‘Death’ by Laura Thalassa: An epic end to the Four Horsemen series

It all comes down to this. Our Death book review dives into the final installment in the Four Horseman series by Laura Thalassa, concluding this epic saga and answering the question—can humanity redeem itself?

Before I get into my Death book review, I’d be remiss not to point you in the direction of the others, if you haven’t seen them yet. Check out my Pestilence, War, and Famine book reviews before continuing!

Ever since I started Pestilence, I’ve been waiting with baited breath to get to the final book. The last installment always bears the weight of heavy expectation, and it can make or break the whole series. No matter how much I enjoyed the other books, Death would ultimately determine how I felt about these novels as a whole.

When we meet Death at the end of Famine, he’s a cold, unmoving figure who quickly proves that not only is he stronger than his brothers, he’s also more devoted to his duty. Though Famine cares little for humanity, he chooses Ana over his divine responsibility. This is something that Death simply cannot fathom.

Then Lazarus enters the picture. Though you might think it a strange name, it’s fitting for her because she cannot die—not from human weapons, not from natural elements, and not even from Death himself. Just like the Four Horsemen, she will eventually come back to life, and God’s last angel has no idea why. This frustrates him as much as it draws him nearer each time they interact.

I’ll admit that the trajectory of these books are much the same in that one of the horsemen comes across a human who he eventually falls in love with, convincing him that humanity is worth saving for the time being. Each book is unique, however, due to the horsemen’s specific abilities, the characters’ personalities, and the tropes that Laura Thalassa explores. None of the books felt repetitive, but Death in particular seemed to be on another level altogether because of the epic scale of the story.

In a way, Death falls back on all the best elements of the other three books. Or, at the very least, the elements that I, personally, enjoy the most. He was as new to humanity as Pestilence, as gentle as War, and as intimidating as Famine.

There are so many moments I wish I could talk about in detail, but in the name of keeping this Death book review spoiler-free, I won’t give away too much. If you enjoyed reading about how Sara taught Pestilence a few tricks, you’ll definitely enjoy Death learning the same. If you loved how War claimed Miriam and gave into their love before she did, then Death’s devotion to Laz will make your heart flutter. And if you particularly liked how Famine was cold to everyone but Ana—well, you get the picture.

death laura thalassa book review

This book also answers a lot of questions we’ve had since Pestilence, providing more information about God and what it means that the Four Horsemen have walked away from their duties. Death’s discussions with Lazarus are fascinating, and it provides a lot of insight into all of the brothers.

Speaking of, the other horsemen do play a role throughout this book. Though they are not a major part of it, it was nice getting an update on each of them and watching all four brothers interact. When they’re all together, it was as hilarious as it was exciting, not only to watch these forces of nature come together but because it’s obvious that they’re family—for better or worse.

Sara, Miriam, and Ana don’t feature quite as much, but for plot reasons, this makes a lot of since. Of course, I would’ve loved to see more of them all together, but I can completely understand why they had to be kept separate.

Ultimately, Death was a satisfying read on its own, and a great ending to this series that picked me up, threw me over its shoulder, and refused to set me down until I read through each and every book. The final installment didn’t answer all of my questions, but it answered the most important ones, and it left off on a hopeful note. Laura Thalassa knew there would be a lot of heavy lifting to get Death to where he needed to be in the end, but she made it a fascinating (and sexy) journey along the way.

I’ve mentioned it in a few of my other articles, but it bears repeating in this Death book review—this series was a lot of fun, and it’s great for someone who wants to dip their toes into romantasy and dark romance. Although I am by no means an expert on either of these subgenres, I felt like this series was a great first step for both.

The fantasy element is light enough because the only magical element is the Four Horsemen themselves, so if you don’t normally read that genre, it’s easy to sink into this world without being overloaded with detail. In terms of dark romance, Famine was by far the cruelest and most morally gray character, but his motivations always made sense to me. This subgenre isn’t one I gravitate toward, and though Famine was my least favorite of the four books, I still enjoyed it immensely.

All in all, I’d highly recommend the Four Horsemen series by Laura Thalassa, and I’m definitely going to check out some of her other books. Bewitched, her new paranormal romance, came out earlier this year, and I can’t wait to dive into it!

‘Death’ by Laura Thalassa published on August 15, 2023

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