by J.R. Ward
Release Date: June 3, 2008
Book #6 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series
Number of Pages: 560
Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Ages 16 and up
CW: attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts & ideation,
homophobia, violence, addiction, drug overdose,
ableist language, sexual abuse, misogyny
Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.
As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love….
As I don’t find the stories in this series to be great as standalone, I’m going under the assumption that if you’re thinking of reading this book you have read the previous books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Therefore, you know Phury has a drug problem. I want to be perfectly clear to those that need content warnings, this story goes deep into that addiction. If detailed descriptions of drugs, drug use, drug addiction, etc. will be detrimental to you I’d strongly advise you to read a good recap of this story and move on to the next in line.
While Phury and Cormia are the main event in this book, their love story is not as prominent as the other couples have been. A lot is going on in this story. I know that can be said about all of the books in this series, but it’s even more chaotic here. Not in a bad way. As each story has been told, things have been ramping up between the vampires and the lessers. It is safe to say that by halfway through this book they are in an all-out war. There are glimpses of people from the past, more about Rehvenge is revealed, things within the Lessening Society have been turned upside down and sideways, and the way things are traditionally done with the Chosen is being questioned.
Although I’m not a fan of the parts of these books that go into the POV of the lessers, it was necessary for this story. I can’t say much without spoilers, but there is a huge shake-up in how things are run and what the lessers themselves know about the Omega and how things work for them. It’s an interesting plot twist that I feel was needed with that group.
When it comes to the romance between Phury and Cormia, there isn’t much. He’s too in his head to take the steps needed to open up to Cormia. And she is so innocent from growing up so sheltered, she doesn’t know the right questions to ask. For the couples in the past, there has been an intensity to their connections, I didn’t feel that here. But I felt their connection nonetheless. It had an element of comfort to it that they both needed. Of course, that comfort would turn to flames that would then turn to guilt and feelings of inadequacy. It was a vicious circle. For those brief times when both Cormia and Phury let down their guard and relaxed, they were beautiful together.
This story was hard for me to get through. Partly because of all of the information given regarding the Lessening Society (which again, is needed and important, just not my favorite). Partly because reading about Phury’s struggles, his thought process, and internal demons, was very hard. Especially when I often felt as though I wanted the Brothers to do more. On one hand I understood that they’ve done so much already and they need him to do for himself, but I also felt they were missing so much of what he was struggling with by not paying attention to the root cause of his issues. There is a scene in the last chapter that had me in tears because I honestly thought, other than Cormia, Phury had lost the rest of his family due to his bad choices.
I am so deeply invested in this world, even the books that don’t go smoothly for me still keep me rapt. I want to know what will happen next. I’m always left wanting to jump into the next book.
Wonderful review. I’ve had this series recommended to me in the past but have found that i rarely enjoy vampire books. One day I will give this series a go!
I’m finding the deeper into the series I’m getting, the more it is leaning heavier on the urban fantasy side of things. Not something I’ve read much of before. But, like you, this was recommended to me over and over and I’m enjoying it for the most part.