Raine Benares is an elven sorceress of meagre talent, and a seeker. When her friend Quentin is paid to burgle a powerful and nasty necromancer, who heRaine Benares is an elven sorceress of meagre talent, and a seeker. When her friend Quentin is paid to burgle a powerful and nasty necromancer, who he is terrified of, Raine watches him from a distance to make sure he's safe. But when goblins suddenly appear out of no where, for the purpose of going after whatever it is Quentin is stealing, Raine, along with her cousin, get involved.
Finding out the stolen object is an amulet, Raine takes it from Quentin for safe keeping until they can find out what the hell is happening. They soon realise that the Khrynsani, an army of militant goblins, lead by Sarad Nukpana, an evil, insane, extremely powerful goblin shaman, are after the amulet, as well as the Conclave Guardians, the protectors of the governing body of magical users in all seven kingdoms. Unable to take the powerful amulet off without almost dying, everyone is suddenly after Raine, and no where is safe. Raine has to work out what the amulet is and how to get it off, before anyone catches up with her and takes it off for her.
I absolutely loved this book! It is extremely fast paced, with such great characters - and there are quite a few of them. They're all very individual, and very well developed, with some you like immediately, and others you dislike. You've got to love Piaras, so sweet and innocent at first, and so gifted! Garadin, the wise old father figure. Tarsilia, the touch cookie. Tam... that guy is just fantastic if you ask me. Who said all bad boys are bad? Then there's Mychael. Oh, Mychael. I'm telling you, Raine is one lucky girl to be in the company of these two guys. Even Phaelan isn't bad, but he's related to Raine. And Raine herself is pretty awesome, strong emotionally and mentally, as well as being a pretty kick-ass chick! This book is FULL of prominant characters, practically every character Raine comes across in this book has a huge part to play, it's awesome.
Magic Lost, Trouble Found is exciting and suspenseful, and it very much gets the adrenaline flowing. Every time you turn around there is something else going on. This book is never slow, never boring, and very, very hard to put down. An extra plus? This is my first high fantasy where the protag is female! Even though I have no magic, I'm not an elf, and I don't know these people, I found it incredibly easy to relate to Raine. Who wouldn't want to protect friends and family like she does?
This is one of those books that goes against what I normally like. As you've probably read, I don't really like books where too much happens in them. There tends to be a lack of detail for my liking. Not in this case. There is so much going on in this book, that detail is needed, and it's all there. And, well, visiting different people doesn't really count as a lot happening, but it's not long before Raine's off to see someone else. I have no problem with it! It's just all so intriguing...
What is this amulet? Why does everyone want it? Why can't she take it off? Why is it making her more powerful? How on earth is she going to survive?
There is a slither of romance going on in this book, and it's very interesting. Obviously, with your life on the line, love isn't at the forefront of your mind, but there is a hint of things possibly happening. It's excruciating! I have no idea what exactly is going to happen until the next book. Will they, won't they? Or perhaps...? I love it!
Just to avoid confusion, the possible romance goes into the next book, but the storyline for this book is resolved. Even so, I want the next book now! These aren't characters I can leave behind just yet. So it's over to Amazon to buy the next one. HIGHLY recommend!
Raine benares needs to get rid of her link to the Saghred. With it, she has unlimited power at her disposal - and the evil Khrynsani shamans on her taRaine benares needs to get rid of her link to the Saghred. With it, she has unlimited power at her disposal - and the evil Khrynsani shamans on her tail. She has just arrived on the Ilse of Mid, hoping one of the mages of the Conclave can help her get loose of the Saghred's grasp. But she's followed by the goblins who want "their" stone back, and now amongst magic users are those greedy for power, who will go to any lengths to get it. And when spellsinging students disappear from the school on Mid, Raine is expected to find them.
I have no idea how I am going to manage to review this book bar these two words: absolutely amazing! I loved MLTF, but A&M goes above and beyond what I expected.
Quite literally, Lisa Shearin is a fantasy genius. That is it. I was bubbling over with excitement at each and every twist and turn that smacked me in the face - or rather Raine in the face. There is so much suspence in this novel, I sitting on the edge of my seat throughout most of it.
