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April 2, 2014

Loved It: The King by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood 12
Format: Mobi
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Bought
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Long live the King…

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle--with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything--and everyone--at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response--or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out... or tortured legacy take over?





I've been MIA because as you all know, I took a short trip to Caldwell, New York and visited my favorite vampires, The Black Dagger Brotherhood. It was a great vacay with a few mishaps but overall it's something I would recommend PNR lovers take. 

Now on to the meat of things and I'll make this succinct because I know reviews have already started mushrooming and I don't want to give y'all a long winded redundant feedback. It still might be a long-ish one considering the book is 600 pages packed with the good stuff only J.R. Ward can deliver. I'll start with my mini-gripes so I can spend more time on the good stuff. 

For the past couple of books, J.R. Ward's been playing with shifting POV weaving a story not just about a featured brother but with side characters as well. In THE KING, Wrath's story is told side by side with Assail, Trez and Xcor's later on. I didn't care much for Assail's storyline, skimming through chapters and chapters of his ill fated love match with Sola and all that drug dealing business. I know that Assail has a role to play in the overall scheme of things but I didn't feel that his storyline should it be as detailed plus his plot isn't that relevant to the main plot. It felt more like a filler than anything. Trez is more or less the same but as he's closer to the Brotherhood, his fit a bit better than Assail's. I have a feeling that Trez's will continue on to the next book as his tale has a few loose threads that needs tightening up. Xcor's is the exception as he is currently Wrath's nemesis and his motives and decisions impacts the series. I was hoping that THE KING would be similar to Lover Avenged where Wrath's storyline would run side by side with Xcor. That would've made for a better flip-flop than Assail's and Trez's IMO.

I know a lot of you are not a fan of this  storytelling device and so am I. I find these side stories anti-climactic and at times irrelevant to the story. Wrath's chapter would end in a climactic high only to be followed up by a chapter or two of Assail, Trez's and/or Xcor's, very anti-climactic on some parts. And this shifting POV is the reason why I didn't give THE KING a full 5 cauldrons, in all honesty, I was even this close to rating this 3 cauldrons because Assail and Trez's chapters put speed bumps in an otherwise fluid story. My two cents is, The Black Dagger Brotherhood could benefit from novellas so these non-Brothers won't have to compete and interfere with the main novels.

The past is safe because it is indelible.

Now on to the main plot. Wrath and Beth's story per se is awesome, I'd give THE KING 5 solid cauldrons if not for the extras. Quintessentially Wrath and Beth's storyline is after the HEA and despite being royal, these two encountered normal couple issues. Beth wanted a baby with Wrath on the other side because childbirth with vampires is one of the leading causes of death among its females not to mention the constant threat to his life which would make Beth and their young targets similar to what happened to him. These two navigated through this decision painfully but in a heartfelt way, it ended happily but not without a lot of bickering and Kleenex moments. On top of this domestic dispute, insurrection amongst the glymera against Wrath is imminent thanks to the Band of Bastards and their mission to thwart Wrath from the throne. There's not much combat in THE KING but the politicking made up for that. All of these main issues were eventually resolved thanks to Beth's crafty mind and a few key players.

The theme of family was very much felt in THE KING. The flashbacks dating back to Wrath's parents from how they met to the older Wrath's transformation to a Warrior King. This trip back in time not only showed us important pieces of Wrath's past but also how the glymera's rebellious ways go way back. Another familial thread is John Matthew and Beth's, their "sibling" relationship was beyond touching, I found myself having misty eyes on a lot of their scenes. 

He's your brother. If he'd do it for anyone... it would be for you.

A lot of the Brothers also made cameo appearances in THE KING and once again, I'm simply floored by their love and loyalty for each other and their fealty to Wrath and Beth. I have to say, the dialogue isn't as snippy and funny as in the previous books, rather it's filled with more poignant and heartfelt moments. Usually, my ereader would be lit with funny quotes and it's not the case with THE KING. There are still a few comedic moments with Rhage getting teary, Lassiter going pop culture silly and Wrath getting hysterical with Beth having to bitch slap it out of him.

I'll stop here as I'm sure there are other reviews worth checking out. My final verdict is THE KING is a great and crucial installment to the series. As far as Wrath's regency is concerned as well as the Brotherhood's relevance in their world, The Black Dagger Brotherhood 12 is an important book. Xcor's Band of Bastards is getting more and more formidable while the Brotherhood maintains its offensive stance for now. I'm hoping that BDB and BoB will have a face-off in the next book, this shit between the two groups has been brewing for so long, the tension has to be eased somehow. I've also observed that the books are getting more and more romantic and less and less paranormal and combative. I don't know yet how I feel about this because it's that romantic paranormal suspense element that made me fall in love with the series. Here's to hoping that THE KING "resets" the series and hopefully we'll have more of the original elements in the succeeding books that made us fall in love with BDB in the first place.








61 comments:

  1. I've only read the first three or so in the series. I guess the size overwhelms me, but there seems to be bits in all of them that bore me. I guess I'm impatient. But for the most part I've really enjoyed the world and characters so I need to catch up one of these days.

