Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Let’s start with my favorite quote in this entire book from Wrath: “Man of Steel cock.” Yup, Wrath has a cock he thinks of Superman when it comes to having sex with his beloved Beth.
The King is the twelfth book in J.R. Ward’s very popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series that looks like it’s never ending. The King is the continuing saga of Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood gang, and the almighty king of his vampire community, as well as his wife and soul mate, Beth the half vampire, half human who both started off the entire series back in 2006 with Dark Lover. For some reason J.R. felt she needed to wrap up Wrath and Beth’s story further with a more established HEA because Wrath and Beth continue to have problems. It appears in order to have a complete HEA, this couple needs a child, which is a big issue that has arisen in the past few books, as well as Wrath constantly watching his back because his adversaries and enemies want him off the throne. The King is extremely soap-operish, more than any past BDB books, and has far more POV’s and secondary stories, as well as a large amount of sex from multiple characters. I counted over twelve different POV’s here, the most ever in a BDB book, Because of that I seriously wonder what J.R. is trying to accomplish with this series. What is her endgame?
Unfortunately for me, The King is now my least favorite book in this series. Prior to that, Lover Enshrined, Phury’s book held that honor. Whereas I was invested, the last book, Lover At Last because of my love for the main couple, with The King I found myself lost by everything that was going on and why some of the secondary stories, which don’t have anything to do with Wrath and Beth’s plight, are in here in the first place. They have no connection that I could find. Most of the time I sped read certain chapters because they were so boring.
Meh is the key word here. I consider myself a Ward crack addict fan, but The King didn’t satisfy at all. The King was one big convoluted mess. Also the editing was lacking and very noticeable here, which regardless of being a very successful author, you still need content and copy editing. Anything less is insulting to your readers.
One big issue I had was the time period. Dark Lover was published in 2006, so I assume that was when Wrath and Beth met. At one point, Saxton (Wrath’s lawyer and Blaylock’s ex-lover) says to Wrath: “I fear for the future,” Saxton murmured. “That value system of theirs is not good for people like me. Or for females. We’d made such progress over the past two years- bringing the race of the Stone Age.” Riddle me this…. if it’s 2008 in BDB land, then why is Miley Cyrus mentioned multiple times, as well as her twerking and her song, Wrecking Ball? Miley’s twerking and Wrecking Ball didn’t happen until 2013. Also the mentions of Kayne West and Taylor Swift were heavy, as well as Wrath bring up shock jock, Howard Stern’s dad for some odd reason. Also, Wrath’s internal musings were very heavy on the cursing and full of ridiculous pop culture mentions. And, I must add that Beth must truly be Wrath’s other half because she’s starting to sound like him with her internal musings and dialogue. I find Wrath to be complete different from what he was in Dark Lover. He has become such a whiny, emo brat. He acted like it most of the time here. I still like Beth because she doesn’t put up with Wrath’s childlike tantrums and hasn’t lost her strong personality, which seems to happen with Ward’s heroines after they have their own books. Also, no peaches mention! *pout*
We get flashbacks right from the start of how Wrath’s parents met and fell in love. What was the point of us having these flashbacks?
iAm and Trez are Shadow warriors who have moved in to the BDB mansion that spans thousands of acres. Again I don’t understand their point. iAm is a virgin who protects his man-whore brother Trez, who treats women like they’re his plaything, that is until he meets a special Chosen who thinks he’s worthy and good for some reason. Why? We have no real insight on why. All we know is Trez is tortured and things are going to be very bad for him soon because of his horrible parents who sold him to some evil Queen. I will say iAm does have some redeemable qualities, regardless of him being one-dimensional. Beth’s cat, Boo bonds with iAm. Very adorable. Wrath’s seeing eye dog, George gets some major page time also.
Yet another new character is introduced called s’Ex. Yup, J.R. went there. He’s a freaky, tattooed assassin Shadow type guy who loves sex and only thinks women are good for sex. The misogyny continues to grow in Shadowland.
The one couple I wanted heavy page time is Xcor and Layla. I love their forbidden love affair (with a side of Toe… Throe). But these two were more filler and really didn’t add anything to the story. I think Layla is going to be pregnant for another five books at least (Her story coming in 2020!). But I do think J.R. has created something special with Xcor, who may surprise us all.
My favorite part of The King was Assail, the vampire drug dealer who is channeling Rehv (he was introduced in Lover at Last) and his obsession with Sola, a thief. This is one story that doesn’t belong here. At no point is there any connection to the BDB world.
As of now, I’m not sure where I stand with this series. J.R. announced the thirteenth book will be Trez and iAm’s book, and she is connecting her other less popular series, The Fallen Angels and the characters from there into her BDB world. The West side and East side of Caldwell are going to have a rumble ala West Side Story? I can’t see how this would possibly work because of the difference in the world building she has created for each series. I guess the hardcore fans here can forgive the breakdown of these two worlds and go along with the “just because” clause, because the fans are forgiving and just want more.
I will say as a fan, I’m officially weaning myself off the crack after reading The King. I still bow down to Ward because she is one heck of a writer buts she needs more clarity and go back to the basics I found in the first four books of this series that made me such a fangirl. But I think it’s a losing battle at this point.
The King is an example of series fatigue for this reader. The crack addiction is no more.