Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7) - US edition

Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7) - Australian/UK editionLast updated: 1/4/2016 — new information in italics

These cheat sheets summarise what we know so far about the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Click here for a round-up of BDB-related posts on Book Thingo.

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Note that the cheat sheets have not been updated to include information from The King to avoid accidentally spoiling readers who have not yet had a chance to read the book.

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(Son of Rempoon; aka The Reverend)

A lot of Rehvenge’s life is secret. Only a few people know that he is half symphath and that he is Bella’s half-brother—most believe that they share a father.

(Interestingly enough, in the mandatory sehclusion motion that Marissa quashed, Bella was identified as ‘blooded daughter of the Princeps Rempoon’, while the excerpt of Lover Avenged in the Insider’s Guide identifies Rehvenge as ‘son of Dragor’ in his medical file, but Ward insists that not even Bella knows they have different fathers. He was later identified in Lover Avenged as ‘son of Rempoon’, who was mated to Rehv and Bella’s mother Madalina.)

He killed Bella’s father to save Bella and their mother from abuse. Even though he felt ashamed of himself for having taken so long to man up, he took over as the head of the household and Bella felt the weight of his overprotective nature. After her transition, she moved out into a farmhouse and it was while she was living there that she was abducted by Mr. O.

After Bella’s rescue, Rehvenge insisted that Wrath return her to his care and anoint her as a sehcluded female so that he could deny every male who wanted to be near her. While she was with the Brotherhood, she negotiated with him to relax his rules concerning her life and by the time Marissa vetoed the mandatory sehclusion motion, he was strongly opposed to sehclusion. He just wants what’s best for his family, but doesn’t always go the right way about it.

Although as a symphath he can be without morals, he also has his vampire side and his mother’s influence. He tries to follow the ‘good’ side but at the end of the day he can either internalise the morals he’s learnt or discard them in favour of his true nature.

He went through the transition like all vampires do and discovered his barb then. His maternal uncle brought him a female to feed from and when he had sex for the first time, he thought he and the female would be mated to each other. After she had a good time with him, she left, promising not to charge his family for the sex. He was disillusioned, having learned she was paid to see him through the change.

He has 2 red stars on his pec muscles and some as yet undescribed black designs on his stomach.

After her separation from Wrath, Rehv fed Marissa. He disagreed with the glymera’s opinion that she was defective and wanted to mate with her. But it was only because of her inexperience that he could feed her because his symphath blood tastes noticeably different to other vampires. Also, she needed to feed from him more frequently.

Rehvenge owned and operated ZeroSum, a club that provided some very special services for its VIPs, such as gambling, prostitution and high quality illegal drugs. He looked after his girls and didn’t stand for them being abused. He looked after his patrons by ensuring that they only got top notch drugs instead of cheaper stuff that would kill them. But then dead customers don’t spend much money. The vampire side of him knew that it was a dirty living, but he did it to support his mother and, until recently, Bella, as well as cover the monthly cost of cut rubies for his blackmailer. At the club he called himself the Reverend but also used the human alias Richard Reynolds.

He keeps a penthouse at the Commodore that his family doesn’t know about, as well as separate safe houses for his mother and Bella and the great camp in the Adirondacks currently inhabited by Phury and the Chosen. Coincidentally, his penthouse takes up the other half of the floor as V’s penthouse, but since they dematerialise there, they don’t know they’re neighbours. He also bought another block in town that he wanted to turn into a goth club called the Iron Mask.

Rehvenge started keeping his symphath nature under control using dopamine soon after he killed Rempoon, but this had some unpleasant side effects. He was cold all the time and couldn’t feel his body, so he often had to rely on a swordstick cane for balance and try to pass it off as a vain affectation. As long as he was was well-dosed, he was impotent, but he regained function when his dopamine levels fell. Unfortunately, his condition was spiralling out of his control. He needed higher and higher doses of the drug and his veins seemed to be collapsing.

He was being blackmailed into having sex with the symphath princess on the first Tuesday of each month ever since she found out about Xhex’s unspecified ‘little problem’ 25 years ago. The princess also kept Rehvenge’s continued existence a secret from his uncle, who believed him to be dead. He hated the sex and being forced to service her and tell her pretty lies, but he loved the power it gave him over her. Foreplay consisted of a power struggle between them—her orders versus his charm and seduction. He also liked getting to come inside her because the barb at the base of his penis would emerge and lock him inside her, which he knew hurt her. Then she would bind the area with silk to keep his seed inside her.

(Trez met Rehv immediately after his escape from the Shadow Territory during one such encounter. iAm joined them later.)

She wore scorpion venom as an aphrodisiac, but Rehv was slowly becoming allergic to it and after the last occasion, Lassiter saved him from pending anaphylactic shock (in which the body’s systems shut down and the victim dies—not exactly the most fun way to go). I don’t know if the substance itself turned the princess on or if she enjoyed the fact that he hated it or some sick combination of the above.

