When I first came up with the idea for the Lords of Deliverance series, which features the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, I knew I was going to have to make these guys, who have a horrific reputation, not so...horrific. But how? The answer hit me immediately; give these guys something to battle, both internally and externally.
So I gave them a demon mother and an angel father, curses that make them both powerful and miserable, and lives that they would have to fight for. One wrong move, and they would risk turning into humanity's worst nightmare.
During the course of the books, they struggle with their dual natures and their basest desires, walking a fine line between good and bad. But... who defines good and bad? These males and one female aren't human, so today's societal boundaries and cultural moral values don't apply. Yet they do have rules they must follow, rules that chafe at both their demon and angel sides.
As Horsemen, they have spent five thousand years in a balancing act, knowing that someday they will become either fully demon or fully angel. The balancing act is exhausting, frustrating, and at times they've been tempted to force the breaking of the Seals simply so they can experience something different, or something they've been missing. Their approaches to life and death are as varied as their personalities.
Ares, the Horseman who will become War when his Seal breaks, has never wanted to experience his demon side, but he also knows he's no angel. He cares little for humanity, so does he fight the evil half, or embrace it?
Limos, the only female Horseman, used to glory in evil. She fought her angel side for centuries...but her brothers have changed things, and now she finds that being an angel might not ever be possible.
The Horseman known as Death, Thanatos, is probably the closest to his demon self. He fights it, but because celibacy is what keeps him from turning evil, he's been tempted to go to the dark side. Five thousand years of loneliness have taken their toll, and sometimes, his angel side falls to shadow.
Reseph, who bears the name of Pestilence, is the most "angelic" of the four siblings. Oh, he spent five thousand years wallowing in what humans would consider sin, but he never had a malicious bone in his body. At least, he didn't until his Seal broke. Now his demon side is fully engaged, and his angel side is struggling to break through. Can he defeat the evil?
The answers to these questions and more can be found within the pages of the Lords of Deliverance books.
I hope you enjoy learning more about the Horsemen! --Larissa Ione
Photo credit: Paul Harris