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Wards's terrific latest picks up the Black Dagger Brotherhood of vampires where Lover Unboundleft off. Phury, a sworn Brother who has also become the Primale, is wrestling with a destiny he doesn't want, an addiction he can't handle and an insurmountable feeling of inadequacy that bleeds over into his love for Cormia, his Chosen First Mate. He holes up at the Brotherhood's rural New York base. The Omega, bent on destroying the vampire race, is meanwhile growing ever stronger, and his long-held plan to destroy the Brothers, via the Lessening Society, is coming to fruition. Younger Brotherhood trainees John Matthew, Qhuinn and Blaylock are learning what it means to come of age and are immersed in their own drama with Qhuinn's malicious cousin, Lash. The stories all reach a shared climax, leading to explosive revelations that set up the next book beautifully. Focusing less on Phury and Cormia and more on the Omega's plot amps the tension on all sides. A subplot involving Rhevenge, John Matthew and the female symphath Xhex is particularly exciting, with Ward diving into varied subspecies, sexual predilections and questions of identity. Ward has outdone herself with this latest Brotherhood novel. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.