‘The king must die’ is the first sentence in Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward. I have to say that when I read that sentence I said ‘oh hell no’ out loud to no one. That sentence alone, told me this book was going to be major….and I wasn’t wrong.
Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious night club that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.
Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.
From that first sentence, Lover Avenged takes off into the crazy world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I know this book is about Rehvenge and Ehlena, but it’s not, I’m telling you IT IS NOT. It’s about Wrath and how things are changing fast for him and he is forced to come to terms with being the king. It’s about John Mathew and how he still feels alone within the Brotherhood, how he is trying to find his place and trying to find who he is. It’s about the Lesser Society, and how with their new weapon, is taking things to a new level and how the Brotherhood is scrambling to figure out what is going on and how to fix it. They are losing, and fast, and it’s a mad rush right now to find the weapons they need to win this war. There was so much going on in this book that I was gripping my Kindle urging everyone on and wondering out loud what was going on elsewhere. Because it wasn’t just what was happening with Revenge and Ehlena, that was happening while Wrath was fighting and while the lessers were hunting and while John Matthew was hurting. And all those things were connected and it changed things for everyone.
Rehvenge was a surprise to me, I have to say. I mean, I knew he wasn’t the big bad ‘wolf’ he seemed to be. Most really aren’t, after all and I don’t know what it really is, but I actually like the guy now. Whereas before I wondered what his part in all this was other than a drug dealer and I was happy to ignore him. Now I know, and now I like him. As far as Ehlena goes, she falls in the same category as all the other female characters in the series. This is really sad actually. Considering all the work that’s involved in the rest of the story and with the other characters, why must the females always come across the same and kinda dull. I don’t know if it’s the character themselves; it may be that we fall in love with the boys easier and since they have a bigger role in the story, they stand out more for us and the poor girls get squished to make room.
Each of these side plots/stories were great on their own, the characters seemed more real than they have been in the earlier books of the series. More emphasis was put on keeping the characters true to what we’ve already learned about them, something I’m very happy to see. I was missing them, ;).
One of the coolest things about Lover Avenged for me was the sympaths. Up until now they haven’t had much of a story; you knew they were bad news and that it’s a law if a vamp finds one they have to turn them in. But they get a louder voice in this book, and now with Rehvenge’s new role in the BDB world, we’re going to be learning more and more about these creatures. I’m excited to see this side of the story build.
And the new weapon of the lessers, which I won’t name just in case someone out there hasn’t read the series yet, you get to see more of him. It’s been hinted that he’s extremely powerful but all we saw was him talking and handing out orders, nothing all that amazing in my opinion. You get to see him kick some butt, albeit the Brotherhood, with a taste of his powers. I have to say, pretty nifty tricks there Ms. Ward. Can’t wait to see what else he can do…even though he’s the bad guy.
As far as action, as far as story growth and twists and turns and revelations and all that go, Lover Avenged is the winner. Which is funny because I thought the last one was pretty awesome, and the one before that; each book makes the story better and is awesome in its own right. Each book gets better and better! I absolutely love how each book, isn’t just about a love story, that’s a huge part yes, but the heart of the book really is the world J.R. Ward has created as a whole. As in life, there’s more going on than just a love story, everything around you affects your life too.