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Armed & Magical (Raine Benares, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – April 29, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
Book 2 of 7 in the Raine Benares Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dazzling wit and clever humor." -- Ilona Andrews

"Fresh, original, and fall-out-of-your-chair funny." -- Linnea Sinclair

aShearin continues to demonstrate her marvelous gift for balancing offbeat humor with high-stakes adventure and paranormal thrills in book two of her high-octane, first-person suspense ride. You donat get much better than this imaginative and hilarious book.a
--Romantic Times
a"Armed & Magica"l is the kind of book you hope to find when you go to the book store. It takes you away to a world of danger, magic, and adventure, and it does so with dazzling wit and clever humor.a
--Ilona Andrews, author of "Magic Bites"
aAn enchanting read from the very first page...Shearin weaves a web of magic with a dash of romance that thoroughly snares the reader.a
--Anya Bast, national bestselling author of "Witch Fire"
aFresh, original and fall-out-of-your-chair funny.a --Linnea Sinclair, RITA award-winning author of "The Down Home Zombie Blues"

Shearin continues to demonstrate her marvelous gift for balancing offbeat humor with high-stakes adventure and paranormal thrills in book two of her high-octane, first-person suspense ride. You don t get much better than this imaginative and hilarious book.
--Romantic Times
"Armed & Magica"l is the kind of book you hope to find when you go to the book store. It takes you away to a world of danger, magic, and adventure, and it does so with dazzling wit and clever humor.
--Ilona Andrews, author of "Magic Bites"
An enchanting read from the very first page...Shearin weaves a web of magic with a dash of romance that thoroughly snares the reader.
--Anya Bast, national bestselling author of "Witch Fire"
Fresh, original and fall-out-of-your-chair funny. --Linnea Sinclair, RITA award-winning author of "The Down Home Zombie Blues"

?Shearin continues to demonstrate her marvelous gift for balancing offbeat humor with high-stakes adventure and paranormal thrills in book two of her high-octane, first-person suspense ride. You don?t get much better than this imaginative and hilarious book.?
--Romantic Times

?"Armed & Magica"l is the kind of book you hope to find when you go to the book store. It takes you away to a world of danger, magic, and adventure, and it does so with dazzling wit and clever humor.?
--Ilona Andrews, author of "Magic Bites"

?An enchanting read from the very first page...Shearin weaves a web of magic with a dash of romance that thoroughly snares the reader.?
--Anya Bast, national bestselling author of "Witch Fire"

?Fresh, original and fall-out-of-your-chair funny.? --Linnea Sinclair, RITA award-winning author of "The Down Home Zombie Blues"

About the Author

Lisa Shearin currently works as the editor at an advertising agency. She has been a magazine editor and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description. Lisa enjoys singing, reading, writing novels, and fencing (foil and epee, as well as rapier & dagger dueling). She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two cats, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and a Jack Russell terrier who rules them all.
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Product Details

  • Series: Raine Benares (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; 1st edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441015875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441015870
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just finished reading Armed & Magical, the new installment in the adventures of Raine Benares and I absolutely loved this book! Not a lot of time has passed since events of the last book, and Raine is now on the island of Mid in the care of Mychael, who is a paladin to the Conclave Guardians. She is still connected to Saghred, which is being held in the shielded containment rooms, and is determined to find a way to part with the soul sucking rock without parting with her own life. Even though she left her homeland for the time being, her troubles followed her all the way to Mid, acquiring new ones on the way. As more people learn that Saghred resurfaced after nine hundred years and about Raine's link to it, more fractions are now competing for its power. The political situation on Mid is delicately balanced and any shift in the power scale can mean death and imprisonment to Raine and her friends, especially the young and talented Piaras.

That pretty much sums up the content of the book without giving much away. As I mentioned before, I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but I did have a couple of issues with it. Therefore I decided to add pros and cons to my review.

Pros:
1. World building - The author created a very unique alternate universe with a few urban fantasy additions. The writing style had a perfect balance of world building and action, therefore I was rarely bored with too much narrative about the scenery. The antagonistic relationship between Elves and Goblins and their physical differences were well written, not to mention subcategories of mages and humans to add to the mix. Overall, this world was beautifully imagined and realized, which in my opinion very few fantasy writers are able to accomplish.
2.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sorceress Raine Benares excels at finding missing items and people. But after being bound to a stone that captures souls, Raine desperately wants to be free to live a normal life. The stone has amplified her powers, but she'd gladly give it up. When students begin disappearing at the school she is visiting, Raine realizes that she is the best person to find them. But Raine is a target as well.

Told from a first person narrative, Armed and Magical has a distinct feel of urban fantasy but is not set in modern times. Raine is an elf, in a land of magic where elves, humans and goblins reside. She is a fun and spirited character, with a couple love interests that never seem to go past the flirtation stage.

With a thread of mystery throughout the story, villains and suspicious characters abound. Not having read the first installment was not a problem either. It was easy to jump into the story, and the characters were well explained. A nice break from the darker high fantasy novels, Armed and Magical is an amusing tale of magic and adventure. One I thoroughly enjoyed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
THis is your generic tough-gurl fantasy stuff. Raine is a likeable enough heroine, fighting all the usual baddies and trying to sort out her love-life at the same time. Her narration is snappy, if a bit out of synch with the setting (she asks for a "user's manual" for the stone she is linked with at one point, which just didn't fit the genre setting). It's a quick read, a bit boring in the middle, while the author rather belabors the point about spellsingers and political maneuvering. It's just your standard fantasy stuff--no real original elements or new directions. You don't put this book down and go "man, that was GREAT!" to yourself at the end.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
He is charming, hellishly attractive and smoking. And there's the other one: tall, blond, warm and reliable. The one's a cold-blooded dark mage turned rogue. The other one the paragorn of virtue. And you're the girl in the middle, unable to decide which one to taste a little more of...

Raine is a character interestingly undecided and struggling. At the same time, she's trying to fend off a really evil dark magic that has her in its clutches, a secret goblin elite shaman troupe, nasty bureaucratic elves, elves warped into bureaucratic naivité. And she only wants to live... And protect her friends.

Although this book is about white and black and mostly the grey in the middle, it's also about a world in which magic is a threat as much as a miracle. It tastes like a young wine, with a lot of delight, color and sparkle. It's a whirlwind adventure that leaves you wanting for more. More! More!

You'd never think this was a sequel. It's fast-paced, engaging and imaginative and wondefully alive. Hopefully there's much more to come!
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Very enjoyable read. Action packed and fun. Colorful, creative plot and settings and characters. Also likable heroine and other characters. Definitely worth reading. Probably more like a 3 and a half and could be a four and half if one thing were more developed---the action is a little too constant. Like it feels you are constantly chasing from one situation to the next. If things were slowed down just a little, and if there were just a little more development between heroine and main guys, this could rreally be a great series. Three books without really even much of a kiss is kind of bordering on silly. I don't like books that revolve around panting sex scenes every 10 pages or constant ruminations and angst about love, but this goes too far in the other extreme. I willl definitely keep reading the series, but hope as time goes on the author deepens her ability to write about relationship just a bit. But a very good author--better than so much of the fantasy out there. Which is why I gave it a 4, when it's more like a 3 compared to a Jacqueline Carey, for instance. But it's a 4 compared to someone like Laurelll Hamilton, who seems to be so popular but writes drivel.
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