Torn, by Julie Kenner, is the second novel in the Blood Lily Chronicles.
Lily has been betrayed by her mentor and has been working for evil instead of good. Now, she knows the truth and decides to team up with Deacon, a fallen angel trying to redeem himself. In order to stop evil forces from opening up more doors to the underworld, Lily must find the keys and destroy them.
Lily is faced with even harder decisions this time around. Her sister has been possessed by the demon she hates most in the world. And the only way to rid of him is to give him the artifacts. But if she does that, she’s endangering the entire world. And when paired with a demon-hunting partner, Lily is unsure which side the young woman has chosen.
With more surprises in store and so many enemies, I’m not sure how the next book will be able to wrap up everything by the end. Fast-paced and just as suspenseful as the previous, Torn is a fantastic adventure with a big ending. Many “middle” books in trilogies are just fillers and leave something to be desired. But I was pleasantly surprised that Torn is a strong and solid story in its own right. The final book in the trilogy, Turned, will be released this December.
Barb and JC Hendee are the authors of the fantastic Noble Dead saga. Through Stone and Sea releases next month from Roc Books. _________________
What can you tell us about your upcoming release, Through Stone and Sea?
Barb: This is the “fattest” book our publisher has let us get away with to date. Hah! It’s an exciting tale. Wynn, Chane, and Shade travel to Dhredze Seatt, the mountain stronghold of the dwarves, looking for the ancient texts that Wynn’s superiors confiscated. Unexpected threats and mysteries quickly arise.
JC: Along the way, the readers will be introduced to a new race as well as a new culture, with a long history that most of the world doesn’t know about. In addition some characters who appeared briefly in the first book play some startling, more active roles. There is lot more going on in Wynn’s world than even she ever knew about, and perhaps the royal city of Calm Seatt isn’t as calm as everyone thought.
How did your ideas/thought process for Magiere and Leesil come about?
Barb: One night, we were researching another project when we came across an interesting entry in a book called The Vampire Encyclopedia by Mathew Bunson. It related information regarding the origins of the “dhampir,” a name given by Slavonic gypsies to the child of a vampire. In medieval Serbia and Yugoslavia, charlatans took advantage of this myth by pretending to be dhampirs. They would convince a troubled village that it was beset by a vampire, and that only a dhampir could see the undead creature. Then they would stage elaborate “battles” and claim they had destroyed the vampire—and charge the village quite a fee. This is what sparked the original idea, and the story of Magiere and Leesil began to grow.
JC: From there, we considered the fantastical possibilities. We asked ourselves “what if one charlatan had to face the concept that vampires were indeed real—and that she was a true dhampir?
Our aim was always to write fantasy, not vampire fiction, and we wanted to write a female protagonist living the more active side of action fantasy in a role most often reserved for male characters. And so Magiere came into being. Leesil followed quickly, first shown only to the reader as a sidekick, but it wasn’t long before everyone (including the readers) saw how he would shape – and perhaps had always shaped – the story and Magiere’s world in new ways.
Magiere, the dhampir, has such a complex back-story. Did you plan it out ahead of time, or was it a gradual process?
This past weekend I attended Starbase Indy. A special surprise guest was announced at the last minute. It seems that Logan Huffman, of recent “V” fame, called up Starbase Indy and asked if he could come on out, as he’s from Indianapolis anyway. This was his first convention and was extremely gracious and courteous to all of his fans. And even though attendee numbers were sparse, there were no shortage of questions for the young actor!
He even shared some spoilers with us that we’re not supposed to repeat. But I can say that the show is already written out with a five year plan. Logan himself is contracted for seven years. He doesn’t know for sure how his character will grow, but hopes to see a Romeo and Juliet type of relationship form with on-screen love Lisa (Laura Vandervoort).
Also in attendance was Garrett Wang, from Star Trek: Voyager. Garrett was at my first ever convention, back in 2004, which was also here at Starbase Indy. He was just as charming and witty as ever, and very entertaining.
Set in the distant future, Boss is a professional wreck diver, who salvages valuables from abandoned spacecrafts. When she comes across a mysterious and ancient ship, her curiosity is overwhelming. But an unknown danger waits inside. The ancient ship contains stealth technology that has yet to be perfected. Years ago, Boss lost her mother to similar technology. After the death of several comrades, Boss is faced with the moral dilemma of whether or not to leave the stealth technology in the hands of the military, potentially endangering countless more lives.
Written in first person narrative, readers experience everything from Boss’ point of view. Boss is a recluse, never fully trusting anyone. And we are shown the reason why during flashbacks of Boss’ past. The story focuses more on the plot and events, rather than character development. But what it lacks in character depth, Rusch makes up for in creating suspense and making readers think. I also give praise to Rusch as well for not overdoing the details for stealth technology. Enough information is given to make imaginations flare, but not enough to burden the story.
I have read several of Rusch’s media tie-in novels, but this is the first original novel of hers that I have read. I now consider myself a fan. Full of adventure, danger, intrigue, and futuristic tech, this is what scifi readers, like me, crave. Science fiction fans should definitely check out this latest release by Rusch.