Rating: 4 stars
Date begun: June 9th, 2012
Date finished, June 12th, 2012
Ah, the joys of trying to blog about 3 months after I read a book. Will give it my level best try, nonetheless.
This is the first in a series of six. I've only read the first two, but the rest come highly recommended by my self-proclaimed Internet bestie Felicia Day (one of the books was featured in the Guild video Game On, and the final book in the series was a pick on her weekly vlog The Flog) and as I enjoyed the first third of the series a lot, I will get around to reading the rest at some point.
"But why in the world should anyone pick up a book with such a God-awful cover?" I hear many of you ask. It's a good question, faithful readers (if I have any left after my summer hiatus). Because, like so many other gems in the paranormal fantasy genre, this is really rather good, and very entertaining.
Raine Benares is an elf, and possesses a moderate amount of magic, perfectly adequate to do her job as a Seeker. She can find lost objects, and often aids law enforcement in recovering stolen property, or people who've gone missing. The fact that most of her family are likely to have assisted in the stealing of said property or kidnapping of said missing persons in the first place, sometimes helps, and sometimes complicates her job. Suffice to say, while Raine is a fairly law-abiding citizen, most of her family and acquaintances are not.
Raine's life gets complicated in a hurry, when her friend Quentin is hired to steal a very powerful amulet from the home of a very ruthless sorcerer. The amulet ends up with Raine, and all of a sudden there are a whole slew of people, including evil high priests, righteous paladins and various other characters wanting to get hold of her and the amulet. If she survives after they get their hands on the amulet, entirely depends on what group reaches her first.
Raine Benares is another snarky, fast-talking, independent and very capable female protagonist, I've actually lost count of how many first person narrated series with similar heroines I'm keeping up with at the moment. While good at her job, she's got shady connections a plenty, and one of the things I liked so much about this book and the sequel, were the supporting characters, all who were just as enjoyable to read about.
The world building is very well done, I liked the various peoples in the world Shearin created, especially goblins as a sort of dark (and very attractive) mirror to the beautiful elves. There is what looks like an inevitable love triangle set up, but as far as I can see from non-spoilery reviews of later books in the series, that's not central to the plot arc, for which I'm very grateful. I will, as mentioned, definitely be reading the whole series (which is now complete!) at some point.