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I’m back from vacation and ready to get down and dirty finding new free and amazingly bargained books for you! But first this week I have something special. I convinced super hot and crazy talented …

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The Raine Benares Series – Elves, Goblins and Pirates, Oh My!

Submitted by on April 22, 2010 – 4:00 am3 Comments

Magic Lost, Trouble Found, Lisa Shearin

I have amazing friends. Not only do they share my love of books, they lend them to me too! Two weeks ago, as I was enjoying a week long vacation my friend Rotem mentioned that she had a wonderful series of books for me to read. In her words – “There are elves! Goblins! Pirates!” Well, I did hesitate. Maybe because in recent months I feel that my “cup has runneth over” when it comes to fanciful tales. But, since I trust my friends implicitly, I started to read about Raine Benares – elf and seeker, and as usual, Rotem was right!


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 Benares’s story begins in Magic Lost, Trouble Found;  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?

Raine’s tale begins in “one of Mermeia’s more aromatic alleys”, she is trying to look out for a friend, but as in most stories that begin in dark allies, gets more trouble than she bargained for – an amulet which apparently has a sacred connection to a powerful stone called the Saghred. Now, Raine cannot remove the amulet, and everybody, including some very evil goblin shamans called the ‘Krynsani’ (goblin supremacists) want the amulet in order to find the stone, with or without Raine. Raine needs all the help she can get, but who can she trust? Her pirate cousin Phaelan? Her occasional boss in elven intelligence? Her goblin friend (who wants to be more than friends) Tam? Or Mychael, an elven Guardian who seems to be on Raine’s mind a bit too often…literally!

I absolutely adore Raine, she is a wonderful heroine who fights her own battles and enjoys every minute. Shearin creates a wonderful cast of supporting characters, who help us see the different sides to Raine, humorous, sassy, intelligent and protective. Her only drawback is her constant phrase of “we Benares” followed by her alluding to either her family’s piratical background or fighting skills.

Now obviously, the book presents a few possibilities when it comes to Raine’s love life, but it doesn’t overpower the story or the mystery that needs to be solved. Raine is no shrinking violet, she doesn’t need a savior, she can do it all by herself, which doesn’t mean she doesn’t get help anyway. Raine’s new accessory seems to be giving her a power boost, but is Raine in control, or is the amulet?

There is never a dull moment in Magic Lost, Trouble Found, but the story is not over plotted, it runs smoothly and Shearin cleverly includes the background information about the kingdom of Brenir, the city of Mermeia, and its inhabitants within the plot so it doesn’t derail the storyline. Yes, there is still much more I would like to know about the kingdom, even after three books, and Shearin does keep you guessing, but no storyline is left dangling at the end of the book. That said, this is most definitely a series, with an ongoing plot, so do not read the books out of order.

As for Armed & Magical and The Trouble with Demons, books two and three in the series, neither one suffered from “second book syndrome” (or third!) I will not spoil the plots, but I will say that each one continues seamlessly from where the previous book left off, with a short recap that didn’t even annoy me – and I read all three books in three days!

As for the possible love interests? Since all three books happen over a period of less than a month, it might be asking a bit much for Raine to make her decision, but I can only ask that Ms. Shearin not stretch out the “who?” question for too long, personally, I say – why choose?

I am really looking forward to the fourth book in the series, Bewitched and Betrayed which comes out on April 27th, so for those of you who are only now starting the series, not too long to wait. I will definitely be getting this book – Rotem, you can borrow it when I’m done. ;)

The Raine Benares Series [Fantasy]
Magic Lost, Trouble found (2007)
Armed and Magical (2008)
The Trouble with Demons (2009)
Bewitched and Betrayed (2010)

Visit Lisa Shearin’s website


Noa first fell in love with books when she discovered 100 acre wood and its inhabitants. To this day, the last pages of “The House at Pooh Corner” make her cry. In a good way. From“Calvin and Hobbes” to “The Iliad and the Odyssey” and lets not forget “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes”. Biographies, mysteries, history books and romances all have a place on her bookshelves. Who needs furniture? This 29 year old singleton’s dream is to invent the zero-calorie chocolate. But until that day arrives, she tries to create sweet confections with whatever chocolate she can find. An MA in conflict studies (need a mediator?) means Noa loves a good debate, especially when she wins. If she were in charge, books would be free for everyone.
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