The Trouble with Demons (Raine Benares, Book 3)
by Lisa Shearin
Review by Beth Slater
Ace Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441017126
Date: 28 April 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
In book three, Seeker Raine Benares is still bonded with the magical soul-stealing stone the Saghred, which has really complicated her life in so many ways. Getting a date is murder--really--and forget about shopping. Not a huge fan of shopping anyway, Raine had put off the task until absolutely necessary, but having to go with an entourage that included bodyguards really puts a crimp in a girl's style. Not that she didn’t need the protection--now that the Saghred had become her best friend and worst enemy--she’d picked up a lot of shadows who seemed to always know where to find her. But when she sees someone being attacked by blue demons, she can’t believe her eyes. Neither can anyone else with her (she’s the only one who can see them) except that there was a sorcerer screaming and rolling around in the street madly as if being attacked. Until Raine causes one of the demons to break their shielding spell, no one else realizes that the Isle of Mid has come under attack by demons--or will be soon, because these guys are just the scouts.
Not only is shopping a nightmare, but after the debacle with the demons, the mage temporarily in charge of the Isle, already after her because of the last magical attack (see Armed & Magical) thinks that she has made a deal with the demons and opened the Hellgate herself, therefore causing all of the havoc and has issued a warrant for her arrest. Luckily the rest of the guard saw Raine fighting the demons. When she saved the Archmage’s life not once, but twice, the guard followed their allegiance to their captain, Mychael, who happens to be a White Knight bonded to Raine. Raine is also bonded to Tam, her lover of some time, who used to be a dark mage for the Goblin Court. While Tam no longer practices dark magic, he will always be a dark mage, and now Raine is caught between the two--with the most powerful of magics seemingly tied to her soul forever--a forbidden temptation to anyone.
For those three the choice right now is easy – fight the demons. The demons want to unlock the Saghred to access the souls inside – one of which is Raine’s father – but they need the key. Ironically, they wish Raine to use her magic to find it as a Seeker, although the Saghred fights it once it knows what the job is. But what if the bond is seen? Their power – the power of light and dark, combined with the all-consuming, soul-stealing, demonic-crushing power of the Saghred could destroy everything they are trying to save.
Well, two out of three isn’t bad! No, that is an exaggeration. This was an excellent fantasy adventure story with mystery tossed in and romance abounds amongst various characters – but I cannot give it the absolute wonderful review that I have given to the previous two books in this series. It simply didn’t have the same zing to me--maybe the humor couldn’t carry over with the threat of the violence to come or the evil that might be on the horizon--I’m not sure.
The action and adventure is consistent and the characters continue to develop well, with some additions that seem promising. I do suggest that readers try out the first two books for maximum enjoyment of this episode; but I hope that the humor I looked forward to in this installment will return in whatever is to come next, at least at the levels which I had hoped for. Otherwise, an excellent experience in the continuing adventures of Raine Benares.