Blackwood: Lily (Blackwood Wolves #1)


“Blackwood: Lily” is dark urban fantasy about a young woman who is a powerful alpha werewolf. She’s lived years in London among humans, yet the instincts of the female wolf inside her won’t be sublimated any longer. Her protector and lover is Wallace Kirk, yet he’s not her true mate.  Bryn Kemp is, and he’s ready to assume his place at her side, and in her bed. Together they will one day rule the Blackwood pack, but first, they need to catch the murderer of young female werewolves.

R.L. Kirk's novel is atmospheric and gritty.  Unfortunately, the impact of the narrative is diminished by an overabundance of crude and unlikable characters, particularly the females.  The view of powerful womanhood is skewed by showing almost all of the strong female characters as catty, mean-spirited and lascivious. The depictions of sexuality are coarse, and tinged with a pervasive sense of violence.  Lily’s character is mercurial and poorly defined. While her struggles in integrating her various identities are understandable, she doesn’t achieve the self-actualization pivotal in this kind of story. Appearing weak and immature in comparison to her ex-lover Wallace, Bryn falls short.  Wallace is largely a one-dimensional character, but seems to have more chemistry and emotional connection with Lily. The most objectionable aspect of this novel is the frequent, highly sexualized depictions of brutality against women.   While the characters are largely un-engaging and the sexual violence is problematic, the author creates a novel of descriptive, vivid and gritty imagery with “Blackwood: Lily”.


Danielle Hill