Saturday, April 06, 2013
Lover At Last
I am a die-hard Black Dagger Brotherhood fan but even I was a little worried about how J.R. Ward would pull off the story of Blay and Qhuinn. This is a relationship that's been simmering for a while now, and frankly, we readers are very invested in our favorite bromance. Thankfully, the Warden pulls it off...mostly. And I am of the camp that any visit with the BDB is a worthwhile visit, no matter the minor irritations that need attention. Let me explain.
Things Ward got precisely right: The intimacy. It might have been understandable that Ward shied away from the homosexual aspect, but she didn't, not on any level. (cue applause here). Also, the character development of all was spot on; I believed Xcor was longing for his Chosen, and the interplay between iAm and Trez was awesome. In fact, any time Trez showed up I was delighted. I am totally in love with the Shadows, and they bring extra spice to a landscape I thought I knew very well. I also like the way the war between the Brotherhood and the BoB is heating up; it's a totally logical progression and I foresee rough times ahead. I admit to feeling a bit choked up when Qhuinn is chosen, and the airplane flight is classic. Also, that epilogue? Tremendous! Except for one little issue...
Things Ward needs to consider: Stop centering plots around misunderstandings and withholding of information. That's been done and overdone, and it needs to stop. Next: Not everyone feels instant love/longing. I got a little tired of how often desire was instantaneous and overwhelming, especially since it was particularly rampant in LAL. A slow build of interest would be all right, you know. All the side stories? Too much. Too much set up, too much wandering...we need more focus and less set up for future books. If a book isn't 600 pages, it's okay. Padding isn't really necessary. As much as I love Assail, his story with Sola needed the background; we really needed to know about his business (and the bit with Elan was excellent). And that one little issue? "Don't Stop Believin'"? Really?
Still, even with the minor annoyances, Lover at Last is a worthy entry into the series. I love the world building, and I love the characters; there's nothing like good banter between the Brothers. Sure, I could point out the relentless branding and the overuse of the Old World language and accents, but this series is still one of the best around.