Saturday, October 26, 2013
Ritual Magic (review)
Ritual Magic by Eileen Wilks is part of the compelling ‘Lupi’ series which features the deliciously alpha Rule Turner who has learned to deal with his Nokolai werewolf ties so that he can adequately carry out his duties as head of the Leidolf clan. He is getting closer to tying his mate, Lily Yu, to him with the human ceremony of marriage when another salvo in the Great War is struck and Lily’s mother is caught in the cross-fire. The incorporeal Al Drummond is only one of the allies who attempts to help right the grave wrong that has been done but he, like most of the others is having trouble circumventing some of the limitations placed on him. It may take more than two packs of lupi, a wizard, a dragon, and several very determined relatives to circumvent the evil plans of Robert Friar and his goddess but nobody is prepared to give up, no matter what the cost.
This mesmerizing series combines an enticing blend of reality as provided by Lily and her ties to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies with the mystical elements provided by shapeshifters who include wolves and a tiger and combines this all with the ritualized culture from both the lupi and the Asian-American elements. The deep and abiding romance that has characterized the relationship between Rule and Lily makes this one of my favorite aspects of this series and the author’s lyrical descriptions emphasizes the intensity of their bond. Phrases like describing Lily as the ‘heart of Rule’s world’ and the following description of their mate bond always make me sigh. “The ease was immediate. This, too, the mate bond gave them, heightening the inherent comfort of touch. But it was love that made her touch rich, layered, full. Love was like smell, Rule thought. Smell was the most complex and dimensional of the senses, weaving together past and present, near and distant, motion and stillness. Love, too, was a weaver.”
I like the way Rule is able to compromise (somewhat) as he has learned how to deal with the demands upon him, his innate protective nature, and the stubbornness of his mate. Their relationship has evolved over the series and although I think it might be possible to read this as a stand-alone, I think it would be difficult to appreciate the complexities of the interrelationships among all of the characters, including the irascible ghost who has also evolved and the opinionated dragon who has intricate ties to Lily and her family. This is a wonderfully complex and fascinating paranormal series characterized by an artfully built world peopled by charismatic beings and I look forward to many more tales spun by this masterful storyteller.
© Night Owl Reviews
I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.
Ritual Magic (A Novel of the Lupi) (Amazon link)
Additional notes: This is one of those series that I usually have pre-ordered well in advance of publication. I love the enigmatic characters that make up Lily's family and I thought this particular tale did a nice job of giving a different perspective of Lily's mom.
I thought I'd share this terribly appropriate description of one of those escalating headaches that one tries to ignore to one's regret...it's just another example of the way this author can paint such vivid word portraits!
“It was one of those sneaky headaches that starts small so you won’t notice it and take action, but the little guy with the big crowbar had clocked in at some point and was hard at work prying open her skull. The little guy is industrious. As long as you’re still, he can keep working. If you move, it jostles him. That makes him mad and he whacks you with the damn crowbar.”