The Black Dagger Brotherhood series has millions of fans, seemingly a million characters, and sold millions of books worldwide. This spring, author J.R. Ward will bring her incredible world full circle in the 12th book in the series, The King. Wrath, king of the vampires, and his queen, Beth, have ruled over the wayward vampire population for eleven books. But as the first couple of the series, they had the shortest book and this is a great opportunity to go back and check in on them. So what is going to happen in The King?
First, let’s see where we left off in Lover at Last, book eleven of the BDB universe:
Qhuinn and Blay get together (FINALLY!) and Qhuinn becomes a Brother. We finally found out what happened to his brother—and Luhcas is home safe! Meanwhile, Q’s baby mama, Layla, is pregnant and in love with Xcor, the king of the Band of Bastards. Xcor is equally besotted, but Layla’s status as a Chosen (fallen or not) gives the cleft palate suffering king pause because he doesn’t feel worthy of her (aww!) Also, as the BoB have tried to assassinate Wrath and are considered traitors, Layla and Xcor are in the middle of some real Romeo and Juliet drama.
Assail, an opportunist who is fairly new to the BDB world, is chasing after Sola, basically a female version of him. She was kidnapped at the end of the book, and he plans on getting her back. (The sighs of relief heard round the world that this wouldn’t be the next book were louder than Katy Perry’s “Roar.”)
Trez, our favorite Shadow (well, the Shadow that talks), is pledged to marry the Queen’s daughter back in the Shadow world with the s’Hisbe people, but he doesn’t want to, especially when he is carrying a torch for the Chosen Selena.
Finally, we get a glimpse into Beth’s mindset as she shares some bedrest time with Layla. Beth talks about wanting a child so badly, and how Wrath is not on board with it. She hasn’t had her “needing” yet (fertility time for vampire females) but she is hoping that it will come soon. The rumor is that if a female vampire hangs around enough females who have gone into “needing” it will bring about their own, and Beth has been through Layla’s, Bella’s, and Autumn aka No’One.
What’s next for Wrath and Beth?
Last year at a Lover at Last signing, Ward announced Wrath and Beth’s book with the proclamation, “We’re going to try and have a baby!” Since then, blogs and message boards have been buzzing. Beth wants a baby, but Wrath wants Beth, and there is a significant mortality rate with pregnant females. But it seems that Beth is probably going to be going into her “needing,” and Wrath can either service her, or drug her until it’s over. What are the chances that Beth isn’t going to get her baby? Slim to none. King be damned, Wrath is putty in Beth’s hands.
This will be a crappy time to get pregnant, however. Xcor and the BoB failed in their assassination attempt, so they are using the glymera council and ancient laws to attempt to unseat Wrath and the BDB. We will definitely see more of this action. As long as we see more of the BoB, is it worth a guess that we will continue to see more stolen moments between Xcor and Layla? Absolutely. It would also be nice to see more of Throe. Another scene like the motel scene a couple books ago wouldn’t hurt at all.
Since Sola was kidnapped at the end of LaL, Assail is going to be on the hunt for her, but does that mean they will actually be in the next book? Ward is famous for starting a storyline and picking it up whenever she feels like it (For example, Qhinn’s brother had been missing for several books before he was found in LaL.) Speaking of storylines on hold, whatever happened to Muhrder? Dare we get a peek at him in The King? Probably not, but how juicy would it be to have a disgraced Brother come back on the scene as his ex (Xhex, who is a Sympath, a race anathema to vampires) is married into the royal family, when the BoB are looking to take the throne?
Finally, as we discuss The King, the irony of having so many kings around is not lost. Wrath, the proper vampire king; Xcor, the king of the Band of Bastards; Rehvenge, the king of the Sympaths; and Trez, possibly next in line for king of the s’Hisbe. (The women are the ruling force there, but we know Trez isn’t feeling his arranged marriage. Will his brother iAm pull a Phury and take his place?) Wrath and Rev are happily mated, but obviously Xcor and Trez are not. Will we see any strife in Rev’s relationship with Ehlena as he splits his time between the Sympaths and the glymera? Will all the kings face their own particular challenges in this novel?
The best thing about speculating a J.R. Ward BDB novel is that Ward herself is a wildcard. Just when you think you have her figured out, she changes the story, breaks the rules, and creates her own reality, to the delight of fans and the scorn of non-fans. No matter what happens, eager readers are guaranteed another wild ride in The King.
For more J.R. Ward news, reviews, and s**t-kickers, head to our Black Dagger Brotherhood collection.
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Nicole Leapheart's alter ego is Miss Boxy Frown, and she posts book reviews and TV recaps at missboxyfrown.blogspot.com. She reads and watches everything from romance to sci-fi, but enjoys it even more if some smut is involved. And tattoos.