Black Dagger Brotherhood

Black Dagger Brotherhood

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is an erotic paranormal romance series by author J. R. Ward. The series focuses on six vampire brothers and warriors who live together and defend their race against "lessers", de-souled humans who threaten their kind.

Important Terms

vampire n. Member of a species separate from that of homo sapiens. Vampires must drink the blood of the opposite sex to survive. Human blood will keep them alive, though the strength does not last long. Following their transitions, which occur in their mid-twenties, they are unable to go out into sunlight and must feed from the vein regularly. Vampires may not 'convert' humans through a bite or transfer of blood, though they are in rare cases able to breed with the other species. Vampires can dematerialize at will, though they must be able to calm themselves and concentrate to do so and may not carry anything heavy with them. They are able to strip the memories of humans, provided such memories are short term. Some vampires are able to read minds. Life expectancy is indeterminate.

Black Dagger Brotherhood pr n. Highly-trained vampire warriors who protect their species against the Lessening Society. As a result of selective breeding within the race, Brothers possess immense physical and mental strength as well as rapid healing capabilities. They are not siblings for the most part and are inducted into the Brotherhood upon nomination by the Brothers. Aggressive, self-reliant and secretive by nature, they exist apart from civilians, having little contact with members of the other classes except when they need to feed. They are the subject of legend and the object of reverence within the vampire world.

blood slave n. Male or female vampire who has been subjugated to serve the blood needs of another. The practice of keeping blood slaves has largely been discontinued, though it has not been outlawed.

The Chosen n. Female vampires who have been bred to serve the Scribe Virgin. They are considered members of the aristocracy, though they are spiritually rather than temporally focused. They have little or no interaction with males, but can be mated at the Scribe Virgin’s direction to propagate their class. They have the ability to prognosticate.

doggen n. Member of the servant class within the vampire world. Doggens have old, conservative traditions about service to their superiors, following a formal code of dress and behavior. They are able to go out during the day, but they age relatively quickly. Life expectancy is approximately five hundred years.

The Fade pr n. Non-temporal realm where the dead reunite with their loved ones and pass eternity.

First Family pr n. The king and queen of the vampires and any children they may have.

hellren n. Male vampire who has been mated to a female. Males may take more than one female as mate.

leelan adj. A term of endearment loosely translated as 'dearest one'.

Lessening Society pr n. Order of slayers convened by the Omega for the purpose of eradicating the vampire species.

lesser n. De-souled human who targets vampires for extermination as a member of the Lessening Society. Lessers must be stabbed through the chest in order to be killed, otherwise they are ageless. They do not eat or drink and are impotent. Over time, their hair, skin and irises lose pigmentation until they are blonde, blushless and pale-eyed. They smell like baby powder. Inducted into the Society by the Omega, they retain a ceramic jar thereafter into which their heart was placed after it was removed.

needing period n. Female vampire's time of fertility, generally lasting for two days and accompanied by intense sexual cravings. Occurs approximately five years after a female's transition and then once a decade thereafter. All males respond to some degree if they are around a female in her need. It can be a dangerous time with conflicts and fights breaking out between competing males, particularly if the female is not mated.

princeps n. Highest level of the vampire aristocracy, second only to members of the First Family or the Scribe Virgin’s Chosen. Must be born to the title; it may not be conferred.

pyrocant n. Refers to a critical weakness in an individual. The weakness can be internal, such as an addiction, or external, such as a lover.

rythe n. Ritual manner of assuaging honor granted by one who has offended another. If accepted, the offended chooses a weapon and strikes the offender who presents him or herself without defenses.

shellan n. Female vampire who has been mated to a male. Females generally do not take more than one mate due to the highly territorial nature of bonded males.

