Final Thoughts: The Shadows by J.R. Ward

The Shadows

I put these on the Black Dagger Brotherhood Fan Group page on Facebook and they were immediately deleted – some rule about not talking about the books until the 28th – well I have something to say about it so I’m gonna say it!

First though for those who aren’t familiar with the series – um WHERE have YOU Been?! (said in my best Molly Weasley voice)! OMG the brothers and their Shellans aka wives are just the most amazing group of fiction guys on the planet – each of the 13 books in the series hits on a different character while perfectly weaving all of the characters together with their story lines and the intricacies of a whole world set in Caldwell, NY!  J.R. Ward does a fantastic job of setting-up a culture, politics, love and family all within this world and does it in such a way the reader doesn’t even think they’ve stepped outside the realm of possible!

For this novel, it was no different, the Shadows aka Trez and iAm Lattimer, have always been background characters in the story line, playing their part to support the “main characters” but now they have their own story and I love it!

Summary borrowed from Amazon.com

“Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist.  And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world.  Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude.  He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed.  It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late.  The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with.  But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything.  Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever.  And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice..”

My immediate thoughts were this:

I loved the book, as I have loved every other book in the series, this time the Warden develops two female characters who are very similar yet different all at the same time, Selena and Catra were both written as strong-willed, fierce, women who are both very no nonsense and have a very definite idea of where they want their destiny to go and both of them do what they feel is right in order to set that destiny up!  Both are perfect compliments for their respective mates!

I barely followed along with Assail’s undercurrent story of the drug trade and working with the Lessers – ultimately being caught by Wrath and the Brotherhood – I skimmed over his sections because in my opinion he’s very arrogant and doesn’t seem to care for anyone other than himself – personally I don’t like characters like that, in person and in writing – he’s one of those undercurrent characters, I feel, who’ll get his comeuppance when the time is right.  I don’t feel he has any redeeming qualities at all.

As I understand it Paradise gets her own novel with Blood Kiss – one I am anxious to read as well!  I know we’ll see just how strong-willed and no nonsense the women in the Vampire community can be!

Summary from Amazon.com

The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.
 
And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated–and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

And lastly, Layla and Xcor – ugh what a situation – Layla is pregnant with Quinn’s twins and she’s in love with Xcor – the known enemy of the Brotherhood and their King Wrath.  Ugh, I have a feeling that her trist with Xcor will come to ahead when Throe’s intentions are known to the Brotherhood – he can’t hide behind his innocent mask forever and I have a feeling that while she doesn’t know it yet Layla will play a huge role in the outcome of Xcor’s Band of Bastard’s interact with the BDB!

Thanks for reading! Now go quickly and grab your copies of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books IMMEDIATELY!

Start with Dark Lover and go from there!

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