Review: The Queen of All That Lives by Laura Thalassa

Reviewed by Jen

I’ll bet no one ever had to tell Laura Thalassa to go big or go home. The end of the last book in this series pushed these characters a full century in the future. The hero has once again inflicted his will on the heroine in ways that devastate her. And as with every other time he’s put his needs before hers, she has no choice but to take it, which has made it harder and harder for me to get on board with the Serenity-Montes love train. (More on that in a moment.)

As the story begins, enemies of the king have kidnapped Serenity from stasis. Not only does she wake up to a hostile situation, it’s how she discovers the depths to which her husband has betrayed her. His men get her back in short order, but once again, the relationship between these two is reset. Any progress they made in the last book regresses back to square one where Serenity hates Montes and has to push it down in order to do what’s best for the greater good. Because the world needs her now more than ever.

The war has raged on in the hundred years she has slept and now she’s become a mythical figurehead for freedom. She’ll need to use that in order to unify the common people enough to force a peace. She’ll also need to accept everything Montes has done, play the role of the wife and queen, or he’ll stop her efforts before she even starts.

Look, I appreciate that this is a world that needs saving, but I had a hard time watching Serenity go through this cycle all over again. Obviously, there is a twisted kind of love between these two, but the constant back and forth between love and hate grew tiresome. Yes, Montes has evolved some in the last century, but I felt like every time Serenity could find any kind of acceptance in her situation, she would be faced with something else he’d done. What he felt for her didn’t feel so much like love to me as obsession and a need to possess. I didn’t swoon.

There are good fighting and action scenes. Lots of gunfire, explosions, and death. It made the book move when the romance part left me swinging between unmoved and irritated. There are also a fair number of twists and turns and betrayals which left me guessing about who Serenity (and even Montes) could trust. I liked that too. Plus, after all she’s been through, I found the heroine’s ending to be satisfying. Nothing is left hanging. And though I wasn’t a big fan of Montes through the bulk of the series, by the end, he showed that maybe he could make Serenity happy… be the kind of man that she doesn’t dream of killing. With a past like his, I guess that’s better than I probably could have hoped for.

Overall, I can see why some people really loved this series. It has some good stuff going for it, particularly in the world-building. But for me, the arc of the romance at the core just went through the same destructive pattern too many times for me to share the love.

Rating: C

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Queen of All That Lives
by Laura Thalassa
Release Date: May 13, 2016
Publisher: Lavabrook Publishing Group


  1. I’m sorry it wasn’t better for you. But thanks for the great reviews! Anne – Books of My Heart

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