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World of the Lupi #7

Blood Challenge

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Lily Yu and Rule Turner’s engagement announcement is stirring up ugly passions in the Humans First camp. There’s hate mail. Death threats. Lily’s car is vandalized. But professionally, things are going smoothly...until a lupus in Tennessee goes on a killing spree.

Then Rule's brother, Benedict, catches a lovely intruder--twice. The first time she's sneaking around the home of the leader of Humans First. The second time, she sneaks into Nokolai Clanhome with a mysterious potion.

It may not be possible to deal with the rapidly escalating situation the way Lily always has: through the law. Especially when she’s pulled off the case due to an alleged conflict of interest. Lily’s loyalties will be stretched to the breaking point when she discovers that the deaths in Tennessee were only the opening skirmish in an all-out war.

443 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 4, 2011

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About the author

Eileen Wilks

141 books1,473 followers
Eileen Wilks’ first book, a Silhouette Desire published in 1996, hit the USA Today Bestseller List and was nominated for Romantic Times' Best First Short Contemporary award. Since then, her books have appeared consistently on national bestseller lists. With thirty two books in print and novellas in nine anthologies, she has been a finalist in the prestigious Rita Awards three times, as well as receiving several nominations from Romantic Times, including one for Career Achievement in Series Romantic Suspense.

Each book in her World of the Lupi series gains a larger audience. It was originally sold in the Romance section of bookstores, but more and more you will be able to find copies cross-shelved under Sci-Fi and Fantasy as the popularity of the series grows!

Eileen has lived in the West Texas town of Midland, TX for over 30 years--three years as a young teen, and the remaining years since she moved back here as an adult. When she first started writing over 10 years ago, it hit her like the first drink for an alcoholic . . . or the first kiss for Romeo and Juliet.

She came to writing romance in a roundabout way. Having read and loved science fiction for years, that’s where she first tried her hand when the writing bug bit. Somehow her stories always ended up having a strong romantic subplot, but she hadn’t read a romance since the early 80’s and didn’t think “those little books” were her kind of stories. But when a friend in her critique group began working on a romance novel, Wilks decided she needed to give the genre another try. She asked her friend to recommend some titles--and quicker than you can say “Jayne Ann Krentz,” she fell in love. The genre had been busy growing up while she wasn’t watching. These days, with romances comprising over 50% of the mass market books published in the U.S., there are romances to appeal to almost every taste--historicals, paranormals and contemporaries that range from romantic suspense to romantic comedy, from inspirational to sizzling.

Eileen covered a lot of territory before coming home to Midland, having lived in Canada and Venezuela as well as twelve U.S. cities in five states.

Profile taken from the author's site with her permission.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 192 reviews
Profile Image for carol..
1,535 reviews7,869 followers
September 16, 2018
Another surprisingly solid entry in the Lily Yu series. I say 'surprising,' not because Wilks a bad writer--she's definitely not--but because my expectations for UF series have been so consistently lowered that I've abandoned almost all (Kate Daniels is the exception, natch).

My library system didn't have Blood Challenge, which lead to the purchase of a dead tree copy. Now my indecision is do I help them complete their collection? Or save it for myself? There's a solid degree of re-readability to this series; as I mentioned, Wilks has a nice sophistication in writing style, with a balance between world-building, action plotting, and romance.

Oh yes; I said it. The 'R' word. It's here and it's really, really, sweet. From the established couple dynamics between Lily and Rule, to the new discovery of a relationship between an old favorite and a brand new one. If it just seems too... annoying that the magic of the insta-bond Chosen comes up again, rest assured that Wilks has a reason.

I'll be honest: the main plot felt almost exactly like one of the earlier books--I will spoil which one-- with substitutions of side characters. But I'll totally forgive that because it still works.

This book also brings out the idea of an overarching, multi-book plot, with a powerful enemy working against the Lupi. As I mentioned in my review of Magic Triumphs review (Kate Daniels), there's some good and bad in that, when it comes to series. One consideration is that the mythology of the world has enlarged with each book, with more pieces put into place in each installment. This book in particular makes it clear that there's a purpose between these seemingly dramatic but individual developments such as Rule's assuming two mantles.

Overall, an interesting and enjoyable series that's a bit like a favorite comforter. I'm not really moved to wrap up in it and never leave the couch, but there's a comforting element of reliability when I'm in the mood.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,163 followers
December 8, 2016
The ending of this book is a tease!! She threw-down a big ol' bomb on the very last line of the book.

Must read next book immediately!!

Okay, so in this book we have the jerk-dude from a previous half-book stirring up all kinds of trouble. He wants all the werewolves dead. Their families - dead. Their friends - dead. He's basically a mob-boss, or me when it comes to insects in my home.

no, not at all. This is a perfectly legitimate response.

Also, people are being jerks about Lily marrying a werewolf. What's the problem, people? So he turns furry once in a while. We all have our quirks. Don't judge!

Okay, you can judge a little bit...

Ick, where's my hand sanitizer?

On the side of all of that, we have a romance brewing between a new character and an old one who was never very interesting in my eyes. He is a boring jerk, so let's give him a new mate! They meet, he realizes she's his mate, they have a couple of conversations (that aren't even that interesting) and she confesses her love for him. Ugh! Really? This guy has the personality of a tree trunk. And, not a good tree - like an apple tree. No, a jerk-ass tree, like this one:

Screw you, tree! I have a fireplace with your name on it!

So, I had a very hard time buying the romance part of the story. Luckily, there was enough good stuff to counteract the crapola.

And, the buddy-read continues!! No stopping til it's over, right bubbsy?

I have a good feeling about this!
Profile Image for Choko.
1,199 reviews2,584 followers
October 23, 2017
*** 4.44 ***

Another great addition to this series! As I have said before, every book deeper in the series becomes better than the previous! I know this binging of werewolf and witches books is my way of preparing for the Halloween Holiday, but I seem not to be able to get enough of them right now. It does not hurt that most of the series I have chosen to indulge with are very well crafted, have characters whom it is easy to root for, and are told in a very engaging manner. I love Special Agent of the FBI Lily Yu and her werewolf fiancee Rule Turner. He is a special kind of a lupus, since he carries within himself the identities and future of two wolf Clans, something unheard of until now. However, many things are changing in the Lupi community, since their deity, The Lady, and her arch-enemy are preparing for war, which would spell the total destruction or survival of her created children, the werewolves. Since Lily and Rule decided they are getting married, a wave of hatred has been sweeping the Nation, both from the Humans and Wolves sides. The wolves do not like it, since it takes away their prerogative to never be monogamous, and the humans consider it bestiality. Obviously, both sides have issues and both are wrong! I said so!!

"...“Nice doggie.” ...

In this volume we have someone "poisoning" the weres with something that is making them go into a rage and kill anyone around. Rule and Lily get involved because one of the Lupi involved is a member of Leidolf, which is one of the Clans Rule is a leader of. At the same time Rule's brother Benedict catches a very intriguing young lady who has been trespassing on Clan territory. She is the quirky, charming and all together to lovely Arjenie, with a mysterious magical gift and an earnest personality. She is likable straight off the bet and easy to understand why Benedict is immediately enchanted by her.... and more.

Not only is the Nokolai Clan in danger, but they suspect all of their kind are being targeted for destruction, most probably by the movement of Humans First, but the suspicion is that their leader is acting as an agent to the Arch-enemy to the Lady. Things are going from bad to worse as the poisonous influence is spreading distrust and animosity between the leaders of the Clans and instead of them banding together to fight a common enemy, they keep provoking each-other into useless confrontations.

