The Chosen by J.R. Ward
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #15
Published by Penguin Random House on April 4, 2017
Pages: 544 pages
Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.
Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.
As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.
Starting The Chosen was a journey in and of itself, but closing to that last page was so bittersweet that I’m still reeling.
Every book after Lover Mine – I was going to say The King but I think things switched up for me earlier than that – my initial reaction to a new release by J.R. Ward has been with apprehension and hesitancy. Seriously, after the tumultuous emotional rollercoaster that was John Matthews’ story I just don’t know if I am really ready for the emotional rollercoaster Ward was going to present with each new installment afterwards. I know I sound like a wimp but after 14 books, The Chosen not included, I still find myself shocked, surprised and teary-eyed.
Just like it’s older siblings The Chosen had me going through so many emotions that I seriously couldn’t keep up. From Layla and Xcor’s storyline, to the situation with the Band of Bastards, to the issues with the Brothers, and finally to the the existence of the Lessers, Omega, and The Scribe Virgin (or her successor to be more specific) you would think that too many things were going on to keep up. The pacing of The Chosen was so well done that I never felt overwhelmed, if anything I couldn’t understand why Ward was trying to rip us apart and then attempt to put us back together.
After The King and The Shadows I wouldn’t put anything past Ward, whether it’s a character’s mortality or the possibility of my love for a character to remain. In The Chosen she really played on both of these elements and really played up on what I love about the fiction genre; anything is possible whether it makes sense to you or not, but fiction isn’t really supposed to make sense, it’s all about the imagination of the author.
With all the history that I have with these characters, almost 10-11 years going strong, I found myself really disappointed in a few of my favorite characters. One in particular, who is usually so level-headed and the voice of reason when everything else is in chaos, really showed his butt in The Chosen and had me giving him serious side eye. Another character in question I sort of expected him to show out because he has yet to show a mature side of him, but I have to admit that he even surprised me with some of his shenanigans. Lastly, my most favorite character really, REALLY, pissed me off with his actions and behavior. I don’t want to say too much about him but I hope that Ward doesn’t break my heart with this one, but this character has always had a mind of his own so he might just say the heck with what the fans or Ward wants.
Reading a series as large as the Black Dagger Brotherhood I have to say that I appreciated the changes and growth that I’m seeing in some of the characters and in the overall series storyline. Usually when a series gets this large things become stagnant and repetitive, but each installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood is never the same as the other and you’ll never be able to predict what could happen next.
With all of that being said about The Chosen, I’m both apprehensive and excited about what’s next in this series, especially after Ward’s reveal two months ago. To be quite honest, I’ve been through so much with these characters that I can’t see my reading life without them so I’ll take them as they come with no regrets.