Well loved characters show their faces again in A&M, along with new people. As soon as you meet him, you love the goblin spell singer Talon. Ronan Cayle is pretty awesome too, in his strict teachery sort of way, and for someone who has control of the island, Justinius Valerian isn't bad either. The lovely Mychael and Tam are still here, but a new bunch of bad guys come out of the woodwork too, the kind you love to hate.
A girl doesn't expect a simple shopping trip to turn into a living nightmare, but that's what happens to Raine Benares when she spots a demon. An unwiA girl doesn't expect a simple shopping trip to turn into a living nightmare, but that's what happens to Raine Benares when she spots a demon. An unwilling bond servant to the Saghred, a stone of power that sucks out souls for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Raine has enough on her plate, what with various people, including acting Archmagus Carnades Silvanus, wanting her dead. But a whole lot more is piled on when a powerful dark mage opens a Hellgate. Having demons who want to feast on everyone on the island is bad enough, but when she finds out the Queen of Demons wants to free her husband and King's soul from the Saghred, well, saying things go from bad for worse is a pretty big understatement.
I am pretty much speechless. Seriously, can these books get any better?! Well, I know they can because I reached the end and have inklings about the next book, but oh my wow. Just one word. Amazing.
The pace of all of the novels in the Raine Benares series is awesome, but it gets to unbelievable measures in The Trouble with Demons. When you're racing against demons to save an island full of people AND to stop said demons releasing countless evil souls from the Saghred to her royal demonicness' bidding, there really isn't any time to stop, pause, and take a breath. As weird as this may sound, while reading, I had to resist the urge to get up and run, to help everyone get where they needed quicker.
Raine is such an unbelievable woman. As you can tell, she's dealing with a lot of crap, and it would be completely understandable if she were to fall to pieces, but not Raine. She has strength, of the physical, mental, and emotional kind beyond belief - seriously, it's practically a miracle that this girl doesn't just drop to the floor from mental exhaustion - but realistically, the girl doesn't have time for a breakdown; lives are at stake, the ones she loves are in danger, and demons, ghosts, and Death's freaking minions are turning up around every corner, for crying out loud! The girl deserves a holiday, if not a medal. Kudos to the fictional elf.
The bond to the Saghred isn't the only bond in this novel. Magical bonds and pairings make some appearances, and what was once a mildly confusing perhaps-perhaps-not love triangle gets several kinds of complicated, and kind of scary, if you ask me. But good too. Even with having to deal with Hell - quite literally - Raine is lucky in some ways.
There are so many awesome supporting characters in this novel, I can't tell you, and you come to love pretty much all of them, even the baddies; you love-to-hate them. I really want to go for a drink with Phaelen, Raine's pirate cousin, Sora Niabli, demonology tutor, and Archmagus Justinius Valerian; god, that would be an awesome night, the stories that would be shared! Vegard, Guardian knight and Raine's bodyguard is just awesome, he's the big brother I've always wanted - and reminds me a hell of a lot of Barak from Eddings' Belgariad series.
The end of this book is just... there are no words. Raine realises decisions need to be made on all sorts of things, people are making their thoughts known, Raine finds herself a girlfriend in Sora for a good heart-to-heart, and things start to get seriously complicated and... well, bigger. I can't go into much more detail without spoilers. The only bad thing is that I now have to wait a whole year before I can find out what happens next.
David Eddings has sadly passed away, but never fear; we have a fantasy master (mistress?) in Ms. Shearin!...more
There are no words for just how amazing this story is! Oh, how I wish it was longer, so I could read some more! I was hooked right from the get go! IThere are no words for just how amazing this story is! Oh, how I wish it was longer, so I could read some more! I was hooked right from the get go! I started reading a few chapters yesterday, and have spent most of today completing it. Such a sweet, lovely, unique story! I absolutely loved it!
I can’t tell you how beautiful this story is; the writing style is just beyond anything I can describe. I can’t say if I was more in love with the plot or the writing. It’s almost poetic. It was so easy to get lost in the sound and rhythm of the words, I would have to read passages over so I could actually take in what was happening. I just adored the writing! I may be going on a bit, but writing style isn’t something I’m all that bothered about – sorry for the sacrilege – but with Magic Under Glass, I was completely moved by it. And the descriptions! I would love to have gone to the places described in this book, they sound so beautiful!
Reading this book was almost like “coming home” in book terms for me; High fantasy is what first opened my eyes to reading, and although the world in Magic Under Glass seems resemble our own very closely, it is high fantasy with its sorcerers, fairies, and strange lands. It was just magical – pardon the pun. I loved the structure of this world, seeming like regency England, but with the politics of the sorcerers, and the possibility of war with the fairies.
The characters are also amazing! Nimirais such a strong character. Used to such a different way of life where she comes from, Nim is looked down on in Lorinar, she deals with such disgusting attitudes from some of the higher classes, but she keeps going, trying to better herself for the sake of her family at home. The along comes Hollin, a rich, handsome sorcerer who takes her into his home and treats her like a lady in return for her learning the songs and singing with the automaton. He is a nice guy generally speaking, but he is very weak, and so frustrating! Smollings Ambassador of Magic for the Sorcerer’s Council is possibly one of the most disgusting men I have come across in YA, in his attitude towards Nim and in his character as a whole, even if Nim were a high class Lorinar woman. And then there is Erris, the fairy trapped inside an automaton; a wind up, human shaped clockwork machine. Think Dick Van Dick in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when he sings Truly Scrumptious – instead Erris doesn’t sing and dance, he plays the piano. Erris is such a great character, and you can’t help adoring him, and sympathising for the terrible life he leads.
I just love how this book ended, it was fantastic! We have our magical bit of action, we have our politics, and we have a great cliff-hanger! Not the type where you’re left hanging right at an important bit, but the type where you know where things will lead, in a round about way, from there. Magic Under Glass is a quick and beautiful read, and I know I’ve already said, but I so wish it was longer! It’s just fantastic! I can’t recommend it enough!
My name is Raine Benares. I’m a seeker. I find lost things and missing people — usually alive. Finding the specters of six evil mages who escaped theMy name is Raine Benares. I’m a seeker. I find lost things and missing people — usually alive. Finding the specters of six evil mages who escaped the Saghred, a soul-eating stone of unlimited power, was easy. Stopping them before they unleash Hell on earth just may be the death of me.
Being bonded to the Saghred wasn’t my idea — neither is hunting down its escapees. Especially not when one of them is also hunting me. He’s regenerating his body by taking the lives of powerful victims, along with their memories, knowledge, and most important of all, their magic. The dark mage wants control of the Saghred, and if he gets it, he’ll become an evil demigod whom no one can stop. The only thing in his way is me.
One of us doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance. From LisaShearin.com
As most of you will be aware, I am a huge Lisa Shearin fan, so it will be no surprise to hear that I was just so chuffed and excited when I received a review copy of Bewitched & Betrayed from Lisa's publisher - especially since they never used to send review copies abroad. I dived right in, ready to be swept away by the danger Raine would find herself in this time, and I wasn't disappointed! Bewitched & Betrayed might just be the best in the series so far!
Raine is in a whole lot of trouble with the escaped spectres, especially as Sarad Nukpana is also free and after four things; a body, power, the saghred, and Raine's soul. If that wasn't bad enough, Carnedes and Balmorlan are up to no good and plan to get Raine, and anyone who stands with her, safely out of the way so they can use the Saghred themselves.
This book is just so exciting! Like in all the books in the series, Raine gets barely a moments rest as she races against time to save herself, the people she loves, and keep everyone away from the Saghred, but everyone's upped their A-game, and it gets more difficult for Raine to fight them and the power of the Saghred. I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat throughout. The action is amazing, but there is a whole lot of fear and anguish besides. If you've read the rest of the series, you would have come to love these fantastic characters, and you will be fearing for every single one of them. You can't help but get really emotionally involved in this book. No-one is safe.
The love triangle that is Raine, Mychael and Tam comes to an end in this book. I'm a regular reader of Lisa Shearin's blog, so I knew something important was going to happen that would effect the love triangle, though I won't say what, because you may end up like me. Until I got to that point, I was impatiently willing myself to read faster to get to it, to find out who Raine chooses, and it probably wasn't the best way to read. There is the possibility that I may not have noticed certain details because of it. Was I disappointed once I found out? Well, I wouldn't have been disappointed whoever Raine chose, I love both Mychael and Tam. My only problem is what happened when the other found out. I won't spoil it, but I didn't like it, and I can't explain why, sorry! I personally don't see what's wrong with bigamy!
As much as I loved this book, there were a few tiny things that bugged me. There are a number of things that are repeated in each book for new readers. I understand it's to help bring new readers up to date, but reading, for example, that goblins' fangs are "not for decortive use only" in each book is slightly grating. I also found that Raine's thought processes were a little repetitive too, and her snark in some situations, although a coping mechanism, was just inappropriate - some things just can't be made funny. Everyone has flaws though, and these are only tiny issues. They won't stop me from picking up the next book - where it looks like things will become a lot more political! Oh, I can't wait! Can't beat some good fantasy politics!
I can't finish this review without mentioning the fantastic cover. The books themselves are brilliant, but the covers are a beautiful bonus. And this one is just as pretty, if darker! I absolutely love it! Aleta Rafton, the cover illustrator, creates such brilliant art, having a such a cover in my hands is a treat on it's own. They need to be on walls in frames!
Over all, an amazingly exciting fourth installment that really tugs at the heart strings. I seriously cannot wait to see what Lisa brings us in the fifth book, Con & Conjure (the one I named!), when it comes out in March 2011!
The Dragon Keeper is the first book in the fourth series set in the Realm of the Elderlings, the Rain Wild COriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
The Dragon Keeper is the first book in the fourth series set in the Realm of the Elderlings, the Rain Wild Chronicles. This series has been out for quite a while now, and knowing how the series can overlap at times, I knew I had to catch up before the next Fitz and Fool series is released. I asked for this for Christmas, got it, and dived right in. And what a fantastic book it is!
The Dragon Keeper is narrated by Thymara, Leftrin, Alise, and one of the newly hatched dragons, Sintara in 3rd person. It's great to read about each of their lives, and how they interlink. Thymara is a Rainwilder, and so heavily marked by the Rain Wilds, she is an outcast among her own people. Rain Wilders are generally marked in some way - some scaling, some possible growths - but any child born too "deformed" is exposed - abandoned to be dealt with by the elements or the animals of the rain forest. Thymara, with her claws and fair amount of scales, should have been exposed at birth, but her father refused to let the midwife do it. She has always had a fascination with the dragons, so when the opportunity comes up to be a dragon keeper, she jumps at the chance. Being as heavily marked as she is, Thymara will not have much of a future. She is not allowed to get married or have children. She will be a burden on her parents her whole life, depending on them, because the other Rain Wilders are so prejudiced. Thymara sees becoming a dragon keeper as her chance to try and build a life for herself. Even if things don't work out, at least she would have tried.
Leftrin is the captain of trading barge, and trading is his life. All he knows - all he wants - is the Rain Wilds River, sailing up and down, buying and selling goods. However, when the chance to help guide the dragons to their new resting grounds arises, Leftrin knows he can earn a pretty pennyl. His liveship Tarman is the only vessel who has any chance of making it up the river, and the Traders Council at Cassarisk, where the dragons currently abide, needs his barge. So he can ask whatever he wants.
Alise Finbok is in a loveless and cruel marriage. The only things that gets her through the day are her scholarly pursuits to learn more about the dragons and the Elderlings. She buys scroll after scroll, translating where she can, making it her business to know everything there is to know. Her fascination becomes her lifeline, her means of temporary escape when her husband, Hest, finally agrees to stand by a stipulation in their marriage contract, that Alise will be able to go to Cassarisk to study the dragons in person.
Sintara is one of the dragons. With stunted, flimsy wings and a body that's not nearly as big as it should be, she is ashamed of herself and the other dragons. With her ancestral memories of what dragons of old were like, she knows something went wrong during their cocooning. Dragons were not meant to be land creatures, but beautiful beasts of the sky, going where they wished, eating what they wished, sleeping when they wished. But she and the others rely on the help of humans in almost every way as they cannot leave the ground. To creatures of pride and arrogance, it's a mean blow to live in such forms and rely on humans who are tiring of looking after them. When the dragons speak of convincing the humans to take them to Kelsingra, Sintara knows they must go. Better to try to find the mythical city of Kelsingra and attempt to become a true dragon, than to die in the mud.