"...“The current crop of experts claimed that baby girls stare at faces while baby boys watch the mobile over their cribs. They extrapolated from this to conclude that women are inherently interested in people and men are inherently interested in objects.

... Turner supposed they might be right in a statistical sense, but numbers don’t tell the whole story. If you have one foot in boiling water and one in a tub of dry ice, on the average you’re comfortable.”...

I love all the female characters in this book. It is obvious that I have become very attached to Lily and Cynna, who at this point is 8 months pregnant and cranky:) Of course I adore Cullen and I still feel like the two of them are being shafted by not being given that Mate Bond, particularly since they love and adore each-other! I think Arjenie will make a great addition to the gang:)

"...“It’s more efficient my way.”
“If your primary goal in life is efficiency, you should just die.”
That startled him. His head actually jerked back. “What?”
“The most efficient way to live a life is to die a couple seconds after you’re born. Pfft. Done.” She dusted her hands to demonstrate that. “It’s too late for you to achieve optimal efficiency, but you could still . . .”...

The last 30% of the book were all action and in the final 2-3 sentences we find out something very interesting, sure to upset the balance of the life as they know it in the Lupus community. What a way to get us trough ourselves into the next book without delay!!! So, I should not be wasting my time selling this to you, since you should be already reading this series, but going and diving into the next one ASAP!!!

Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a good book!!!
Profile Image for edge of bubble.
247 reviews154 followers
December 7, 2016
Things are getting more interesting! Other clans are distrustful of Nokolai and Rule, hate groups are getting powerful, world is changing. And everything is getting more complex!

Lupi and everyone who is of the blood has a new enemy *actually we were introduced to him at the novella, Human Nature*.
And Benedict has a second chance *she was mentioned in the very same novella in passing. that must be where Wilks was stretching the plot in her mind. hamfisted but not bad*.
Benedict and Arjenie's relationship felt rushed and not rushed. *I know, I know I make the best sense and am very helpful with feelings. No need for swooning *

And that ending! Best one so far. I can't wait to read the next book so I'll have to cut this short and gorge myself on some lupi. Huh that sounded bad.
Profile Image for Catherine.
523 reviews539 followers
January 17, 2011
This series is a relatively new discovery to me. I actually only read the first book of the series, Tempting Danger, in October of 2010! But it was love at first sight for me. Right after I closed Tempting Danger I called one bookstore, visited two other used bookstores, and even hit up the library looking for the second book so I could jump into it immediately. Alas, my little town sucks and I had to order it and wait for it to arrive. But finally the rest of the series came in and I got to read them all. I actually just finished the last book, Blood Magic, before starting this one. So, needless to say, everything is very fresh in my mind.

This book is not one that I would recommend reading as a standalone. The events that these characters experience and the way the relationships have evolved are only really appreciated when read in order. The series slowly layers with each book and the payoff really comes from taking the journey with the characters.

Once again we’re following Rule and Lily’s journey. There is a surprising (but welcome) secondary romance included as well, and I hope we’ll eventually get a whole book devoted to them like we did with the other secondary couple. I was a little afraid that the secondary romance would leave me unsatisfied as it did previously, but I was actually really happy with it.

Benedict and Arjenie were very intriguing to read about. Benedict has always been something of an enigma to me, so I was thrilled when I turned a page and realized it was starting to focus on him. The glimpses I have seen of him while reading about Rule—and his tough past with his Chosen--made his terror at the prospect of another connection very compelling. Paired with Arjenie’s babbling about interesting facts and her overall cute personality, there was no way I couldn’t like them together.

Rule and Lily continue along the taboo path that they chose at the end of the fifth book, Mortal Sins. Not everyone is pleased for them, and Lily and Rule have both been receiving threats. In addition to this, something has happened to endanger the public opinion of the lupi.

I find myself more and more fascinated with the lupi world. The way everything is starting to tie together and the importance of the Chosen is keeping me glued to this series. I really love the world that this author has created and don’t understand why I don’t hear about her more often.

I loved getting to see more of the other clans, and I was thrilled to get a deeper look at Isen. At times Lily’s black and white view of her role as an agent of the law irritated me, but I guess she wouldn’t be who she was without that attitude. I’m pleased that even though Lily and Rule run into personality conflicts during their relationship they never turn it into unnecessary drama. The realness of their relationship and the normal way they work on their problems is one of my favorite parts of the series.

The end of this book had my mouth gaping. Finally we learned more about the prophecy that has been hinted about, but it just led to a bigger surprise. I am shocked (but thrilled) by this development and cannot wait to get my hands on the next book!

Favorite Quote:
"Why did you want me flustered or annoyed?"

His mouth turned wry. "The same reason I would have pulled your hair a few decades ago. Or turned cartwheels, or lifted something impressively heavy."

"You wanted my attention." Delighted, she propped her chin on one hand, elbow on the table, so she could look straight at him. "Okay. You've got it."

He hesitated. "I think I'm flustered."

Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen
Profile Image for Melindeeloo.
3,068 reviews158 followers
January 5, 2011
The series arc in Eileen Wilks' fabulous new World of the Lupi book is heating up: Lupi wolfshifter Rule's plan to break a Lupi taboo (if you read the last book you'll know what I'm trying to avoid spoiling for those who haven't) brings some nasty attention to Lily from hatemongers and the Lupi's public relations take a hit when a Lupi goes inexplicably berserk and kills several humans. I can't really do justice to the book with a simple synopsis, because the story setup is just the tip of the iceberg for a scheme which threatens Lily, Rule and the entire Lupi race.

In between books I always forget how much I love the leads, Lily and Rule, and the secondary leads, Cullen and Cynna too. Wilks' characters are well developed and they (and their relationships) continue to grow as the series progress. This time Wilks also offers a more in depth view into the minds of continuing characters Isen and Benedict (Rule's wily and charismatic father and his taciturn and dangerous brother) who both have important parts to play in the story. I was also charmed by a new but significant member of the cast: part fae and info-freak Arjenie - and since she's a newbie to the Lupi world, there's a bit of a recap of series high points and Lupi lore that will help fans-to-be come up to speed too.

The story and the world building in Blood Challenge are terrific as always - I loved how the influence of the Lady (the Lupi's deity) is manifesting and how well chosen her "Chosen" really are as the Lady and her enemy begin putting their 'pieces' in play. And the finishing touch, I loved how Wilks' continues to add to the richness of the Lupi culture, as we learn even more about the other Lupi clans, the clan 'mantles' - power held by the clan leader which connects its members - and as we get to witness a ceremony honoring fallen Lupi warriors.

I loved Blood Challenge, so much that I read it twice in a row and it is definitely going on my very small keeper shelf next. End of gushing fan girlness:) Can't wait for the next book - Death Magic.
Profile Image for Laura (Kyahgirl).
2,065 reviews144 followers
March 18, 2016
4/5; 4 stars; A-

There was a lot going on in this book. I really enjoyed watching Benedict get gobsmacked by love, although that wasnt the main plot of the book. The introduction of some evil elves, as well as development of Lily's role and more Lupi politics kept things moving along. Some aspects of Lily's character really chafe but the rest of the cast of characters make up for it.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,676 reviews704 followers
July 5, 2022
Seventh in the World of the Lupi paranormal fantasy series revolving around lupi, werewolves. The primary couple focus is on Agent Lily Yu and Rule Turner with a secondary focus on Arjenie Fox and Benedict.

