I received this book for free from Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Wrath by Gena ShowalterThe Wrath by Gena Showalter
Series: Rise of the Warlords #4
Published by HarperCollins on February 6, 2024
Genres: PNR
Pages: 378
Format: eBook
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a new book in the tantalizing Rise of the Warlords series, featuring a brutal Hell king and the irresistible beauty who upends his world.

For centuries, Rathbone the Only, King of Agonies, has existed for one recovering the enchanted bones of his slain wife to bring her back to life. He’s never been closer to success. But a new enemy has risen. A band of deadly war gods who have thirty days to destroy her or suffer the consequences. With time running out, Rathbone hires a maddening harpy-oracle, unaware she has an agenda of her own.

Neeka the Unwanted is a fierce warrior on a stop Rathbone and the gods. She’s seen the future if either is victorious, and it’s horrifying. She’ll do whatever proves necessary to forge a new path, even seduce the ruthless royal from his purpose. What she can’t predict? How the intense male will shatter her hard-won defenses along the way.

As Rathbone battles unexpected betrayals, cunning foes and the wild temptress he craves with every fiber of his being, he knows he must hold on to a cold dream or embrace a new flame.

This book opens up with Rathbone’s wife being killed by one of the Astra Planeta. If you’re new to this series, the Astra are a god-like race of warriors who are locked in constant battle between the gods Chaos and Erebus. Every 500 years, they are tasked with certain challenges. If they complete them, they are blessed for 500 years, if they lose, they are cursed. This particular challenge is the one that if they do complete, they can ascend into gods and be done with it. However this fourth task is to reanimate Lore, Rathbone’s dead wife, and kill her again.

The Astra who killed Lore originally is tasked to do it again, so at first, I have to admit I wasn’t sure who was going to get together with whom. It was like a weird love square and once Neeka joined the team, I realized exactly who our heroes would be. So she’s an oracle/harpy and she knows Rathbone will need her skills to hunt down Lore’s bones. He has been hunting for centuries and her skeleton is almost complete. But it’s a race to see who gets to Lore first. The Astra need her reanimated to kill her. Rathbone wants her reanimated to be his wife once more. But his new oracle is proving quite the distraction.

Neeka is both helping and hindering Rathbone’s plan. She has seen the future but reanimating Lore ends only in death for everyone. No one wins. So she’s stalling for time by finding the bones for him, but also always plotting on her own. Her goal is to save the day.

What I love the absolute most about this book is how much of a team these two characters are. Even when they don’t know each other, even when they don’t trust each other, these two are a team. And they make an excellent team at that. Watching Rathbone fall for Neeka is so fun, because our Neeks is a whole lot of fun packed into a small package. And Rathbone never knew what hit him. But seeing him choose Neeka over and over again makes him the swooniest of the heroes in this series.

Gena Showalter is the master (mistress) of plot twists. She can fix things that the reader doesn’t think are fixable. She can weave a story like no other, pulling threads in here, twisting threads over there…and through it all, you will hang on every single word.

***I received this book as an ARC via the author