This novella is set in the world of the Brotherhood featuring two entirely new characters. Ahmare is seeking to gain her brother’s freedom from Chalen, his brutal captor, forced to comply with demands that stretch her moral limits. Duran is also one of Chalen’s captives, imprisoned for 21 years because he won’t divulge the location of something precious to this heartless leader of a silent force. Ahmare and Duran are made to team up to fulfill the final challenge, both having similar goals but with differing motivations.
There’s no lead up to the action in this story as it ramps up immediately. We learn about Ahmare and Duran through their revelations to each other as they make their way to the secret destination. Duran’s tragic history is heartbreaking and despite the brutality he’s experienced, there’s a sense of innocence about him that tempers the violent aspect of his nature. Ahmare is formidable in her own right and recognizes Duran’s nobility. I was struck by the constant contrasts of good and evil, violence and tenderness, passion and affection. All transitioned at will, making this an emotionally laden story filled with contradictions. And, as Duran’s history is slowly revealed, the discoveries are shocking.
I was happy to get the audio version because Jim Frangione knows how to deliver these stories. It moves at breakneck speed, not reading at all like a short story because so much happened. Ahmare and Duran are always at the center and it was remarkable how well defined they become. There are outcomes that I suspect will impact the Brotherhood and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of these characters. This was such a good story and I’m pleased to have enjoyed yet another novella in the series.
- Release Date: January 9, 2019
- Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #16.5
- Narrator: Jim Frangione
- Audio Length: 6 hours, 25 minutes
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(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)