Prisoner of Night
By J.R. Ward
Read by Jim Frangione
Part of The Black Dagger Brotherhood World
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (January 2019)
Length: 416 pages
Runtime: 6 hours and 25 minutes
From #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward comes an unforgettable story of passion and vengeance in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world.
When Ahmare’s brother is abducted, there is nothing she won’t do to get him back safely. She is unprepared, however, for the lengths she will have to go to save his life. Paired with a dangerous but enticing prisoner, she embarks on an odyssey into another world.
Duran, betrayed by his father, imprisoned in a dungeon for decades, has survived only because of his thirst for vengeance. He has been biding his time to escape and is shocked to find an unlikely and temporary freedom in the form of a determined young female.
Battling against deadly forces and facing unforeseen peril, the pair are in a race to save Ahmare’s brother. As time runs out, and the unthinkable looms, even true love may not be enough to carry them through. https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Prisoner-of-Night/J-R-Ward/The-Black-Dagger-Brotherhood-World/9781508282655
The “Black Dagger Brotherhood” series by J.R. Ward introduced us to a species of Vampires through their most elite warriors, the Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) who are all wealthy and hot, and for the most part emotionally messed-up. At the beginning of the series the BDB all lived together in a fabulous mansion with “Doggen” a servant class whose biology as not revealed. It’s a very complex and finely drawn parallel world in which the species lives in the human world by “hiding in plain sight.” Her vampires do not do daytime and they can eat!
In the original BDB books Ward drops so many luxury brand names so often it must have been product placement — especially with Grey Goose and Courvoisier. When the series starts, the “King” doesn’t want to be the king and instead is the head the warriors in a battle against the “Lesser.” The vampires start to pair off through the beginning books in the series. Then part vampire humans turn up, then the society, which has previously relegated females to a barefoot and pregnant (for the well-off) or worker bees (for the non-elite).
As the series progresses the mythos of the world is revealed, the society and politics are revealed to have a lot of unrest, there’s a terrible massacre and political upheaval.
Then we start to meet other sort-of-vampire species, The Shadows, Angels, etc. I
The vampires seem to engage in a lot of substance abuse, smoking, criminal activity, are very patriarchal, and they have a hard time conceiving. There’s a huge gulf between the wealthy vampire-elite and the poor. Until recently women were treated like chattel. With the materialism of the most elite, the rulers and warriors, I wonder if this species will end up making themselves extinct. I have a hard time empathizing with this materialistic bunch. Okay, the King is working on reform, but whether that is going to be supported by the elite changing, is another story
In other words, Vampires are just like people, this is how Ward gets us to this point with a woman, Ahmare, trying to rescue her brother from a bad drug deal and meeting up with the crazy, super-villain in search of his
precious beloved. He’s so crazy he’s been keeping a Vampire,, Duran prisoner for 21 years, and he removed the larynx of anyone who works for him. Charming.
The plot is really convoluted but, except for weird tech and very expensive underground complexes, long life, great strength and an aversion to daylight, this story could be about a human drug-cult clashing with a human religious-cult. Duran, despite having been a tortured prisoner for 21 years seems remarkably sane. His father, in a twist of strangeness never seems to have changed any passwords in 21-years.
The situation when they get to it is remarkably simple to solve: one of those I would think too easy and what will the remaining fourth of the book be about. This is only BDB by virtue of the majority of the characters being vampires. I never connected to the characters.
Frangione has narrated every one of the BDB-world audios to which I have listened. I can’t recall the tenor of each book’s tenor, but in this one he seems particularly emphatic and serious: Each sentence, each utterance, is gravely essential and very important.
There have been several story lines introduced: new species or sub-species, change in societal norms: drug lords, adoption. Some have come around and others seem to be one off. I think this may be a one off item. We’ll see: the BDB was a seductive, exciting series but the rest of the BDB world, I am not so sure.