Monday, April 18, 2016

Review: The Beast by J.R. Ward

Publication Date: April 5th 2016 by NAL
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Rhage 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...

Spoilers if you haven’t read Mary and Rhage’s story in Lover Eternal

My Thoughts:
I read the first three books of The Black Dagger Brotherhood years ago and just recently I dived back into their world with the spin-off, Blood Kiss, which featured Butch and Marissa. I’d never read their story so the end of last year I finally got back to the series and read their story.  I love that J.R. Ward is re-visiting our favorite couples, showing them in the future facing the unavoidable ups and downs that come with being married or having a long-term relationship.

Mary and Rhage are still in love, but experiencing a little disconnect because of some internal heartache they are each facing.  In Lover Eternal, Mary and Rhage’s story, The Scribe Virgin cured Mary’s cancer and gave her the gift of immortality when she found out that the cancer treatments made is so Mary was unable to bear children.  At the time just the fact that Mary wasn’t going to die, and would have a life as long as Rhage was incredible and such a relief!  Children seemed like a small matter to them when death was such a huge threat, but now as Mary and Rhage witness the happiness their Brothers are experiencing by having their own young it reveals a desire neither thought they’d have. This desire creates a hole in Rhage’s heart.

Mary has her own issues when Bitty, a charge of Safe Place, is orphaned by the death of her mother.  This brings all the grief of Mary’s own losses and sickness all back to her and Mary struggles with her own feelings. 

It was heartening to see Mary and Rhage go through their difficult emotional journeys and weather it together, even though it did seem like it took a while for them to share their burdens.  Probably it seemed longer than it actually was because the POVs kept switching to other characters. 

Layla and Assail had their own chapters, and while I though Assail’s story was interesting I wasn’t invested in Layla’s.  I hadn’t read Assail’s previous story and yet I found this troubled man and his story compelling.  I hope he gets his own romance and HEA.  Layla’s chapters were pretty boring to me because, IMO, nothing really happened other than her wandering the halls of the training center when she’s not on mandated bed rest because of her high risk pregnancy.  Layla laments her past, falling for the wrong man, Xcor?  I didn’t read the previous story, but even if I had I’d probably be frustrated because nothing really happens on that front.  Thankfully, there was no Lesser POV in this installment!

Mary and Rhage’s romance continues to be one of my favorites!  Rhage just melted my heart on several occasions.   Just the way he treats Mary as if she’s the only beautiful woman in the world, shows her she is his world makes me adore that man! Mary just could not have a bigger heart if she tried so I’m thrilled she has such a beautiful man.  I just checked and their story continues in J.R. Ward's second book in the BDB spin-off, BlackDagger Legacy: Blood Vow set to release December 6th this year.  I’ll definitely be picking that up.

Now that I’m back in the BDB world I’ll have to go back and read some of the installments I’ve missed out on previously so that I have some history on the coming stories.  

4 Suns

Connect with J.R. Ward:

Website | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads


  1. I just recently read this one and I agree. I gave it a 4 too. Rhage's interactions with Bitty is heart melting and then Bitty's embracing the others at the house.

  2. I didn't even know about this spin-off -- I read the first five books and then gave up (the ending/twist in Lover Unbound drove me crazy) but this sounds great!!