Genre: fantasy, with a hint of romance
Cover: nice colors
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?
Raine Benares is supposed to have dinner with her cousin Phaelan, but is instead looking out for her friend / co-worker Quentin. She has no idea why he is attempting a break-in at the house of the most powerful necromancer in town, but she is ready to safe his ass when necessary.
When her cousin finds her in the alley, he is not happy to be in a smelly alley, but immediately ready to help her out. They did not expect the fact that Quentin has no trouble at all with the powerful wards in or outside the house, and that he gets inside at all. Nor did they expect a bunch of goblins to show up wanting the item that Quentin just took from the necromancer’s hidden bedroom… but they will jump in the fray.
Making a Gate inside someone’s heavily warded home takes some of the most powerful and darkest of magics, and the Khrynsani mages don’t hesitate to use that kind of magic. Raine and Phaelan manage to fight them off long enough to escape, especially when some other goblins arrive on the scene and start fighting the temple guards as well.
But Quentin is determined to deliver his price to the man who hired him in the first place, and collect the rest of his fee. Raine cannot talk him out of it, and so they escort him to his destination. She does convince Quentin to give her the amulet while he talks to Stocken though, because he was hired to steal a box, not its contents. Raine wants to find out what the amulet does, before she hands it over to Sarad Nukpana, the head shaman of the Khrynsani, and a lunatic psychopath to booth. He is the trusted advisor of the new goblin King, Sathrik Mal’Salin, and they are bad news.
Quentin agrees to give her the talisman, when he goes inside the warehouse to barter with Stocken. The talisman likes to cling to Raine, and she immediately knows that Quentin is in danger, so Phaelan and Raine follow him inside through a side door, to be met by Sarad Nukpana and more Khrynsani shamans and temple guards inside. Stocken is dead though.
Raine gets her next nasty surprise when Sarad Nukpana knows who she is, and worse, what she is wearing. And he will have the talisman at all costs.
But somebody else is after the talisman as well, and he could be counted among the good guys, a Conclave Guardian. The handsome elf uses songmagic on the goblins, but it doesn’t do much good, and Reine has to do something desperate to keep Sarad Nukpana to conjure up a demon. After that, the three of them flee the ware house to one of Raine’s biggest client’s safehouses. But she knows she won’t be safe until she knows what the talisman is, and how to get rid of it safely. She needs her godfather, Garadin, a retired Conclave Guardian himself, to help her out here.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t know what it does, and they find out the hard way that the talisman does not want to leave Raine’s neck. Lots of people are after the talisman, and she slowly finds out what it is, and what it can do. It cannot fall in the hands of the bad guys, or the world will be a much darker place. Both the Goblin King Sathrik Mal’Salin as his exciled brother Prince Chigaru Mal’Salin are after it, and more importantly, the stone it will lead them to.
With the help of her friends and her new allies, Mychael Eiliesor, the Paladin of the Conclave Guardians, Raine will have to do whatever is needed to keep her friends safe and keep possession of the talisman…
I have had this series on my wishlist since 2007 I guess, but somehow, I never got around to reading them. I bought the first two books in the series about two years ago, and the second two books a year ago. I reorganized my shelves a bit in December, and found all four of them. This time, I put them at the front of the shelves, so perhaps that is why I finally picked this book up. And I am glad I did.
I liked Raine, the heroine, from the start. She is capable, she knows what she can and cannot do, and is not afraid to ask for or accept help. She is also not afraid of commitments I think, although her childhood was without her own parents. She is strong, has a good sense of humor and sarcasm, and protects her friends and family. I like that she is called a sorceress instead of a witch.
I do admit, I have some trouble with all the difficult names in this book. They don’t flow in my head or aloud. I just thought, that the more difficult the name, the badder the character was.
But the story itself is certainly engaging and fantastic and kept me reading. I liked Raine, her cousin, and his attitude. He is some kind of pirate, and proud of it. The Benares family are just scoundrels, they enjoying living on the fence. Raine is thirty and single, but she has no lack of male attention, just not the attention she wants.
There is a goblin lord who wants her, and she certainly is attracted to him as well, and now there is this handsome elven lord and Guardian too. I do see some kind of love triangle in the making in the future, I like both of them.
Then there is the young spellsinger Phiaras who is like a younger brother to Raine. She really wants to keep him out of danger, but he is squarely in the middle of it, because he is so powerful. I liked him, and how he just grew up on the pages.
Raine has some good friends, they are loyal and look out for her, and vice versa. I liked most secondary characters, the worldbuilding is amazing, sometimes a bit overwhelming, but necessary to paint an atmosphere. It is dark at times, but Raine has a good sense of humor when appropriate. She is not shy, but does not flaunt herself either. She can fight and knows when to run.
I will read more of this series soon.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian