Hope you’ll enjoy the final installment!

  2. Great series review, Lindsey! And I love the new covers. This series has been on my TBR for quite a while. Glad I now know id advance about the repetition. I like that all the Horsemen appear in the last book.

    1. Thanks, Tanya! I hope you’ll love it if you decide to give it a try.

  3. I’ve heard great things about these books, so it was fun to read your reviews.

    1. Thanks, it was fun to read them 🙂

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