By: J.R. Ward
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Romance – Paranormal – General
Release Date: April 10, 2018
14 Hours and 30 Minutes
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Sola Morte, former cat burglar and safecracker, has given up her old life on the wrong side of the law. On the run from a drug lord’s family, she is lying low far from Caldwell, keeping her nose clean and her beloved grandmother safe. Her heart, though, is back up north, with the only man who has ever gotten through her defenses: Assail, son of Assail, who never meant to fall in love—and certainly not with a human woman. But they have no future, and not just because she doesn’t know he is a vampire, but because he is not about to stop dealing arms to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Fate, however, has other plans for them. When Assail falls into a coma and lingers on the verge of death, his cousins seek out Sola and beg her to give him a reason to live. The last thing she wants is a return to her past, but how can she leave him to die?
As a lethal new enemy of the vampires shows its face, and the Brotherhood needs Assail back on his feet, Sola finds herself not only a target, but a mission-critical force in a war she doesn’t understand. And when Assail’s truth comes out, will she run from the horror . . . or follow her heart into the arms of the male who loves her more than life itself? http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/318062/the-thief/
This reads like the rest of this long-running series and its various spin-offs and so, if you are a fan who has followed these series, this picks up after Assail, originally a baddie, decides to free himself from his drug addiction and sides with Wrath. Assail’s story intersects with Sola when he rescues her from a couple of drug dealers and she has to get out of town. His detox is not going well and his family brings in Sola with whom he has bonded to help him when the doctors have given up hope.
Reluctantly, has Sola obeyed her Grandmother’s directives: Sola owes her abuela everything.
Meanwhile, the family from whom Assail rescued Sola is on a vendetta. Will Assail rescue Sola or will it be the other way around.
There are so many story lines here: Vishous and Jane’s relationship, Throe inventing a new weapon in an attempt to overthrow the King, Wrath. The weapon has long-reaching effects on the Brotherhood and civilians. And, Throe has a long game in mind.
The trouble between Vishous and Jane is, possibly, the most interesting world-building development. I never thought strife between a bonded couple would be possible. It’s part of the big changes in a society where the women have long been subservient. In recent books this has included two female fighters, the introduction of women at the training facility
With all the story lines coming together, it’s a wonder Ward is able to complete several, continue and reaveal more about others and, even introduce more.
It’s consistent with the series, except that recently, in Ward’s work, I have become aware of a distinctly Judeo-Christian slant. I don’t know if it reflects a change in Ward’s own beliefs, as I have seen happen with other writers, or it’s just natural series development; especially in a created world that is half-created and half-realistic.
In any event, as with the other volumes, the avuncular Frangoine has down the voices, the timing, and the feel of the series. And the story may turn out to be more than just an enjoyable distraction; with so many story-lines it may be a linchpin for the series. I’m going to hold on and see what happens in this and coming books.