Our devotion to the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward is a long standing and beautiful thing. We have obsessed, cried and laughed over this series and we wanted to share that with you. What better way than a series guide? And more importantly a fantasy cast of the main characters?

BDB series guide

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Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward Series Guide

If there is one thing we can all agree on here at Under the Covers, it’s our love the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It’s the paranormal romance genre at its finest, with romances that are both passionate, beautiful and occasionally heart breaking. But, it’s not just the romance…you’ve then got the increasingly more complex and compelling story lines, the friendships between the characters and the emotion. Damn, those emotions! Ward’s writing is poetic and evocative and can leave you laughing, crying and sometimes both. So read at your own peril, because once you start it’s hard to stop and you’ll find from that day forward all PNR will be measured against the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

In this series guide we will keep you updated on the increasingly complex reading order, there are quite a few interconnected series now! You will also find a fantasy cast and bio of the main characters in the series. We’ve tried to keep this guide as spoiler free as possible, but, with such a long standing series there are bound to be some spoilers scattered about, especially if you’re completely new to the series.

Where do you start reading J.R. Ward? Read our J.R. Ward author guide.

Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Synopsis

There’s a war going on in the dark alleys of Caldwell, New York, it spans centuries but seems to now be coming to a head. Vampires have been fight the lessers, the henchman and creations of The Omega for a long time and the Black Dagger Brotherhood is a warrior caste, almost a breed apart from normal vampires who have been at the spearhead of the war with the King of the Vampires as their leader. Only now they are scattered and their numbers a few. Until a death changes everything and brings the Brothers back together to reunite in the war against the lessers and bring a stagnant vampire society back to its former glory.

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Black Dagger Brotherhood Species Overview

Vampires: In the series, vampires are a separate species from humans, living among us but distinct in many ways. They require blood to survive, but only from the opposite sex of their species or their chosen mates. Vampires are also longer-lived, physically superior, and have a complex societal structure. They can be killed in much the same ways humans can, though they have a few additional weaknesses specific to their species.

Lessers: The primary antagonists of the series, lessers are soulless humans who have been recruited by the Omega (the series’ main villain) to hunt and kill vampires. They are recognizable by their pale skin, lack of scent, and white hair. Lessers do not age or die of natural causes but can be killed by a vampire’s weapon. Upon death, their bodies disappear, leaving only a scent of baby powder as evidence of their demise.

Glymera: The vampire aristocracy or high society, emphasizing purity of bloodlines and adhering to strict societal rules. The Glymera holds significant power and influence within the vampire world, often interacting with and governing the politics and economics of their society.

Symphaths: A subspecies of vampires with psychic abilities that allow them to manipulate emotions in others for malicious purposes. Considered dangerous and are mostly exiled to a remote colony.

Chosen: Female vampires who serve the Scribe Virgin. They are considered sacred and perform various rituals. A Chosen can become the mate of a Brother or a male of worth, bearing children.

Shadows: Also known as the s’Hisbe, Shadows are a secretive and mysterious race that lives parallel to the vampire society. They have unique abilities and customs, and their existence is not widely known among vampires.

Black Dagger Brotherhood Glossary

Hellren: A term used to refer to a male vampire’s spouse or mate. Hellren is a position of honor and deep emotional connection, signifying a lifelong bond.

Shellan: The female counterpart to Hellren, indicating a female vampire’s spouse or mate. Like Hellren, it denotes a sacred and eternal bond between mates.

Black Dagger Brotherhood: An elite group of warrior vampires sworn to protect their race against the Lessening Society. Each member of the Brotherhood has a unique background but shares the common goal of defending their species from extinction. The Brotherhood operates under a code of honor and brotherhood, with deep bonds forming between its members.

Scribe Virgin: Considered the vampire deity, the Scribe Virgin is a mystical figure who plays a role in the creation and governance of vampire laws and rituals. She is revered and respected within the vampire community.

The Omega: The malevolent force and primary antagonist in the series, the Omega is the counterpart to the Scribe Virgin. He creates the lessers and seeks the destruction of the vampire race.

Ahstrux Nohtrum: The personal guard or protector of a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, sworn to protect them with their life.

Blood Slave: A derogatory term for a vampire who is forced to provide blood against their will, often in a degrading or abusive context.

Doggen: The servant class within the vampire society, responsible for maintaining households. They are non-warrior class and keep a low profile, dedicated to their duties.

The Fade: The vampire afterlife, a peaceful and restful place where souls of deceased vampires go, watched over by the Scribe Virgin.

The Brotherhood: Refers to the members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, an elite group of vampire warriors dedicated to protecting their species from the Lessening Society.

Primale: A male vampire chosen to mate with the Chosen to ensure the continuation of the vampire species. The Primale is considered to have a sacred duty.