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    1. I'm so happy I stumbled upon this early otherwise I'll be a like you and I would've missed out on something awesome. I hope you get back to the series soon, candace!

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  2. I have been seeing the talk on twitter ;)

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    1. I stayed away from Twitter & GR while reading, didn't want the chatter to distract me LOL

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  3. Aw glad you loved it. Yep that's why I quit the series. I couldn't take all of the random storylines. I loved those early on ones that really focuses more on one couple and the secondary story not 3-7 secondary stories.

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    1. I wish she'd make those into novellas instead like when Zsadist and Bella had Nalla. That would be better and that means extra bucks for her too!

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    2. Yes that I could totally get behind! I've heard from quite a few this one was awesome even if they had been getting tired of things. So maybe yall have convinced me to give it a try. lol I'll see about a library copy.

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  4. I skimmed through your review because I haven't read it yet but hate that the Warden has been veering from the main story in her last couple of books and focusing on all the side-stories with new characters. One side story featuring a future couple isn't bad but too many just piss me off. That was my main complaint with LAL, I wanted more Qhuinn and Blay and less of those new guys! I'm still a sucker for BDB so I'll keep reading, guess I'm a masochist :P

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    1. Amen sister! Here her side story was with the Shadows and the new drug lord. Not interested in them at all.

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  5. I know this series is all over the place for everyone, mostly the later books, but I'm still going to jump in soon. Glad you still liked this one.

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    1. I hope you get your BDB taste soon!

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  6. I kind of gave up on this series. I read Qhuay because….QHUAY but overall the way she writes 100 plots lines (only a slight exaggerations hehe) at one time drives me nuts. It almost seems like she's too busy setting up the next 5 books than focusing on the poor couple this one is supposed to be about.

    Then she abandons things I think I'm supposed to be paying attention too. lol

    I'm still interested but I don't rush out to read right away anymore.

    I'm glad this one mostly worked for you.

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    1. Well put, Kevin. Yeah she does that, like whatever happened to Muhrder?! She left that as a teaser then poof! gone!

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  7. I must say that I feel ashamed and have only read the first book in this series...I'm so bad, but I do know that tons of people love this series. Good review, SW

    Grace

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    1. That's OK, at least you have an idea when we fangirl over the Brothers

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  8. Can't wait to read ! Great REview.

    Joelle @http://angelswithattitudebookreviews-joelle.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Joelle, I hope you enjoy it as well :)

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  9. I still read your review, despite not being current on the series. I really like your opinion on supplementing the series with novellas. Great review, Braine!

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    1. Yes, I prefer she writes novellas so the novels can be 100% about the brothers!

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  10. I don't think you are alone in your opinions regarding some of the side stories, someone else listening to it, stated they were skimming some too. I did buy book one this week.

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    1. I'm sure, towards the end I was skipping Assail's chapters entirely!

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  11. So many books in this series bit I finally have books 1-3 so can't wait to finally start with this series! I'm trying to get through Immortals After Dark first. I'm glad that this new installment didn't disappoint Braine and you still ended up loving it!

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    1. I am planning to read that series by KCole too! Need some old school PNR

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  12. Can you believe I still haven't read a Ward book?! What the heck am I waiting for?! lol

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    1. Exactly! She has contemporary books too, maybe that'll appeal to you better

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  13. I'm not a fan of her multiple POVs and I feel like they always take away from the main story. The last couple of books have been downers for me and I will eventually pick this up, but not now. I"m so with you that maybe these side stories should be novella's...that would be much better. Anyways, glad you loved it. I want BDB & BOB to go at it too. I wonder how she is going to play that out though with Xcor & Layla being matched?,,,,

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    1. Yes that face book between BDB & BoB needs to happen soon!

      I'm nervous for Layla, hopefully she can tame Xcor's gruff side. Who knows, maybe her baby with Qhuinn will unite these two factions if Layla does mate with Xcor?...

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  14. I have some catching up to do. I still need to read the two before this one. And I'm glad that Wrath and Beth got another book. They've always been my favorite couple.

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    1. They are the best BDB couple, hands down

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  15. I used to be obsessed with vampire novels, but now it truly depends on the synopsis. Not sure if I'll pick up this series. Multiple POVs, when done well, is awesome, but sometimes it can be really annoying. Brilliant review, Braine!

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    1. This book sent me on a vampire binge this week LOL. I'm tired of vamp books too but Ward's got some magic in her words.

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  16. As I told you in another post I never tried this series but I should. Mainy when I have the 5 first books at home. I'm dispressed when I see it's already book 12 now lol, too many books to catch up. I see that some were mixed with this one so I'l glad you had a good time.

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    1. Girl, the first few are the best so savor them! It's slowly changing and I'm not sure I like this change

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  17. Well done giving your thoughts without ruining it for others. I'm glad to know what to expect when I finish Lover at Last. I like your idea of novellas. I thought that too already about the extra story lines.

