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Land of the Beautiful Dead

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,618 ratings  ·  362 reviews


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 liv
751 pages
Published October 29th 2015 by Red Hot Romance
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Jewel Well, it was possible for him to do it like that if he wanted (which is why when Lan first woke up she asked him to command her to do something so she…moreWell, it was possible for him to do it like that if he wanted (which is why when Lan first woke up she asked him to command her to do something so she could exert her free will and see that she was her own person) but he didn't. He rose her just like he rose his children with ability to love or not love him, hurt or not hurt him, and do what they want, as opposed to his soldiers, which he rose with a specific purpose and no way to be disloyal to him. Remember how his daughter poisoned him in the beginning of the book? That's because he gave her free will and her own feelings, and that's what he did for Lan. The reason he asked for Lan's forgiveness at the end of the book was only because he basically chose her life of immortality for her because he couldn't live without her. When Lan wakes up, she is herself, except she can never eat and never sleep (which kind of sounds awful but okay) (less)
Jewel If you want a book with a similar epic feel to this I would recommend R. Lee. Smith's other book The Last Hour of Gann. The love story in that one is…moreIf you want a book with a similar epic feel to this I would recommend R. Lee. Smith's other book The Last Hour of Gann. The love story in that one is tied with this one as my favorite of her books. Just beware, it's like 1,000 freaking pages long!

If you want the villainous love interest aspect that this book has, I would recommend the Dark-fever series by Karen Marie Moning, though I would advise stopping after the fifth book. The story arc/romantic arc concludes beautifully and the continuation of the story after that is just kind of... fanfictiony. Trust me.

If you want the ugly but devouted hero kind of thing, I'd recommend the downside Ghost series.

If you want the angsty unlikable characters finding love aspect, I'd recommend Gone with the Wind, The Love Me with Lies Series, or Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens.

If you want the beauty and the beastish vibe this book was giving off (could just be me though, lol) I'd recommend Cruel Beauty, When Beauty Tamed the Beast, and Beauty by Robin Mckinley.

If you want EPIC EPIC EPIC romance read the Bronze Horseman Series. Or Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Or Jane Eyre, if you don't mind male leads that monologue and are kind of shady. And again. The fever series. The Last Hour of Gann. Cottonwood by R.Lee. Smith is pretty spectacular too, but it isn't as good as those.

lol you probably didn't need this many recs but I adore this book and I'd for someone with similar taste to myself to find all my favorite reads. (less)

Community Reviews

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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,618 ratings  ·  362 reviews

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Jill Myles
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All right, kids. We know the drill. We know I am a huge R. Lee Smith fangirl (a self proclaimed Ganngirl). We know I've read all her books at least four times. I'm a nerd like that. So I devoured this one over the weekend and I'm still processing.


Let's talk about the elephant in the room, okay? That cover. Sweet baby jeebus, but that's an awful cover. I know the author said she loves it and worked hard with her pub
Sophia Triad
I believe in God, but really I am not a very religious person. When I hear the word “Apocalypse”, I can only think that it means resurrection of the dead and final judgment for everyone who is already dead and everyone who is still alive.
If you are a nice, good at heart person I suppose Apocalypse is not a bad thing. You will be expecting to receive the final, best, perfect gift of the God himself.

Hmm, have you noticed the paintings, the religious painting, the comics, the books, the films abo
Mandi Schreiner
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Edit: Wrote a long review

I'll be writing ALL my thoughts soon. Must let it soak in for a few.

Hero is NOT a zombie - although he creates them. He is Undead. There is a difference! He is tortured and misunderstood. And yes, he does torture others.

No rape in this one. The heroine does become his mistress - she sleeps with him to convince him to get rid of his zombies. They fall in love. Omg - their love.

The heroine is fantastic. So, so, stubborn. The hero -
Ivy Deluca
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Comfort zone? What’s that : I’ve read a whole lot of books the last few years. I’m pretty comfortable in the romance genre, and honestly, I didn’t think I had any firsts left, but I was wrong. I haven’t really been drawn to post-apocalyptic books (though I love The Walking Dead) and I wasn’t sure about this one. I’d seen good things about Ms. Smith’s earlier works, but I mean, we’re talking about stories involving possible non-consensual sex/rape, alien/non-human heroes, violent and brutal worl
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
: /

The heroine's Goal: motivate Azrael to end the Eaters (zombies).

The conflict in two lines:
Lan: End the Eaters.
Azrael: No.

Discussing why the Eaters should be terminated, Lan's loathing of her daily lessons, and Azrael's and Lan's bickering was about 70% of the 751-page book. Then, the story took a turn for the better. Finally, some meat to this drama. There is a Happily Ever After, but I was left with questions.