The Lessening Society: An organization led by the Omega, consisting of lessers whose sole purpose is to exterminate the vampire race.

Transition: The period in a young vampire’s life when they change from a pre-vampire state into a fully mature vampire, marked by a need for blood.

Black Dagger Brotherhood Reading Order

Prepare yourself for a long list! The Black Dagger Brotherhood series alone is over 20 books, but Ward likes to entwine her series. So, this reading order includes the other series that also link to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Here are the series that have also been included:

  • Fallen Angels series. When this series was written, it was meant to stand alone but be set in the same world as the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And, as someone who read it as it was released, it was a delight to see cameos from some of my favourite characters. It is a five book series that you can read without reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood. However, later on in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Ward has brought in the characters from the Fallen Angels. So, if you want to see more of Devina, Eddie and Adrian, then I recommend picking this up. We’ve mixed it in the reading order below.
  • Black Dagger Legacy series. If you’re reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and want to know what is happening, you need to include this series as well. And, likewise, don’t read the Legacy series until you’ve gotten to the right place in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It doesn’t stand well on its own. A huge part of the Legacy series is the secondary romance plots, all of which involve characters you only really know from the main series. But, don’t worry, it’s no chore. These books follow the stories of new recruits to the Brotherhood. Think training montages, smouldering glances between recruits and Ward’s brilliant brand of dysfunctional characters. These books are also included in the reading order below.
  • Black Dagger Brotherhood Prison Camp series. This series is an addition to the BDB universe and world with some minor references to the BDB original. However, you don’t have to read the BDB in order to read this one. And you also can choose to skip this spin off if you want and not miss any important details in your BDB reading journey. We have not included these books in the reading order below.
  • Lair of the Wolven series. This is another series that is set in the BDB universe and the wolven have been referenced throughout the BDB series but you don’t have to read the BDB if you want to pick up this series. They don’t necessarily connect, just expand the world. We have not included these books in the reading order below.
  • Novellas. Can you call yourself a fan if you don’t read the novellas?

Black Dagger Brotherhood Universe Book List and Reading Order

Black Dagger Legacy series guide

Why You Should Read the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

We recognise that some people (the “crazies”) haven’t started this series yet, or have stopped reading it. We know, it’s a big commitment, there are over 20 books in this series and counting, so it requires a considerable investment. Totally. Worth. It. And, by the time you have finished reading my brilliant and well thought out reasons why you should pick up the Black Dagger Brotherhood, you will be think so to.

The Sex

This is a PNR series…so you really can’t escape the sex, and frankly why would you want to? Ward writes some sizzling scenes between our fearless warriors and the women brave enough to face them. Not that it is all about the sex, but some of these guys wield their sex appeal like a weapon, and damn if it isn’t lethal. But it isn’t just their body parts that have you swooning, Ward knows exactly how to write a sex scene…and turn it into a love scene, it’s less about two bodies coming together, but two people.

“Shh.” He cranked her head to the side with a twist of his wrist, exposing her throat. “When I want you to beg, I’ll tell you.”

The Tears

Oh the feels…I can say that I have cried reading every single one of these books. Some of those tears were happy, some of them…not so much. Regardless of the cause of my tears, I am always pleased for them, Ward always gets me to a place when I am so invested in her story and her characters that I can’t help the emotion welling up. Any author that has the power to move me so, deserves my loyalty, so although these books aren’t always easy to read, they are always worth it.

I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don’t know how to find you even though you’re right in front of me.

The Laughter

As much as I love to be moved and have some tears drawn out of me, sometimes you want something that makes you smile, makes you laugh. And amongst some of the fairly dark and occasionally tragic happenings in BDB, we are treated to some hilarious moments between the Brothers, between the heroines, between all these people whose lives Ward has thrown together. It adds a warmth and light to the series that keeps you coming back for more as the bonds of friendship and love are strengthened with laughter.

“How’d you pick the breed, Fritz?”
“I, ah…chose him…” The doggen cleared his throat. “I chose him over the Labrador because he sheds more.”
Wraths blind eyes blinked “Why would that be a good thing?”
“Because your staff enjoy vacuuming. I thought this would be a lovely gift for them.”

The Wisdom

Wisdom. You don’t normally hear much about wisdom in a PNR series right? And yet, Ward’s insight and turns of phrase often have me nodding and thinking. Ward is a skilled writer, with a distinctive style that at times can almost be poetic, she writes about love, friendship, good, evil and that murky grey bits in between. Who said romance couldn’t also be intelligent?

“All right, then, her first rule for the rest of her days: no more looking outside for definitions. She might not have any clue who she was, but better to be lost and searching than shoved into a social box by someone else.”

