How do you make one of the vilest creatures in a series someone that the audience will root and care for? The answer is that you don’t. For the previous three books (has it only been three? So much has happened that it feels like more) in the Lords of Deliverance series, Pestilence has been doing everything in his power to make hell on Earth.
But this book isn’t about Pestilence. It’s about Reseph. Reseph only became Pestilence when his seal broke back in the Demonica series. The difficulty is that we didn’t know Reseph either. Everything we do know about him is from what the other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse have said about; party animal, like the ladies and loves Christmas.
The answer? Easy! Give him amnesia. Such a brilliant and highly effective solution in this instance. Not only do we not know who Reseph is but he’s even more in the dark than we are. Brilliant. And thanks to divine intervention (literally, because Reaver, his heavenly watcher dumped him there), he is put in the path of Jillian Cardiff, his intended.
About half of the book is those two trying to and delightfully failing to fight the growing attraction between them. Reseph, because without memory he could be anybody; a serial killer, king of Oompa-Loompa land, a husband and Jillian because she is a survivor of an attack by soul shredders. Of course, it’s at the point where everything seems to be going right for them when his three siblings return and everything goes wrong.
Which makes the second half of Rogue Rider pretty full what with Reseph having to deal with the consequence of Pestilence’s actions, reconciling with his family, wondering how he and Jillian can possibly be together when his previous track record of five millennia is nothing to be proud of and that Hell’s forces are pretty pissed about the fact that the demonic apocalypse didn’t go according to plan. Oh, and the so called good guys who fight demons aren’t good and are also out to get him.
Phew! Talk about a lot going on.
I’ve love this series and Rogue Rider is an excellent end to it even though it isn’t really. Fans of Larissa Ione will know that there is at least another book coming out but it won’t be in the Lords of Deliverance series. After all, there are only four horsemen and they are all happily mated with families of their own now and whilst Rogue Rider does wrap things up in terms of the big bad, other fairly large plot lines are left unresolved.
There are even two pretty major revelations concerning the horsemen’s’ angelic watchers; Reaver and Harvester. The first I actually guessed about two chapters before the reveal but there have been hints going back throughout the series. The second had me going “I knew it! I knew it!” and confirmed the suspicions that I’d had since the beginning.
So with Reaver, Harvester, Ares, Limos and Thanatos are Kynan, Arik, Cara and Regan although unfortunately, the latter two don’t have a big role to play. Even Eidolon makes a brief appearance as does the UGH where this whole world started back in the Demonica series. And I guess that’s what I mean about their only being three books in the Lords of Deliverance series when actually, when read in order combined with the preceding series, there are a lot more with more to come.
By sheer coincidence, I read this book in December in the run up to Reseph’s favourite holiday which is when the book is set. Whilst not exactly festive reading it still made it even more pleasant that I read it now as opposed to any other time. The only thing left to say is that I want Reaver’s book. Like, right the hell now!