Review: The Queen of All That Dies by Laura Thalassa

Reviewed by Jen

Though there were a few things that kept me from loving this book, I thought Laura Thalassa did a fantastic job painting the landscape of this world and drawing me into it. This is set in a post apocalyptic future, the devastation created by the hero. That’s right, the leading man is a bad guy and one the heroine ends up falling for despite her best efforts.

Serenity is a product of a war torn environment. Her mother died when she was a young teenager, the day the first bombs hit. As Serenity grew older, she became a fighter. It was the only way to survive. Her father put her first gun in her hand, knowing she needed to kill or be killed. He was right.

As the story begins, though, her role is changing. She can do more good for her people as a diplomat than a soldier. You see, her father is an ambassador tapped to lead peace talks with their enemy, the king who started the war, the man responsible for launching atomic bombs and decimating much of the western hemisphere. Serenity is his apprentice and will join him for the talks. Little does she know she is actually being sent as a lure, a distraction, to help get concessions from the king. It works all too well.

Serenity discovers just how far she will go to end the war. But even more surprising, is her discovery that there are bits and pieces of a man living behind the monster that is the king.

I liked Serenity. She is violent and angry and she struggles with holding her tongue. She owns the violence inside of her. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. The king, on the other hand, is a master manipulator. He has no need to get his hands dirty, if he can force others to do it for him.

The king has a name, by the way. It is Montes, and although the book is told in alternating points of view, we really don’t get a chance to know him. This is really Serenity‘s book and there is not an emotion in her that we, as readers, do not feel intimately. I appreciated how well she is crafted as a character. And as I said earlier, the world building is really fantastic here. Where the book doesn’t rock my socks off is in the Insta nature of the king’s infatuation with Serenity. He had essentially decided with one look that she was to be his and although her prickly personality helped his obsession along, I’m sure she wasn’t the first and would not have been the last to have told him off. I needed more reason for her to be the bigger anomaly, the singular entity that sparked even a shred of humanity in him.

I also wish she was a little older.

Montes seems to be pretty awful as a human being. He is greedy, autocratic, and largely without a conscience. There is no great wrong that happened to him that makes him behave this way. He’s just selfish and learning his backstory as to how he became the king made me even less of a fan. Yes, there is good sexual tension here and I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge liking their love-hate relationship. I just wish he had a little bit of redeeming value. The only time he ever does anything good is to please Serenity.

All that said, it was an immersive and easy read. The ending is a great cliffhanger and I will definitely keep going in the series. I’m curious to see if the author can make me change my mind about this hero.

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Queen of All That Dies
by Laura Thalassa
Release Date: January 17, 2015
Publisher: Lavabrook Publishing Group

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