The Tomb pr n. Sacred vault of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Used as a ceremonial site as well as a storage facility for the jars of lessers. Ceremonies performed there include inductions, funerals and disciplinary actions against Brothers. No one may enter except for members of the Brotherhood, the Scribe Virgin, or candidates for induction.

transition n. Critical moment in a vampire’s life when he or she transforms into an adult. Thereafter, they must drink the blood of the opposite sex to survive and are unable to withstand sunlight. Occurs generally in the mid-twenties. Some vampires do not survive their transitions, males in particular. Prior to their transitions, vampires are physically weak, sexually unaware and unresponsive, and unable to dematerialize. [ Glossary of Terms [] ]


Black Dagger Brotherhood

Wrath is the King of the vampires. He is the last pureblood vampire in existence. Essentially blind, he is the leader who was not willing to ascend the throne. His story is told in "Dark Lover". [ J. R. Ward Character Guide [] ]

Rhage is the strongest and most beautiful of the Brothers. Cursed by "The Scribe Virgin", he is possessed with a dark side that is a danger to everyone. His story is told in "Lover Eternal" He falls in love with a human named Mary and wishes to take her as his shellan. [ J. R. Ward Character Guide [] ]

Zsadist is the scarred, menacing Brother. [ J. R. Ward Character Guide [] ] Taken as an infant from his family, he's forced into blood slavery until his twin, Phury, rescues him. His story is told in "Lover Awakened".

Butch/Dehstroyer is the only human to be allowed within the Brotherhood, and Wrath's cousin. This connection to him allows him to be "turned" and he is initiated in the BDB. He lives at the "Pit", a two bedroom house connected to the mansion where the King and other Brothers reside, with Vishous and he is a friend to all the warriors. An ex-homicide detective, he was lovingly given the nickname "Cop" by the vampires. He is the object of an ancient Lesser Prophecy, and has the ability to sense them wherever they are and can absorb them into himself. His story is told in "Lover Revealed".

Vishous is the most intelligent and the one who is specially gifted. His curse is his ability to prognosticate: he sees the future, though not the 'when' of events so he is tortured by his inability to save those he loves from danger. Tattooed on his face, his privates, and his entire hand, he has the ability of psychometry. His story is told in "Lover Unbound". [ J. R. Ward Character Guide [] ]

Phury is Zsadist's twin brother and a celibate who cannot truly live because of everything his biological brother has lost. [ J. R. Ward Character Guide [] ] Phury is incredibly loyal to his brother, even shooting off his own leg to save his twin. His story is told in "Lover Enshrined".

Rehvenge is brother-in-law to Zsadist, half symphath, and owner of a local club called ZeroSum. His story is told in "Lover Avenged".

Tohrment took over leadership of the Brotherhood when Wrath became King. He was the steady and calm brother, until a tragedy changed his life. [ J. R. Ward Character Guide [] ]

John Matthew/Tehrror is the reincarnation of Darius - this has yet to be discovered and as yet he is believed to be his son after blood tests revealed strong similarities in their DNA. Before learning that he was a pretrans vampire he lived a bleak existence. At one point, he was cornered in the hallway to his apartment and raped by an unknown human. In despair John turned to the suicide prevention network in Caldwell and met Mary Luce. He followed her home so that he could meet her - he was born without a voicebox and couldn't speak to her over the phone. During this meeting, Mary's neighbor, Bella, visited and sensed John is a vampire like her. As the introductions ensue, Bella notices a bracelet John is wearing which carries his name in the Old Language. The name of a brother, Terrhor. Bella contacts the brotherhood and John learns what he is and that he will soon go through his transition to become an adult male vampire. He was also invited to live amongst his kind, at which time he lived with Tohrment and his expectant mate Wellsie.

Nontemporal Beings

the Scribe Virgin is the vampire's deity, a mystical force and the creator of the vampire race. "She" acts as counseler to the king, keeper of the vampire archives, and dispenser of privileges. She exists in a nontemporal realm and possesses great powers.

the Omega is the lesser's counterpart to the Scribe Virgin. It is a malevolent, mystical figure who has targeted the vampires for extinction out of resentment toward the Scribe Virgin for her abiliy to create life. It also exists in a nontemporal realm and has extensive powers.

The Series


"Dark Lover" is the first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It tells the story of Wrath - the last purebred vampire left on the planet. The undescended king of the vampire species, Wrath lives only to fight in an endless war with the soulless vampire slayers, lessers, who brutally murdered his parents centuries ago. As leader of the Brotherhood, his only solace is in fighting, not looking to the past or future, shunning his duties as King.

