I don’t talk about it very much but I had a deeply rooted love of fantasy novels, especially those that have a strong storyline, a compelling romantic component, and amazing world building. One of my favourite series -- the Raine Benares novels – is written by the amazing Lisa Shearin. There are five books out now (and a sixth coming in mere months) but today I’m daring you to try the first book, Magic Lost, Trouble Found, and not be hooked!
In a world populated by goblins, elves, and magic a-plenty, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Which is great for Raine most of the time, since her magical abilities allow her to find things and this keeps her employed. Of course, she gets in over her head in Magic Lost, Trouble Found, when she ends up linked to the Saghred, a soul-stealing stone that gives her immense power but also wants her to feed it. It’s such a great set-up for the series and I can only praise Lisa for all the twists and turns she’s put into not just Magic Lost, Trouble Found but the whole series.
What really draws me to this book (and series) is the characters. Raine is a fantastic heroine, which I’ve said before. Here’s a quotation from my thoughts on Con & Conjure, the fifth book in the series. Have no fear, there are no spoilers:
Of course, the best part of the book is Raine herself. I love the quippy one-liners and the way she faces her problems. I also adore the fact that she embraces her family’s criminal ways and doesn’t angst about it. Nothing against characters with angst but it’s great that she just goes with it, trying to establish her black sheep status by not engaging in too much illegal activity. Lisa Shearin has given Raine so much dimension and personality that reading these stories is like visiting an old friend.
And Raine is just one of a cast of wonderful characters. You’ll quickly find yourself on either Team Mychael or Team Tam since both of these guys are interested in our plucky heroine. For myself, I’m staunchly Team Tam -- I look forward to hearing who you prefer once you’ve gotten into the series! I’m also a huge fan of Phaelan, Raine’s cousin and pirate extraordinaire. (These are just a few of the colourful characters inhabiting this world.)
If characters aren’t enough to sell you on this series, let me mention the writing. Lisa is a very talented writer. The books are filled with serious moments, smart characters, great action, sweet romance, and some truly comedic scenes. What more do you want from a story?
Here’s the cover copy for Magic Lost, Trouble Found:
My name is Raine Benares. I'm a seeker. The people who hire me are usually happy when I find things. But some things are better left unfound. I'm a sorceress of moderate powers, from an extended family of smugglers and thieves. With a mix of street smarts and magic spells, I can usually take care of myself. But when my friend Quentin, a not-quite-reformed thief, steals an amulet from the home of a powerful necromancer, I find myself wrapped up in more trouble than I care for. I like attention as much as the next girl, but having an army of militant goblins hunting me down is not my idea of a good time. The amulet they're after holds limitless power, derived from an ancient, soul-stealing stone. And when I take possession of the item, it takes possession of me. Now my moderate powers are increasing beyond anything I can imagine-but is the résumé enhancement worth my soul?
The rest of the series (so far):
You can read my thoughts about the last The Trouble with Demons, Bewitched & Betrayed, and Con & Conjure by clicking on the cover.
All Spell Breaks Loose is being released on May 29.
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