Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: The King

The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12)Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger 
Brotherhood, #12
Published: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Piatkus
Format: Hardcover, 573 pgs
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood . . .

Wrath and the Brotherhood are locked in an epic battle over his throne and the very future of the vampire race.

It’s been a very long time since I picked up a J.R. Ward book. I stopped reading this series after book 5, not because I didn’t like them (I loved them!), but because I just needed a break and I somehow never went back. But when this gorgeousness arrived on my doorstep, I knew any resistance on my part would be futile.

The King is told from multiple perspectives, which is something Ward didn’t do back when I was following the series. Seeing as I skipped more than a few books along the way (trust me, I regret it now), I had a hard time following the additional storylines. But I remember Beth and Wrath very well and I enjoyed every second I got to spend with the two of them. They’ve come a long way and changed each other so much, but they’ve both kept the most important parts of their personalities. They can be extremely hardheaded, difficult and uncompromising (well, Wrath especially), but once they come to their senses, they are a formidable couple. And so darn adorable too.

As a general rule, I dislike flashbacks in both books and movies, but there was simply no other way to tell the story of Wrath’s parents, and it was one worth telling. Wrath and Anha once ruled the entire vampire race and their beautiful and tragic story is what touched me the most in this book.

As funny as I sometimes find the names of these characters, I appreciate that it’s Ward’s signature of sorts and accept is as such even as she accumulates more and more of them, to the point where I’m finding it hard to keep track. That said, there’s a character named iAm, for heaven’s sake, and a new character named s’Ex, which if you ask me is just pushing things too far.

But we don’t read this for the names, we read it despite them and believe you me, there was plenty to love about The King. So many interesting stories have come together, and even though the details were lost on me, I was able to piece together most of it. This world is so intricate, so very well done, and the characters are simply fabulous (ridiculous names notwithstanding).

The thing I like most about Ward is the thick layer of humor in her writing. The King is full of hilarious pop culture references that have the additional purpose of anchoring the story in our world, connecting the supernatural and the (overly) familiar. There are mentions of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and Man of Steel, and that’s just in the first chapter. Admittedly there were times when all the references to products, celebrities and such got to be too much, but all in all, including them was a brave and interesting move on Ward’s part.

I am so very tempted to go back and read what I’ve missed. For those of you who’ve been following the series diligently, The King is the best reward you could possibly get. And those among you who are yet undecided should make the decision to read this. There’s much to look forward to.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I stopped reading when she stopped making books about one couple

  2. I've only read 2 books in this series... and don't really plan on reading the ones in between but I was looking forward to reading this book... that is until I heard about the multiple POVs. I've always been a little iffy about multiple POVs and I would have been a lot happier if Beth and Wrath remained the main focus .-. I may just end up giving in though :P

    I am glad to hear you enjoyed this (weird names notwithstanding ;))!

    Lovely review, Maja!! :)

  3. Ah yes this book... Many were a little disappointed. I haven't tried the series yet but I have the 5 first books so one day I'll try them too.

  4. I have the first book in this series, though I've never read it. 12! It makes catching up feel a little more daunting, but I'm glad you enjoyed the story here overall, Maja. I'm not always a fan of flashbacks either, but it's good to hear it was used well. And humour in books always makes me happy, when done well, so I like the sound of that aspect. Great review! :)

  5. "The King is told from multiple perspectives, which is something Ward didn’t do back when I was following the series."

    YES. With each recent book we've spent more and more time with characters other than our main couple, and it's been driving me crazy. I would rather have a 300 page book with the couple as the focal point than a 600 page book about the two of them and every single other person in this world. I do love her humor as you do, and she undoubtedly tells a great story, but I wish she would get back to the style of the earlier books where the couple was the primary focus :(

  6. I have never had an interest in reading this series but your review definitely makes me want to!

  7. I stopped reading around book 5, too, I think. No particular reason except they seemed to get a bit more unwieldy with each installment. Ward does instill great humor in her writing, along with some arse-kicking males (with stupid names. iAm? s'Ex? SERIOUSLY?!?). I'm still on the fence -- not sure if I'll pick up where I left off or not.

  8. I actually admire you for reading this one without catching up first. I don't think that inner me would ever allow something like that as I usually have to do things in order. But anyhow I love the sound of the humor here. I really hope that this series will return to its old path as it seems like better one. Great review, Maja :)

  9. I'm in the same position as you. I really enjoyed what I read, I just didn't continue with the series. I can see how getting back into the world was hard. It seems that this series does tend to build a bit on one another. I will heed your warning and read the rest before this one. I can't wait to get to it!

  10. I keep meaning to start this series but I keep reading conflicting reviews on the newer books, either people really love them or they don't. I guess I just need to try one and form my own opinion.

  11. I've never really been tempted by this series, Maja, even though I know a lot of people that love it. It's nice to hear though that even if you don't follow it closely, you can still enjoy this one. The names of the characters however really do sound ridiculous.

  12. I read the first book in this series and didn't fall head-over-heels in love, sadly. I didn't dislike it but I also didn't love it. It was just OK for me, much like the Night Huntress books. Thus, I never continued and though I'm certainly curious to give this series another shot, I am cowardly intimidated by the prospect of ten books. :/ Still, glad you enjoyed this after a long break from these books, Maja--lovely review! :)

  13. I stopped reading around book 5, too, Maja. And like you mentioned, it may be for the fact she started to focus less on the main couple and more on multiple perspectives. I do know she writes a killer story and world that I use to love to escape to. I'm glad you dove back into this series and enjoyed the King. Wonderful review, Maja! :)

  14. I haven't read this series, but I know folks either love it or walk away. Great review and advice Maja

  15. Nice review. I pre-order The King, but have not been able to bring myself to pick it up. I'm falling away from the series. I loved the first 6 books, but then after that it just became like to love. Maybe one day I will read The King. I know I want to see what happens with Wrath and Beth.
    Angela @ Angel's Guilty Pleasures


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