Review: The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood) by J.R. Ward

My Thoughts

An intimate, evocative installment
in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

4halfstars

Synopsis

Apr-05Rhage and Mary return in a new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series “so popular, I don’t think there’s a reader today who hasn’t at least heard of [it]” (USA Today). 

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from…

My Review

As first seen on USA Today

Life and death, marriage and love, sacrifices and surprises—J.R. Ward stirs things up in this intimate, evocative next chapter in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. In The Beast, Mary and Rhage acknowledge the widening rift between them, especially after Rhage rushes straight into danger, consequences be damned. But consequences indeed befall when he’s mortally wounded, forced to face the insecurities and unacknowledged truths thriving within.

“Time was too finite; no matter how much of it you had with someone you loved, when the end came, it wasn’t nearly enough.”

Mary and Rhage had poured their hearts into their work, diverging attention from the chasm between them, hiding emotions in what they still couldn’t define. With death at the door, however, truths sharpened into focus in a way that would change their future, for better or worse.

“You are both my strength and my weakness, Mary mine.”

Meanwhile, the Lessening society continues to amass force despite taking blows. And the Band of Brothers (in its somewhat disunified state) is still on the loose after their failed attempt to dethrone Wrath. While external forces continue to threaten the Brotherhood and their mission, more than just Mary and Rhage fight internal battles, especially as surprises rock the group towards the novel’s end.

While most of the book focused on the evolution of Mary and Rhage’s relationship, the last quarter or so of The Beast had me breathing fast, furiously flipping pages. Emotional surprises and plot twists signal big things to come as this consistently compelling and exciting series evolves. This immersive, introspective yet rousing next installment will leave you clamoring for more.

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