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    1. Right?! Assail's story is so developed that would've made for a good novella. I think I would've appreciated his storyline better if it's separate from Wrath's. Together his is such a nuisance

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  18. Sadly I didn't like this book much. It took me 2 days to finish it and that was thanks to a lot of skimming.
    I liked Warth and Beth's story but I could have done without the others, excluding Lassiter of course. He was the highlight of the book. :)

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    1. Yeah I saw your review. How's the Parnian desk? :D

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  19. King sounds incredible, Braine. I really need to get caught up in this series. I'm glad your enjoyed your vacay. *ha*

    Btw, I got my book on Tuesday! *squee* <3

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    1. Yay! Let me know if you want to borrow book 1, I have it on Kindle

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  20. I fail, I thought I commented on this yesterday *headdesk* I thought I commented that I have a few to catch up on before I can read The King. Love Wrath!!

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    1. You did but that was for a related post LOL. Who doesn't love the Blind King?!

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  21. I still have not started this series, but it is one that has been on my list for a while now- there are just so many now and it's intimidating lol. Hopefully someday soon I can start because they sound so good. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. I hope you get to start the series soon!

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  22. Eh, I've got stuck after V's book. :) I was not happy with the resolution there and just stopped reading. But glad you are still enjoying this series. I don't know, I might eventually give it another go, but not right now.

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    1. Amen! That sucked! I mean Mary got cured but Jane can't?! Makes me doubtful of the Scribe Virgin

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  23. I'm right with you girl, I really could have done without the Assail's story. I still love the drama, and I loved Wrath and Beth's story. My rating is right at 4 stars too.
    Great review :)

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  24. Getting ready to read this one as soon as I finish up some review books. Sorry I didn't ready the entire review but I wanteds some surprise! Glad you loved it!

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    1. No problem, I hope my rating encouraged you somehow :)

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  25. I'm about halfway through The King now and we're right on the same page. I'm okay with a shifting POV as it relates between the main characters and the antgonist(s). But for the last few books we've had the extras that are probably setting up future books, but they do distract me from the main plotline. I think having those extra POV's as novellas is an excellent idea! I would definitely read them. When I do get to a Wrath and Beth portion I love, love, love it.

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    1. Yes, Wrath & Beth's were written very well. I just hate getting distracted

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  26. Firstly, thank you for the review, it's spectacular... I really can't wait to read this and I hope I can read this book soon... I've read other reviews and they say that the POVs are a lot... I hope it's not that much because I'm not really a fan of those...

    Thank you again!!!

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    1. It's overwhelming, the good thing is you can skim those LOL

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  27. Yes, here's hoping. I hate that the overall story was brought down by all the extras, but the continued snippets of the other brothers, AND the flashbacks to Wrath's childhood, have me ever-so-slightly hopeful after a not stellar review I read earlier . . .

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    1. Those were great, the flashbacks to Wrath's parents were my favorite, made me understand where his hesitation is coming from aside from the obvious

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  28. Loved your review, and honest feelings, but I was a 5 star all the way. I personally love the change that J.R is bringing to the series . It must be hard as the writer wanting to change it up and hope for acceptance of what is a phenomenally large audience. I do love all the pov's. I did love Trez and I do love Assail as he is quite a baddie. He bats for two teams. I would however have loved more Xcor. I do love him and his beauty and the beast vibe. I kinda feel sad for him. I loved iAm. What a cutie in this book, but he is still a Shadow. I totally dug granny, watching her with Assail and the lads. HA! There are a lot of pov's but I don't think it is J.R's intention for us to read this book like super mega quick. I think we need to take our time and absorb them. Anyhoo, that's just me. I would have loved more from the other brothers, and I did miss Qhuinn and Blay, but the spotlight must shine elsewhere.

    It is a huge book with tall pages, well the Aussie one is anyway. I think this is the formula for the next few books anyway the multiple pov, so I think we have to get used to it :D xx

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    1. Yeah I just saw your review and let's just agree to disagree on the multiple POV's. I'm all for new characters and series changes as they expand the universe, I just don't like the fillers. I think I would've appreciated all the side stories better if they weren't such a distraction from the main thing. I mean I bought the book for Wrath...

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    2. heheeee!! Matey!! We are agreeing to disagree...we have passion. LOL! I didn't think of them as fillers. I think J.R has planned ahead and these pov's are all going to come full circle. I think they are there for a reason.

      or not...heheheee!!

      I do agree I was missing some fighting. There was no fighting. I mean Xcor did some. But the lads...well... but there was lots of loving :D

      Love you Matey xxxx

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  29. need to try and pick up book 1 again ;/ struggled with it bah

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  30. I think the POVs are going to be an issue for me. I am actually looking forward to reading this one (I kind of skipped and read the 11th book... but still!) but the POVs can be so annoying when you're trying to read about your favorite characters. .-.

    Lovely review! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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  31. Fantastic review, Braine! I admit I stopped reading the series a couple of books ago, but I'm still following the reviews as I'm curious where the plot is gonna go. :)

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