The last time he met the princess, she was two days late because she was needed in the colony. Rehvenge’s uncle (described as a ‘power-hungry, possessive despot’) was crowned king and she wanted Rehv to kill him. And guess what? He was her uncle, too, and her mate. Ick. It got even better—Rehv and the princess had the same uncle because they were half-siblings.

By the end of Lover Enshrined, Rehvenge agreed to become the Princeps Council leahdyre, so this, added to his symphath royal status, further accentuated the theme of him having one foot in two camps.

It was while he needed more dopamine from Havers that Rehvenge gave his number to his favourite nurse and the only one who didn’t seem repulsed by him, Ehlena, blooded daughter of Alyne, who once served on the council and was a renowned academic. Ehlena (pronounced EhLAYna) was once a member of the glymera until her family was double crossed in business, leaving them without money or position. Ehlena’s intended hellren then dumped and ruined her, claiming that she had seduced him before their mating while he had only the most honourable intentions. Her mother killed herself and her father descended into schizophrenia.

Ehlena worked for Havers to keep a roof over their heads and pay a carer to look after Alyne while she worked. Rehvenge recognised the same loneliness in her that he perceived in himself, Xhex and the Moors, which was why he initially felt a bond with her. They both walked in the world while being intrinsically separate from others.

She noted signs of infection where Rehv must have medicated himself with old needles and not sterilised the area first. He refused to tell Havers or let her help because he was deliberately cultivating the infection as a form of suicide. She called him after hours about his arm and their relationship began over the phone. She stole penicillin for his arm and visited him at the penthouse where his vampire bonding instincts managed to overcome even the dopamine, and he got an erection despite being medicated.

Rehvenge was approached by Montrag, son of Rehm and a member of the glymera, to kill Wrath. Morag argued that Wrath had done nothing to protect the glymera after the raids or find out how they were found and what happened to the loot. As a symphath, he resolved to do what he felt was in his own best interests, unaware that Rehm had visited his business partner Rempoon, while he was dying, and encouraged him to swear an oath that Madalina was abducted by the symphaths, escaped after she fell pregnant, and later married Rempoon. He also stated that his stepson Rehvenge was his killer. After Rehm’s death, Montrag had possession of the statement and could plausibly deny all legal knowledge of Rehvenge’s symphath status until it suited him to reveal it.

Once Montrag had sealed up a copy of the statement in an envelope to be delivered to Rhode Island for verification and returned the second copy to his safe, Xhex killed him on Rehv’s order without ever knowing of the statement’s existence.

Rehv then told Wrath about the conspiracy, having decided it was better to be in Wrath’s favour than Montrag’s, not to mention Wrath’s death would affect Bella.

Havers confronted Ehlena for stealing the penicillin and she quit rather than get the sack. At least Rehv was taking the penicillin, which in all likelihood he would not have been if it had come from someone other than Ehlena.

Madalina asked Rehvenge to visit her and he found her ironing her father’s (the Primale before Phury) handkerchiefs. She left the Other Side because she was in love with a Brother but was kidnapped and raped by the symphath king. Although the Brother Madalina loved also loved her, he died before she was able to escape. The Primale wanted to see her before he died, but she felt too contaminated to see him.

The Directrix told her that the Primale refused to go into the Fade until he had seen her. She felt estranged from him and he said, ‘The heavy soul does not pass, though the body is failing.’ He felt that what happened to Madalina was his fault for not protecting her. He was only able to pass after she told him that she loved her son and would be mated to a member of the glymera.

Madalina found herself in a similar situation now that it was her time. She told Rehv that she knew he had killed Rempoon and his own birth father and made him promise not to tell Bella or Nalla so that they would never be burdened by the past they cannot control.

Bella walked in on Rehvenge injecting himself with dopamine and he told her he was diabetic, which neatly explained his cane and fur coats. (We didn’t actually see it but Z explained to Bella what Rehvenge really is before rescuing him from the colony.)

Lash’s scheme to kill the local dealers and set himself up as their replacement threatened Rehv’s position as the town’s biggest dealer as his reputation depended on the perception of stability. He needed to stay in the business as long as he had to provide rubies for the princess, but Lash needed to eliminate the street-level competition in non-organic drugs by taking out the local wholesaler, who just happened to be Rehv.

At the glymera council meeting, a lawyer presented an envelope from Montrag before his ‘assassination’, as the glymera saw it, containing Rempoon’s statement about Rehvenge. Before anyone could search Montrag’s house for any other copies of the statement, the princess visited Ehlena to tell her who Rehv really was, not that Ehlena believed her. The princess then emailed the Brotherhood with Rehvenge’s secret and demanded his delivery to the colony or she would email the glymera telling them about Rehv and that the king had done nothing about it.

Xhex walked in after Rehvenge got the news from V, and he made her vow to take care of a female for him, not bothering to correct her assumption that he meant for her to kill the princess. To ensure that Ehlena hated him too much to mourn him, he had Trez bring her to the club where she saw the prostitution and the drugs and realised that he must be a symphath. Rehv signed away his property, called Bella one last time and sang a lullaby to Nalla that Madalina used to sing for them, left the club and blew it up before dematerialising to the colony.