In 2011, Blood Challenge was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Paranormal Fantasy.

My Take
Blood Challenge takes a major step forward in the upcoming war against She, a major (and unwelcome) insight for Lily, and even more unwelcome news for Benedict.

Impossible events are occurring to the lupi and some of it because Rule insists on marrying Lily and some because Rule carries two mantles as Lu Nuncio of Nokolai and Rho of Leidolf. As for Benedict getting a second chance with a Chosen? Nope. It can't be. The other lupi clans think it's a plot! But all of it are the opening salvos in an undeclared war stirring up humans against the lupi with the intention of destroying them.

We learn all this through Wilks' use of third person global perspective point-of-view, from a variety of perspectives, including Lily, Rule, Benedict, and Arjenie.

Wilks has their Lady passing on clues, which entice me to keep reading, to find out what happens next. No, these clues aren't the only thing, as I do adore the characters, even the snarly ones, lol. I'm also impressed with their culture of caring, especially when Benedict doesn't understand why there are children in the world who are unclaimed, unwanted. Of course, their culture also makes it easier to care for babies and children.

Wilks writes so very believably in her dialog and with compelling, strong characters although, this installment is missing something. I still feel involved but not as entrenched in events.

The mate bond between Rule and Lily imposes interesting constraints. Rule having to balance talking to his father as his father, as his Rho, or as one Rho to another, makes an interesting conflict.
"He told me it was my son and heir who'd called me, not the Leidolf Rho, but if I wished to speak to the Rho he'd see if he could arrange it."
Oh, boy, Lily makes some excellent points about that "conflict of interest". "If Rule were Black, does that mean Lily can't investigate a case involving a Black person?" "If Lily were engaged to the head of the NAACP, would [she] be barred from cases involving African Americans?" Oops, Lily is Asian-American. Better not let her investigate cases involving Asians.

Yep, that case involving Cobb does create some interesting *gag* conflicts for both Lily and Rule, cutting into the honor of each of them.

Instead of info dumps (yay!), Wilks shows Rule's compassion in a number of ways, one of which is his concern for Leidolf's finances. Wilks does continue to provide Lily's back history of the trauma she suffered as a child. There's a sort of back history on the sidhe and how they assess status as well as how Nettie reacted when her father's Chosen died.

I do enjoy Arjenie's nervousness being depicted as a trivia distraction. She's brilliant if shy. And boy, does Arjenie prove herself!! I also enjoyed Benedict's self-reflection on the differences between him and Rule, leadership-wise.

It's grim humor Wilks depicts with myopic surgeons who only believe in their own skills. Similar to the law enforcement Lily, Rule, and the lupi have to battle.

It's towards the end that Benedict experiences a horrible betrayal and we learn that the Queens share an enemy with the lupi.

Betrayals, battle, bombs, kidnappings, poisonings, and sabotage combine with human law enforcement, werewolves and their culture, magic, and elves in Blood Challenge.

The Story
Lily Yu and Rule Turner’s engagement announcement is stirring up ugly passions in the Humans First camp. There’s hate mail. Death threats. Lily’s car is vandalized. But professionally, things are going smoothly . . . until a lupus in Tennessee goes on a killing spree.

Then Rule's brother, Benedict, catches a lovely intruder — twice. The first time she's sneaking around the home of the leader of Humans First. The second time, she sneaks into Nokolai Clanhome with a mysterious potion.

It may not be possible to deal with the rapidly escalating situation the way Lily always has: through the law. Especially when she’s pulled off the case due to an alleged conflict of interest. Lily’s loyalties will be stretched to the breaking point when she discovers that the deaths in Tennessee were only the opening skirmish in an all-out war.

The Characters
Special Agent Lily Yu, a former Homicide detective, a touch sensitive who learned she inherited dragon magic — the ability to learn mindspeech — and can suck out someone's magic, works for Unit 12, and is Rule Turner's Chosen. Dirty Harry is Lily's cat who "tolerates" Rule — as long as Rule gives him ham — but Harry adores Toby. Grandmother, a.k.a. Madame Li Lei Yu, who turns into a Siberian tiger, is powerful. Li Qin is Grandmother's companion and lover.

Rule Turner is referred to as the Nokolai Prince by the news media and is Lu Nuncio for Nokolai and Rho for Leidolf. Toby, Rule's son, is now living with them and adjusting to new rules. Louise Asteglio is Toby's grandmother.

Nokolai is . . .
. . . a lupi clan based in San Diego with Isen Turner as Rho. Benedict Charles Kayani is Rule's half-brother and in charge of Nokolai security. Claire/Clare had been Benedict's unhappy Chosen. Pete is Benedict's second-in-command. José is the head bodyguard. More guards include Tommy, Saul, Jason, Matt, Shannon, Todd, Kendrick, Lucas, Danny, Samuel (he's growing native plants to sell to local garden centers), and Sean. The Nokolai Rhej is blind but a highly Gifted physical empath. Born Etorri then adopted into Nokolai, the rule-breaking Cullen Seabourne is both werewolf and sorcerer. Cynna, a former FBI agent, is apprenticing to the clan and pregnant with Cullen's child. Dr Nettie Two Horses is a medical doctor, a healer, a shaman, and Benedict's daughter. The 120-year-old Carl is Isen's houseman and a great cook. Mondo is a big yellow Lab. Harold Spanner homeschools the young including Toby and Sean, Mike Rose's son. Jimmy is a contractor.

Arjenie Fox, an FBI researcher from Virginia, has a don't-see-me Gift. Dya is a Binai and Arjenie's friend. The tears are an addiction to the Binai yet it does allow them to customize potions. Arjenie's family includes her deceased mother who had been a strong Earth witch; Uncle Hershey, who can call fire without glass impacting his Gift; Aunt Robin, who is a Finder; and, Uncles Clay (a blacksmith), Ambrose (plays flute), Nate (a doctor who respects healers), Stephen, and five named Delacroix who all support Arjenie. Cousins include Jack; Serri, who has a new boyfriend; Sammy, who aced his calculus test; and, Pat, who is an amazing weaver.

Leidolf is . . .
. . . a lupi clan based in North Carolina, and they have been mortal enemies of the Nokolai for centuries. Until now. Now that Rule Tuner is their Rho. Alex Tibideaux is still their Lu Nuncio but not the heir. Raymond Cobb is a lupus who went nuts and killed people. David Auckley and Jeffrey Lane are Leidolf werewolves who recently went through the gens compleo with an unwelcome side effect. LeBron Hastings, Randy Carlson, and Scott are some of the bodyguards. Samuel is LeBron's younger son. Brad Mettinger was the first man Benedict killed. The Leidolf Rhej is a healer.

Stephen Andros is the Etorri Lu Nuncio; the difficult Edgar Whitman is Rho of Wythe; his younger brother Brian is Lu Nuncio of Wythe; Manuel is the Rho for Ybirra; Javier Mendoza is the Ybirra Lu Nuncio; Jasper/Jason is Kyffin's Rho; Uncle Myron Baker is Kyffin's placeholder Lu Nuncio; and, Andor and Lucas Demeny are with Szøs. Lucas' brother Rikard died in Mortal Danger , 2. Robert is one of Edgar's guards. Billy is Myron's guard. Gil is Javier's guard.

