BDB Read-Along: Lover Enshrined Discussion

Welcome to the Lover Enshrined Discussion! A month ago we started off the Black Dagger Brotherhood Read-Along with Dark Lover over at Dark Faerie Tales, but today we’re focusing on that whiny little…Phury!! Yeah, Phury, that troubled young brother who just…so yeah, I can’t really do this. It was Phury’s book that had me putting down the Brotherhood and now that I’ve finally made my way through it, I get why I’ve been told to muscle through it.  To read more of what I though, you can find my review here.

But we here to discuss Lover Enshrined, the fifth installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and all that is Phury, Cormia and everything else that has happened in Caldwell (and there was a lot).  The events of Lover Enshrined were definitely a game changer in the war between the Lessers and the Vampires.

While we see many of the Brothers in Lover Enshrined, for today’s discussion, we are only focusing on those events within Lover Enshrined and any characters that impact this story. Many of us have read ahead in the series, but no spoilers please.

Here is the read-a-long schedule:
Dark Lover is now posted over at Dark Faerie Tales
Lover Eternal is now posted here at Literary Escapism
Lover Awakened is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales
Lover Revealed is now posted here at Literary Escapism
Lover Unbound is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales
Lover Enshrined is now posted here at Literary Escapism
Mar 9th – Lover Avenged – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales
Mar 16th – Lover Mine – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism
Mar 23rd – Lover Unleashed – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales
Mar 30th – Lover Reborn – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. And if he can’t have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.

Note: Direct quotes from the book are in italics.

The Brotherhood & Vampire Society

Phury

After agreeing to become the Primale for the Chosen in LLover Unbound, Phury is still residing with the Brotherhood, along with his First Mate, Cormia.

Is considered the exhile dhoble, but probably only by himself since I’ve never seen anyone else refer to him as that.

Born three minutes after Zsadist, Phury’s live birth had brought the curse of imbalance to the family. Two noble sons, both born breathing, was too much good fortune, and sure enough, balance had been wrought: Within months, his twin had been stolen from the family, sold into slavery, and abused for a century in every manner possible. [Phury]

Problems between Phury and Zsadist finally come to a head. Phury looks to his twin for a thank you for saving him and Zsadist is having too many personal issues to even think of giving him one.

“Is that what all this is about? You want me to justify this self-destructive savior streak you got going on by being grateful? Z laughed low and hard. “Whatever. You think I’m having a party watching you smoke and drink yourself into an early grave? You think I like what I saw the other night in that alley?” Z cursed. [Zsadist talking to Phury]

He ends up being removed from the Brotherhood due to his erratic and destructive nature. In addition, the Brothers no longer feel like they can trust Phury since he will promise something and not follow through.

Phury’s heart stopped for a moment. Of all the ways he’d thought this confrontation would play out, Wrath’s washing his hands of the mess had never been in the cards. / “Am I still a Brother?” / The king just stared at the dagger – which gave Phury the three-word answer: in name only. [Phury with Wrath]

The Wizard

The Wizard is the persona of Phury’s addiction. All the internal struggles for Phury are played out with the wizard.

The wizard was the cause of Phury’s driving need for red smoke, always in his head, always hammering about what he hadn’t done, what he should have done, what he could have done better. [Phury]

Cormia

Was chosen to be the First Mate, to Phury’s Primale status, because of her flawed personality within the Chosen. The Chosen are of one mind, one habit and rarely show any independence. However, Cormia was considered flawed for having opinions and the former Directorix had chosen her to cause problems for the Primale.

Cormia didn’t let herself think about the dangers of the unknown or the dignity that Chosen were supposed to wear along with their white robbing. Casting aside the great weight of propriety, she hiked up her white robe and tore off as fast as her legs could carry her. The springy grass cushioned her feet and her hear feathered out behind her and the air on her face rushed by. / Though she remained earthbound, the freedom in her soul made her fly. [Cormia]

Phury first meets Cormia during the mating ceremony (in Lover Unbound) and finds her tied to a table, gagged and blindfolded, with tears running down her face. This infuriated Phury so much that he hijacked Cormia and took her to the Other Side. This was her first foray outside of the Chosen’s Sanctuary.

