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Dystopian Romance Review: The Land of the Beautiful Dead by R. Lee Smith

The Land of The Beautiful Dead by R. Lee Smith 


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
SHE WOULD DARE ANYTHING TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM HIS RULE.

EVEN HIS BED.

He ascended from the darkness years ago—Azrael the Eternal, Azrael the Undying, Azrael Who Is Death—bringing with him the black rains, the fires, the souring of the sky, and the Eaters. Now he rules in the walled city of Haven with his favored Children and his dead court, while all that is left of the living struggles to survive in the ruins of a world that used to be their own. But even as extinction looms, humanity will never surrender to their monstrous conqueror.

For Lan, this brutal life has been the only one she’s ever known, but she still believes it can change. If the war can never truly end until the Eaters are ended, she will go to Haven, to Azrael himself, and demand he end them. To her surprise, she does not immediately die the hero’s death she expected. Instead, Azrael offers her a chance to convince him, and all she has to do is submit herself to the chill embrace of the lord of the Land of the Beautiful Dead.

From the author of The Scholomance and The Last Hour of Gann comes a new vision of erotic horror! This book contains explicit sex and gore and is intended for mature readers only. 


 Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

9/10

* * *
Romantic, repulsive, extensive, intensely gripping. R. Lee Smith's books always seem to be a study in contrast, and they definitely mess with reader's head.



Land of The Beautiful Dead is a post-apocalyptic horror/romance. It describes ruins of English Isles ruled by Lord Azrael, a unique being who was born being able to manipulate death and create new and bizarre creatures out of it. Most of civilisation is lost. The remnants are scattered villages and small towns surrounded by fortifications which protect them from the Eaters (aka zombies). The education is non-existent, people have no idea of their history and hardly anyone has any ability to read, so the majority of things are intuitive and barbaric, despite fortified vehicles being run on solar energy, for example. There is hardly any coins in operation. Instead there is an intricate system of barter, and one of the most common bartering items is sex. It's matter of fact, banal and right into your face.

Our heroine, Lan, is a young woman whose mother dies and turns into one of the Eaters, and she gets into her head, that if only she reached Azrael, she would be able to persuade him to end Eaters, and everything will be well.

Land of The Beautiful Dead is a very twisted and dark variation of Beauty and The Beast. It's bitter and heartbreaking, philosophical and surprisingly deep, it's a homage to humanity in all its incredibly predictable arrogant glory, and it made me both love and dislike the main characters.

You see, Azrael and Lan are much alike. I see them both as monsters and humans. They are incredibly stubborn and set in their way, and their love is a battlefield of wills. No matter who wins, - lives are lost, and their victories are almost always bitter. And yet, their relationship has raw beauty. It's almost like for all his sophistication and knowledge, Azrael is disarmed and devolves into the same primitive caveman simplicity as Lan. They both are very vulnerable to each other, and it's especially painful to see in Azrael who is in his position of authority totally not used to the feeling. *grinning*

I can keep talking about this book, but I simply don't want to spoil it for you. It's mind-blowing and it made me cry, and it was one of my top reads of 2015. Please read it, and if you enjoy it, drop me a comment here. Highly recommended.

* * * 
Романтичные, вызывающие отвращение, охватывающие обширные темы, очень захватывающие, - книги Р. Ли Смит всегда полны контрастов и запутывают умы читателей.

Земля Красивых Мертвецов - это пост-апокалиптичный роман ужасов. Она описывает туманный Альбион под управлением лорда Азраэля, странного существа, который умеет управлять смертью и создавать из самого акта новые виды мертвецов. Цивилизация, как мы её знаем, потеряна. Всё, что осталось, разбросанные тут и там маленькие деревушки и городки, сумевшие построить вокруг себя стены, сдерживающие Едоков (зомби). Какой-либо структуры нет, обучения нет, практически никто не умеет читать, и никто не знает истории, и каким мир был до Азраэля.  Всё происходит интуитивно и по-варварски, монет в обхождении нет, всем рулит бартер, и наиболее обычный бартер - это секс. Он настолько банален, что никто, и тем более главная героиня, не придаёт ему какого-либо значения.

Лан, молодая женщина, мать которой умерла недавно и превратилась в зомби. Лан вбивает себе в голову, что если только она добьётся аудиенции с Азраэлем, она сможет убедить его покончить с Едоками, и всё в мире наладится. Так что она отправляется в путешествие в его город Хэйвен.

Земля Красивых Мертвецов - это очень тёмная и брутальная вариация на тему "Красавицы и Чудовища". Горькая, душераздирательная, философская и на удивление глубокая история любви, где оба главных героя и монстры и люди. Человечество здесь описано во всей своей презирающей, горделивой "красе". И оба Лан и Азраэль берут худшие черты своего поведения именно от него.

Они кстати, несмотря на большие физические различия, очень похожи. Оба чрезвычайно упрямы и уверены в том, что именно их путь - самый правый. Их любовь - это постоянная битва, где победа одного оставляет за собой гору трупов в лагере другого. Азраэль, несмотря на свою учённость и гордыню, не может удержаться от того, чтобы не скатиться до уровня Лан и превращается в пещерного человека во всём, что её касается. Она может этого и не видит, однако он это осознаёт и совершенно бессилен перед силой своих чувств.

Я, честно говоря, могу долго говорить об этой книге и её нюансах, однако портить вам впечатление не хочу и могу лишь посоветовать, - читайте! Я обожаю книги Р. Ли Смит, и Земля Красивых Мертвецов стала одной из лучших книг, прочитанных мною в 2015 г.
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