Law enforcement in San Diego
Detective Thomas "T.J." James had been Lily's mentor. Deputy Cody Beck used to date Lily. In San Diego, FBI Agent Mark Burke is Task Force Dude.

Special Agent Aaron Gray is investigating a gadolinum theft. Special Agent Anna Sjorensen, who'd minored in accounting, is with the local North Carolina office. She has a minor patterning Gift. Matt is another local agent. Special Agent Millhouse is a self-important buffoon.

Vanderbilt is the nearest hospital that has a containment room. Harvey is a security guard. Robert Stanton is an orthopedic surgeon. Dr Cummings performs skin grafts. Chief Grissim is in charge of the police in Nashville? Lieutenant Matthews is pushy at the hospital. Reynolds and Sonja are some of the victims. Emily Hanks is with CNN. Kyle Rogers is with NBC. Armand is with FOX. Jake drives a taxi.

Unit 12 is part of the FBI and appears to be like the Magical Crimes Division (MCD). Ruben Brooks, a precog, is Unit 12's director. Deborah is Ruben's wife. Ida Reinhart is Ruben's efficient secretary. Martin Croft is Brooks' backup. Agents include Abel Karonski and Steve Timms ( Blood Lines , 3).

Robert Friar has organized Humans First, a hate group. He's become a clairaudient, a Listener, and is quite powerful. Hernando, Hyde, and Way is Friar's dummy corporation. Mariah, an empath, is Robert's daughter who hates her father. Paul Chittenden is Friar's West Coast lieutenant, and he purchased Breck's Disposal. Calvin Brewster is one of Friar's mercenaries.

The Fae have two queens: Summer and Winter. Queens' Law usually only applies to the sidhe realms. The sidhe divide themselves into High, Middle, and Low. Eledan is a realm-crossing sidhe and a professional lover. He's also Arjenie's father. There are five elements of magic: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Rethna is an elf lord. His flunkies include Soshi and his pet spiders.

Lupus is singular and lupi is the plural for what the werewolves call themselves. The Lady is an Old One who created the lupi to fight in the Great Battle 3,000 years ago against her , another Old One who is the Lady's enemy. A high dominant lupus is unable to submit. Victor Frey had been one as well as Finnen Ap Corwyn with the Cynyr clan. Tomáas Ybirra had been a Leidolf high dominant who left the clan to found Ybirra in the 1800s. Pernato are lupi throwbacks. Certa is the optimal battle state. The fury is another battle state but one in which the lupus loses track of who is friend or foe. Sarah was the woman who had conceived Rule's first child. A Chosen and the Rhej are both Lady-chosen and treasured by all clans. Ospi are friends of the clan and the children of clan daughters. Dworg are similar to the offspring of a troll and a demon.

Wendy is a neighbor in Rule and Lily's apartment building. Another, Jack, rides a motorcycle and is in an unsuccessful band. Sheila Bickner tried a curse. Gadolinium is a rare earth metal that is the key ingredient in gado, a drug used to control lupi. Do Me is a new date rape street drug. Sarah is the third grade friend who was kidnapped along with Lily by George Anderson.

The Cover and Title
The background for the cover is a light royal blue night sky with a full moon in the upper right corner and a tone-on-tone wolf's head on the left. Below these is a darker mountain range and a sea of city lights below that. The black-haired Lily Yu is in an extended leg crouch in black tank top and jeans, holding her gun with both hands, as she looks up to the right. At the top is the author's name in white with a slight shadow. An info blurb is in white under her last name. Below and to the right of the wolf's nose is a testimonial in white. The sloping ground that Lily is crouched on provides an angle for the series info in white with the title beneath it in a gradated white to lime green.

The title is indeed a Blood Challenge.
Profile Image for Tim Mercer.
277 reviews
March 30, 2018
Actually really enjoyable 4.25 stars. Looking forward to reading the next one!
Profile Image for Tori.
2,814 reviews477 followers
September 8, 2016
Originally posted at:http://www.smexybooks.com/2011/02/rev...

Favorite Quote:
“Giving me a chance to object is not the same as asking permission. Your used to telling people what to do. That’s works with those guards your in charge of. You’re not in charge of me. You have to ask.”

“It’s more efficient my way.”

“If your primary goal in life is efficiency, you should just die."

When Lily Yu and Rule Turner announced their engagement, there were some that were not wishing the couple congratulations. Namely the Humans First group. Lily becomes the target of harassment with hate mail, death threats, and vandalism.

When Rule's brother Benedict catches a lovely intruder sneaking around the Nokolai clanhome and a Lupi goes berserk and kills, Lily realizes that she will not be able to deal with the increasing chaos using her badge. As Lily's loyalties are stretched to the breaking point, she will have to trust those around her when an old enemy joins forces with a new enemy to declare war on all Lupi.

In Eileen Wilks newest installment,Blood Challenge, Lily and Rule have become formally engaged. Unheard of when Lupi aren't known to be monogamous. Once this becomes public knowledge, Lily gets harassed by those who feel humans and the supernatural shouldn’t mix. It eventually escalates into violence when Lily is shot and her Lupi bodyguard is killed. While Lily is recuperating in the hospital, more trouble is brewing for the Lupi when an intruder is caught sniffing around the clanhome. When Benedict catches Arjenie, he thinks she is a spy for the Human First group. Arjenie is not a spy, but she does have secrets and they will soon bring the humans and the supernaturals to the edge of war.

I love the world Eileen Wilks has written for us. A rich, dark, and action packed Urban Fantasy that blends old world fantasy with modern day intrigue to create a world that captivates and enchants you. Magic and crime fighting go hand in hand as Lily Yu straddles the line between her world and the supernatural world. If you haven’t read the first in this series, Tempting Danger, I highly recommend you start at the beginning. The storyline develops and changes with each new installment and you lose a lot by not starting from the beginning. In this installment we not only divulge more into the emotional turmoil of Lily and Rule’s life but also the lives of the other supernaturals which enhances and elevates the arc to new and devious levels.

Lily and Rule’s engagement stir up bad feelings not only in the human community but also the Lupi community. We see the true love they share for each other that transcends the mate bond. We are given more understanding into the hard time Lily has with losing some of the control she has over herself (the mating bond requires mates to stay within a certain distance of each other) and the fine line she has to maintain between her position as a law enforcement officer and keeping the secrets of the Lupi.

Benedict, Rule’s brother, plays a larger part in this story as he is given a gift that not only surprises but causes him dismay. I enjoyed this story line a lot as Benedict is much different from Rule and I’ve always wanted to see him play a larger role in this series. We go deeper into his back story and develop a greater understanding for the man he is today. He really steals the show in this book. I do hope Ms. Wilks continues to keep Benedict in the forefront.

The in-depth look at the Lupi life style and day to day activities is interesting as it adds an intimate tone to the book. Seeing the individuals of the other clans interact with each other keeps the arc fresh and evolving. There is a lot going on in here and while we see many familiar faces, we are also introduced to some new players as we get closer to the prophecy that has been alluded to through out the series.

I did find some parts involving Lily to be a bit redundant. Her need for control and paranoid attitude can make for some slow times in the story as you wait for her to figure it all out.

The ending is fast and furious as we are left poised on the brink of a revelation that promises major changes for the Lupi and those involved with them. I highly recommend Eileen Wilks World of the Lupi if your a fan of action packed, fast paced, romantic Urban Fantasy that keeps you on the edge of your seat with each passing page.

