Thursday, March 27, 2008

Armed and Magical-Lisa Shearin

Armed and Magical
Lisa Shearin
Ace, May 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441015870

She was a good Seeker of objects and people and a fair sorceress, but a week ago Raine Benares was psychically bonded with the Saghred, a stone of immense power. It has boosted Raine’s existing powers and given her unnatural talent making her one of the most powerful magicians in the Seven Kingdoms. However it is an evil object that thrives on eating souls with the last soul it swallowed being Sacred Nikpon. Raine forced that action which is why she has a link to the stone and its seemingly zillion stolen souls over the centuries wherever she may be.

Right now Raine is on the Isle of Mid, home to the Conclave which polices magic users and hosts a highly regarded sorcerer’s school. Raine hopes someone on the island can separate her from the stone. However, there are factions on the Isle some of whom are malevolent and demand something from Raine starting with the original owner of the stone who razed cities, empires and anyone who got in his way. Raine finds her elven brethren want her for her new power while the goblins demand the stone. Everywhere she turns she finds someone threatens her and her loved ones as ethics do not apply to the people seeking the power of the stone.

Lisa Shearin has written a spellbinding fantasy that enables readers to believe in elves, goblins, and mages, oh my. The Shearin world seems real and that magic is a genuine skill thanks in part to the strong characterizations. There is plenty of partisan in fighting, intrigue, and action to keep readers turning the pages wondering what next will happen to the reluctant beleaguered heroine that is while debating her chances of surviving until the next assault occurs.

Harriet Klausner

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