She thought of the rolling white lawns of the Sanctuary. And the unmoving white trees. And the white flowers that were always in bloom. On the Other Side, everything was frozen in its proper place so there was no trimming needed, no mowing, never any change.[Cormia]

Cormia’s presence among the Brotherhood is stilted at first due to her unfamiliarity with the world around her. She is overwhelmed by the colors, everyone’s attitudes, and just by the simple chaotic environment she has been thrown into.

When she had first come to this place, she’d been racked by sensory overload. [Cormia]

Another reason for the strain between Phury and Cormia is Phury’s feeling for Bella. Even though Bella is mated to his twin, Phury can’t seem to let his feeling for her go. And Cormia, really anyone with eyes in their heads, can plainly see.

And although it seemed petty, Cormia wanted to brush his locks in order to replace Bella with herself. She wanted to imprint a memory of herself over the one he had of the other female.[Cormia with Phury]

John Matthew, Blay & Qhuinn

John Matthew and Lash end up with their final confrontation, which also results in Qhuinn’s life completely changing. Lash finds out about John Matthew’s secret and assaults him, but Qhuinn steps in and ends up slicing his throat open.

John fell to his knees and threw up on the wet tile floor. / When his retching receded, he let himself fall onto his side and twisted into a fetal position, shaking like the nancy he was – / Lash was down on the tile right next to him… and his throat was cut wide-open. [John Matthew]

Qhuinn is considered a defective, flawed member of his family due to the different colors of his eyes. After the incident with Lash, his family disinherits him and throws him out into the street.

Part of him wanted to get all fired up angry at getting kicked out of the house, but what did he expect? He’d never been one of them, and taking down his first cousin with a hunting knife, even if he’d been totally justified, was unforgivable. [Qhuinn]

During the time that Qhuinn’s future is unknown, Blay’s own personality “preferences” are uncovered, which throws their relationship into chaos.

But things would never be the same after that, and that was what stopped him, in spite of the fact that he suddenly wanted exactly what Blay did. “You’re too important to me,” he said roughly. “You’re too good for the kind of sex I have.” [Qhuinn talking to Blay]

Since Qhuinn was protecting John Matthew during the fight with Lash, Wrath finds a loop hole that makes Qhuinn John Matthew’s ahstrux nohtrum. In this position, Qhuinn’s duty is to protect John Matthew from any danger and his altercation with Lash is thus justified. However, due to Lash’s death, his family can still call for reparation, but those fall to John Matthew to pay.

Quietly, so only Wrath would hear, he whispered, “I thought… was all alone.” / “Nah,” Wrath answered fust as softly. “Like I said, you’re one of us now, feel me?” / Qhuinn lifted his eyes. “But I’m no one.” / “Ah, to hell with that.” The king shook his head slowly. “You saved John’s honor. So like I said, you’re family, son.” [Qhuinn and Wrath]

Lash

Is actually the son of the Omega, who sired the child with a female vampire. Upon his birth, he was put with a vampire family so he could grow up among their customs and learn about the Brotherhood, so he could turn around and use that knowledge to hunt down all vampires.

He bit hard and sucked deep, the blood sweet as treacle and just as think. / It didn’t taste like anything he was used to, but it filled his belly and gave him strength, and that was the point. / As he nursed, the Omega started to laugh, softly at first, then louder, until the house shook from the force of mad, murderous glee.

He is to take charge of the lessers and of the war. All in the glory of his sire.

Layla

Is a Chosen trained as an ehros, a “love slave” as it were. She has been serving as a blood donor for a few of the Brothers but longs for more. She gets elevated to the status as First Mate after Phury relases Cormia from her duty. He doesn’t want anyone to be forced into sleeping with him.

“I have been trained for mating and I want to serve as more than a blood source. Rhage and Vishous do not require all my services, and it is a burden to be unused…” Her eyes went to the books. “Indeed, I feel as though I am shelved. That I have been given the words to the story of my life, but that I remain largely unread, as it were.” [Layla to Phury]

The Chosen

The personal attendants to the Scribe Virgin. They are all the mates for the Primale. They’re job is to get pregnant and replenish the next generation of Chosen and Brothers. Not all of them know their own potential, and Phury and Cormia wish to give them a chance to discover it.

