Review: The King by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12)


The King by J.R. Ward (BDB #12)The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12)
J.R. Ward
Published: April 1, 2014  (Penguin)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Candace

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

When I first started reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, the dark, brooding, pressure-keg-about-to-blow, Blind King Wrath, hooked me. There was something there waiting to be discovered. Beth Randall, his new-found shellan (mate for those not familiar with BDB speak), unraveled layers of complexity. But, like someone too far underwater struggling to get to the top for air, Wrath just needed to breathe.

Years—and 11 books—later, Wrath is even more pressured. And we get a better understanding of why. J.R. Ward provides incredibly visual flashbacks to Wrath’s parents, Wrath and Anha. Through these flashbacks we see Tohr’s relationship with the elder Wrath, and through current events in the book, the relationship that the Brother now holds with the son.

In true Ward fashion, we see aspects of all of the Brothers. We see their contributions to the current hero and heroine’s storyline. Ward has always respected her readers enough to keep us informed on the happenings of characters.

That being said, she also has a lot of storylines going at once. In the past, I have defended this, comparing Ward to a conductor of a massive symphony. She is great at this. Every component of the music that she directs is played flawlessly. It is just that there is too damned much.

The King would have been better served split into two books, because there are multiple main story arcs played out. Assail rescuing Sola, Sola humanizing the drug trafficker, Trez banging every human woman he possibly can, falling in love with Selena, Selena falling in love with him, Selena’s *cue the elevator music, because she has something going on that is a spoiler*, Layla’s pregnancy, Xcor’s love for Layla and feelings of unworthiness, XCor’s sacrifices, Throe’s…well, just Throe. And the Glymera. God, if there ever was an English word that could sum up the sound that indigestion, disgust and pretension makes, it would be Glymera. Speaking of which, poor Saxton. Anywho…

What we basically have is a story about the rebirth of Wrath and the woman who brings him to this place. Wrath and Beth are the backbone of the BDB-verse. Seeing their love grow stronger is what makes The King one of the best books in the series. There is intense emotional upheaval (go get your Kleenex before you start reading), cold-shower-inducing sex scenes (seriously, sales of bed frames with no headboard will skyrocket within the month), and vengeance. This book is a winner, even if it does challenge my underlying ADD a bit.

Long live The King.

Sexual content: Graphic sex

9 Responses to “Review: The King by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12)”

  1. Kimberly Edwards says:

    The Tohr you mentioned above is actually Tohrture, Rhage’s father.

    • Candace says:

      Kimberly, you are right. I actually brought this up with a group of my friends, which led to one looking up BDB bloodlines in her BDB Companion Guide, which led to me opening up The King on my Kindle and having an A HA! moment when I saw Tohrture, instead of Tohrment.

      I would like to say that the names are entirely too similar and maybe Ward needs to put some plain names in, but I don’t think Bob, son of Bob would have the same effect.

  2. Wendy Walker says:

    Great review Candace!! I found I got aggravated with the jumping to different major story lines. I wanted Wrath and Beth’s story. I love seeing what’s up with the others, true. It just drove me crazy that I’d get into 1 story and it’d stop. I actually started to skip through and read Warth and Beth, then go back and read Sola and then Trez and so on…LOL

    • Candace says:

      Exactly. It made me think of a concert that I went to a while back. Nickelback, Papa Roach and Hinder. All three bands kicked ass, but only one was on stage at a time. If all three were singing at once, there would be entirely too many distractions.

  3. P says:

    I loved The King. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. There have been multiple stories going on for some time within the BDB. If anything J.R needs to write two books in this series a year, instead of one. Oh, and now that I have read the book, all of the music that J.R. picks for this series?, is on point

  4. Christine says:

    Just finished reading The King & for the first time I am disappointed in a JR Ward book. The multiple story likes AND the flashbacks AND the pop culture name dropping degraded and with the later cheapen the story/stories.

    My impressions: this was obligatory piece meant to shake out some cash. If JR is bored, do something else.

  5. ForeverReading 1 says:

    Great review Candace! The below phrasing of J.R. Ward’s books is one of the best descriptions of the authors writing style that I’ve come across.
    “…… she also has a lot of storylines going at once. In the past, I have defended this, comparing Ward to a conductor of a massive symphony. She is great at this. Every component of the music that she directs is played flawlessly. It is just that there is too damned much.”
    Soooooo true!

  6. Jackie says:

    I just finished reading The King and I was frustrated with the back and forth storyline. I enjoy each story but I feel as though two books would have been worth it!

  7. migdalia ortiz says:

    The King left me heart broken because it felt like the last book with too many story lines open.

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