Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #13
Published by Penguin Genres: Paranormal, Romance
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Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.
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...
The most emotional Black Dagger Brotherhood book to date. The Warden proves she can deliver heart wrenching and adrenaline inducing all in one book.
The Shadows is a cacophony of different notes, from action and intrigue, to steamy and sweet romance, with the core note being the bonds of brotherhood, and the connection of family. I loved that.
Trez’s and iAm’s story is pretty similar to Zsadist’s and Phury’s in that you have one brother who’s a self-destructive wild card, and the other brother spends their life reigning him in at the expense of his own happiness. The Shadows, though, is a bigger production than Lover Awakened, with more storylines in the mix, and more at stake for everyone. Typically I’d hate that (I still miss the intimacy of the first books), but I this this time the pieces worked so well together that The Shadows felt like a cohesive whole, which isn’t the case for the books leading up to it. Every subplot had my attention this time, and the main plot, the most emotional arc, completely knocked me sideways.
The way this story unfolded didn’t shock me. I suspected the ending when I read The King, plus, it’s easy to guess how things play out when you wait to read a popular book, which is what I did. Most of my fellow BDB fans had a strong reaction to this story, the majority claimed they shed copious tears, and vowed that this might be the best BDB book, and J. R. Ward’s best-written book to date. Well, I wouldn’t go as far as claim it’s the best, but it’s up there with my favorites in the series. I think the thing that holds me back from putting it at the top is the recycled suspense sub-plot. Something needs to give with the baddies in the BDB world. I’m not invested anymore and pretty much skim those scenes now. Fortunately, there weren’t a lot of scenes to skim, so I could enjoy the delicious romantic sub-plots without much interruption, and they were all delicious.
The Shadows is a bit of a homecoming for the original brothers, after The King refocused this series. Rhage gets plenty of screen time, and I had zero complaints. I forgot how perfectly romantic he is and how completely he loves his Mary. I can’t wait to read his second book. V, Z, and Lassiter make memorable cameos, and although I still don’t know what purpose that fallen angel serves, he’s damn entertaining, so I had fun reading his scenes.
After 13 books, I’m chuffed to say that this series still excites me and entertains me; I honestly didn’t expect that it still would. In fact, The Shadows had a deeper effect than I ever thought it would, causing equal amounts of joy and pain. With a good balance of old and new, J. R. Ward skillfully shows what it is to fill your fans but leave them pining for more. Rhage, here I come!