Title: The Land of the Beautiful Dead
Author: R. Lee Smith
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Red Hot Romance
Source: Review copy from publisher
SHE WOULD DARE ANYTHING TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM HIS RULE.
EVEN HIS BED.
He ascended from the darkness years ago—Azrael the Eternal, Azrael the Undying, Azrael Who Is Death—bringing with him the black rains, the fires, the souring of the sky, and the Eaters. Now he rules in the walled city of Haven with his favored Children and his dead court, while all that is left of the living struggles to survive in the ruins of a world that used to be their own. But even as extinction looms, humanity will never surrender to their monstrous conqueror.
For Lan, this brutal life has been the only one she’s ever known, but she still believes it can change. If the war can never truly end until the Eaters are ended, she will go to Haven, to Azrael himself, and demand he end them. To her surprise, she does not immediately die the hero’s death she expected. Instead, Azrael offers her a chance to convince him, and all she has to do is submit herself to the chill embrace of the lord of the Land of the Beautiful Dead.
In 2013 I discovered one of my all time favorite books, The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith. After finishing that book I read five more of her books and love them all, some more than others but they all were pretty good. Since finishing The Last Hour of Gann I’ve been eagerly waiting for the release of her next book. During that waiting period I re-read The Last Hour of Gann because it’s that good. Last couple of months have been pretty hectic for me, with little or not time to read, blog or visiting blogs. So much I didn’t even know R. Lee Smith has released her latest book, The Land of the Beautiful Dead, but as soon as I saw that it was out I got my copy, started to read it and forgot about the world around me.
The Land of the Beautiful Dead although different from R. Lee Smith’s previous books it has all the magic elements that make of her books unforgettable and impossible to put down.
I don’t know how she does it but R. Lee Smith always brings these -at-first-glance- ugly and unlikable characters and takes us on a journey along them where she shows us that not everything is black and white, and during that journey we end up falling in love and cheering for these unlikely heroes. Azrael at first glance is a villain that has done despicable things, but the more you see him and the more you learn about his life you realize how wrong you were. There are tortured heroes and Azrael; after just couple of chapters I couldn’t help but fall in love with him.
Smith’s heroines are also something else; they are strong women that can see more than the exterior of a person. They also have good intentions that in most of the cases they backfire. That was the case with Lan, she wanted what she thought was best for her people, but as I said before, sometimes things are not black and white and what we think is best is not always the case. The hardest part was that she was willing to sacrifice everything for the wellbeing of the rest of the world, a world that didn’t appreciate her in the least. Seeing her pay the price of her actions was heartbreaking, but necessary for her to see the reality of her world.
The romance is slow building, but beautiful and perfect for these broken characters. The differences between them make everything harder, but the outcome couldn’t be more rewarding.
R. Lee Smith is the queen of world building and a master storyteller. Her worlds are unique and very complex. Book after book she shows us that her imagination has no limits, adding to that the gift she has with words and you get a masterpiece like it is The Land of the Beautiful Dead.
The problem after finishing The Land of the Beautiful Dead is waiting for next book by R. Lee Smith. If you haven’t read any of her books you are missing some of the best fantasy/sci-fi romance books
I highly recommend The Land of the Beautiful Dead and anything written by R. Lee Smith.
My Verdict: 5 Paws
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