“I never knew how much I didn’t know about myself until I went over to the far side. And I have to believe the others are the same. They must be… it can’t just be me who has talents undiscovered or interests unrevealed.” She paced around the bath. “And I don’t think any one of us doesn’t feel like a failure – if only because the pressures are so great that everything elevates to a level of supreme and total importance. One small error, either in a word written incorrectly or a note off-pitch in a chant or a stitch done wrong in a bolt of cloth, and you feel like the whole of the race is disappointed in you.” [Cormia to Phury]

Tohr & Lassiter

We finally get to see where Tohr has been for the past eight months and I don’t believe it’s totally surprising.

No… this couldn’t be the Fade. The aches and pains in his body and the screaming in his head were too much like what he felt on Earth. [Tohr]

He is found by the fallen angel, Lassiter, and returned to the Brotherhood. There is a history between him and the Brothers. He will stay with Tohr when he’s returned back to his brothers.

After a moment, Wrath turned to John. “This is Lassiter, the fallen angel. One of the last times he was on earth, there was a plague in central Europe-“ / “Okay, that was so not my fault-“ / “-that wiped out two-thirds of the human population.” / “I’d like to remind you that you don’t like humans.” / “They smell bad when they’re dead.” / “All you mortal types do.” [Wrath and Lassiter]

Rhevenge

Is being blackmailed by the sympath colonies’ “princess”. In exchange for her silence, Rehv pays with his body along with monetary value.

Rehv stepped under the spray, the blood that he’d spilled washing away. As he soaped his skin, he felt dirty already, totally unclean. The feeling was just going to be worse by the time dawn came. [Rhevenge]

Lessening Society

The Omega

Sire a child as a defensive reaction to the Destroyer Prophecy (which we found out about in Lover Revealed as Butch is the Destroyer) and is a calculated strategy against the vampires and will ensure his survival.

His son will do battle in a new way and kill off that race of savages before the Destroyer chipped away at the Omega’s being until there was nothing left. [the Omega]

Whereas the Scribe Virgin had been granted the right of creation, she was not granted the right to reproduce. The Omega was denied the right for creation, but reproduction had not been denied to him. He might not have been able to bring a whole new race into being. But he could bring a part of himself forward from the genetic pool. And he had. [the Omega]

Lessers

Mr. D is the newest Forelesser and is charged with the responsibility of introducing Lash into his new life.

Not blood. At least, not the kind… “I killed them,” he said hoarsely. / The lesser knelt down in front of him. “’Course you did, and you made your daddy proud. Them bastards ain’t your future. We are.” [Lash and Mr. D]

Discussion

  1. How do you feel about the series so far?
  2. What do you think of Phury?
  3. What are your feelings about his addiction? Does it make him look weak?
  4. How do you feel about Phury’s reaction to his responsibilities?
  5. What do you think about Cormia? Is she a strong heroine?
  6. Do Phury and Cormia make a good couple? Is it fair to the other Chosen for the Primale to choose one over the others?
  7. What do you think about Qhuinn and his “deformity?”
  8. Blay and Qhuinn – do you want to see them as a couple, in a threesome, or does the idea of them together turn you off?
  9. How do you feel about the change in dynamics between John Matthew and Qhuinn?
  10. What do you think of Lash’s new role in the war between the vampires and lessers?
  11. Most favorite scene? Least?
  12. Favorite one-liner?

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

Vocabulary from the previous novels can be found on their discussion pages:

ahstrux nohtrum (n.) Private guard withl icense to kill who is appointed to his or her position by the king.

chrih (n.) Symbol of honorable death in the Old Language.

Dhunhd (pr. n.) Hell

ehros (pr. n.) A Chosen trained in the matter of sexual arts

exhile dhoble (pr. n.) The Evil or cursed twin, the one born second

leahdyre (n.) A person of power and influence.

lewlhen (n.) Gift

rahlman (n.) Savior

whard (n.) Equivalent of a godfather or godmother to an individual

Cormia

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.