Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
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Length: Novel


Long, long ago, Famine, one of the four Generals of Purgatory, and Samael, the archangel of kindness, fell in love. Both men knew there would be no other, no greater love than their own. They also believed nothing could separate them…until God himself took exception to their mutual devotion and viciously punished them both. Confined to his castle for one hundred years, Samael slowly lost himself to grief and rage, metamorphosing into Lucifer and ready to wash the world in his pain. Meanwhile, Famine and his three brothers were sent to a new dimension devoid of any creatures save themselves. They are no longer the Generals of Purgatory, and Famine is awash with shame for causing such hardship to his family. Nevertheless, he dedicates his every waking hour to trying to contact Samael…but when he finally does, there is no archangel of kindness left, just the cruel demon Lucifer. 

Fast forward to today, and God seems to smite anyone who does not love and obey him above all others. He makes an example of Lucifer, severing the connection Lucifer has to his army of demons and effectively cutting him off from vast stores of Power. Lucifer is determined to get his revenge against God, for taking away his lover and for taking away his power. The pain of love lost comes to the fore when God’s unfathomable schemes bring Famine back into Lucifer’s orbit. Like Lucifer, Famine and his brothers realize something is not quite right in Heaven and they are determined to find out why. When Famine volunteers to visit Hell to obtain vessels so that the Horsemen may walk among the mortals to gain more information about God’s plans, both his and Lucifer’s feelings–good and bad–rage to the surface. The more they learn about just what God is up to, the more convinced they are that Hell and the Horsemen have to work together. It comes at a price, however. Famine is convinced God will punish his Samael further. He is deathly afraid of what will happen to his only love this time, when their first, forced separation turned the Archangel of kindness into the king of Hell.

Famine is the third installment of Sienna Moreau’s The Four Horsemen series. It picks up the action very close on the heels of the end of book two (War) and there is no way to read this as a standalone and get the bigger picture. As I write this, I have actually also finished book four and would encourage fans of the series or new readers to read them in order back to back. I’ll admit, I didn’t give myself a refresher before jumping into this third book, so I had to go back and search names and skim earlier books to get a bead on some of the action. That said, there’s such a deliciously angsty (and surprisingly kinky?) romance that unfolds/rekindles between Famine and Lucifer in this story, I honestly could not put it down because I was so desperate to know what was going to happen between them.

Like the official blurb mentions, Famine and Lucifer are lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers. When we first see them here, they’re firmly in the “enemies” camp. They have the vibe of “exes who needle each other.” The background that supports this tone is both somewhat vague, but also breathlessly extreme. What does that mean? To me, it feels like every time Famine encounters Lucifer, he’s mentally tearing himself apart and absolutely blaming himself for how Samael turned into Lucifer. Samael, Archangel of Kindness with golden hair and gloriously white wings who was perfect and pure, became Lucifer, King of Hell, with black hair and bleeding horns who revels in ruthlessly teaching demons to hurt and maim. Lucifer obviously assumes Famine loved Samael’s innate goodness and so must loath Lucifer’s innate cruelty.

For me, one of the more wrenching (and sadly, less explicitly explored) themes was Famine’s feelings towards Lucifer. More specifically, there were times where I was convinced Famine would love that Being no matter what skin he wore or what his character contained. But there were times where it seemed like Famine was either upset that Samael had been replaced by Lucifer or resigned to accept Samael was no more. Early in the book, this felt like a great way to approach the relationship and it’s definitely something Lucifer picks up on/fears—he even wields it like a cudgel against Famine a few times when he’s feeling vulnerable. Sort of a “better to hurt the ones you love first so you’re not disappointed when they hurt you” kind of dynamic. But I didn’t feel Famine’s guilt over his role in Samael changing into Lucifer and his guilt over rejecting Lucifer (in book 2) got resolved. Even without the characters addressing that tangle head on, I still feel like they were able to work through enough of their trauma to rebuild their connection.

Of course, like the first two books, our two main characters coupling up is a huge plot element in the story. In terms of Famine and Lucifer rekindling their passion and being able to express it with enthusiasm, I have no complaints. (Indeed, I have bookmarks for the spicy bits!) If you enjoy intense physical intimacy, this installment does not disappoint. These two will pop off for a not-so-quicky and, let me just say, these two enjoy some extreme sex acts thanks in part to their immortal ability to heal. Apart from the sexy connection, Famine’s and Lucifer’s immortal Powers also show development of their bond to one another. This was a great alternative demonstration of Lucifer and Famine falling back into love—or maybe it’s more accurate to say they relearn to give/take their love freely. And based on how they and other characters reacted to the way their two Powers combined, I thought I was in for an exciting development. By the end of the book, though, I felt like this joining of immortal Powers was a lot more sizzle than steak. 

Overall, this was a really interesting time in the overarching story. There are a lot of details that start getting fleshed out and this book, in particular, felt like it focused very closely on what was happening with Famine and Lucifer. In addition to their enemies-to-lovers arc that unfolds in the present, there are flashbacks to their time in Heaven as Archangel and General and a few sharp memories of them briefly reuniting after completing the sentences God forced upon them. These scenes really helped highlight the extreme highs and lows that preceded their on-page story. So, I think this is a great, spicy romance between two unconventional leads; in the series overall, I feel like there are much smaller movements in the grand scheme of things, but some important elements for the conclusion get introduced in this book.