Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #12
Published by Signet on August 26th 2014
FINAL DECISION: I loved this book. Returning to the beginning, Ward revisits the story of Wrath, king of the vampires, and his shellan/wife Beth. I loved these characters when I read DARK LOVER and I loved that their story continues to evolve. I especially loved that the guts of this story began and ended in this book.
THE STORY: After being together for two years, Beth desperately wants a child with her husband Wrath. Wrath, however, intends never to have children not wanting to sentence them to the dangers of his life, the lack of choice in being part of the hereditary monarchy of the vampires, and also he doesn’t want the medical risks to his beloved Beth. This causes the first read marital discord between Beth and Wrath. At the same time, enemies of Wrath threaten his position as king, using Beth as the lever.
OPINION: Firmly entrenched in the multi-view narrave approach to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I didn’t expect that we would get another book about the original couple in the series. While this book maintains the multiple narratives (hello, Trez/iAm/Selenaa, Xcor/Layla and Assail/Sola), this book feels like Wrath and Beth, part 2 with the other stories clearly subservient.
I’ve always loved Wrath and Beth’s story. DARK LOVER is what compelled me to begin this long journey through these books. This book goes deeper into their relationship. This book isn’t about the passion of coming together, but rather, the difficult journey of merging diverging goals, desires, and dreams that is the ongoing challenge of any marriage. That is one of my favorite parts of this book. There is no question that Beth and Wrath love one another. There is no manufactured dispute to draw them apart and make them question their commitment to one another. Rather, their different wants make them wonder how they can reconcile conflicting desires. That is any long term relationship.
This book also brings to a close the latest attempt by Xcor and the Band of Bastards to dethrone Wrath. As this book ends, there are clearly splits in the Band of Bastards and it is uncertain what the future holds. This book is clearly a turning point in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series which gathers up threads of the overarching story to prepare to go forward in a different direction.
Despite its length, this book just flew for me. All the stories were interesting and I felt invested in all the characters. For me, the BDB has regained the compelling narrative that drew me to the series initially. The stories feel more character focused and the multiple narratives feel more an asset in allowing the stories of these characters to play out in a more realistic timeframe.
I’m interesting to see whether than momentum can be maintained in the next book which is about Trez/iAm/Selena.
WORTH MENTIONING: For the first time in a long time, this book is primarily focused on Wrath and Beth. While other stories are woven throughout the book, this one is primarily about these two.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE KING is the twelfth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The stories in this book are intertwined and dependent upon reading the other books in the series, but for the main story, a reader could get away with just read DARK LOVER and then this one.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.