Within the vampire world, Wrath is known as the Blind King, due to his extremely poor eyesight, though this does not affect his powers on the battlefield nor his ability to sense the feelings of others around him.

Blaming himself for not intervening when his parents were slain, Wrath has wrapped himself in a cocoon of self-hatred and emotional distance, but Dark Lover tells of his enlivening. When the lessers kill one of his best fighters, Wrath is left with the responsibility to help the warrior’s half-human daughter, Beth, through her "transition". It is through Beth that Wrath learns to feel and look toward the future of his life and of the species as a whole.


"Lover Eternal" is second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It tells the story of Rhage who is considered to be the most attractive of all the Brothers. His beauty has earned him the nickname 'Hollywood'.

Rhage was cursed in the early eighteen hundreds for angering "The Scribe Virgin". Due to his continued recklessness and uncontrollability just after his "transition", "The Scribe Virgin" gave him "The Beast". Fearsome in its beauty "the Beast" resembles a huge dragon with massive claws and a jaw filled with sharp fangs. It was a punishment designed to regulate Rhage's energy and moods. Whenever he gets out of control, "the Beast" comes out. When this occurs Rhage's eyes turn a brilliant white and his body mutates in a grisly display of tearing and ruptures - letting "the Beast" emerge. When it is out, Rhage is totally suppressed and he is in no way able to control "the Beast", who knows neither friend nor foe. Because of this, Rhage has to keep "the Beast" from coming out, subduing it through the satiation of a good fight or sex.

Rhage's sexual exploits are the stuff of legend in the Vampire society. It is said that fathers tell their sons the story of Rhage when the time is right. But Rhage does not relish this reputation and is, in fact, eager to cast it off.

In "Lover Eternal" Rhage meets Mary, a human female who he is unexplainably drawn to. Mary is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage's protection. However with a life-threatening curse of her own she is not looking for love and lost her faith in miracles long ago. But when Rhage's attraction turns to something more emotional he has to fight to make Mary his alone.


"Lover Awakened" is the third book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It tells the story of Zsadist, the most lethal of the brothers. A former blood slave who was mercilessly tortured during the first hundred years of his life, Z is the one who has fallen farthest from grace. "Lover Awakened" tells of his redemption.

Not long after his birth Zsadist was taken from his home by a nursemaid. After her death he was sold into slavery and forced to serve in the house of a vampire aristocrat while he was "pre-transition". Hours after his "transition" he found himself tied down with thick black bands being tattooed into the skin around his wrists and neck (his pulse points). Overnight he had become a "blood slave" - a male or female vampire who is subjugated to serve the blood needs of another. For a hundred years, Zsadist had to suffer through the horror of being at the mercy of a brutal vampire female, "The Mistress". Over time Zsadist became numb. His canary yellow eyes, similar to that of his twin Phury, grew black and soulless a reflection of how he felt inside.

Though Phury rescued Zsadist he still bears the physical and mental scars from a terrible past. He becomes famous for his sinister deeds, especially where females are concerned. He is considered a savage, feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion and terror his only passion - until he rescues a beautiful female from the Lessening Society.

Bella had been instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses; and though he considers himself unworthy of her, she strives to prove her feelings and her belief in him.


"Lover Revealed" is the fourth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world- to engage in the bolster war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, found by a miracle, the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love might may not be enough to save him...


"Lover Unbound" is the fifth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous son of the Bloodletter possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretran growing up in his father's war camp, he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time- until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that cannot include her.


"Lover Enshrined" is the sixth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Fiercely loyal to the 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.


"Lover Avenged" will be the seventh book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It is due out in May of 2009. [ Paranormal Romance Forum [] ]


* Ward, J.R., "Dark Lover", Signet Eclipse, 2005.
* Ward, J.R., "Lover Eternal", Signet Eclipse, 2005.
* Ward, J.R., "Lover Awakened", Signet Eclipse, 2006.Web

External links

* [ J. R. Ward's Offical Site]
* [ Black Dagger Brotherhood Yahoo Group]
* [ Official Black Dagger Brotherhood Message Board]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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