Torn: A middle book

Julie Kenner Blood Lily Chronicles 1. Tainted 2. Torn 3. TurnedJulie Kenner The Blood Lily Chronicles 2. TornTorn by Julie Kenner

It’s hard to review Torn without spoiling the big twist in the previous book, Tainted! So, I’ll just say that Torn follows the further adventures of Lily Carlyle, now Alice Purdue, as she attempts to keep demons from overrunning the Earth. Meanwhile, her thorny relationship with Deacon continues, her handlers have teamed her up with a partner, and now Lily has custody of her traumatized little sister, Rose.

Rose is now facing a violation that might well be worse than what she suffered in the previous book. The demon responsible for her rape has now taken up residence in her mind and body, sometimes possessing her wholly, sometimes lurking just below the surface. The parts of Torn that deal with Rose are pretty painful to read, especially when you think about Rose only being fourteen and what she’s already gone through in her young life. And it starts to seem like there’s no way for Lily to help her.

I was a little disappointed in the treatment of two of Torn‘s characters. One of them finally achieves his fondest desire, but I guess I was hoping he’d get a longer, more poignant scene when it happened. Then, there’s Lily’s partner, Kiera. She’s a really interesting character, from her sharp tongue to the never-quite-answered question of which side she’s really on. I wanted to see her explored more deeply, but instead I felt that she was kind of wasted and that she was only in the story for a particular reason.

Torn‘s plot is definitely a “middle book” plot. It picks up right where Tainted left off and serves mainly to set up the events of Turned, and to prepare the characters for what lies ahead. However, it’s a quick, suspenseful read filled with demonic intrigue and a bit of Indiana Jones-style temple-raiding. And we get to see Lily give one of the minor villains his just desserts, which is quite satisfying indeed!


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KELLY LASITER is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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One comment

  1. I have this trio on my list to get and read. They all sound really good. Glad to hear good things on this. I am looking forward to when I get to them. Unfortunately, don’t know when that will be but they are on the list to get to.

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