Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Magic Lost, Trouble Found - Lisa Shearin


Magic Lost, Trouble Found
Lisa Shearin
Ace

Fantasy

Raine Benares is the main character and narrator; an elf who makes her living as a seeker. A seeker finds things and people, using magical means. Raine is a sorceress of fairly limited abilities, but she has enough to make an honest living. That’s more than most of the family can say. Her cousins and various relatives generally make their living through “acquisitions.” Best not to ask exactly how those acquisitions are made, or from whom.

As the story opens, Raine and her cousin, Paelan, are standing in a nasty alley across from the home of a well-known necromancer. Raine is there to keep an eye on Quentin, a thief. She has no idea why Quentin is breaking into a necromancer’s home, or why he thinks he will survive the experience. Somehow, he’s able to gain access, walk right through what should have been some very nasty wards protecting the pace, and find a white, stone box. When he opens the box to retrieve the amulet inside, the power knocks Raine to her knees.

It seems that Quentin is not the only one looking for the amulet. As soon as he gets it in his hands, goblins appear, and they’re armored for a fight. Raine and Phaelan help the thief escape, then Raine takes control of the amulet, on the theory that it will safer if it’s not with Quentin. Unfortunately, the amulet has its own ideas about that, and Raine discovers that she can’t remove it. That’s a big problem, since the chief shaman for the goblin king – a shaman known to be a sadistic psycho – also wants it, and has no compunctions about killing to get it.

Don’t let the ‘fluff’ title fool you. This is not a cute, cuddly, or comic fantasy. The author has done an incredible job of creating a very deep and detailed world, inhabited by nuanced characters. The story contains action, a great deal of peril, magic, and a very good dose of political intrigue among factions. Fitting all of this into one book should be difficult, but the author makes it seem effortless. Even better, there are at least two more books in this series. If you haven’t discovered this author yet, you owe it to yourself to do so. I have no idea why it took me so long to get started on this series, but I have no hesitation in recommending it to any reader of fantasy.

Rating: 8 ½
July 2007
ISBN# 978-0-441-01505-4 (paperback)

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