Basically, you have one very lonely man that destroyed the world and a woman who
Pam Godwin
Grim, richly complex, and immensely satisfying, this book is the epitome of thought-provoking storytelling. What I hate most about it is that it’s over. After 750 intimate pages in the lives of these characters, I loathe the idea of moving on without them, which means I’ll re-read, and re-read again.

The heroine, Lan, forces you to feel things—warm, fuzzy things—for a monster you would deplore in real or imaginary life. Maybe he’s not a monster. Maybe he’s the devil that created the monster. No m
Laura Thalassa
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Laura by: Catherine
Five billion stars.

Just when I thought a book couldn't make me feel something new. R. Lee Smith has ruined me for all other books.
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

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I've said over and over that zombie books just aren't for me, so it just figures that R. Lee Smith would be the one to prove me wrong. Smith is a relatively recent discovery for me and quickly became a fast favorite, because honestly, how can you NOT fall in love with an author who can convince you that demons, insect-men, lizard-men, and zombie men can be romantic leads?

LAND OF THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD is a post-apocalyptic book set in a grim wo
Rachel the Book Harlot
2.5 stars

I am a huge fan of author R. Lee Smith's work. I loved Last Hour of Gann, Cottonwood, and despite it's gory content, Heat. That's why it pains me beyond me measure to give Land of the Beautiful Dead a low rating. Unfortunately, this latest addition just wasn't up to par with Smith's previous novels.

To start, the world-building was weak at best. Some aspects of the world-building didn't make sense and didn't feel fully fleshed out. Azrael's origins were never fully explained. What is he
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh boy, this will be an unusual review. You have been warned.

The book starts with Lan. She travels from Norwood to Haven, a city where Azrael, the ruler of the new world lives. She "asks" him to stop the "war" - both terms quickly dismissed by the lord. But Lan doesn't back down. And the heroine's mix of ambitious strength, hope, but also a decent amount of resignation catches the attention of Azrael, who, at first only for amusement, decides to keep her close. But a pact with the devil is alway
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I am always happy when I find some unusual book in good way. This one wasn't different in that field.

Simple words and beautiful sentences.
Hard world and strong characters.

On the beginning I had feel that this one is going to be just like ''The Queen of All That Dies'', but only connection that this two book have are that both H had a big part for the shity world in book. And both books are great!!!

Lan is one girl from village in country that used to be United Kingdom. Now that is islan
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what i'm feeling photo I dont know what im feeling.gif

But it's of the very, very good variety of the "I don't know what I'm feeling" spectrum. I am once again officially pledging my first born in service to R. Lee Smith as well as my immortal soul in the bargain with no regrets and a full truck of aplomb.

Reading commencing.

So far, I'm tempted to pout into the bargain a few generations of my future descendants too, the book is that good. SO, after failing to sleep for 48 hours (for obvious reasons) and reading this superb piece of epicness three
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I did not want this book to end! Loved it. R. Lee Smith is a automatic read for me.
New book to add to the all time faves bookshelf! But it is an R Lee Smith novel so I'm not surprised. :)

Overall four stars because while I loved it A LOT- I still love Last Hour of Gann and the Arcadia series the most. But here's the thing... every R Lee Smith book is pretty amazing. Saying "it's not as good as her others" is like deciding between giving it an A+ versus an A. The amount of imagination and forethought that goes into her books is phenomenal. It's like her books make books by othe
Federica °Kah rahna fauna°
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow!R.Lee Smith is a genius and this book proves it.There aren't many book that make me feel so many emotions that i'm completely knackered in the end but this one managed it just fine.I felt sadness,happiness and every emotion in between,i was a little reluctant to read this book because zombies are not my thing but i'm very happy that i did.This story is like Beauty and the Beast meeting the walking dead: scary,confusing,exciting and captiveting.
Both characters(Lan and Azreal) were interesting
Damn it.

I usually adore Smith, but once in a while she writes something which I find either "meh" or don't like at all. One thing I noticed is that this tends to be so when she writes hate-sex/angry sex. I really, really dislike this trope regardless of the author, but when she does it it takes away too much from where she shines. Here however I also was really bored.

Damn it. I was really waiting for this one.


Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing

R. Lee Smith is simply a master at writing epic sweeping SF/F horror romance. Seriously.
Karen Wine
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
R. Lee Smith is a rarity. Her writing is mesmerizing, captivating. I find myself walking around in a fog the entire time I'm reading a book of hers, fighting the urge to drop everything and read until I finish it. And when I'm done, I can't stop thinking about the story and its characters for days.

