“Dark Lover” by J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) – Review

 Paperback: 416 pages

Publisher: Signet

Release Date: September 6, 2005

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood

“In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed – leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate – Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead – a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.”

My thoughts

If you’re reading this, you are probably wondering why you should read another goddamned vampire novel. They’re basically all the same, right? Wrong! The world J.R. Ward has created is so different and so addictive, you won’t be able to have enough of the Brothers. So it’s a good thing that there nine novels already out, with the tenth one coming out on March 27, including an incredibly hilarious insider’s guide that’s worth every penny.

As I started reading “Dark Lover” I found it a bit dark and unusual. It was unlike any other novel I’ve read. Each brother has deep problems which they keep hidden under a facade of cold-blooded killers. Don’t get me wrong, they’re very good at killing their enemy, the lessers – a society of undead who smell like baby powder. Yep, you read right. Baby powder.

Wrath, the hero of this novel, also known as the Blind King, is, as the nickname already indicates, the king of the vampire race. His problem: he has no wish to lead his people. Enraged with the lessers for killing his parents, he blames himself for not being able to defend his family. So he fights alongside his brothers, focusing his anger on the enemy. Which is all good and dandy, and suits him just fine. The vampire race, on the other hand, is suffering without its leader.

And here’s where Beth Randall steps in. Growing up as an orphan human woman, she has no idea who she is or what the darkness hides at night. Her mother died at childbirth and she never knew her father, who unbeknown to her, is one of the seven vampire brothers, the warrior named Darius. He watches her from afar, not wanting to get her mixed up in the dangers of his world, but then, he fears that she might transition into a vampire when she hits the age of 25. Afraid something might happen to her, he contacts Wrath, and asks him to help her through her transition, because you see, in J.R. Ward’s novels, vampires only feed from other vampires of the opposite sex. Human blood doesn’t really sustain them much. And Wrath, as the only purebred vampire left, has incredibly strong blood, so it would certainly help Beth survive her transition, especially since she might not survive the change.

The shocker, or well not so surprising decision considering the way Wrath feels about humans, he turns down Darius’ request for help, telling him to find someone else for the job. Just as Darius then leaves the meeting, he gets killed, which sets off the entire story, forcing Wrath to care for the half-breed daughter as the dying wish of his brother.

The attraction between Wrath and Beth is incredible, starting with their first encounter. I do have to warn you though – if you’re not used to really hot sex scenes in a novel, then you’re in for a very tasty surprise, well if you’re into that sort of stuff. Which I totally am. The book is so much more than sex scenes and killing though.

Wrath is an incredibly hard man to approach, and poor Beth has a hard job at reaching his heart, but when she finally does, its incredibly heartbreaking. The story is so beautiful and, in my opinion, sets up the stage for the next stories perfectly. You get to meet the lovely and fierce brothers: Rhage, Zsadist, Phury, Tohrment and Vishous. I think these are fabulous names! I mean, would you really expect a vampire warrior to be called something like Sam or Edward? Their names totally fit!

The lovely J.R. Ward also created this intriguing language – the Old Language – and I find myself already using some of the terms explained in the book. In the first book, you’ll have to keep going back to the glossary in the beginning of the book, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. Oh, and if your first language isn’t English, you might want to read the books translated into your own language. If you normally read books only in their original language as I do, you’ll find that Ward uses a lot of slang, the American one to be more precise, and some phrases might be a bit hard to understand. You might not even like it at all. I personally fell in love with the slang and now find myself using expressions and words I would have never used otherwise. Which is rather cool, true?

Well, other than that, I’m not sure what else to say about this book. I really, really loved it, and feel like I cannot get enough of this world. I find myself wishing I lived in the world and with every book I read, I fell in love more and more. I love the Brothers and their shellans, or mates as we humans call them. I cannot wait for the next book coming out in March, “Lover Reborn”.  It also features my favorite brother and I’m sure it won’t disappoint.

So if this all sounds appealing to you, or if you’re looking for a really good book to get you started in the whole urban fantasy genre, I recommend you start with “Dark Lover”. You’ll fall in love with Wrath, I guarantee it!

Rating: 🌙  – I’m giving this book a golden moon! The highest possible rating on this blog. Only my absolute favorite books will be getting this award as of now! 😉

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2 thoughts on ““Dark Lover” by J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) – Review

  1. Love the BDB! Great review 🙂

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