Feminism & The Black Dagger Legacy: Blood Kiss by JR WARD

Blood Kiss

Blood KissBlack Dagger Legacy
By J.R. Ward

Read by Jim Frangione
Audiobook from: 
PRH/Penguin Audio
Dec 01, 2015 | 760 Minutes
Print & E-Book Formats | PRH/Signet | Dec 01, 2015 | Mass Market Paperback 432 Pages

Audiobook & Giveaway Copy provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.
And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated–and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.


My Take Oblong


In recent volumes of Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood we had a big governmental shakeup and a massive attack by the Lessers killed many members of the vampire species. The hereditary King, Wrath, reorganized the governance and dismantled the monarchy but he was elected to head up the society anyway.  The brothers have decided to open up a training school for the younger vampires, including women.  Now, in this society there are commoners and the nobility.  The women of the nobility are treated like fine china by everyone other than the Lessers.   But there are two women in the BDB already. 

I like the feminist consciousness raising, in the old generation and the new one. It is happening with the commoners and nobility, the male and female characters.  I like how they aren’t pulling any punches with Paradise’s training.  She is super smart and is already becoming a good investigator. The young are coming into their own; preparing to take on the mantle of responsibility.

I am not crazy about the tough-guy posturing of all the male characters.  They all behave, I think, like adolescent males.  They talk tough, act tough and really what’s it all about? I believe it is about not having to develop the finer points of the characters. We’re told about Butch’s religiosity, but the faith doesn’t show through the bravura.

On the other hand, Ward spends quite a bit of time developing the female characters, and to some degree makes the younger men a little less attached to the “shit-kickers.”   The non-BDB males in the species, like Paradise’s father are pretty much assigned effeminate vocal characteristics in the audio book.

And, the BDB old guard is still around to give you your fix of BDB hotness. It will be interesting to see how the youngsters work the name dropping for which the brotherhood is famous.   In some of the BDB books, Ward seemed to be losing the thread of her story with philosophical rationalizations of the world she built.  I didn’t find that here, she seems to have gotten back on track.

Jim Frangione did a perfect narration of the book.  When narrating a woman speaking  Frangione didn’t make them simper or sound like the vocal equivalent of a Barbie doll; he gave the female characters dignity and power. 

I am interested in this new series spin off; it’s an interesting time for the world JR Ward has imagined and I think it has provided a renewal for the series.


Links Blue Horizontal


Publisher: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318070/blood-kiss-by-j-r-ward/audio

Author: http://www.jrward.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Kiss-Black-Dagger-Legacy-ebook/dp/B00UG8RBGC


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  • Do you think of yourself as a feminist? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever trained for or held a position traditionally reserved for men? If yes, was it commented on? (I was a phone repair person for a summer in the 70s and it was commented on a lot).
  • Have you ever experienced sexism?



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