New American Library
From the cover of Lover Avenged:
Caldwell, NY, has long been the battleground for the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King, and leader of the Brotherhood. Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood, even though his sister is married to a member. Because he’s a sympath, his identity is a deadly secret- the revelation of which will result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. And as plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll against Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in a darkening world- Elhena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him- and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.
Lover Avenged is the most recent of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, having just been released at the end of April. It may be the longest, but that's hard to say for sure as this book is currently in hardcover, while the rest of the series is in mass market paperback. Either way, it was a book I enjoyed reading a lot.
For the first book in the series focusing mostly on characters outside of the Brotherhood, there was plenty of adventure and excitement. Nearly all of the characters from previous books played major roles: John Matthews, Lash, Xhex, etc. Even Torhment is back after a several book absence and mystery. There were plenty of loose ends for the next book to tie up, even though everything seemed to work out for Rehvenge and Elhena.
The world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is one that keeps getting more and more involved and in depth as the books progress. First of all, we had just the vampires and the Lessers, then it progressed to their aristocracy, and now we have the Sympaths as well, which also has a couple of different castes. Not only that, but various members of each plotting against the others in both groups. Each book shows another facet of their lives and customs, all of it building together to form an interesting whole.
As usual, it seems that the characters can't get a break, although from the little said, Elhena broke the mold by having a happy(ish) childhood. I rather liked her the best of the characters in this book - she knew when she'd made a mistake and made the best of her life thereafter, rather than making excuses for it.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is starting to get more like some of the fantasy series I've enjoyed, where each book really builds off of the previous ones, in such a way that they really do have to be read in order for full enjoyment. Some of the series I've read, such as the early Dark Hunter books by Sherrilyn Kenyon on the other hand, can be read out of order without a problem.
Overall, Lover Avenged is another five star novel, sure to keep you up far past your bedtime, but then, that's when the vampires are out, isn't it?
The series so far:
Other vampire novels I've reviewed:
Blood Noir - Laurell K. Hamilton
Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs