Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rosy's book recommendation: Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin

Magic Lost, Trouble Found
Lisa Shearin

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?

Ace Books


Rosy's scrawlings on Magic Lost, Trouble Found
This book, followed by many others in the series, is a romp through a fantasy world filled with  fantasy creatures, medieval, Victorian-esque and futuristic cities, pirates and magic users. The main character, Raine, is a seeker who can be sometimes be seen as a semi-talented magical thief for hire. At the beginning of Magic Lost, Trouble Found Raine has little ability in magic but once her friend gets his hands on a magical amulet of unknown power she takes it from him and becomes caught by the amulet's power. As soon as she puts the amulet around her neck she's also caught in the politics and intrigue surrounding the amulet's power.
Magic Lost, Trouble Found starts out with a small focus, with Raine and Quentin's troubles taking the fore but the story quickly escalates and expands, establishing the basis for the many books on Raine's adventure to follow. Throughout, there's a careful balance of light-heartedness and dark intrigue that makes the book and those that follow engaging and easy to read. The writing of Magic Lost, Trouble Found is sometimes a halting or awkward but that is to be expected from a new author, as Shearin was when she wrote this book. These issues are quickly resolved though as the writing becomes increasingly sophisticated throughout the series. Little to no patience is needed for those just after a fun read and it is to just such readers I recommend this book.
Raine is a capable and active character, like most heroines nowadays, but she has a quick whit and positive disposition that is rarer. While many heroines resort to sarcasm as their preferred form of whit, Raine has a lighter humour that balances the grit she shows when in a desperate situation. She is also quite willing to seek help when she needs it rather than stubbornly pushing on by herself. The enemies Raine faces throughout this series are also varied and numerous, breaking away from the more predictable option of a single evil mastermind. Instead, she faces several masterminds, all with their own agendas and own forces. In all, Magic Lost, Trouble Found is an interesting beginning for a long series that is suitable rainy day reading as it is filled with colour and activity and both the familiar and the new.

I'd recommend this book too: those who love magic, pirates and a dashing heroine. The book would likely appeal to women more than men due to the main character being female but is open to any reader.

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