If you’re a super fan of J.R. Ward–like me–then you know The King was the most highly anticipated book so far in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I mean, talk about coming back full circle to the couple who started it all: Wrath–the King–and Beth Randall.
When I first heard we were getting another Wrath & Beth book last year, I seriously jumped for insane joy. Not kidding. Jumped. For. Insane. Joy.
But I gotta say…The King was not without its faults.
Don’t shoot!! Because like any other super fan of J.R. Ward and the Brotherhood, I’m hooked by the balls on this series and it’s not like I’m gonna stop reading it because of one book that may have bored me a little.
I’m not saying it had it’s faults where Beth and Wrath are concerned. Nope. No way. Beth and Wrath were just as lovable and complicated as you’d expect. God, those two rip me apart every time I see their names on the page. If it’s not Wrath’s denial of becoming King, then it’s his denial of continuing his bloodline. His frickin’ legacy. And there is no other female who can stand up to him and put the king back on track than Beth.
But the fault comes into place when we start hitting the subplots. The problem?
They added zero to the main plot!
As an author myself, I know that subplots can either hurt or help us, and there are subplots in The King that do not help. They don’t necessarily hurt as much as annoy me as a reader, but they didn’t add anything either.
Sola and Assail: I seriously LOVE this couple’s story so far. Like really, really love it. But guess what? It was pointless in this novel because it didn’t cross over into the overall plot with Beth and Wrath. Not one bit. I would’ve rather had a novella for these two (may BDB # 12.5?) than only have bits and pieces of their story that added nothing to the real plot at-hand in this book. Sola & Assail’s storyline left me torn between annoyed and excited. Maybe this was Ward’s plan? I dunno. But all I know is that when I saw a chapter starting with one of these two characters, I held tight hoping that one of them would cross paths with a line of the main plot and we’d see them tied together in the overall scheme of things…but it didn’t. 🙁
Trez and Selena: Now, until I’d heard through the grapevine following J.R. Ward’s appearance in Ohio, I had a solid feeling about Trez’s subplot. But now that I know that the next book is titled The Shadows, I have a bit of a different opinion. As a writer myself I know how important it is to set-up the next book in the series, and this storyline helps with that. Trez is still avoiding his duty to marry another Shadow, but the problem is that he does not come off as likeable. If anything, he kinda grosses me out. I get that he could care less about his parents, so being okay with sending them to their deaths doesn’t surprise me, but when it comes to his brother, I was a little pissed at his attitude towards his brother’s sacrifices. I mean, if my frickin’ sister were to put her life on the line to ensure I didn’t have marry a man I didn’t want any part of, I’d show a little more gratitude than Trez. But like I said, I’ll still read the next book even if it’s about Trez and Selena, because Ward’s got me by the balls on this series.
Xcor and Layla: What?!? By the time these two come together again and make a “deal”, the purpose of their agreement is moot. Because Wrath was voted as the leader of the new vampire democracy. So what more could Xcor possibly do that Layla’s promise of being with him could prevent?!? Regardless, theirs is a good future storyline/book, but since it seriously didn’t add anything–for me–I could’ve done without it.
But getting back to the main plot!
Beth and Wrath’s story was AMAZING! Beth wants a young. Wrath doesn’t. She wants to birth a piece of their love, a little baby that combines the best of both of them. He wants nothing to do with it because he’s seen the complications. He’s seen the death that birthing a young can cause. So Ward does a FANTASTIC job of taking us from point A to Z on this plot.
But then we run into the issue of those who do not believe that a 1/4 vampire should become to heir to the throne. Dun, dun, duuuun! The aristocracy does not want to Wrath to continue as the king considering that he has a half-breed wife/mate. While’s that an understandable motive, it’s infuriating–for both the characters and the readers. And boy does Ward know how to combat that one. But instead of giving you a spoiler on that one, I’ll just say this:
Lassiter as an “Elvis” Officiant.
You know you want to know more after one, right? 😉 Let’s just say that after reading that scene, my little sister–who got hitched last month–wanted Lassiter to marry her off instead of our grandfather.
So…overall, the main plot–Wrath & Beth’s story–was fantastic. The rest? I really could’ve done without. Hence the 3 star rating. But if you’re a fan of the paranormal romance genre, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and/or J.R. Ward, then this book is seriously a DO NOT MISS. I’ve got a good feeling that while this book gave a lot of readers mixed feelings, The King is setting us up for some seriously great novels in this series! 😀
Blurb from Goodreads:
J.R. Ward’s # 1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood continues as a royal bloodline is compromised by a grave threat to the throne.
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?