Review: Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward

Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Avenged (A Black Dagger Brotherhood, 7)
Author: J. R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Piatkus (4th November 2010)

As the vampire warriors of the BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD defend their race from their slayers, one male’s loyalty to the Brotherhood is about to be tested – and his dangerous mixed blood revealed.

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 nightclub 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.

However, Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood. He’s a symphath and the revelation of this deadly secret will result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. And as plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll against Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in a darkening world: Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has taken its hold on him – and the one thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

LOVER AVENGED is the seventh book in J. R. Ward’s intriguing Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This book tells the story of Rehvenge – brother of Bella – who is a symphath, something that is supposed to be cast out by the Brotherhood and the Blind King.

LOVER AVENGED is a big book – my copy is over seven hundred pages – and there is a lot going on in it. Not only do we get to see Rehvenge and Ehlena’s stories play out, but we also get to see what is going on with the Lessening Society, and we also follow what is going on in John Matthew’s world. There are a lot of different plot threads to follow which has been pretty typical over the last six books, and again Ward knitted them together and interwove them to create a cohesive narrative, but at the same time I didn’t get lost in them.

Ah Rehvenge! Where do I start with him? Since his first appearance he has intrigued me. He is a good brother to Bella, who he seems pretty close to, but there have been some very definite hints that he’s more than he seems. LOVER AVENGED gives a real insight into his character, and I found myself empathising with him.

Ehlena definitely knows her own mind, and like Rehvenge accepts the consequences of her actions. I thought she was very down-to-earth and quite practical. Ward also gives her a complicated past, that has some relation to the plot of the book.

The Lessening Society and its leader are busy in this book. Battle lines are definitely being drawn. The symphaths play an interesting role in this book – and potentially the rest of the series. I’m looking forward with interest to seeing what Ward does with them in future books – I’m hoping that they weren’t just used as a plot device for this book, as I think there’s a lot of potential there.

John Matthew… I think a lot of his role in this book is to set him up for his own book, which I believe is the next book in the series. That being said, I’m not sure if I like him any more. He’s come a long way since his first appearance in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series – which I think was the second book – and a lot has happened to him; everything seems to almost come to a head in this book for him.

LOVER AVENGED is a good, solid addition to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. If you’re looking for something different, then this probably isn’t the book – or series – for you. However, if you have liked the series so far, then you will almost certainly enjoy this one too.

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