Turned is the third, and best, book in Julie Kenner’s Blood Lily Chronicles series. The convergence is coming, when hell’s gates will open, spilling out hordes of demons onto the Earth. Lily is the linchpin in the schemes of both Good and Evil, the “Prophecy Girl” who must choose between two fates: becoming queen of the demons, or locking the gates at the cost of her own eternal torment. Lily knows which path she must choose, but darned if queendom doesn’t sound a lot more appealing than burning in hell forever…
Yet there might be a third way… There are legends of a lost key that could lock the gates without requiring Lily’s sacrifice. She’s all for this, naturally, and so she searches for it, with the help of her evil-smiting “team”: Deacon, Lily’s demonic lover; Rose, Lily’s sister; and Rachel, Alice Purdue’s sister. But our heroes are running out of time.
The plot is filled with suspense and emotion; the reader feels Lily’s mounting sense of panic as the time for her terrible choice draws near, and the chaos in the streets of Boston as the demonic legions begin their conquest. Along the way, Kenner incorporates lots of little “Chekhov’s Guns” from earlier in the series (remember Alice’s knife tattoo?) and ties all of her plot threads together well.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series, from its twisting plot to its unlikely heroine and the terrible decisions she faces. I don’t know if Kenner plans to continue The Blood Lily Chronicles; the ending of Turned leaves the reader satisfied, but leaves the door open to further stories. I can say, though, that I recommend these three installments to fans of fast-paced urban fantasy with a dark edge.
The prose is uncomplicated, which makes for a quick read. I tend to like it a bit “purpler,” but your mileage may vary. And an ornate style probably wouldn’t have suited Lily’s voice anyway.
And by the way, might I mention an aspect of the romantic subplot that’s really refreshing? Lily knows who she wants and loves. Throughout her story, supernatural forces induce her to become attracted to several other characters, but she realizes it’s just the magic talking, and that she doesn’t have to act on it.
The Blood Lily Chronicles — (2009) Publisher: Lily Carlyle has lied, cheated, and stolen her way through life. But in death, she’ll really get to be bad… When her little sister is brutalized, a vengeful Lily determines to exact her own justice. She succeeds at the cost of her own life, but as she lies dying, she is given a second chance. Lily can earn her way into Paradise by becoming an assassin for the forces of good. It’s the job Lily believes she can really get into — but she doesn’t realize that she may not be able to get out.