Rating: B+
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books700 followers
June 14, 2016
I know it’s bad form to talk about the ending of a book first, but WOW what at ending this one has. It’s really the ultimate culmination of a fantastic book that builds and builds to a climax that is emotional, intense, and pretty much everything you could want. Not sold yet? Let me back up.

This book really gets back to the basics in what the series is about, and it picks up some dangling threads that have just been waiting to be pulled. The focus is on the lupi, specifically Nokolai, but not just them. Rule is trying to gather all the clans together to talk about the growing threat from their ancient enemy. It’s not easy, since his decision to become Rho of Leidolf while remaining heir to Nokolai has left the other clans on edge.

So much is happening, from an unexplained outbreak of deadly rage from a Leidolf wolf to the growing threat from the Humans First movement and their leader. All of that sets up a great mystery arc and really keeps the pace moving fast. But where the book started to really rock my world is when the focus moved to Benedict and major changes that hit his life. I have always been interested in Benedict. He reminds me much of Charles from the Mercy Thompson world, who I also love (though it’s only fair to point out that this series came out first.) Anyway, he plays a really big role here, and it was a win in every way.

These books are really at their best when we’re focused on the characters and the clans –and that’s exactly what Eileen Wilks does here. She is taking us deeper into the mythology of the lupi and widening the worldbuilding… and she does it well. So much is happening, but I love that they all feel like things Wilks has laid the groundwork for from the very beginning. One of the biggest wins in a long running series is that feeling of cohesiveness I got here… where everything is connected and has a purpose. All of this, while the action is going a hundred miles per hour.

The characters are so well drawn, I feel like I know them, especially Lily, Rule, and Cullen. But even the new characters like the amazing Arjenie or those we’ve only seen in supporting roles –like Benedict and Isen– are so three dimensional. Their voices are unmistakable and impactful. Put together the worldbuilding, the romance, (the secondary romances!), the pacing, and a fantabulous ending, and you’ve got yourself a killer book. This is really the best one in the series to date. I can’t wait to keep reading.

Now if only they would give their enemy a better name, even if they can’t use her real one…

Rating: A-
Profile Image for Shannon C..
744 reviews
August 11, 2011

*do not read unless you've read through book #6: spoilers for PAST books* Blood Challenge, book seven in the World of Lupi series, picks up shortly after Blood Magic left off. FBI agent and magic sensitive Lily Yu and her Lupi (werewolf) mate Rule Turner are recently engaged. Lily has become the target of anti-Lupi bigots, and receives hate mail and death threats. Meanwhile, she is investigating murders allegedly done by a Leidolf Lupi--hard to believe since he lived in peace with humans for years. Then a series of events makes them believe an old enemy may be at play, leading up to a roller coaster ride of edge-of-your-seat suspense and action.

This book was a great mix of mystery, suspense, romance, adventure and drama. I couldn't put it down! The character development and world building are top notch. I enjoyed seeing a lot of my favorite characters from earlier books as well as meeting new characters like Arjenie. While I missed the presence of Lily's grandmother and Sam, I liked the greater focus on the Lupi, especially Benedict and Isen. The behind-the-scenes look at Lupi life, including their politics, culture and day-to-day life, was interesting. I especially enjoyed the surprising plotline involving Benedict, which took up a large part of the story. I can't say more because it's too big of a spoiler, but it was one of my favorite parts of the book. I also really liked the parts at the end. Great job, Eileen Wilks!

If you haven't tried this series, I think it would appeal to urban fantasy and paranormal romance fans. Since the lead character Lily is a cop turned FBI agent who becomes mated to a werewolf, the books tend to be a mix of mystery/suspense and paranormal romance. Other books similiar in style to this series that I enjoyed:
Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Guild Hunters series by Nalini Singh
Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
Fever books by Karen Moning
Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill
Cassandra Palmer series and Dorina Basarab Dhampir series by Karen Chance
Profile Image for AH.
2,005 reviews370 followers
November 5, 2013
I don't know how she does it, but each installment of Eileen Wilks' World of the Lupi series gets better and better. I think that what sets this series apart is the intricate world built by the author. The World of the Lupi series includes all sorts of magical creatures and humans with special magical "Gifts." One such human, Lily Yu is a touch sensitive - she is able to identify a magical gift by touch. Her mate, Rule Turner is a werewolf and leader of one of the werewolf clans. Lily and Rule are one of my favorite urban fantasy couples. Lily is an FBI agent in their Magical Crimes Division and she is strong and fiercely independent. Lily also has an interesting heritage and her "grandfather" has ensured that she have special powers.

This is a world where humans are suspect of those who go furry. A group called Humans First has been wreaking havoc and an attempt on Lily's life was made. At the same time, Lily and Rule investigate a case of a werewolf who had gone crazy, killing several people around them.

I enjoyed the lore of the Lady and how the werewolves worship her. I loved how The Lady plays a part in the Chosen - a woman who is to be the mate of a werewolf. In this book, Rule's brother Benedict gets an unprecedented second Chosen - the mysterious Arjenni. I loved Arjenni - she was so cute. It was kind of nice to see Benedict so smitten.

This was an action packed read and it was nice seeing all of my favorite characters in this book, especially the very gorgeous Cullen. The World of the Lupi would appeal to fans of Kelley Armstrong, Patrica Briggs, and Ilona Andrews. The first book is Mortal Danger. The books get better and better as you move along in the series.

Profile Image for Tanya Davis.
539 reviews57 followers
September 12, 2019
Blood Challenge by Eileen Wilks has Rule and Lily's relationship as a major issue all over the country. But the one we don't speak of has other plans for the two-natured and Gifted.

At first I thought it was the human group that was after the shifters and Gifted but Nokolai soon figures out there is more at play than just a hate group. Blood Challenge was exciting as it seemed like we were seeing new stuff happening all the time. We also had an incident that could take Lily a long time to heal from. This was action packed and a challenge to everyone's skills. There are new characters introduced that are going to make a big impact to the storyline. Also a big impact to a certain Nokolai character and I'm so happy for this special thing to happen to him!

This book left off with some pretty amazing developments and I can hardly wait to jump into the next one. Things are going to change drastically and the Lady is going to play a big part. I'm also curious to what the one we cannot name is going to do with all these new developments. This was definitely a great, interesting read. I was entranced and totally into this story.This review was originally posted on Rantings of a Reading Addict
Profile Image for Pamela / SpazP.
617 reviews121 followers
May 8, 2011
Originally posted at WickedLilPixie Reviews

This World of the Lupi series is one of my most cherished Shifter/Changer series out there, and I have read a lot of them. In Blood Challenge, Rule and Lily are now engaged to be married which is not a lupi tradition. As a rule, lupi are promiscuous and have a deep protective nature over women, but not one in partcular. There is one sect out there, Humans First, that promotes great fear and hatred towards the lupi and want them all extinguished. The attacks of violence escalate in this book on the lupi as a whole, including Lily who the sect has labeled a traitor for mating with Rule. Rule’s positions as Lu Nuncio to Nokolai clan and Rho to Leidolf clan in the world of the lupi are sometimes at deep odds with his engagement to FBI agent Lily. Lily and Rule are at a constant struggle to do right by one another, and with this story, once again the depths of their commitment to one another is challenged.

