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Blood Lines    by Eileen Wilks order for
Blood Lines
by Eileen Wilks
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Lupi heir Rule Turner and his life mate, FBI agent and sensitive Lily Yu, have survived their ordeal in Hell, but not without consequence. Lily has lost part of her soul, sacrificed to save Rule, and while she cannot remember her ordeal, he still deeply mourns her loss. As Christmas approaches, their work finds them in Washington. But whatever holiday plans the lovers might have had are put on hold when demons begin targeting Lupi clan heirs, including Rule, who survives, but suffers a serious demon bite. His magic wolf's mantle cannot throw off the poison coursing through his body and neither can the spell workings of the Nikolai clan sorcerer, Cullen Seabourne. Within days Rule finds himself losing short increments of time. He and Lily realize his condition will only worsen unless they discover who is responsible for releasing the killer demons - and why.

Lily's boss at the special FBI branch of the Magical Crimes Division, calls in all his operatives, including new recruit Cynna Weaver, who is a former apprentice to the demon master she suspects ordered the attacks. Soon the fabric that divides the various realms spills out more demons, as well as uncontrolled magical energy that unleashes environmental chaos all around the globe. While Cynna and Cullen work together to try and get to the bottom of the demon attacks, Rule and Lily must deal with an old rivalry between the Nikolai and the more isolated and primitive Leidolf clan. Generations-old hostilities and rivalries are confronted and escalate, the results of which could change Rule and Lily's destiny and that of the Nikolai clan forever.

It's very clear that Eillen Wilks has spent considerable time and thought building the world of the Lupi and the other magical beings that are so integral to this story. The politics and complicated, ritualistic inner workings of the Lupi continue to evolve and become more fascinating with each installment. She also does a marvelous job with her characterizations, showing great depth of emotion and slowly unraveling a series of fascinating back-stories, all of which add intensity to the plot. Her secondaries shine, especially the conflicted Cullen and former street kid Cynna, whose attraction sizzles. Lily's formidable grandmother, Madame Li Lei, is another great addition, whose magical talents and shadowy ties to the dragons has yet to be fully revealed. If you enjoy beautifully written, character rich paranormals set in a satisfyingly intricate and imaginative world, then add your name to Eileen Wilks' growing fan list and savor Blood Lines to the very last page.

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