The Warriors

Well, I can’t give you all the reasons for reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood without mentioning the Brothers themselves can I? Warrior vampires protecting their race from evil, all of them big, muscled, gorgeous and lethal, and therefore irresistible. Everyone has their favourite of the Brothers and they all have something different to offer, from the broody, tortured hero, to the king afraid to let his race down and the warrior women, finally bringing a little feminism to the archaic vamps. Suffice to say, pick up the series and you will soon be falling in love.

“Because that’s what the Brotherhood and their families were. Close as siblings, tighter than blood because they were chosen.”

Black Dagger Brotherhood Fantasy Cast

What I have learned since putting together this fantasy cast for the Black Dagger Brotherhood is this: all leather clad ginormous, heavily muscled males look like they’re auditioned to be part of an R-rated Village People tribute act. Apart from Jason Momoa. So, although I made the effort to abide by the descriptions given by J.R. Ward in the series, I went with vibes rather than trying to find the exact right hair or eye colour.

I hope you like our casting though! I have given a small bio underneath each casting, including when they first appear in the series and what book there romance culminates in. This is a series that needs to be read in order, so often romances will progress over a few books, especially in the latter stages of the series…so don’t skip anything or you might miss some important progression in the story and in a romance.

I’ve tried to keep this as spoiler free as possible…but some things are unavoidable. So, if you truly don’t want to know anything, look at the pictures and ignore the small bios underneath!

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast wrath

Wrath, The Blind King

Wrath is the King of the Vampires, king by birth right, but chosen by his people. He is known as the Blind King due to his…blindness. Wrath fights alongside his Brothers in the Black Dagger Brotherhood and he is a fierce fighter despite his blindness.

Fantasy Cast: Jason Momoa
First appears in: Dark Lover
Romance happens in: Dark Lover and continues in The King

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Beth

Elizabeth “Beth” Randall

Beth’s mother died at birth and she didn’t know her father, so she was brought up in the foster care system. Little does she know that she’s half vampire, and her father is Darius. She now works as a reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, which is where she first met and became friends with Butch O’Neal.

Fantasy Cast: Liv Tyler
First appears in: Dark Lover
Romance happens in: Dark Lover and continues in The King

Bloggers Love for Wrath

Top 7 Reasons Why I love Wrath, The Blind King:

1) His race revered him as its King but he despised his status.

2) He’s arrogant, intense, possessive and passionate.

3) He’s a strong leader, but also a fair and revolutionary King.

4) He’s 6’9″ & 275 pounds of pure hotness.

5) He’s still a badass even with his visual impairment.

6) He looks like Jason Momoa in my head.

7) He loves peaches.

Debbie from Black Heart Reviews

Shellan Fashion: Beth

Beth has the coveted spot beside the Blind King which makes her the most important shellan of the vampire race. With that position comes a hot as hell hellren and…a lot of money to spend on clothes.The queen likes to keep things simple. Sky-high heels with booty-hugging jeans and a black form-fitting turtleneck shows off all her curves and  makes her presence known. 

Let’s not forget her mating gown – the black and red dress that makes every woman feel like the most important girl in the world. But a queen is only a queen if she has her king by her side. And without Wrath hanging off her arm as seriously smoking eye-candy, Beth’s fashion wouldn’t be as coveted by all.

The UTC fashion police gives Beth a grade of  B+ for grace and class.

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Rhage


Rhage also known by his friends as Hollywood due to how ridiculously good looking he is. He is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and despite being cursed he is charming and easy going. The curse was cast on him by the Scribe Virgin; he is to change into a beast form whenever he loses his temper. His beast is about 8 foot tall and will eat anything…including lessers. The only way he can curb his beast is to indulge in sex and fighting.

Fantasy Cast: Ken Van Bay
First appears in: Dark Lover
Romance happens in: Lover Eternal and continues in The Beast and Blood Vow

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast mary

Mary Madonna Luce

Mary is a human who has no idea that anything paranormal exists. Atleast not until her life entwines with them through her neighbour Bella and her connection to John Matthew. Mary is a leukaemia survivor, but the treatment left her scarred and infertile. Before the leukaemis she was a rehab specialist for autistic children and she now volunteers at a suicide prevention hotline.

Fantasy Cast: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
First appears in: Lover Eternal
Romance happens in: Lover Eternal and continues in The Beast and Blood Vow

Bloggers Love for Rhage

There are so many books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but the one book that I always go back to and reread over and over is Lover Eternal, and that’s all because of my favorite brother, Rhage. He’s hands-down the hottest of the boys, an incredible fighter, and an even better lover. He’s even got a badass beast within him – literally. But my favorite thing about Rhage? His love for his shellan, Mary.