As in the previous books, there is a lot of complex theory and practice involved with wiccan spellcraft and sidh mythology that is so well told that you are convinced it’s real. It is so well illustrated it feels like you are there and that you are struggling to understand the complexities along with Lily. Eileen Wilks is a master storyteller and by that I mean that she weaves different characters and events together so superbly that is flows like a dream. The secondary story focuses on our favorite Benedict! Benedict gets a story, and what a fantastic story it is! We learn more about his history, and he meets Arjenie and immediately senses from the Lady that she is his Chosen, a second Chosen, which is virtually unheard of. I loved Arjenie, loved her! She is oddly innocent, but not naive or ignorant. She is quirky and has a strong soul. I just adored her for Benedict and enjoyed watching their relationship evolve. Cullun is of course in this story, as well as a very pregnant Cynna. Gotta love their affectionate bickering and one-upping. I really missed Gan in this one, and am hoping s/he makes an appearance in the next book.

Blood Challenge is the 7th novel of the Lupi series, and it is no small feat to buid upon a series that focuses on one couple, keeping it enthralling and interesting, but this is hands down the best book of the series. There are no Happily Ever Afters, Rule and Lily have committed to one another for life but their challenges are ongoing and the work to be together is hard. I would be hard pressed to give you many examples of Paranormal Romance series that focus still on the adventures of a couple… and continues to make it interesting and addictive.

If you are a fan of Shifter/Changer series, it really doesn’t get better than this. Do not read this book stand-alone. The story arc and mythology are just far too complex that you will be lost. To get the full experience of Lily and Rule’s journey, start from the beginning. You won’t be disappointed, I promise! I am sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for the 8th book, Death Magic, out in November of this year!

Lupi series books:

Tempting Danger
Mortal Danger
Blood Lines
Night Season
Mortal Sins
Blood Magic
Blood Challenge
Death Magic – November 2011
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for PepperP0t .
4,109 reviews74 followers
August 9, 2016
If you're this far into the series there isn't a whole lot to say either way. Especially with an accurate synopsis to follow. This installment was more about the Lupi than the others of the series so Rule was more in front than Lily. Rule & Lily's engagement is still pretty big news for both the human and Lupi worlds and causes a few molehills for Lily's investigation into drugged Lupi. Benedict was added to the second male lead rotation giving Cullen a rest along with a new character, Arjenie Fox, rotating in for Cynna bringing a set to new skills to the party. With war drawing ever closer, Friar shows aptitude for still surprising our intrepid heroes with his never-emptying bag of tricks which brings change for Lily and for Benedict.

As usual this installment started rather slow for me and didn't pick up until around the midway point or a little past. Once things got going they fell together quickly- maybe too quickly because the pacing seemed rushed. For this reader, the story felt more bloated and talky than it should have been (IMO). I also am liking Lily less with each book and have questioned her brilliance for quite some time with the endless questions and un-subtle behavior (for someone supposedly so covert). These traits don't particularly make her seem smart, just slow.
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.4k reviews425 followers
October 19, 2014
Wow, this book great in so many ways. This time around there wasn't so much of Lily and the FBI stuff, it was more about Rule, and all the Lupi. We really got a great look of how all the clans work and how they work together, the petty conflicts and the political maneuvering.

This book also had a lot of Benedict, who I have always liked. In this book we really got to know a lot more about him and his past. One particular memorable scene was one in which Nettie defended Benedict and what happened after his Chosen died. Isen played a big part in this book too, and you really got to see him in a different light. You understand better some of the decisions that a Rho has to make and the reasoning why. Another big player in this book is The Lady. As a behind the scenes player, their spiritual guide, she makes some interesting moves. Especially the ones that deal with the last paragraph of the book, which is a big game changer for future books. The only thing missing in this book was Grandma Yu, but with all the other stuff, it is bearable.
Profile Image for Katyana.
1,464 reviews193 followers
September 19, 2011
I really love this series. I swear, each book gets better and better, and the overarching plot is really engaging.

I loved the developments in Rule and Lily's relationship. I loved Lily learning what it means to be Chosen in the clans, and coming to terms with the knowledge that people will die for her... and also really coming to know her mortality, and those of the people she loves.

I loved watching Cullen and Cynna. As central characters, they don't really thrill me, but as secondary characters, they are fantastic.

And I really loved seeing Benedict and Arjenie's story unfold. What wonderful characters! It was really beautiful watching them come together, and I am so happy for them - they deserve each other so much.

And that shocking bit of info from the Rhej at the end?! Hells yes! I can't wait for the next one!
Profile Image for Stephanie.
Author 131 books1,006 followers
February 23, 2011
I really love this series and this one pulled me in right away.

This is not a series that you can jump into in the middle. It's really best to start at the beginning and work your way through Wilks' meticulous worldbuilding. Her stories are dense but they're magical and I'm really enjoying the ride.
Profile Image for Beth.
737 reviews70 followers
July 23, 2014

I love Arjenie and her Chosen. The plot was a good mix of personal and also contributed to the major story arc of the war against G.B. (thank Cynna for the acronym).
Love plot twist at the end. Highly recommended. **note if you haven't read all of the short stories there will be references to them that will make you hunt them up.
Profile Image for Emily.
1,735 reviews37 followers
September 4, 2021
2021 reread: So fun to revisit Benedict and Arjenie’s story! I had forgotten all the other important plot points in this one, so it was a good reread for that too.
Profile Image for Trix.
1,324 reviews104 followers
April 24, 2018
Another book. Another late night staying up to finish it! How does Wilks do it?!

Surprisingly, I was more afraid while reading this, than Blood Magic. It seems to me humans are capable of greater damage, more deceit, hurt and pain than another alien being/creature. Wham! Could anyone not rush to start the next book as soon as possible?
Profile Image for Maura.
3,874 reviews89 followers
December 14, 2019
Rule and Lily are taking care of Leidolf business, namely the apparent "fury" of one of its members who ended up murdering men and women. Rule is suspicious because, even in a fury, a lupus would never kill a woman. So he and Lily begin to suspect something magic related. But before anything can be investigated, Lily is taken off the case. Then, she's shot at and nearly killed. Meanwhile, back at Clanhome, Benedict is dealing with a beautiful young woman who snuck onto Clanhome land, but is unable to talk about why. Worse, Benedict realizes that this woman, Arjenie, with some special sidhe gifts, is actually his chosen...his second one. What they do know about Arjenie is that she is somehow tied to Robert Friar, who she claims is a powerful clairaudient. Friar's daughter claims that he was not gifted when she was a child, but suddenly developed shields and more when she was 16. This is how they realize that Friar is working for the Great Bitch . He's taking steps to have the lupi destroyed and all they care about destroyed.

Interesting developments. I wish I hadn't read this when I was sick because I didn't have the focus to just read straight through, like I usually do. So I felt like I got this story in fits and starts. It didn't affect how much I liked it, just the reading experience itself. I love that Lily gets hit with, not only her own mortality, but the mortality of those she loves. It doesn't make her softer, only a bit more awake about them. I also like how we got two romances for the price of one here...Benedict is also going through some romance with Arjenie. I was intrigued with Arjenie and her background. I wasn't sure I was going to like her and her secrets, but then realized she didn't have a choice. I also think that Benedict has been a mystery to us for years and even though this story was partially Benedict-centered, we still didn't get enough of his story. We did finally find out about Claire, we did learn about how Benedict has a 50 year old daughter and we begin to see why he's upset that Rule is marrying Lily...but I wanted more of him. And I wanted more about how Arjenie feels about it...especially his background with Claire and his inability to be jealous. Guess that will come in a future book. The action at the end is great as always. Looking forward to seeing where this series goes.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lindaisa.
477 reviews44 followers
August 8, 2016
Blood Challenge is by far my favorite in this series so far. At just halfway through this 12 book (and counting) series, I love that the momentum isn’t slowing and that I’m still surprised by what’s happening and enjoying every second of each book.

