Book Review – Magic Lost, Trouble Found
This is the first Raine Benares novel, published in 2007. I loved this story and the characters. It is following a fairly strong female character, who happens to be an elf. There are humans in this world, but so far we mainly are dealing with elves and goblins who have a lot of magic and who don’t seem to like or trust each other very much. Raine is a seeker, she finds things for people and can do small bits of magic, that is until she stumbles onto an amulet everyone else seems to want. She puts it on like a necklace and then can’t take it off without dying. This amulet manipulates her, so it seems to be sentient but also brings her increased magical powers. The major downside is that it brings her directly into the crosshairs of three warring factions, the cops, some bad guys and then the really bad guys. And no one asks anything politely, assumptions are made, people are hurt and she is forced to call on friends and family and her own quick thinking to navigate the politics, magic and attentions the amulet brings down upon her head.
I got this book because #5 was just recently published and was sent to us to read, and to hopefully review. I am always looking for new authors and this book was available on paperbackswap.com so I decided to start at the beginning. I am glad I did. I haven’t read any of the other books, but this one was a little confusing at times. Most likely because this is Shearin’s first novel, there are a lot of different names and characters to learn, a new location to navigate, lots of backstory and the current action. I find this problem with many first novels. The language doesn’t seem to flow yet or something and I find myself rereading sentences and paragraphs here and there to figure out what is going on. But it didn’t ruin my enjoyment and it didn’t happen so often it completely interrupted the flow of action.
This novel is told in the first person, which is fun since Raine has a good sense of humor and her observations are great to read. It is also interesting to get her point of view and compare it to the actions of those around her. She is a little self-deprecating and wry and cops a major attitude when needed, but is loyal and steadfast. So while she may know she isn’t the bees knees magically and can be a pain in the ass, she has wonderful friends and family who help her out, regardless of the consequences. The only downside to the first person narration is that we don’t get to know what her love interests are thinking. These are some strong willed men (ok goblins and elves) that she is messing around with, or wants to mess around with, and it would be interesting to get their point of view occasionally. Even though they let their feelings show so you know they like her too, these characters are so different from each other that it would be fun to compare/contrast their thought processes. But, since it brings the reader closer to Raine, I shouldn’t complain since her world view and narrative is a lot of fun. I think I just want a short story like Kelley Armstrong offered with the Men of the Otherworld. Maybe, if the male characters last in Raine’s life, Shearin will offer us something like that.
So, I am on the hunt for the next book. It seems like Raine’s life isn’t going to quiet down any time soon. She has a love interest that needs to develop, more magic than she knows what to do with, her nephew who is coming of age and into his magical powers and most likely some other crisis that will need to be taken care of. It is fun and enjoyable. If you are into the rating thing, I guess I would give it 3 ½ stars.