I know what I've said above sounds like a lot, but it barely scratches the surface of what happens in this book. Thymara and Alise live such sad lives. The way the Rainwilders treat Thymara is absolutely disgusting. It really is unbelievable, the amount of discrimination they subject on those who have no control over their appearance. It's just so sad. Hest is... vile, monstrous, bullying, manipulative. He makes my blood boil, and poor Alise has to live with his treatment. It's just horrendous, and it scares me that she is so trapped in her marriage. It's just unbelievable.
Leftrin is a bit of a sneaky guy, but I can't help liking him. And when he and Alise meet, well. There's a lot of things I want to happen there. He might be a little rough around the edges, but at least he knows how to treat a lady, and he gives Alise the attention she deserves. They both feel things. I just hope they act on them.
Sintara and the other dragons are such interesting characters, because they have that ingrained arrogance that all dragons have; they are superior and entitled... and yet, they're not what they should be. It's fascinating to see the internal struggle of, "I am better than you, but I must rely on you to survive." Their arrogance is completely over the top, but it's a little heartbreaking to see the dragons so helpless. Despite their attitudes, I can't help but want things to get better for them. I do feel sorry for them.
I finished this book, and bought the second, Dragon Haven, online right away, and kept thinking about this book for days! It's just amazing! And I'm loving reading novels by Hobb that I've not read previously. Reminds me of what a fantastic author she is. So excited to read the second book!...more
Having fell in love with Wicked the musical, I have been so intrigued to read the book it was based on. AlthOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
Having fell in love with Wicked the musical, I have been so intrigued to read the book it was based on. Although I really enjoyed Wicked, it wasn't what I expected.
The musical doesn't have much in common with the book. It takes the basic plot, but twists so many things, and doesn't go into much details. The book is very political, and the witch - Elphaba - is mostly a political activist. She is called wicked by the other side, but both - though loosely for some - are doing what they feel is right. Right for Oz.
Being a witch, you would expect her to have some magic, but she doesn't have any at all. Everything she does is practical not magical. She ends up with a spell book, and does some experiments with it towards the end of the book, but there is no real magic from either wicked witch in Wicked at all. Glinda has some aptitude for magic, and we know she does well in the subject when studying it, but we never really see anything you would expect.
At it's heart, Wicked is a sad and tragic story of someone who had strong opinion and morals, fought for what she believed in, and paid for it at every turn. Elphaba is such a strong woman, someone I really admired. She didn't give up, no matter what happened, no matter how many times she was knocked down. They just made her more determined to do what was right.
Wicked is a very wordy book, and feels quite literary. A dictionary was very much required more times than I could count. The style took some getting used to, but it made the story feel more credible. The Wizard of Oz is a classic, and Wicked is a classic retelling - it definitely keeps the classic vibe. And it's amazing how Maguire took a children's story, and expanded it so much to make an intricate and believable adult story, while still sticking to what we know of The Wizard of Oz. Fantastic!
A really fantastic book! I'm so looking forward to reading the sequel, The Son of a Witch!...more
So I originally said that I wouldn't be moving straight on to The Belgariad series after finishing Eddings'Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
So I originally said that I wouldn't be moving straight on to The Belgariad series after finishing Eddings' Tamuli trilogy, but my Kindle was dead, and was taking forever to charge, so I decided to read this series instead as it was calling me. So glad I did! God, I love these books!
Garion is a young, oridinary boy living on Faldor's Farm with his Aunt Pol, the farm's cook. He loves hearing the tales of myth and legend; the stories of the Gods and the wars of the past, of how evil God Torak stole the Orb of power from his brother Aldur, and how the sorcerer Belgarath fought to get it back with men from Aloria. But they're all just stories, and nothing that will touch his life. Until one day the Storyteller arrives at the farm and urgently needs Aunt Pol to go with him to recover something that has been stolen. Something important. Whisked away from everything he knows, Garion travels with Aunt Pol and the Storyteller he calls Mister Wolf into the unknown - never knowing what they're doing, what they're trying to find, and why. Kings and nobles are met along the way, who treat Mister Wolf and Aunt Pol with the utmost respect, and Garion slowly comes to realise that these people may not actually be who he thought they were...
This book is the reason I read. Just let that sink in for a moment. If it wasn't for this book, there would be no blog, and I probably wouldn't have read all the hundreds of books I've read. This is the book that turned me from a non-reader to a reader when I was 12. This book changed my life.