“I will not fall in love with you,” she said. “I can’t let myself. I won’t.”
“That’s all right. I’ll love you enough for the both of us.”

Rhage fell in love with Mary from the very second he heard her voice. He worships the ground she walks on, and will do anything and everything to protect her. Even his beast loves her and is a total teddy bear only for Mary. Swoon. So if you haven’t had the chance to read Lover Eternal and fall in love with the BEST of the BDB boys, what are you waiting for?

Lacey @ Booklovers For Life

Shellan Fashion: Mary

Mary may be my favorite shellan, but we don’t share the same fashion sense. Her sweet personality translates into the clothes she wears. Plain polo shirts and khakis are her uniform. It averts wandering eyes because she doesn’t like the attention and prefers feeling comfortable to feeling fierce. But despite her lack of interest in fashion, Mary still has the ability to snatch the interest of the most beautiful warrior of the Brotherhood. And for her, that’s more than enough to keep her feeling sexy.

The UTC fashion police gives Mary a grade of B for not changing a thing about herself.

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Zsadist


Zsadist “Z” is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and twin brother to Phury. However, although Zsadist and Phury are twins, they didn’t grow up together as Z was kidnapped and eventually sold into blood and sexual slavery. He was enslaved for a century until Phury eventually found and rescued him. His time as a slave has left him damaged. He cannot stand to be touched and the only person he doesn’t hates is Phury.

Fantasy Cast: James McAvoy circa Glass and Split
First appears in: Dark Lover
Romance happens in: Lover Awakened and slice of life in Father Mine

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Bella


Bella is a vampire and was raised in the glymera; the uppercrust of vampire society. The glymera is conservative and bogged down in tradition and when it was discovered that Bella had sex with a male outside of mating she was shunned. She bought a remote farmhouse to escape, and her closest neighbour and eventual friend is Mary. Her brother is Rehvenge.

Fantasy Cast: Olivia Wilde
First appears in: Lover Eternal
Romance happens in: Lover Awakened and slice of life in Father Mine

Shellan Fashion: Bella

Bella has got the most rockin’ body so to show off those sexy curves, she dresses herself in form-fitting skirts and jeans. She is often seen dripping in diamonds. Her hellren knows how to treat her right. And to top off her outfit, Bella loves to wear her signature Manolo Blahniks.

The UTC fashion police give Bella and grade of B+ for her great taste in shoes!

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Butch

Brian “Butch” O’Neal

Butch is a homicide detective in the Caldwell PD. He was driven to this career by the assault and murder of his beloved sister when he was young. It was especially heartbreaking for him, as his sister was the only member of his large family who loved him. However, unknown to Butch, he is half vampire and comes from Wrath’s bloodline. Once he becomes aware of vampires and the Black Dagger Brotherhood, he becomes close friends with Vishous.

Fantasy Cast: Tom Hardy
First appears in: Dark Lover
Romance happens in: Lover Revealed

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Marissa


Marissa is a vampire and Wrath’s betrothed. She helped him through his transition and has been his almost-mate ever since. Due to the incomplete mating Marissa has with Wrath she is treated cruelly by the glymera who think something must be wrong with her. Marissa breaks ties with Wrath when she finds him with Beth, which leads to her brother, and her only family member, Havers disowning her. But in turn, she rejects the glymera and opens Safe Place, a shelter for females.

Fantasy Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy
First appears in: Lover Eternal
Romance happens in: Lover Revealed

Download a Free Black Dagger Brotherhood Crossword Puzzle

Black Dagger Brotherhood Crossword Puzzle

Shellan Fashion: Marissa

Marissa is known as the beauty of the entire vampire race. Her signature dress is the yellow gown that makes a hardened man like Butch pant like a puppy. As a member of the glymera, she has the means to dress in lavish gowns and jewelry, but what Marissa covets most of all is the love of her hellren and Safe House.Now sporting a new look, Marissa spends her days at Safe House in a polished suit that screams authority and grace. Frumpy is not a word Marissa knows. No one is as elegant or classy as Marissa.

The UTC fashion police gives Marissa a grade of A for rocking the floor length gowns and heels without tripping over the hems.

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Vishous


Vishous “V” is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and a tech genius who can speak several languages. As well as being scary clever, he is known for his “all knowing” talent. V has visions that usually come true; however, he doesn’t necessarily know when they will come to pass. He has reputedly seen a vision of how all the Brothers are going to die. Despite being a dedicated member of the Brotherhood he doesn’t let people get close to him, Butch is the first person he has ever truly befriended. In certain sectors of vampire society he is also a well known Dom.

