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Thursday, October 18, 2012

'Mortal Ties' World of the Lupi #9 by Eileen Wilks

From the BLURB:

FBI agent Lily Yu is living at Nokolai Clanhome with her fiancé, lupi Rule Turner, when an intruder penetrates their territory, stealing the prototpye of a magical device the clan hopes will be worth a fortune--if a few bugs can be worked out . . .

But the protoytpe can be dangerously erratic, discharging a bizarre form of mind magic—and it looks like the thief wants it for that very side effect. Worse, whoever stole the device didn’t learn about it by accident. There’s a Nokolai traitor in their midst.

Lily and Rule have to find the traitor, the thief, and the prototype.  One job proves easy when the thief calls them--and his identity rocks Rule’s world.

As they race to recover their missing property, they find Robert Friar’s sticky footprints all over the place.  Robert Friar―killer, madman, and acolyte of the Old One the lupi are at war with―an Old One whose power is almost as vast as her ambition to rock the entire world . . .

This review contains spoilers of all other books in the 'World of the Lupi' series

Nokolai Clanhome is probably the most secure place in America. It is a safe haven for lupi and their families, where women and children are protected before all others, and the wolves feel free to be themselves away from the media’s glare and human prejudice. So when Clanhome is infiltrated in the dead of night, everyone is on edge and suspicious that a traitor may be in their midst.

But perhaps the most unsettling part of the attack is the fact that it was a distraction – while the lupi scrambled to respond to the grand attack, Cullen Seaborne’s workshop was broken into – and a rare artefact with powerful magic properties stolen.

Now Special Agent Lily Yu and her chosen, Rule Turner are on the hunt for Cullen’s artefact – suspecting that the thief is somehow connected to Robert Friar ―killer, madman, and acolyte of the Old One.

‘Mortal Ties’ is the ninth book in Eileen Wilk’s fabulous urban fantasy ‘World of the Lupi’ series.

I have been such a huge fan of Wilks’s series for the longest time. It’s crazy to think that first book ‘Tempting Danger’ first came out in 2004, and we’re now almost at a perfect ten for the series with ‘Ritual Magic’ due out next year. Ten books in a series is a pretty big deal, and there is a real sense throughout ‘Mortal Ties’ that something big is just around the corner . . . plans are being laid, new but important characters are introduced and perhaps most importantly of all is the reference to Lily and Rule’s long-awaited marriage (which is two months and some days away). ‘Mortal Ties’ feel like a book on the precipice of something big – but it’s also a book that’s looking back.

For one thing, the book opens with Lily visiting a graveyard – specifically, paying her respects to Helen Annabelle Whitehead. Though ‘respects’ probably isn’t the right word – Helen was the telepath Lily killed one year ago, back when this series started. Helen’s death has been plaguing Lily of late, probably because another death has been coming back to Lily in a much more surreal way – the ghost of Al Drummond has been visiting Lily and offering his services and himself as a sort of sidekick. But it’s not just Lily who is looking back – when the book begins Rule and Isen are also in a sort of mourning, as it’s Mick’s birthday – Rule’s half-brother who died in ‘Tempting Danger’.

So this is very much a book about looking back as much as it is about Wilks laying the groundwork for what’s to come with the all-important tenth book in the series. We’re remembering where Lily and Rule started, and how far they’ve come. A few times throughout the book Lily also makes mention of her own history; what made her want to be a cop in the first place, and the childhood tragedy that still has a great impact on her.

When Lily was nine years old, a monster had stolen her and her friend. He’d raped and killed Sarah. Lily was alive because of a cop who got there in time. Since she was nine years old, she’d known two things: there were monsters who looked like people. And one day she would become a cop and protect the real people from the monsters. By the time she joined the force, she’d understood that the monsters were real people too – twisted and warped and bad, but people. But her goal hadn’t changed.

But it’s not just Lily doing a bit of reflection into her past and particularly her childhood. The events in ‘Mortal Ties’ force Rule to confront the rocky history he had with his mother – the woman who left him to Isen shortly after he was born, and seemingly never looked back or came back for him. Rule has never really spoken about his mother before – something which greatly frustrates Lily, particularly because family is such a big part of her own life. I won’t give anything away, because there’s a great twist to Rule examining his childhood – but I look forward to this being picked apart more in future books.

As much as this book is about looking back and unearthing secrets and memories of the past, the storyline with Robert Friar is edge-of-your-seat fantastic. It’s a very tricky mystery to keep readers guessing, but so many fascinating clues are unearthed that will surely have wonderful repercussions in the future.

I loved this feeling of looking back but going forward throughout ‘Mortal Ties’. If I had any complaints, it’s probably that I wished Benedict and Arjenie had made an appearance on the page (instead they’re mentioned in phone conversations) only because this felt like a book about family and I would have loved Benedict’s reaction to Rule’s discoveries throughout. And, as always, I do wish we were further along in Rule and Lily’s relationship (two paltry months – we’re so close to “I do”!) but overall this felt like a wonderful book to gear up for number ten.


1 comment:

  1. I loved this bookmand the only complaint I have is the same you do! I missed Benedict and Arjenie as well.... Soooo much! Hehe Great review hon!


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