This installment started off similar to the previous six books and I thought that it was going to be another run of the mill World of Lupi book. One where something crazy and magical happens just as Rule and Lily feel relaxed enough to actually relax, just as things calm down, just as everyone is able to finally breath without waiting for some catastrophe to occur. I thought Rule and Lily were yet again going to have to investigate murders, thwart the plans of unknown enemies all while trying to keep their friends safe and obey the law at the same time. I thought Lily was going to have to continuously use her FBI muscle to get shit done fast enough that people don’t DIE...I thought all of these things were going to happen, because at this point, it’s par for the course and while it may seem repetitive, Eileen has a knack for making it feel fresh and new. I was wrong, everything I THOUGHT was going to happen, completely fell apart and I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT.

There’s a lot going on in Blood Challenge. Rule is preparing for an heirs circle that will lead to an All Clan which is urgently needed because an Old enemy of the Lupi is starting to stir and all the Clans need to be on the same page in order to defeat said enemy. Lily is busy trying to avoid her mother and her mothers incessant wedding planning. Cullen and Cynna are patiently waiting the arrival of their little rider. Life for everyone is pretty much at a lull until a Leidolf Lupi goes on a rampage killing three and injuring even more. So of course Lily and Rule go to investigate, but just when Lily is starting to get answers, she’s pulled off the case because of a conflict of interest. Just when she needs the authority of an FBI special agent the most, she can’t use it. I loved watching everyone scramble and be clever and just a little conniving to try and figure out what was going on, who their enemy was and how to defeat them.

Eileen Wilks is a great story teller...Unlike me and this review, she knows how to flawlessly follow different characters on diverging paths to what seems like completely unrelated destinations, but in the end it all comes together to make perfect sense, creating an amazingly entertaining and engrossing story. There were new characters and relationships introduced in Blood Challenge which I greatly appreciated. Characters that I’ve already grown to care about. I cried reading this book, over characters that I didn’t even really know! That’s how good Eileen is. 

Something pivotal happens in this installment of the Lupi series. Blood Challenge was a culmination of all the chaos and craziness that has been happening in the previous books. Everything is starting to line up and make sense now. There is finally a pattern to follow in all the chaos and where it’s leading to is NOT somewhere I’m ready to go with these characters. War is on the horizon and while I knew it was coming...I’ve grown so attached to these characters that I’m almost afraid to continue reading as silly as that sounds. There were parts in THIS book that I could barely get through for fear of someone I care about not making it to the end of the chapter. What the hell am I going to do when I have to read about them facing an all out war?!

I don’t even remember how I ended up starting this series or what led me to it in the first place but now that I’m invested, I’m in it for the long haul. As painful as it might be going forward, I can’t wait to see how everything pans out. How Lily progresses with her Gift and dragon inherited powers. How Rule learns to balance and handle his two mantles. How Cullen and Cynna react the the whirlwind that is going to come their way after the blessing they have received. How Benedict adjusts to the irrevocable change no one was expecting for him...just everything.

Profile Image for Trina Lore.
21 reviews3 followers
April 27, 2011
I'll confess that this is another "review of a series" posted for one book in the series. When I find a series I enjoy, I tend to devour the books one after the other, with no stops for thinking or catching my breath.

I do enjoy this series and this universe, but with a big caveat: I can barely stand Lily, and only like Rule a hair more.

My main complaint is that Lily isn't the sharpest crayon in the box. I was given the impression in the first couple books that she is supposed to be bright and a good detective. Either her POV is too pervasive, the author herself isn't particularly bright, or the author doesn't have enough faith in the intelligence of her readers. Lily manages to miss things that are made glaringly obvious, she forgets things that are mentioned repeatedly, and (the worst sin for me, as the one who suffers through her "process") she is incapable of making deductive or intuitive connections. I think we, as readers, are supposed to think her tendency to ask a million questions somehow proves her smarts. In fact, it does the opposite.

"So Rule, you're saying that rectangles are four-sided objects with four right angles?"

"Yes, nadia. And squares are four-sided objects with four right angles, in which all four sides are equal in length. The Lady had made this known to us for centuries."

"I may or may not believe in her, I haven't decided. I have another question!"

Rule, chuckling, "Of course you do, my dear. What is it? If I don't get too distracted, I might give you an answer in the next 3 months."

"Are all squares rectangles? I mean, both shapes are supposed to have four sides and four right angles."

"Yes, you are correct. My Chosen truly has been gifted with the ability to re-state the obvious which has been laid plainly before her!"

"But Rule, I have another question! And this might be the key to everything! Are all rectangles squares??? It seems like they should be, but what's up with those potentially non-equal sides? Is SHE behind them? Is it another plot?"

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...

And that being said, I DO love this universe. I love most of the ideas behind it. I love Gan (more Gan!!!) and Cullen and Benedict and Cynna and pretty much everyone EXCEPT Lily and Rule. At least her grandmother admits to being a terrible mother-in-law. When will Lily get with the program? And when will Rule stop being a jerk and finally do right by the clan he *decided* to take (and kill the former Rho to do so, in order to save his child)? Yes, he has/had obligations to Nokolai. Those are sooooo secondary to the immediate needs of Leidolf, who have no other option but him. He goes there one week a month (or whatever ridiculous amount of time it was)??? Unacceptable. I expected better of him.

I'm griping about this stuff mainly because it is all that serves to add to the drama/tension/suspense of this book (a Lupus attacks women and they're stumped for HOW much of the book?). It smacks of laziness or - again - the author's notion that the readers are so stupid we won't be going crazy screaming at the thick-headed idiocy within the first quarter of the book.

I will keep reading, especially after the bombshell ending of this last book. I loved it because I was surprised, but in retrospect have become increasingly disenchanted with the notion. What rhej *doesn't* prepare her clan for the potential prophecy fulfillment when news of Cullen's existence and "talents" becomes known? A bad one. I'm increasingly worried that this series is being authored by a rhej who is derelict in her duties.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
779 reviews57 followers
January 4, 2011
Blood Challenge by Eileen Wilks
Paranormal Romance – Jan 4th, 2010
4 ½ stars

Blood Challenge is the 7th in Eileen Wilk’s phenomenal Lupi/shifter series. This series is involving and complex. It does for werewolves what J R Ward’s series does for vampires. Because of this, I feel that reading all of the books in order would be highly advisable but not strictly necessary.

FBI agent Lily Yu and her fiancée, the werewolf leader Rule Turner, will soon be married. However, not all humans are ready to acknowledge or accept shifters and Lily is threatened by hate crimes. Lily’s job in the FBI calls her to a case involving a rash of murders by an out of control werewolf. She and Rule must travel to investigate. But Lily soon finds that these murders are not all that they seem and soon her investigation uncovers fairies, witches and a powerful madman. Can she stop a man bend on revenge?

