It's like watching a satisfying episode of your favourite TV series. Although, I get what I want, without a cliffhanger ending and can wait patiently for the next episode to clarify the actions and decisions of the last.
As usual, this story takes us all over the place and even gave us a blast into the past with Wrath's parents, as they struggle through some of the same issues, that Beth and Wrath currently face. We are trekking through more than one relationship in this novel, but I never felt lost. At the beginning of each relationship highlight, I want the one I was at before, and by the end of that one, I am right where I began, craving more of the current.
I love that JR Ward chose the relationships she wanted to focus on, while keeping all the members of this series relevant at some point in time. She balances progression and stability like no other paranormal writer I have read. It is a gift what she does with a world she has created. I am always in the zone when reading a novel of this series. It feels as if I am transformed to Caldwell, in vampire territory and ready to tackle anything thrown my way. This series makes you a fan, as you step out of the real world for a minute and enjoy life of the Old Country and Caldwell, paranormal style.
To clear up some misconceptions without giving anything away, the main relationships of this novel are Beth/Wrath, Selena/Trez, Assail/Marisol, Layla/Xcor, Wrath/Anha. Beth wants a baby, Wrath is a little on the fence; Selena is having her world rocked in more than one way and Trez is finally growing up and taking responsibilities for his actions; Assail is new territory while traversing his old life and Marisol is giving up her old life to traverse new territory; Xcor is turning a new life and Layla is fighting for her King; Wrath is learning the dimensions of being a King and Anha is learning the realities of being a Queen.
For those looking for a Lash apperance, like myself, it was not this installment. This novel was filled with less Lessers than any of the previous. This, I had no problem with, as I believe this novel called for a different approach and I enjoyed the change in course.
Focus was placed on sacrifice, love, loyalty, history and the power they wield over the present and future. These are the catalyst for a few changes in the end of this novel, that me and my friend the Scribe Virgin surely aren't gonna like. I get the notion, but I wish there was another way.
In all of this, we still met new characters, some from the modern world and others that have traveled from the Old Country with a swell of issues and ideologies that put this story in a tail spin. I was glad for the time we got to spend with occasional characters, like Saxton and the time spent with Abalone and the commoners. It was about time we find out what is going on in the world of vampires outside the Monarchy and those who oppose them.
The perspectives from this novel, were presented and executed perfectly. My only problem while reading this novel, was finding the time to sit and give it a proper read. Once I did, I breezed through it in a couple hours. It is impossible not to get hooked to a novel from this series and it doesn't change with this installment.
I can see this story being around for years to come and I am dying to get my hand on a book about the young's of this series. I anticipate a really good story from their behalf.
There is nothing in this book for me to complain about; It was progressive, never repetitive and even the martial issues were that of humans. The fights were real and the characters stayed through to their personalities and beliefs. I never even missed the nights out in the field. I think we progress with the characters, to the point where their mindset is our own. It's been quite a journey with the Brotherhood and this novel reminds you of that, while preparing you for the future and all it's possibilities.
The climaxes within this novel are not your usual and they don't culminate in a battle to end all battles, as it's more from an intellectual stand point. That doesn't give it less of a fight or fire either, as it packs the same punch as Rhage morphing, V getting shot, Zsadist getting black, Phury's addiction, Tohr losing Wellsie and Butch sucking in Lessers. (Yes, I did that all from memory recollection and not a review of the novels). As I said, this story sticks with you.
I could stay here all day and give you my feelings on this amazing series that continues to rock me to the core, but I say check it out for yourself. This book is long for a reason, it is packed with enough issues to last you until the end of the week, where your craving another installment. It never leaves you unsatisfied and with each installment, you fall deeper into JR Wards' crazy world in Caldwell, New York.
Reconnect with the Brotherhood, learn about the King's past, take a trip down memory lane to 'Dark Lover' and inch your way through all the other installments, as you await the future. I really hope this isn't the end of this series, because I want so much more from this group of characters, who keep us on our toe guessing. Every time I think they can't possibly have more, I realize that the end is no where in sight and I am alright with that!