He found Lash with the princess, whom he used as a shield when Lash took aim at him. He then realised that Lash was behind the glymera massacre and the drug war. The symphath king arrived and took Rehvenge prisoner.

He was hung from the ceiling from a bar going through his body under his shoulders. In the light he could see venomous spiders and scorpions. After the king came to gloat and tell him he will only live as long as the princess does, to add to her punishment, the light went and the creatures covered every inch of Rehvenge’s body. He didn’t scream so they couldn’t go in his mouth.

Saxton arrived on Ehlena’s doorstep, telling her that she and her father were Montrag’s heirs, and on his death they inherited his entire estate, meaning that Ehlena never has to work again.

Rehvenge’s faked death created a vacuum in the drug community, which was quickly filled by Lash and the Lessening Society.

A month later, Ehlena had moved into Montrag’s house, to everyone’s benefit, from her father to the doggen. Alyne was in a relationship with his carer and was thriving in his new environment, but Ehlena felt unsettled, as though her newfound luxury could disappear, and was having second thoughts about her failed relationship with Rehvenge.

She had Montrag’s safe opened and found Rempoon’s affidavit dated the last night Madalina had been taken to the clinic. She realised that it couldn’t have been a coincidence that Rempoon died the only night Bella instead of Rehvenge took Madalina to Havers. Then she also realised that it probably wasn’t a coincidence that Montrag, who knew for some time that Rehvenge was a symphath, died only days before Rehvenge.

She called Xhex with her suspicions and they visited Wrath, who agreed to send the Brothers with them to rescue Rehvenge. If Xhex took out the princess (unaware she currently belonged to Lash), she couldn’t reveal Rehv’s secret and the king won’t act against Wrath. Rehvenge was his subject, too. Any copies of Rempoon’s affidavit Montrag had would now be in Ehlena’s possession.

Their rescue attempt was delayed by the arrival of the princess and the rest of the symphaths, who were looking for their leader after the princess killed the king. The symphaths had chosen Rehvenge to rule them as they hoped having a vampire half-breed in charge will keep the vampires out of their colony. The princess broke his control over them and tried to attack Ehlena.

Rehvenge summoned more strength than he would have had for anyone else and drove straight into the princess’s mind, his vision going beyond red to purple. He unleashed her lust for him and power over the colony, then drove her mad by offering it all to Ehlena. The princess stabbed herself repeatedly and Rehvenge called the spiders and scorpions to cover her and bite.

When Rehvenge made it to the Brotherhood’s mansion, he and Bella talked. She demanded to know the truth about her parents’ relationship and how Rempoon really died. He apologised to her for being born because everything that happened happened because of him. She told him that he was innocent because it’s not his fault he was born and that Madalina loved him. It was what he’d needed for years to hear.

Although it’s the last thing Rehvenge wanted to do, Wrath asked him to remain symphath king to curb any instability and Ehlena agreed. Rehv had no idea how to rule or any desire to do so, but Wrath just said that destiny sometimes has things in mind for people. He felt a kinship with Wrath and decided he was the king Rehv would like to be. He would also take Ehlena’s counsel, and even though she would never be anywhere near the colony, Ehlena will stand by him.

They’ve moved into the mansion on a permanent basis.

Rehv is still the Princeps Council leahdyre, but is known to be pro-Wrath. He uses his position to slow down the Band of Bastards’ progress in undermining Wrath, but his council uses the loophole of an ‘informal’ gathering to meet and talk treason behind his back.

After Wrath’s attempted assassination, Rehvenge wants perfect attendance at the next glymera Council meeting, which involves putting pressure on Assail to show his loyalty to Wrath by turning up. Assail resigns from the Council to maintain his neutrality. He also beefs up security by asking the Shadows to come but not show themselves.

When Elan accuses Assail of responsibility for Wrath’s attempted assassination, Rehvenge knows he’s lying and he and Wrath agree to enlighten Assail and let him handle Elan, whose lifespan has reached its end.

Rehvenge was not invited to the meeting where the glymera overthrew Wrath, as his loyalty to the king was well known. There was nothing he could do to the council as membership was determined by bloodline, so even if he replaced the members, their families would most likely share the same values. He knew that they would soon find a way to replace him as leahdyre and s completely fine with that. He only kept the job because of Wrath and is kept busy enough by his duties as symphath king.

But when Beth had the divorce papers drawn up, he had the great pleasure of delivering them to the council during the next king’s coronation and telling them it was all completely legal, so Wrath was still king.

Wrath dismantled the council, so that would ease Rehv’s load as he only need oversee the symphaths.

After learning that Trez had bonded with Selena, and that she was dying, he searched the colony for answers, but found nothing.

He would have been only too happy to have his symphaths join Wrath and the vampires in war against the Shadows to prevent their taking Trez.

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