Benedict is the dour older brother to Rule. He is happy that his brother has found his Chosen/mate but his disastrous past with his Chosen keeps him free from entanglements. But fate has other ideas when the Lady chooses another woman named Arjenie for Benedict, the one he tries to resist. But Arjenie has secrets that may be the key to the survival of the Lupi and their attraction for each other will not be denied.

Readers who love this series will not be disappointed. This is a thick book with many subplots. I think it is my favorite since the very first book, Tempting Danger, came out! I really like Lily and am glad the author has returned to her and Rule being the main characters. They have a real chemistry and the Lupi politics and Lily’s crime solving make their storylines absorbing.

But I was even more surprised by how much I enjoyed Benedict’s storyline. He has always seemed stoic and mysterious, and I am thrilled to find out about his past and his failed (and tragic) relationship with his previous Chosen. In this book, he is given a 2nd chance when the Lady picks another Chosen for him - a mysterious woman named Arjenie, who knows more than she lets on. However, Benedict’s miserable history prevents him from seeking her out as most Lupi would do. He feels like a failure and doesn’t want another woman in his life. His relationship with Arjenie is fascinating and well worth the price of the book alone! I am so happy he finally gets someone worthy of him. (About time!) This book definitely made Benedict more human and sympathetic. His scenes and his interactions with Arjenie are gripping. He is an even better a character than I expected, and I might like him a little better than Rule now!

As usual, the author does not stint on a complex plot and some very 3 dimensional characters. As I mentioned earlier, the best part of this story is how Benedict is really revealed. I loved learning more about him and how the author makes him a lot more human and approachable. This book is thick and feels like 2 books in 1 but the different storylines never felt choppy and eventually meld.

Multilayered and thrilling, this is a paranormal romance that will knock your socks off! If you love shifters, urban fantasies, or dark paranormals with some serious bite, get this book.

Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Book Club

Profile Image for Larissa.
534 reviews102 followers
January 9, 2011
Previously Published on my blog: Welcome to Larissa's Bookish Life

*contains spoilers if you haven’t read the previous books in the series and NO Spoilers for Blood Challenge!

I LOVE this series! I do believe this is one of the most underestimated amazing Urban Fantasy series out there. There I said it! Eileen Wilks has written a brilliant world where The Lupi {werewolves, but don’t call them that} and magic in general have recently come out of the closet and she does an amazing job in keeping the balance between giving us an intricate paranormal world full of action and politics and delivering emotional and well written character driven stories.

One thing that Blood Challenge makes clear is that the World of Lupi series is much more than just the Lily & Rule series. Danielle from ALPHA Reader said it best: “The ‘World of the Lupi’ series is bigger than the sum of its parts – it’s easier to think of it as being about the members of clan home and the impact of celebrity on an entire species of supernatural beings. . .”. That’s it, World of Lupi is a social experiment of sorts, it’s not about this or that couples HEA, it’s about the lives and loves of a supernatural race that is just recently out in the spotlight and whose lives are constantly put under a microscope.

Throughout the series we had a chance to stray from Lily’s and Rule’s POV in the novel “Night Season” and see the world through Cynna’s eyes and follow her and Cullen’s adventure through Faery. Though I didn’t hate it, that was definitely my least favorite book in the series. However, Eileen once again stray’s from Lily’s and Rule’s POV and we get to learn more about Rule’s older brother, Benedict, and the woman The Lady has chosen for him, Arjenie.

I LOVED that second stotyline, much more than I ever thought I could. Benedict is such a complex and interesting character and Arjenie is simply a perfect mach for him. Arjenie drew me in from the first time I read her internal dialogue. Her mix of a touch of innocence and the simple way she sees the world, without being all MaryJane like and simplistic is captivating and entrancing.

I loved Blood Challenge! I want more Lily and Rule, Benedict and Arjenie, and I want more Dragons hehe. The ending killed me! Eileen Wilks is a master storyteller for me and this was an incredible addition to this awesome series and I can’t wait to read more and more! If you are an UF fan and haven’t yet read this series, you have NO idea what you’re missing!
Profile Image for Estara.
799 reviews128 followers
October 19, 2012
This is not a book to start the series with, there is no catching up info-dump - which I like. And the book is meaty - at about 410 pages of story on my ebook reader, but it really moves the plot along.

Something the Lupi and the Special Unit for Magic at the FBI have suspected gets confirmed here and the first few shots of all-out magic war are fired under the guise of internal problems among the various Lupi clans - abetted by the machinations of the recurring villain, the head of Humans First.

Because the stakes rise, so does the action, we have Isen Turner in danger of his life, a Lupi mantle passing on, Lily being the victim of an almost successful assassination attempt, and Cullen and Cynna's child being born. And to top it off there is a love story for Rule's older brother Benedict who still hasn't recovered from the death of his mate about 50 years earlier. And I love the new lady they introduced for that purpose and the fact that she has more than one role to play in the way the situation develops.

This Urban Fantasy/Romance series is too little known, I think.

On reread I loved this book even more. Everything combines together so well - the information bits are (to my mind) cleverly integrated into the dialogue and - in the case of elven lore - into the development of the love between Ben and Arjenie.

Lily and Rule continually negotiate their relationship while working on the dangers that surrounds them and both sides are served equally well where appropriate: a very tough balance for an UF/PR. Not even the Alpha & Omega books by Patricia Briggs manage to make daily life and family and love in the relationship so much a part of the whole of the novel - they emphasize it as a plot point (when Charles has to be explained to his father for example) but then they take a bit of a backburner while the mystery happens until it's time for a quiet moment again.

With Lily and Rule their love and their life together and Lily being the close-mouthed, repressed one and Rule being not-human even when he is in his human shape in significant ways (Death Magic will really reach an apex in clarifying that) - it's always there. Even and especially when they're in a danger situation. And while it's at the back of their minds it still leaves them competent - especially Lily! to act to stop the danger!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for ~Megan~.
525 reviews69 followers
January 7, 2011
OH MY WORD! I don't know if I can effectively put my love for this book into words.

I have been in love with this series from the very first, and each book has gotten better and the world has grown bigger and bigger, but I have to say this book is my favorite of the entire series. It was, in a word, EPIC. So many things happened, so many HUGE things happened.

Lily was injured for the majority of the book, but I didn't mind because this made for the majority of the action to revolve around the wolves in her life. The way we delved into the lupus culture in this book was exciting because it happens to be my favorite part of the story.

Benedict and Arjenie were my favorite thing...I have been wanting Benedict to find love for a long time, especially coming from a past as tragic as his. The Lady seems to be cropping up more and more lately and doing things nobody ever thought could be done. Benedict is the only lupus ever to have TWO Chosens. I personally feel The Lady made a mistake in his first Chosen and is trying to rectify it here. Arjenie is just perfect for him, and they were so sweet together. I loved her character, and even though this book is rich with a billion characters, I'm thankful for one more.

Lily has accepted the Wythe mantle now, so between them, Rule and Lily now carry THREE mantles. That's three different clans, and this all makes sense when we hear the prophecy the Leidolf Rhej pulled from the memories at the end. That, above all, has me extremely excited for the upcoming books. When the two-mantles calls, we come together, and when a female lupus is born, the war begins again. Cullen and Cynna had a daughter......who turns out to be lupus!!! I knew the "little rider" had to be special, but this is all so exciting.

So the war begins...I guess this means that all the previous books have just contained skirmishes. If this all happened before the war began, I can't wait to see what happens now.

Gosh, I love this series....have I gushed enough??!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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