A Novel of The Black Dagger Brotherhood
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now, a dutiful twin must choose between two lives...
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.
The Many Loves of Phury
I don't know if you've ever seen Rock of Love or Flavor of Love or I Love New York on TV, but I'm addicted to these shows. They're basically a case of one guy (or girl) who's looking for love and like twenty women (or men) all of whom, in theory, are in search of true love, too. Each week, another out of the pool candidates is voted off by the main guy (or girl) and I get hooked every time. It's all about chaos and backstabbing and d'oh moments. It's total entertainment.
It's not really romance, though. Yeah... actually, very rarely does it seem to involve true love.
So why is this kind of thing on my mind when I think of Phury? Well... at the start of Lover Enshrined, the Brother is the Primale of the vampire race's Chosen. Which means he has forty mates. Four-oh, as he says. So the numbers game kind of matches up. Of course, the parallel between that kind of TV show and what goes down for Phury ends right there. For Phury, his life with these females is not a reality show and not just because there are no cameras or cat fights. The Chosen are the Scribe Virgin's sacred group of females, and as Primale, he's responsible for laying with each of them so they may birth the next generation of Brothers and Chosen.
It's a tough place for anyone to be- harder still if you've been a celibate for the last two hundred years. And if you happen to fall in love... well, where Phury is will snap your heart in half.
To me, Phury embodies the truly heroic quality of self-sacrifice... to a fault. He's taken way too much responsibility for things over the course of his life and becoming the Primale is another example of this tragic selflessness of his: Sure, it was great that he stepped up to the plate for his brother Vishous, taking V's place as head of the Chosen- but in doing so, he strapped himself into a role that is untenable.
And like I said, that's even before he falls for his First Mate, Cormia.
Cormia is a Chosen by background, but not inclination or nature. The strict rules and isolated nature of her life wear on her, and when she ends up at the Brotherhood's mansion with Phury, her world opens up and she starts to truly get to know herself.... and in the process, she also learns about what she wants. Which is Phury.
Watching the two of them fall in love was both exhilarating... and heart wrenching. The closer they got, the more painful the realities of the Primale's role became for both of them. And for me as the author.
Here's the thing with heroes, though. They man up. And Phury does. Totally. I'll leave you to learn the particulars, but let's just say if I thought he was a hero at the start of the book- by the end? He was frickin' Superman.
I adore Lover Enshrined because the thing is, I'm a sap. I want the guy to get the girl (or the girl to get the guy)- I really need for everything to work out in the end. So who knows, maybe I watch those TV shows not just for the chaos, but in the hopes that some of it actually is real and not reality-TV.
With Phury and Cormia, though? I can tell you straight, it's all about the love. They are definitely the real deal and they get a happily ever after that lasts longer than just one season. They get forever... and I can't think of two people who deserve it more!
I hope you like Phury as much as I enjoyed writing him!
— J.R. Ward
To keep up-to-date, input your email address, and we will contact you on publication
Please alert me via email when: