Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review - Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6) by J.R. Ward (2/5 stars)

Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Roamnce
Size:  560 pages
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: June 3, 2008
ISBN-13:   978-0451222725
Stand Alone or Series: 6th book in the Black Dagger
Source: Audio book from
 2/5 stars

This is the sixth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by Ward.  The 9th book in the series, Lover Unleashed, was released in March of 2011.  This book was by far my least favorite in this series; it tried to be more of an urban fantasy than a paranormal romance and as a result pretty much failed at being spectacular in either genre.  I listened to this on audio book, this audio book had the same narrator as others in this series.  It is an okay audio book but the narrator for these isn't my favorite.

This is mainly the story of Phury and Cormia.  Phury is fighting a drug addiction and struggling in his place as Primale to the Chosen; Cormia is trying to find her place in the world outside of the Chosen's Realm.  The story also spends a good amount of time following the story of John Mathews.  We also learn a lot more about Xhex and Rehvenge.  In addition to all of that the Lesser society is gaining strength and is featured a lot more in this story.

Okay so let's be honest, I read these books because they usually have an absolutely entrancing romance and lots of interesting emotionally damaged characters.  There aren't usually a ton of fight scenes and usually there is just enough plot to hold the story together.  Ward is good at writing that type of story and that is what I read this series for.  In this book Ward tries to do something different.  Phury and Cormia have a lackluster romance at best; much more time is spent focusing on the Lessers gaining power and on other traumatic things happening to the Brothers.  I keep waiting for Phury and Cormia to have a absolutely scorching romance, but it was more of a fizzle and a compromise.  

Ward spends so much time jumping between characters that the storyline creeps along in incredibly slow progress.  I lost track of the number of perspectives we hear the story from; it somewhere in the four to six range.  It just makes the book so long and so little happens.  I know at times I have said I would like more urban fantasy in this series, but I have to say that if this is Ward's shot at urban fantasy....well then I think she should stick to paranormal romance.  The urban fantasy parts were mediocre, they were boring and predictable.  I was just waiting for this book to end.

The story ends okay.  The Lesser are definitely gaining power and the Brothers are in a bad spot.  I did like that we learned more about the Chosen in this book.  Things get a little crazy though; suddenly Ward is introducing angels and lizard-people into the story and I was like...uh...okay what is the point of all of this?  I am sure there is a point.  But honestly I don't read these books for their complexity, I read them for fun.  There just wasn't much fun in this one, just strangeness.

Overall a very mediocre entry into this series.  The romance between Phury and Cormia is lame, it never really catches fire.  The added urban fantasy should have appealed to me, but I just found the story to be predictable, told from too many viewpoints and long.  By the end I was just thrilled it was all over; Ward is trying to tell the story of too many characters at once and it makes for a cumbersome book.  While previous books have been incredibly hard to put down, I found this book hard to keep reading.  Will I listen to the next book, Lover Avenged?  I am just not sure.  I would love to hear Rehvenge's and John Matthew's stories, but if they come packaged like this story I think I am going to have to pass.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- Audio Book Challenge List

Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6)


  1. I so agree with this review. I loved the earlier books, but the last couple have been harder to get through. In fact, I just recently listened to Lover Avenged and was disappointed in all the things that you pointed out about Lover Enshrined. Crappy love story, too many storylines, etc. *sigh* I'm so close to giving up on this one awesome series.

    Jen K
    Romancing the Book

  2. Hi Jen,

    Thanks for your comment and for the info about the books following this. I am going to have to seriously consider whether or not I keep on reading this series, especially if later books echo this one :-(

    - Karissa

  3. This book is really more about V & Jane than it is about Payne & Manny. Payne & Manny almost feel more like side characters than the featured couple, to the point that this is easily Lover Unbound 2.0. Now I'm not complaining - V is one of my favorite characters in the series, so more face (and body!) time with him is A-okay with me.