The King by J.R. Ward – 4 Stars

Oy,  took me longer to read this one than expected.  It seemed as if once I got my hands on this highly anticipated book all the sudden life said, “Okay, but you gotta take care of this first.”   For months I’ve had little else to do but read and suddenly husband needed a new computer (that I got to set up), taxes were due, things needing done at work and all I wanted to do was read my damn book!  Oh well.  I finished it, always a bitter sweet moment in series I love, at least it isn’t the end end I have a new book to look forward to next year….  Alright on to the review.

The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12)

Book 12 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

Book Synopsis over on Goodreads

As I have mentioned this is one of my favorite series and is an automatic buy as I have the complete series at home and plan to re-read them some year.   For those of you not familiar with the world it is an urban paranormal series revolving around vampires.  Vampires are not known by humans in this world and live in a secret and complex society.  It is a feudal society with almost a cast like system the top rung of that culminating with the Glymera, who really gets their comeuppances in this novel.  The stories center around the Brotherhood, a group of warriors who protect the vampires and humans from a group called Lessers who haven’t really played an important role in the latest books. In The King we only encounter one instance where a lesser is taken out.

This novel takes us back to the beginning in a way.  The first book in the series centered around Wrath and Beth coming together and this one takes us back to them as they deal with some turmoil in their marriage/mating centering around having a child.  Beth is pro-child and Wrath is very anti-child. Even though all the brothers show up in each other’s books, and we have seen bits and pieces of  Beth and Wrath it was nice to have another book where they got a lot of page time.  I also enjoyed how Ward shows us that after their books things are not always perfect ever more for these couples.  They have problems, disagreements and issues they are still working through.  They are real people and life isn’t necessarily easy for them just because they are characters in a story.  Granted you kinda have a feeling that things are going to work out all right in the end, but they go through Hell to get there.  Of course that is what keeps you reading and it would be a much shorter book ortherwise.

Ward’s books in this series usually alternate between several centers of action in each novel.  In The King there was also drama for Sola/Assail, Trez/Selena/iAm, Glymera and the Band of Bastards trying to dethrone the king, Xcor/Layla, as well as flashbacks to Wrath’s parents.  Kinda a lot going on in this novel.  In the beginning it was frustrating every time we would get some momentum in the Beth/Wrath story she cut away to follow some other character’s story.   Then once you switched frame of mind and started getting into those characters she switched again.  I have often though while reading this series I would like to take color coded post it notes and go though the story and mark each set of character’s sections just so I could read each story inside the greater novel separate and in one straight shot.  Towards the end it gets better, or you just get used to it, and the sections seem to center more around Beth and Wrath.

Personally I think that Sola and Assail’s story could have been held out of this one.  There is only one scene where these two interact with the brothers and only for a short while.  They could have easily been left out and made the book easier to follow.  Not that I don’t like Sola and Assail, I do, but they just didn’t add anything to Beth and Wrath’s book.  I do hope to see more of them and even hope they get their own book eventually.

Some of the things I really loved about this addition to the series. I LOVED how the Glymera’s evil plot to dethrone the king is handled.  Serves them right.  I also liked how she hinted that there may be a revelation coming about John’s past coming in future books.  I also really enjoyed the flashbacks to Wrath’s parents,  it was touching to get a glimpse of how they meet and how that Wrath handled the throne.  I also learn how current Wrath feels about being king, how like many of us he hates his job and role that was trust upon him.  It was nice to see how he worked through all that as well.

Besides all the skipping around and crazy amount of story lines to follow I missed Lassiter!  He was barely in this book.  I want to see more of him, common Ward give him more page time and don’t make him just the comic relief, surely there is more to him than that.  Please give him his own story, PLEASE.   I was going to give this 5 stars, but after writing my review I think I need to bump it down to 4.  While this was a great addition to the series and I enjoyed it, there was just to much going on, to many stories to follow.  Not enough Beth, Wrath and the brother’s or Lassiter.   Ward has announced who the next book will be about, visit her Facebook Page to find out, and while I’m not really thrilled about who she picked I’ll still read and buy the book.

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