Fantasy Cast: Goncalo Teixeira
First appears in: Dark Lover
Romance happens in: Lover Unbound

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Jane

Dr Jane Whitcomb

Jane is human and works as a trauma surgeon in St Francis hospital. Her supervisor is Manny. She has no living family, her younger sister died when she was a child which is what made Jane want to pursue a career in medicine. After she meets the Black Dagger Brotherhood she runs the medical centre at the Brotherhood mansion. She’s logical and highly intelligent.

Fantasy Cast: Kristen Bell
First appears in: Lover Unbound
Romance happens in: Lover Unbound

Bloggers Love for Vishous

An Ode to Vishous…

Oh, Vishous, how are you delicious?

Let me count the ways…

From your diamond eyes to your gloved hand,

Your dominance in and out of the bedroom you do demand.

You drink of the Goose and may seem gruff,

But that hidden tender side of yours is more than enough.

For you are forever in my mind when I put on mascara over my sink,

You have always been my favorite brother from whom I’d love to drink.

You can make me hot chocolate any time,

For I claim you as MINE!

Guys, this character.  This freaking character! What’s not to love about a smart, cursed, broody, Alpha male with this hidden heart he reserves for the people he loves?   His mix of dominance and brilliance always has me swooning like a schoolgirl watching the varsity football team practice and then when he goes and does nice things like brings birds to his mother? I go completely gaga.  Now you’ll have to go excuse me while I go read my favorite highlighted parts of Lover Unbound.  Thanks so much for having me, ladies! XO

Jillian from Read Love Blog

Shellan Fashion: Jane

For Jane, it’s always been medical journals and textbooks over fashion magazines like Vogue. Her choice in clothing very much resembles her interests. Or rather, lack thereof in fashion. 

It doesn’t seem like color is a friend of Jane’s, but that’s okay because she’s got V to keep her mind occupied.

The UTC fashion police gives Jane  a grade of C+ for keeping things clean. That is, outside of the bedroom. Er, bathroom.

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Phury


Phury is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and known as a gentleman and a noble warrior. His life has been spent either looking for his missing twin brother Zsadist or once found, looking after him. He has given up a lot in his search for Z, including his leg which was destroyed during his rescue of Z from blood slavery. He has developed a red smoke habit and his dealer is Rehvenge. Phury has taken a vow of celibacy.

Fantasy Cast: Unknown
First appears in: Dark Lover
Romance happens in: Lover Enshrined

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Cormia


Cormia is one of the Chosen, a group of female vampires who live sequestered from society and known for their pure bloodlines. They are bred to serve and are directed by the Scribe Virgin to breed with certain males to create strong bloodlines. Cormia is known for her great beauty and pure blood. But she is curious about life outside the Chosen and doesn’t want just what the Scribe Virgin has planned for her. She becomes good friends with John Matthew.

Fantasy Cast: Nora Arnezeder
First appears in: Lover Unbound
Romance happens in: Lover Enshrined

Shellan Fashion: Cormia

As one of the Chosen, there is no one else who rivals Cormia in innocence. She is pure and classy and her style resembles that. She wears a treasured piece of jewelry – the bracelet that JM gave her.

The UTC fashion police give Cormia a grade of B for making friendship bracelets cool again.

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Rehvenge


Rehvenge, also known as The Reverend is king of the symphaths, a species of vampire and is half symphath and half vampire himself. His closest friends are Xhex, iAm and Trez. They help him run his clubs Zero Sum and Iron Mask where they sell drugs and sex. His sister is Bella.

Fantasy Cast: Marco De Silva
First appears in: Lover Awakened
Romance happens in: Lover Avenged

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Ehlena


Ehlena works as a nurse at the clinic run by Marissa’s brother Havers. Her family was once part of the glymera, however, they now live in near poverty after her father was betrayed and their wealth was taken

Fantasy Cast: Rose Leslie
First appears in: Lover Enshrined
Romance happens in: Lover Avenged

Shellan Fashion: Ehlena

Ehlena loves to help people. It’s in her blood. That is why her clothing consists mostly of her nurse uniform because she doesn’t have time for other things, including fashion.

I wonder if Rehv and Ehlena do a little role-playing? Doesn’t injured patient and hot nurse sound fun? I would volunteer to patch Rehv up anytime.

The UTC fashion police gives Ehlena a grade of B for getting Rehv to strip out of his sable fur duster and giving us girls something to swoon over.

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast John Matthew

John Matthew

John Matthew was brought up as a human and lived in orphanages and with foster carers growing up. He is actually the reincarnated soul of Darius; however, everyone believes him to be Darius‘ son and thus half brother to Beth. John is mute and speaks using ASL. He made contact with Mary through a rape crisis line and it was discovered he was a pre-trans vampire when Bella saw he had a bracelet that spelt TEHRROR. He was taken in by Tohrment and Wellsie when the Brotherhood first learned of his existence in Lover Eternal. His best friends are Qhuinn and Blaylock and he went through the Brotherhood training programme with them.

