June 23, 2023

REVIEW Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Raine Benares #1) by Lisa Shearin

Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Raine Benares #1) by Lisa Shearin
Rating: 3 Stars
Release Date: May 29, 2007
Format: Audiobook (Audible)
Publisher: Ace 

Since I’m a longtime fan of Lisa Shearin’s SPI Files series, I recently decided to check out her first series - the Raine Benares books. While the first book in the series, Magic Lost Trouble Found, was another entertaining urban fantasy read, I wasn’t as enamoured by Raine’s adventures as I am by Makenna’s. 

Raine’s story takes place in the magical city of Mermeia, where Raine is a seeker who finds things with a moderate level of magical ability. After helping a friend get themselves out of a sticky situation, Raine gets stuck with a magical amulet (a la The Mummy Returns) that draws a lot of unwanted attention and exponentially increases her magical talents. A litany of humorous and difficult adventures ensue, as Raine attempts to separate herself from the amulet before time is up. 

I really enjoyed the worldbuilding of Raine’s universe. Similar to SPI Files, readers are introduced to multiple magical species like goblins, elves, pixies, and even paladins. The author also hits various classic fantasy tropes throughout the book, without making them necessarily feel like tropes when you read them. It was a bit harder for me to follow the worldbuilding in this book - possibly because it's a magical setting with a lot of complicated names of people and places rather than an urban one like New York. However, my enjoyment of the book was not impacted too much. Narrator Eileen Stevens did a good job with her performance in the audiobook. 

Overall, Magic Lost Trouble Found is a solid urban fantasy read. It’s a great book for fantasy readers who want an entertaining book to curl up and relax with. As a debut, it showed a lot of promise and I can guarantee you that Ms. Shearin’s writing has gotten better in the last decade and a half (check out her Aurora Donati and SPI Files book as well). 

About the Book

A girl with attitude. An all-powerful amulet.
This could only mean trouble.

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?

About the Author

Lisa is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Raine Benares novels and The SPI Files.

Lisa is a voracious collector of fountain pens, teapots & teacups both vintage and modern. She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her husband, four spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and enough deer and woodland creatures to fill a Disney movie.

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