Book Review: The King by J. R. Ward

thkingSynopsis from Goodreads:

Long live the King… 

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle–with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything–and everyone–at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response–or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out… or tortured legacy take over?

Before I even get to the actual review of this book, I have to admit that once I caught wind of this book being about Beth and Wrath, I had to have it. So of course I pre-ordered it and broke my own ‘read series in order’ rule. Also, the book itself is damn gorgeous. I don’t rate covers or book designs, but if I did… it would get ALL the stars. How about what’s on the pages…

J.R. Ward introduced us to half-human/half-vampire Beth and the last full-blood vampire Wrath in book 1 of her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Twelve books later, things have come a very long way, but it was refreshing for me to revisit this original couple. A lot of what got me into this series is still there. There’s always something happening, some hurdle to overcome or a move to make. The characters are so flushed out that you feel like you know them. This book, just as the others I’ve read in the series are, is unputdownable.

One thing I noticed while reading this book was that there has been a definite shift in focus. While there’s still obviously something going on with the lessers (and I can’t wait for the story that was hinted at here =]) the lessers aren’t the main problem. In fact, Wrath is now at war with his own people in a way. It’s all politically motivated, but it’s still a war nonetheless. Reading about how he dealt with that, and how he was able to accept the help in dealing with everything dropped on his plate was pretty sweet. Not to mention, there are some huge changes that are made in vampire society in general throughout this book. It was certainly shocking (and again awesome).

I was a bit worried about spoilers while reading, but I have to admit, aside from a couple of things there really wasn’t anything for me to be worried about. Even though I know about particular events now, I’ll still definitely go back and read the three books I missed to get the full story. I am not deterred.

While I did love re-immersing myself in this world, there were a couple of nitpicky things I have to mention. There were some very odd abbreviations that stuck out like a sore thumb while reading and there was the unnecessary use of multiple letters in words that kind of annoyed me. These aren’t things that take away from the story, but it’s just annoying to me. The only other thing that I think needs to be mentioned here is that there are a TON of perspectives throughout this book. Obviously you’ve got Beth and Wrath, but you’ve got Layla and Xcor, Trez and Selena, iAm, Assail and Sola (can’t wait for more of them btw) and all of that can be a lot to follow. That’s another of the big changes from the books I had read before, the increase in storylines.

Overall, The King was a very enjoyable read for me. I love Ward’s characters as much as ever, she builds tension and anticipation like no other, and she manages to make everything come together but never too easily. It’s another solid book from her as far as I’m concerned and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the table next. 4/5 stars.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series:

1. Dark Lover
2. Lover Eternal
3. Lover Awakened
4. Lover Revealed
5. Lover Unbound
6. Lover Enshrined
7. Lover Avenged
8. Lover Mine
9. Lover Unleashed
10. Lover Reborn
11. Lover at Last
12. The King

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