Fantasy Cast: Casey Cott
First appears in: Lover Eternal
Romance happens in: Lover Mine

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Xhex


Xhexania, known as Xhex, does not allow anyone to get close her apart from Rehv, Trez and iAm who she considers family. She started the series working as an assassin for Rehv and uses cilices strapped around her thigh to control her symphath side. She hates anything medical related as it reminds her of when she was captured and experimented on by humans before she managed to escape and burn the facility to the ground.

Fantasy Cast: Ruby Rose
First appears in: Lover Revealed
Romance happens in: Lover Mine

Bloggers Love for John Matthew

Why John Matthew is my favorite brother:

Watching his journey from alone human (Lover Eternal) to the warrior he is now has been a heartbreaking journey.  Even when John was a weak human he had a need to protect, to shelter, to guard others. That need has grown as he has into rules to live by. He is loyal and protective of everyone he cares about and his shellan, Xhex is so lucky to have him. He fights hard and loves harder. John Matthew went from a human victim to a warrior who protects victims.

Jennifer – The Book Nympho
Instagram: @jennifer_TBN
Twitter: @thebooknympho

Shellan Fashion: Xhex

If you asked Xhex about fashion, she would probably punch you in the face, kick you out of Iron Mask and tell you that she likes what she likes. End of. As long as she has her weapons handy and her cilices, then she has everything she needs.

Of course, sturdy boots and leather is always nice.

The UTC fashion police gives Xhex a grade of A+ for beating the seven shades of shit out of Lash. I’m sure we all wanted a chance at that mofo.

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Manny

Dr Manuel “Manny” Manello

Manny is Chief of Surgery in St Francis hospital and was Jane’s supervisor when she worked there. He was known to be one of the best…as well as arrogant and aggressive. He has thoroughbred former racing horse named Glory.

Fantasy Cast: Joe Manganiello
First appears in: Lover Unbound
Romance happens in: Lover Unleashed

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast payne


Payne is a natural warrior, but due to her aggressive nature her mother, the Scribe Virgin, put her in suspended animation for decades until the events in Lover Enshrined. She is the sister to Vishous and she killed the Bloodletter, their father, because of the way he abused him. She is one of the only two female soldiers in the Black Dagger Brotherhood and she has healing abilities.

Fantasy Cast: Lesley-Ann Brandt
First appears in: Lover Unbound
Romance happens in: Lover Unleashed

Shellan Fashion: Payne

Payne wears the white that mark the Chosen. But I don’t really think this style suits her. Verily, she has some fire. Mayhap some tight jeans and some jewelry can make her feel more like the fighter that she is?

The UTC fashion police gives Payne a grade of B for driving us crazy with all the “verily”. It’s almost a good thing that she is a fighter. Otherwise, Francesca here will try to punch her for saying it another time.

Payne says, “Verily, I can take you on.”

*claps Francesca on the back* I would back you up, but she’s got the Brotherhood behind her soo….*Annie starts to leave, doubles back* Here, take your whip!

Spoilers ahead for Tohrment and Wellsie

If you don’t want to know what happens to Tohrment and Wellsie, don’t read the bios

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast tohrment

Tohrment “Tohr”

Tohrment “Tohr” is the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and known for being level headed and steady. His best friend was Darius. When John Matthew came to the Brothers he and his mate Wellsie took him in and treat him like a son. Wellsie was Tohr’s mate for two centuries before she and his unborn son were murdered by lessers, when he found out he disappeared he went AWOL until Lassiter brought him back.

Fantasy Cast: Michael Thurston
First appears in: Dark Lover
Romance happens in: Lover Reborn

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast wellsie

Wellisandra “Wellsie”

Wellsie is well loved and respected and is Tohr’s beloved mate and is pregnant with their first baby. She befriends and offers advice to Beth when she comes into their lives. She also sees John Matthew as a son and took him into her and Tohr’s home.


She dies whilst pregnant but can’t get to the Fade as Tohrment is keeping her In Between. She sends Lassiter to Tohr to help him and to free her and Tohrment II

Fantasy Cast: Karen Gillan
First appears in: Dark Lover

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast autumn

No’One / Autumn

Autumn is known as No’One and wears a black robe and hood that covers her face. She has been in Sanctuary as a maid to the Chosen as after committing suicide she was not allowed into the Fade. Her daughter is Xhex, she was conceived when she was kidnapped and raped by a symphath. Lassiter is here to help both her and Tohrment.

