Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7)

Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) - J.R. Ward It took me awhile to get through this book... perhaps because I've been sucking down the BDB books like the guys do their alcohol. And since this book focuses more on Rehv (Rehvenge), I found myself needing a break.BUT, this book is every bit as good as the best in the series. I really appreciated FINALLY understanding more about Rehv's life and how he came into being. The connection to the sympaths, how sympaths function (more or less), and the hows and whys of who Rehv is. I was able to let go of some of my prejudices against him and his shady ways and open my eyes (and my heart) enough to see him. Just like Ehlena had to do.Yeah, in some ways, it seems like the fairy tale of the Brotherhood - Rehvenge and Ehlena. But the author weaves her magic spell and pulls the cords tightly... she knows just how to manipulate her readers, by putting them in Ehlena's place and then pulling the ripcord, so that we free fall along with Ehlena. So that we realize that we're really no better and no worse than those we deem to put "beneath" us. Yes, we've seen some of Rehvenge's bad side; and it doesn't completely excuse the good he's done. But somehow, balance again comes into play. Balance is the watch word of this author.Ehlena's father and her situation is... heartbreaking. Her loneliness and her beauty and her goodness - all counterbalance to Rehv. Or so we think. There are skeletons in this girl's closet that she doesn't even know about. And when the reveal hits, it's perfect.I wasn't disgusted by Rehv's and Ehlena's courtship or love. It felt right. The question was, how was the author going to mop it all up and make it work? Once again, she doesn't disappoint. As for Wrath... well, good to see more of the guy! And how wonderful to see some king come out in him again! The whole kill-Wrath sub-plot was genius and almost fell by the wayside, because it was about time! The main problem I have with the glymera is that Wrath just took up the kingship a few years ago; so why suddenly does the glymera care? Why the sudden power surge? Or did they just feel as if they already had the power before Wrath decided to be king again? I always felt as if the author missed an opportunity by not having a big KING ceremony with the vampire population. Yes, we saw a ceremony with the Brotherhood and for Beth as Queen. But not the general vampire population - not the glymera.As for Lash... well, he finally seemed to be of some use. Hooking up with the drug kingpins and the sympaths was finally worthy of the son of Omega. We saw Lash as we know him well, but even more... his new "evil" really makes him something. The sympath royalty... OK, I admit it, the author got me here. I wasn't up with what was going on until the reveal. And wow! I'm not often surprised or shocked, so one up for the author! It was chillingly wonderful, bitingly horrific, and just right. I almost shelved this book as "horror", because in so many ways, it fits.Let's just say that the ending is a save from hell - for many. I didn't believe that the author could pull it off, but she did in a stunning way.I still don't get the Xhex-John thing, but I guess I will in the next book. I hope.I'm still in a bit of awe as I type this review. But I'm loving it!