Literary Review: Lover Enshrined (Book 6) by J R Ward

The joy of siblings… Phury has spent his entire life utterly and completely devoted to his twin brother, Zsadist believing him to be scarred beyond redemption. Even when Zsadist found his mate in Bella, Phury constantly worried over the chance and possibility that Zsadist would fall off the deep end… But what ended up happening was that it became apparent over time that it would be Phury who would not only fall over the deep end, but would be left to his own devices when everyone who cared about him gave up on him.

But before moving on you could find out more about Phury’s backstory at Book Thingo: Black Dagger Brotherhood Cheat Sheet Part 6
– Black Dagger Brotherhood: Phury, son of Ahgony
– The Primale and the Chosen
– Layla
– Selena

Well known as to be the more handsome of the two brothers, Phury felt a sense of devotion to the point of celibacy believing that as long as he felt that Zsadist was in danger of being a danger to everyone around him, Phury could not enjoy himself or live his own life. Granted spending over a century searching for his lost twin brother could do that to a guy… and feeling like Zsadist was the shadow over their family’s memory that they all but forgotten about the son that was still alive and around could do that to a guy (in the more extreme of situations).

With his fantastic mane of multicoloured hair, Phury should have been in Hollywood’s league with the ladies, but he’d stuck with his vow of celibacy. There was room for one and only one love in his life, and it had been slowly killing him for years. ― J.R. Ward, Dark Lover

So this novel became the growth and revelation to Phury as he continued to fall deeper and deeper into his own world to the point that everyone around him lost faith in him. In fact the only being that had any faith (outwardly) in Phury is the soft spoken and ethereal Cormia… his first mate from “The Chosen”.

Available Summary:

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body but his heart for herself- she sees the emotionally scarred male behind all his noble responsibility. But while the war with the Lessening Society grows more grim, and tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, Phury must decide between duty and love.

In a lot of ways I felt that out of those directly considered as part of the Brotherhood (Wrath, Rhage, Zsadist, Butch, Vishous and Phury), this was probably the weakest of the storylines for me in regards to romances. In terms of personal growth for the male protagonist this is probably one of the more realistic and closest to that of a true drug addiction.

Why my feeling of a weak romance? Because Cormia, I felt was a weak as the female protagonist in this particular novel. After a string of headstrong, independent women in the first few novels, this seemed a bit of a particular let down. Granted Cormia did have a little bit of an independent streak in her starting out, and being in her shell did make sense when she was brought into the world of the Brotherhood… but her growth there after had a small sense of being contrived in ways.

Granted there are some good points made when it came to Cormia… particularly:

If you truly believe what you’ve been taught, then that’s fine. But if you find yourself fighting an inner voice in your head all the time then it’s not where you’re suppose to be. Being a good liar is not a virtue. – Bella to Cormia from Lover Enshrined

Then again… the passage of time seemed off to me as well, which might have had something to do with it.

Phury had a habit of being overly self-sacrificing, which was went well beyond being virtuous to being almost ridiculous… those his original reasons were noble to be sure at the same time it became something where (as a friend once told me):

Being selfless all the time can be considered selfish

No friggin kidding. I mean towards the second half of Lover Unbound Phury’s reasoning for taking Vishous place as Primale of The Chosen was:

Love was worth sacrificing for, even if it wasn’t yours. – Phury in regards to taking over Vishous place as Primale from Lover Unbound

Even then his other reason for doing what he chose to do was even more interesting as to his mindset at the time:

I got a couple of centuries of celibacy to make up for, what better way to take the edge off? – Phury in taking over Vishous place as Primale from Lover Unbound

If you are confused with the above quotes to put it into laymen’s terms… The Primale is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood whose primary “duty” to the species was to procreate with everyone of “The Chosen” so that more members could be inducted into the Black Dagger Brotherhood. So Phury would become one with his own full-fledged harem of women…

So yeeeaaaah… This is very easily the novel that I won’t be able to read or listen through more than the first time except to follow all the other storylines that are being woven into the general story at large. Ah well… there is always the next book… maybe.