Fantasy Cast: January Jones
First appears in: Lover Unbound
Romance happens in: Lover Reborn

Shellan Fashion: No’One

No’One has gone unnoticed for so long. With her cape, she covers her body and face making her an easy person to overlook. However, once she finds Tohr, he eases her out of the shadows and shows her that she is beautiful too.

Now, No’One’s style is a step up from her cape crusading days. A light sundress makes her feel sexy, shows off her curves and makes Angela one jealous maiden because she wants Tohr all to himself.

The UTC fashion police gives No’One a grade of B- for making Angela go crazy in a jealous rage. What? It’s funny to see her so envious. *Annie shoves popcorn in her mouth and listens to Angela prattle on about how Tohr should be with HER*

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Qhuinn


Qhiunn has been best friends with Blay since they were children and John Matthew become part of their group during their training with the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Qhuinn’s family disowned his due to his genetic “defect” and he lives in the Brotherhood mansion. He’s bisexual and is jealous when Blay and Saxton become a couple. Qhuinn was disowned by his blood family due to him not being “perfect” as he has one green eye and one blue (heterochromia). However, his first cousin is Saxton, who still views Qhuinn as family, his other first cousin is Lash. The situation with his brother Luchus is complicated.

Fantasy Cast: Stephen James
First appears in: Lover Revealed
Romance happens in: Lover At Last

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Blay

Blaylock “Blay”

Blaylock “Blay” is best friends with John Matthew and Qhuinn. He met John Matthew through the Brotherhood’s training programme, but grew up with Qhuinn. Blay has always known he was gay and that he was in love with his best friend Qhuinn. However, his first male lover is Saxton, who he has a serious relationship with. Blay is loyal and kind, as well as a fierce fighter.

Fantasy Cast: Unknown
First appears in: Lover Awakened
Romance happens in: Lover At Last

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Trez


Trez Latimer is the twin of brother of iAm, they are known as the Moors. However, he sees Xhex and Rehvenge as family and is fiercely loyal to them. He is a sex addict. Little is known about the Moor’s past and who they were and what they were running from before they met Rehv.

Fantasy Cast: Michael B Jordan
First appears in: Lover Enshrined
Romance happens in: The Shadows and Where Winter Finds You

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Selena


Selena is part of the Chosen and views the other females as her sisters. She has a very rare disease that only affects the Chosen. The disease will stiffen her body, freezing her into place like a statue. She is known to be kind and gentle and, although she is trained as an ehros she’s a virgin.

Fantasy Cast: Denise Vasi
First appears in: Lover Enshrined
Romance happens in: The Shadows and Where Winter Finds You

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast iAm


iAm Latimer is the twin brother of Trez. iAm is quiet, calm and observant. He is a fantastic cook and is the chef and owner at the Italian restaurant Salvatore’s. Apart from Trez, he is closest to Xhex and Rehvenge and views them as family. He has never been with a female.

Fantasy Cast: Unknown
First appears in: Lover Enshrined
Romance happens in: The Shadows

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast maichen


Catra vin SuLaneh etl MuLanen DeH FonLerahn otherwise known as maichen. Current ruler of the Shadows alongside s’Ex. She and Trez were promised to each other by their parents since they were children. She serves as a maichen in her mother, the Queens household.

Fantasy Cast: Nikayla Sheron
First appears in: The Shadows
Romance happens in: The Shadows

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Xcor


Xcor was raised in the Bloodletters brutal training camps with no compassion or kindness. Especially as he has a cleft palette and no imperfection is tolerated by vampire society. He has been told that the Bloodletter is his father. This has made him into a a merciless and deadly warrior. Within the camps he was part of an elite group called the Band of Bastards. The Bloodletter was the Bastards leader until his murder, then Xcor took over. They then travelled the Old Country killing lessers. They have come to Caldwell to avenge the death of the Bloodletter and to overthrow the king.

Fantasy Cast: David Bautista
First appears in: Lover Unleashed
Romance happens in: The Chosen

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Layla


Layla is one of the Chosen. She is eager to please but shy. Layla feeds Rhage, V, Qhuinn, Saxton and Blay as they are unable to feed from their mates. However, she has always had a huge crush on Qhuinn.

Fantasy Cast: Belle Rousse
First appears in: Lover Eternal
Romance happens in: The Chosen

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Silas


Montasilas’ “Silas” family is part of the glymera. However, he is the only one left in his family after his father died of a rare disease. He is a savvy businessman and has amassed a huge fortune by investing in the right things such as Amazon and Bitcoin.

Fantasy Cast: Zayn
First appears in: Dearest Ivie
Romance happens in: Dearest Ivie

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Ivie


Ivie has a large loving family who live in the country and are protective of her. She is particularly close to her cousin Rubia. Ivie works as a nurse in Haver’s Clinic. She is well respected and known to be down to earth and sensible.

