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The Serpent in Heaven

Buckle up! Charlaine Harris is back with book four in the exciting Gunnie Rose series!

I was both intrigued and excited to read this! Intrigued because this book is a departure from the first three books in the Gunnie Rose series as it features Felicia, Lizbeth Rose's younger half-sister, and excited because I love Charlaine Harris' books and have been a fan of this series from the start. It did not disappoint!

Such a fun series; these books are dystopian/speculative fiction/urban fantasy with a gritty western vibe and set in North America with an altered history. The U.S., splintered by the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, is a wild, desperate, and dangerous place. Magic is out in the open but mistrusted, and the topography has changed. San Diego is part of the Holy Russian Empire. It is there we find 15-year-old Felicia, the Russian-Mexican half-sister of Lizbeth Rose, the main character from the first three books in the series. Felicia is an outcast at the Grigori Rasputin School-a student with no magical talent in a school that teaches magic. As Rasputin's grandaughter, Felicia is there to donate blood to keep hemophiliac Emperor Alexei alive. But Felicia is in danger from several factions. She will learn about herself, her family, and the awakening of her magical abilities.

This has the paranormal elements, strong world-building, and fast-paced, action-packed plot you expect from Harris. She is a gifted storyteller with a knack for expressing the internal dialogue of her underdog MCs. They are very human women who face deadly challenges with pragmatism and strength, and I love rooting for them! Felicia is coming of age, dodging bad guys, and coming to terms with her past and current situations.

I loved this page-turner! The shifted focus from Lizbeth to Felicia, felt like a natural departure and a chance to understand a different part of this magical and turbulent world. This could be a stand-alone, but I suggest reading the series in order. The backstory makes the stakes more pressing; plus, it's just entertaining reading!

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed and recommend it!

My steep was Bohemian Breakfast tea from Its a bold pu'erh black tea blend with black currant, pomegranate and bourbon vanilla flavors.

Pub Date: November 15, 2022


#1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Charlaine Harris returns to her alternate history of the United States where magic is an acknowledged but despised power in this fourth installment of the Gunnie Rose series.

Felicia, Lizbeth Rose’s half-sister and a student at the Grigori Rasputin school in San Diego—capital of the Holy Russian Empire—is caught between her own secrets and powerful family struggles. As a granddaughter of Rasputin, she provides an essential service to the hemophiliac Tsar Alexei, providing him the blood transfusions that keep him alive. Felicia is treated like a nonentity at the bedside of the tsar, and at the school she's seen as a charity case with no magical ability. But when Felicia is snatched outside the school, the facts of her heritage begin to surface. Felicia turns out to be far more than the Russian-Mexican Lizbeth rescued. As Felicia’s history unravels and her true abilities become known, she becomes under attack from all directions. Only her courage will keep her alive.

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