Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Lover Avenged Lover Avenged: Black Dagger 7
by J. R. Ward
Piatkus Fiction

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth
C. A. Hargreaves

The Black Dagger Brotherhood returns! Rehvenge has his story told and we learn more about his background and how a sympath half breed was born into an aristocratic vampire family. He meets a vampire nurse, Ehlena, and has to struggle to hide is drug dealing, dirty deeds, and sympath side from her, while submitting to the blackmail of the sympath Princess, his half sister. Xhex is given a bigger subplot, exploring her character and motivations more, and John Matthew appears often throughout the book. Tohrment snaps out of his grief daze while the Blind King learns to accept his kingship and physical limitations. The evil Lash continues to plot and make chilling alliances with other evildoers. The usual cast of suspects lurk in the background and pop up every so often.

J. R. Ward has a new viewpoint on the vampire rules and creates an exciting, new world. None of them sparkle either. This book was a lot longer than previous ones in the series, probably because there were a lot more back stories in it. I would recommend reading the rest of the series before this one, to get background, and as I could see new readers becoming confused and giving up. This has the usual BDB action, rescues, evil plotting relationships, and the Brotherhood. Sigh.

One thing I couldn’t quite understand was the logistics of how Ehlena copes with Rhev’s spine. I couldn’t visualise it.

-Jan Butterworth

I haven’t been a fan of Rehv’s (Rehvenge) so I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this book as much as the others. But I was pleasantly surprised, as usual, J R Ward brings you an outstanding story. Rehv will never win the citizen of the year award, but he does so much good for the ones he cares about. And Ehlena is a good caring daughter, who’s choices almost make her loose everything that she has worked so hard for.

To start with Rehev freaks her out, but she has developing feelings for him. As their relationship develops Rehv’s life turns to custard. And he chooses to be a stupid male, and his two females Ehlena and one of his best friends and a fellow half sympathy, Xhex; along with the brotherhood go in to save him. The on going fight with the Lessening Society continues with the Brotherhood, as well as other intriguing plots.

Overall I would recommend this story, it is gripping and intruding and it gives you a better understanding of Rehvenge, and it lets you get to know Ehlena. I would rate this book 7.5 out of 10.

-C. A. Hargreaves

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