Reading it again gave me such a profound sense of joy there are no words to express well enough. It's like being wrapped up in a familar warmth, in happiness and comfort and complete contentment. There's also excitement to read on, get to all the exciting parts I remember. I remembered almost every moment of this book, but, like I've found on other re-reads of this series, I can never exactly remember where one book ends and another book starts.
I remember from a previous re-read thinking that it took a long while for it to get to the point where they leave Faldor's Farm, and that not very much happened in this first book. What I had forgotten is how small a book Pawn of Prophecy is. I must have become much quicker at reading than I used to be, because at 258 pages, I flew through it. This time round, it felt to me that everything happened really quickly, but not in any bad way. With each word, each page, each chapter, I was getting closer to all the excitement I was so looking forward to, and loving every second.
Pawn of Prophecy begins what has become the epitome of what is high fantasy to me. The great cast of characters, the adventure, politics and intrigue, the magic. This story completely captures my imagination every time, and never fails to remind me of the wonders of reading. This book will always be close to my heart....more
A re-read of the second book in this incredible series.
The search for the Orb of Aldur continues. Garion is still confused as to how he happens to be among such people on such an important quest, despite his ties to Aunt Pol, but he's learning as he goes. More people join them on their quest to get back the Orb before Torak awakes, and war is inevitable. The Murgos and Grolims are throwing obstacles in their path along the way, and Asharak the Murgo still seems to have a frightening insterest in Garion. But it's not just the Murgos who are trying to thwart their plans. Eternal Salmissra of Nyissa has embroilled herself into the coming conflict, to take advantage and get what she can, and she wants Garion for herself...
If I remember correctly, by the end of this book, all the characters that form the group of companions have been introduced. In Pawn of Prophecy, as well as Garion, Belgarath and Polgara - known to Garion as Mister Wolf and Aunt Pol - we are also introduced to Durnik, Silk and Barak. Belgarath comes across as a shabby vagrant, commanding and wise, but with a love of beer and the company of beautiful women. Polgara is stern and authoritative, but loving, caring and warm. Durnik, a Sendar, is a good, practical and dependable man with strong morals. Silk, a Drasnian, is slick, sly and humourous - a spy and a master of disguise. Barak, a Cherek, is big, tough warrior with a love of fighting, being at sea and and tankards of ale.
In Queen of Sorcery, we meet Lelldorin, Hettar, Mandorallen and Ce'Nedra. Lelldorin, and Asturian Arend, is a young, passionate man with not much in the way of common sense, but a deeply loyal friend to Garion. Hettar, an Algarian, is a quiet, almost moody seeming man, with a hatred for Murgos and a peculiar ability to communicate with horses. Mandorallen, a Mibrate Arend and knight, is archaic and full of honour and bravery, seemingly arrogant in his skill as a Knight, but comes from the fact that he simply is the best out there. Ce'Nedra, the Imperial Princess of Tolnedra, is a spoilt little brat of a girl, demanding and entitled, and so arrogant, stubborn and strong willed. At first. I remember when I first read this book I couldn't stand her at all. I loathed her. Until you get to know her better and get to watch her grow. All of these characters are very dear to me, but Ce'Nedra is quite possibly my favourite. She's wicked, but in the best possible way!
I had forgotten how young Garion seems at the very start of this series, but already he's shown some growth. The danger and intrigue surrounding their quest has forced him to grow up fairly quickly, and although he's not reached full maturity yet, he's started to show some sense and intelligence in this book But he's not immune to teenage angst, and will have his moments of childish.
I love watching Garion slowly learn bits and pieces about who he is. Learning about the true identities of Belgarath and Polgara made him feel completely adrift - being thousands of years old, his Aunt Pol can't really be his direct aunt. He felt completely lost with no idea as to who he is or where he's come from, but he slowly discovers things about his parents as he goes. Learning of their murder brings rage into his heart, and his desire for revenge is absolute. It's also fascinating to see the beginnings of his power begin to emerge, and I'm so looking forward to what comes next and his instruction!
The danger has increased, with the Murgos specifically out to stop them and cause strife in theKingdoms of the West. It's all so intriguing and exciting, and I'm really excited for it to all come to a head!So ready to dive into book three, Magician's Gambit!...more