Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #16.5
When Ahmare’s brother is abducted, there is nothing she won’t do to get him back safely. She is unprepared, however, for the lengths she will have to go to save his life. Paired with a dangerous but enticing prisoner, she embarks on an odyssey into another world.
Duran, betrayed by his father, imprisoned in a dungeon for decades, has survived only because of his thirst for vengeance. He has been biding his time to escape and is shocked to find an unlikely and temporary freedom in the form of a determined young female.
Battling against deadly forces and facing unforeseen peril, the pair are in a race to save Ahmare’s brother. As time runs out, and the unthinkable looms, even true love may not be enough to carry them through.
I’m not a big fan of this kind of books of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. The ones that leave the main plot behind and focus on unknown characters and events. Don’t get me wrong, it is actually a good worldbuilding, but in the end they will be forgotten pretty fast. Why stop here if we can take any souvenirs? At least this time the story is fast paced and with a lot of action scenes. Some bloody situations starred by Duran, so if you are a bit squirmish about that kind of stuff I guess you should skip this. You won’t miss anything important.
This short book adds several new concepts to the Brotherhood universe that would have been great to explore with more detail. For example, Chalen the conqueror seems like a good baddie that could have been the headache of many stories, instead of just the short lived foe in this one. Also, the Davhos cult was something different that we had never read before in this saga and, again, it is a shame that it is not going to have more weight in future books. Or any weeght at all. Ward is a good writer, but she doesn’t take many risks in her worldbuilding; so a religious zealot with a god complex could have been the whetstone that the dagger starts to need. Another time, I guess…
In such a fast and short story is hard to form an opnion about the characters. I like Ahmare. She is not a complex character, but has a really good balance between strength, compassion and humor (something a bit uncommon in the female cast of this saga). Duran had way too many layers to be explored in fairness, but what we get to see is interesting. Maybe a bit too brutal, but that is understandable. There is something I don’t like in this story involving Duran, though: he needs pain to end his perfomance during the naughty moments. That’s not bad. What is bad is the way that issue is resolved. One moment he had that problem, the next all is OK. I didn’t undertand that change. I guess there wasn’t enough time to foge a proper development.