This story is different than her other works, which is something I love about her writing. You can count on excellent prose, superb dialogue, and world-class world building, but each story and its cha
Jackie White
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-babies, my-faves
I've just read my favorite paranormal ever, one of my top favorite books ever, maybe even favorite BBF?! And his name is Azrael! What a fantastic story!! So engaging and emotional, passionate and jaw dropping. Sometimes I couldn't believe what I was reading. Following Lan as she leaves the only home she's ever known to barter with the Lord who's destroying her world. I couldn't get enough of this story!! Goodreads needs a 10 star rating!
FV Angela
Review originally posted at

I’ve been checking this author’s website regularly for any, and I do mean ANY, new updates on a possible release date for Land of the Beautiful Dead. I was like a stalker there for awhile, which means I spent most of my year steeped in disappointment, waiting…

Then on Oct. 30th, out of nowhere it suddenly appeared on Amazon! *fist bump* *high five* Who gives a crap if it’s Halloween AND Homecoming weekend and I had lots of stuff
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"

It's the first time in a very long time I'm nearly speechless...

 photo 51d885b2-6d04-4a38-8752-a131decba2ae_zps5xhveshv.jpg

It's a book you'll really, really hate and could also utterly love. I don't know how many time I thought stopping my read.. just to go back again as I was fascinated by this horrific world.

I was rebuked by this apocalyptic universe where women trade sex to survive, just to eat, to have clothes to wear. The Earth is poisoned, the Eaters are roaming and attacking living humans. They are not alive any more but moving anyway. The sex
Man. I love this book title. Land of the Beautiful Dead is my first book from R.Lee Smith, and though it isn’t a home run for me, I will definitely pick up her other books in the future.

The premise appeals to me, but the plot kind of comes across as overly simplistic. The conflict of co-existence between the living and the dead is well portrayed. The writing and storyline kept my interest from the start even though the pace was slow, and the book seemed unnecessarily long. The author m
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Haunting love story between a lord of the dead mysteriously come to earth and a desperate farm girl. Although the setting and the lord's past actions are horrible, this book is not as dark as other stories by this author. It has a static feel because it all happens in one place (Haven) and most of the story is made up of Lan and Azrael negotiating their relationship. There are some big themes here of what it means to be human, the price of peace and the need for revenge. Although I thoroughly en ...more
OMG - Instant click to buy. 751 pages of R Lee Smith - can't wait to get started.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing

4.5-4.8 I guess?


I feel like this should be shouted because if you don't know R. Lee Smith you wouldn't know she writes some of the best romances out there. (even if they are way unconventional)

Yikes I had to bust out my laptop to write this review, (normally I'm lazy and just use my ipad, but this Author needs more recognition so I'll attempt a better review).

I was super excited about this new R. Lee Smith book The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith made my all time favorites list and Heat by R. Lee Smith was a fun fora
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
The cover, oh the cover, so rough. It really looks like the girl is farting. Come for the purple farts, stay for... the meh? I like the concept of the story, but I don't really care for the execution. I like big books, but there IS such a thing as extraneous bits. Big books are lovely, but words should not be wasted. Not in love with the pacing, not compelled by the characters. Oh, and the heroine is a bit of a dimwit. When I think about some of the decisions she makes, I'm... Ugh.

I'm hoping I'
Pamela / SpazP
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This. Author.
Her blog says "Crossing the line one book at a time", and I can't think of a more perfect description. Keeping this short and sweet, this book was perfection for me. The many many dimensions and layers of the Hero, Heroine, and supporting characters have come to be what I expect of her, and this story once again delivered. Very different than any story she has told, but with all the elements that make her a genius. Where R Lee Smith goes, I will follow.
Nov 07, 2015 marked it as sampled  ·  review of another edition
I tried the book. The sample had an intriguing idea, and a terrible heroine: a childish, churlish woman. I love angst, but there has to be some meat behind. A kid having a tantrum does not equal a strong or stubborn woman. Anna's review put the final nail to that coffin. Pity.
This was such a disappointment. I LOVED Heat, Cottonwood, Last Hour of Gann and I really hoped for an epic tale with believable characters, fabulous world-building and a plot that grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go until I had read every single word. (and not easy when a book is as long as Heat, Cottonwood, etc!)

MAJOR spoilers ahead. Be warned!! (view spoiler)
Mada Linx
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
3 stars.

Hmm...I don’t know how I feel about this one.

I liked it, did not love it, but I didn’t hate it either.
I just didn’t get it.
That’s what went through my mind the whole time, “I don’t get it.”
Even in the end I didn’t.

At least it made me laugh a few times.

Only thing worse than being sober in a pub is being sober in ten of them.


She would have sighed, but the corset wouldn’t let her. She could only cough a little as she plucked up her napkin and used it to blot at her lips in an e
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