Fantasy Cast: Zoe Kazan
First appears in: Dearest Ivie
Romance happens in: Dearest Ivie

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Assail


Assail has turned his back on the glymera despite being on the Council and is instead a drug kingpin with an addiction to cocaine. He is hugely wealthy and lives in a glass house that is both sun proof and bullet proof. His twin cousins Ehric and Evale work and live with him.

Fantasy Cast: Aaron Taylor Johnson
First appears in: Lover Reborn
Romance happens in: The Thief

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Sola


Marisol “Sola” Morte is a human, whose only living family is her grandmother, who she would do anything to protect. She is a professional thief and a survivor who doesn’t like to rely on anyone. The only person who has ever looked out for her is her grandmother.

Fantasy Cast: Erica Cerra
First appears in: Lover At Last
Romance happens in: The Thief

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Murhder


Murhder is the best friend of Darius and Tohrment. He is also the former partner of Xhex, but he went mad when he thought he was saving her from a symphath colony. He was tortured and his mind broken by symphaths. Because of his insanity he was kicked out of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He has been hiding in a small guest house in South Carolina and has become the legend of Eliahu Rathboone who is rumoured to haunt the place.

Fantasy Cast: Pedro Perestrello
First appears in: Lover Mine
Romance happens in: The Savior

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Sarah

Dr Sarah Watkins

Sarah is a scientist who works as a molecular geneticist working on curing cancer using the body’s immune system. She is well known and respected in her field. She had a fiancee who died very suddenly who was also a very successful scientist. With no family left after her mother died of cancer and only distant friends Sarah’s life is her work.

Fantasy Cast: Elizabeth Debicki
First appears in: The Savior
Romance happens in: The Savior

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Syn


Syn is part of the Band of Bastards and loyal to Xcor. His cousins are Balthazar and Syphon. Due to childhood abuse and trauma Syn suffered brain damage that causes blackout rages, called talhmans. He targets criminals, such as murderers and thieves and kills them; the fear he causes his victims arouses him.

Fantasy Cast: Jai Courtney
First appears in: Lover Unleashed
Romance happens in: The Sinner

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Jo

Jo Early

Jo is a human who works as an editor at the Caldwell Courier Journal. She is obsessed with vampires and has created a blog documenting her investigations and findings about them. During the course of her investigations she finds out that her father was a vampire and that Manny and Butch are her brothers.

Fantasy Cast: Inessa Rain
First appears in: The Beast
Romance happens in: The Sinner



Lassiter is a fallen angel; however, has won back his guardian angel status by helping Tohrment and Wellsie. He has a quirky sense of humour and loves to wind up the Brothers, especially V. Is known for his ridiculous outfits and antics within the Brotherhood mansion. However, he has taken a bullet for Wrath and has been a source of comfort and help for many in the mansion.

Fantasy Cast: Unknown
First appears in: Lover Enshrined
Romance happens in: Lassiter

black dagger brotherhood fantasy cast Darius


Darius is well known for his class and style as well as being a deadly warrior. His best friend is Tohrment and although he never met Beth, his daughter, he watched out for her from the shadows. His dearest wish was for the Brotherhood to unite under one roof and put up a united front.

Fantasy Cast: Colby Lefebvre
First appears in: Lover Enshrined

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Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward series guide

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  1. Fabulous friggin breakdown of characters and couples!!! I love everyone one of these characters!!! Jr ward Is Simply AWESOME!!! This Series Is My Absolute Favorite Series!!! I Have Cried,laughed ,pumped My Fist In Victory And HAve Been Completely Wiped Out After Reading Each And Every Book!! Their Is No Better Writer Out Their And Im A Total Jr WArd Whore And Proud Of It!!! Shared On All MY Socials!

  2. Fabulous friggin breakdown of characters and couples!!! I love everyone one of these characters!!! Jr ward Is Simply AWESOME!!! This Series Is My Absolute Favorite Series!!! I Have Cried,laughed ,pumped My Fist In Victory And HAve Been Completely Wiped Out After Reading Each And Every Book!! Their Is No Better Writer Out Their And Im A Total Jr WArd Whore And Proud Of It!!! Shared On All MY Socials!

  3. I am doing a re-read which book did Assail meet Sola when she was spying on him with the skis and then she was kidnapped. I need to finish that book, please. Thank you.

  4. I feel like I am so far behind in getting into this series but I can’t seem to put it down. I am almost finished with Lover Reborn and have a question, I know I am getting close to when the legacy series start, so I need to stop at any point with the BDB to res the legacy books? Also I know there is character crossever into the fallen angels, do I need to read them at some point during this series as well? I have this page bookmarked on all of my devices because I come back to every time I meet a new character. I love you guys!