Review: “Unbinding,” Eileen Wilks

Pros: Interesting premise with plenty of action
Cons: I missed some of the series main characters
Rating: 4 out of 5

Unbinding, by Eileen Wilks, follows Ritual Magic in her World of the Lupi series. Unlike most of the rest of the series-so-far, it leaves series regulars Lily and Rule off on their honeymoon halfway around the world while things go to hell back home. Nathan, a former Hellhound who serves the faerie queen of Winter, and his lover, Kai, are setting off on a Hunt. Their prey is a god–well, sort of. He’s already been killed once, and he has almost no worshipers to give him strength. Given that he is the god of chaos and madness, however, he has some unusual and deadly plans in motion. Kai’s Gift, which allows her to see the shape of people’s emotions–and ‘heal’ them–features prominently in his plans.

Human and elf were, she thought, like water and vodka–two clear liquids that shared many qualities, but heaven help you if you threw the wrong one on a fire.

I enjoy Nathan and Kai as main characters, but they don’t appeal to me in quite the same way that Lily and Rule do. I don’t feel like I have as much of a stake in what happens to them. That said, they’re interesting, fully-realized characters with intriguing pasts, assumptions, abilities, and feelings. We do get to see many of the other characters from the series: Benedict and Arjenie, Cullen, a little bit of Cynna, Isen (who sends some bodyguards to keep an eye on those who need it), and so on.

At first the good guys run around trying to put a stop to the bursts of chaos and madness that occur, but soon they realize that the god is kidnapping people. He’s even tried to kidnap Kai, and no one knows why. He has a plan to help him find new followers and regain his power, but it’s hard for our heroes to piece all of the mad clues together. Humans, law enforcement, faeries, werewolves, Gifted, and more will have to join forces to prevent the worst from happening.

“The Great Bitch has tried assassination, hellgates, demon-possessed doppelgangers, explosives, dworg, destroying the U.S. through mob rule, and destabilizing the entire realm. Those didn’t work, so now she’s using butterflies?”

While I certainly enjoyed Unbinding, it didn’t hold me fast the way most of the rest of the series did. I was interested in the outcome, but didn’t mind putting the book down and waiting until later. It’s a good story, but I happen to identify with the Lily-and-Rule side of the story a bit more (so far).

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