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Armed & Magical by Lisa Shearin

Two Raine Benares books down and I can say three things: first--I am officially a Lisa Shearin fan, second--I liked Armed & Magical just as much as (if not more than) Magic Lost, Trouble Found, and third--it's going to be a long wait for book #3, The Trouble with Demons, to come out the end of April. Lisa has, however, assured me that my wait will not be in vain, as book #3 will have more than enough sizzle to satisfy any Team Tam girl's needs. To be fair, she said the same will be true for Team Mychael girls, but that's neither here nor there...

Armed & Magical begins immediately after the first book ends. Raine and Co. are on the Island of Mid, restlessly holed up in the finest suite the Conclave and its Guardians have to offer. The paladin has assured Raine that someone within the magical university hierarchy will be able to help rid her of her increasingly uncomfortable link to the Saghred--the ancient, malevolent stone intent on sucking her soul dry. Unfortunately, a notorious elven assassin seems to be targeting the paladin and the archmagus--Raine's two lone friends in this new, hostile environment. After singlehandedly foiling this attempt, Raine joins the hunt to unearth who is paying the assassin and why he seems to be amassing a group of hostage spellsingers. Never more than a step away from death, Raine finds herself embroiled in goblin/elf warfare as well as some nasty political power wrangling at the university. When Tam appears unexpectedly in the middle of a particularly harrowing encounter in a dark alley, their already hazy relationship quickly shifts to an even murkier shade of gray, and Raine struggles to figure out just which shady character is behind which threat and whether or not any of them can be trusted. 

One of the best things about these books is the ripping good pace they keep. The first covers only the space of a week, and the second not much more. Yet they are filled to the brim with near constant action, infectious humor, and a wide range of intriguing characters. They are all fun and worth getting attached to, but the best interaction, IMO, is reserved for Raine's encounters with Tam (more than he appears shaman turned nightclub owner love interest) and Piaras (pseudo younger brother more powerful than you spellsinger). I like how saavy Raine is at handling the various male figures in her life. I like how she is exactly who she claims to be (and she never claims to be perfect). And I particularly like how fierce she is when it comes to protecting her family. Here is one of my favorite examples of Raine's lively sense of humor when dealing with said men:
I couldn't keep a little smile off my face. "Most girls get flowers or candy. I get a declaration of martial law."

Well, I can't keep a smile off my face when I read a Lisa Shearin book. So it's a match made in heaven.

Comments

  1. Hi Angie,

    I'm so glad you loved Armed & Magical! I'm trying to make each book better than the one before and raise the stakes each time. I'm proofing the galleys for The Trouble with Demons now, and I think I've succeeded in both: it's even better and more intense. ; )

    Thank you for your kind words and wonderful review!

    Lisa

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  2. OK, I just got a copy of this book as a present, but I don't have book 1! I'm going to have to buy Magic Lost, Trouble Found, I'm DYING to read this series!! Everyone has good comments about it, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to love reading it.

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  3. Lisa, that's music to my ears. even more intense than the alley scene? Sign me up.

    Janicu, I hope you can get your hands on MLTF soon cuz I think you will really enjoy this series.

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  4. I have never heard about this book before it's going straight on my tbr list, it sounds soo good!!!!

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  5. Hi, Robin! I'm glad I sold it well. ;) When you do snag a copy, let me know what you think of it. So far the series is building really well. I have a feeling the third one will be excellent.

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  6. Anonymous5:19 PM

    After reading your review of MLTF, it was a given I'd end up reading it. Turned out that was sooner rather then later, and I'm hooked! Just finished the first, and thanking the heavens I've got the second ready to go!

    I'm surprisingly undecided on my team, though. Hmmm...We'll have to see if that changes with Armed & Magical.

    And, at this point, I'd like to just give you my eternal thanks 'cause I've no doubt you're going to point me to many more wonderful books in the future.

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  7. Chelle, wow. You are so welcome. I love nothing better than hooking good people up with good books. And I'm very glad you have the second one on hand. It will be very interesting to see if Armed & Magical decides you at all as to which team you may be on. Course there's nothing wrong with loving them both ;)

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