BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review of Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin

Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Series: Raine Benares #1
Release Date: May 29, 2007
Buying Links: Amazon     The Book Depository

Book Blurb (from author website):

A girl with attitude. An all-powerful amulet.
This could only mean trouble.

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…

Raine is a sorceress of moderate powers, from an extended family of smugglers and thieves. With a mix of street smarts and magic spells, she can usually take care of herself. But when her friend Quentin, a not-quite-reformed thief, steals an amulet from the home of a powerful necromancer, Raine finds herself wrapped up in more trouble than she cares for. She likes attention as much as the next girl, but having an army of militant goblins hunting her down is not her idea of a good time. The amulet they’re after holds limitless power, derived from an ancient, soul-stealing stone. And when Raine takes possession of the item, it takes possession of her.

Now her moderate powers are increasing beyond anything she could imagine—but is the resumé enhancement worth her soul?

We went below. Phaelan was at the table in the center of the cabin, the remains of some kind of meal in front of him. With Phaelan's night owl tendencies, who knew which meal it was supposed to be. I crossed the cabin in three strides and greeted my cousin with a big hug. Phaelan wasn't the touchy-feely type, and normally I respected his personal space, but things hadn't been normal for days so I felt entitled.
Piaras had to duck his head to get through the door, and my cousin's smile vanished when he saw the young elf's bruised face. The color hadn't faded, but at least the swelling had gone down.
"What happened?" Phaelan's voice promised many bad things for whoever had caused that bruise. 
"Nothing good," I told him. My voice suddenly sounded as exhausted as I felt. I think it was the sight of somewhere to sit, and no one standing between me and there, waiting to kill me. I pulled up a chair and sat down, my muscles tight and protesting from a night of running and other less healthy activities. "I should probably start from when I left home yesterday morning." 
Reviewed By: Bea

Bea's Thoughts:

A month ago, I interviewed Lisa Shearin in conjunction with the release of her newest, and last, Raine Benares book, "All Spell Breaks Loose". I hadn't yet read any of the books in that series but Has from The Book Pushers had suggested it, as had a few others. It sounded like something I'd enjoy, and the author Lisa also made it sound interesting, so I requested book one from my library. While I didn't love it, I did enjoy it. 

Raine Benares is a finder which often translates to a thief, and she's proud of it. She's good at what she does. Her family, well her mother's side of the family, has a long and proud history of skirting, or outright breaking, the law. Raine has never known her father and her mother died young so she was raised by her aunt and uncle. She's also sorceress, though her magical abilities are weak.

The story starts with Raine helping out Quentin, a friend and occasional employee. The action comes quickly after that and a lot happens. People get hurt, alliances are broken and made, there's even the beginning of a potential new romance. Shearin uses traditional species from fantasy and fairy tales: trolls, orcs, elves, etc. and a Middles Ages inspired world, mixed with modern speech patterns and a few tweaks of her own. It's not a terribly original world but she makes it hers nonetheless and it has enough familiar elements that I could focus on the story and the characters.

The characters are fully developed, with none of them being perfect, and even the villains have moments of just being normal. I especially liked Raine's voice and character: intelligent, self aware, a sense of humor that was sometimes ironic, sometimes dry, the ability to laugh at herself and also to see her flaws, loyal, and compassionate but not weak. Shearin has a strong cast of characters that flesh out the story and provide Raine with friends and family. Though she often works alone, she's not a loner or a misfit. The story dragged a bit at times, but it kept me engaged most of the time and I ended up staying up until 2AM to finish it. I'll be checking my library for the next book in the series; yes, I'm going to actually read a series in order, lol. Go me!

I borrowed this paperback from my library.


  1. The first book in this series was not my favorite, but I think that the series just got better and better as it went on. You definitely need to read them in order, the plot gets a bit complex after a while - but I really loved this series (although I may be a bit biased because at the time when I read it I had not enjoyed the last couple of books that I had read so I might have liked it more than I normally would have because of the comparison).

  2. Hi Alicia, I was wondering if the series improved as it went along
    I definitely liked it enough to keep reading. Thanks for visiting.


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