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 no-quite-reformed thief, steals and 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 enchancement worth her soul?
©2007 Lisa Shearin (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Great story and series which I've read a few times. Bought the audio version to do whilst ironing and it was brought to life by the narrator. Different voices, accents and turns of phrase made the characters even more fun. Try it, you'll enjoy it.
This is a series worth buying, although I recommend reading rather than listening to them.
The story covers an elf lady who has a small amount of magic and acts as a 'seeker' essentially someone who finds lost or stolen goods using her magic and then tricks, swords and wit to free them and return them for a fee. We see very little of this side of her life however as very early on in the first book she is trapped into being bonded with a power hungry evil stone that desires human sacrifice. Despite repeated 'girl power you can't stop me" type statements from the protagonist she essentially is the "damsel in distress" for most of the series, with a succession of men and boys who either find her so beautiful/fun/talented/loyal that they continually drop everything to help her through the plot.
The fantasy world in which the story is set has several original elements, and the first book makes a good start at exploring that world. Unfortunately it does become rather repetitive and formulaic through the series, with less plot and slower pace of events with more sidetracking to feature hanky panky with the various men who continually compliment our heroine, a failing of many supernatural fictions these days...too much fluff and not enough substance.
You will literally get fed up with the inappropriate use of the word literally, also with the nonsensical phrase "I didn't ask it as a question". I read the books before I bought the audible version and I didn't notice these things when reading, I also had a higher opinion of the heroine which I think is partially a product of the delivery by the narrator but partly because an internal dialogue being read from a page in private has a different essence from listening to these private thoughts being said aloud by another person.
The narrator has a reasonable range of voices and delivery is ok, although I listened at 1.25 speed as at recommended speed it became tedious.
adventure, magic, mystery
there is a series by Barbra Annino whose heroine is named Stacey Justice. I relate Raine Benares to Stacey Justice in this way: They are two female characters each discovering against their will that there is a magical destiny prepared for them both and both are reluctant to enbark on it. Another similarity is that both are trained in martial and arcane arts.Also both characters usually through no fault of their own wind up either causing trouble or the instrument through which trouble comes or even the reason why trouble follows them.
to listen to this book in audible form the reader Eileen Stevens takes you into the world the author has created. Eileen Stevens has the ability to portray both male and female voice without it seeming forced or put on. It is a perfect rendition of the heroine telling the story as well as the male influences in the heroine's life.
Laugh. There are quite a few laughable moments because no matter how much and how careful the heroine tries to avoid trouble it follows her relentlessly.
One of the most common failings of science-fiction / fantasy novels is the tendency to throw in a huge amount of characters with lots of unpronouncable names of many syllables and a profusion of V's and Z's, and then to TELL us who they are, what they do, and what their role is in relation to all other characters, rather than simply SHOWING us and making the voices unique and memorable (even if the names aren't).
This was a passable story with an OK plot, but I grew bored of all the exposition and scores of minor characters we would never see again. Maybe when reading this it's easier to keep all the names, roles and family ties straight, but I found I back-tracked the audio about 8 times for one particular passage alone, because it was pure exposition and nothing happened to move the story forward or to hold my interest.
Not the worst book I've ever read / heard, but I didn't care enough about the characters to want to re-visit them in any of the sequels, and I doubt I will ever listen to this one again either.
The Story/plot was pretty good, however the narration wasn't. I had to rewind several times as the monotonous tone of the reader had me drifting. The lack of inflection, and rise and fall of voice had me falling asleep several times. Get someone else to read this series as I believe it is a decent one. In my opinion buy the book.
A fun and exciting series with a very human heroine. No dark, depressing segments.
This is the latest series I'm listening to. As a first book, it was a pretty good start and the series keeps getting better as it evolves. I just bought book 5 and plan to get the rest. The only odd thing I had to deal with was trying to imagine tall sexy goblins. I've always thought of them as squat ugly things; but I just picture Legalos with fangs.
"Worth the listen"
My type of book, with the heroine who may be in over her head, will never walk away from doing what is right, even if she expects to die doing it. Her family may be the most notorious pirates around the seas, but she loves them anyway. While searching (which is her talent) and trying to keep her pirate cousin out of trouble she is attached to the most evil magical power. After fighting off those who wish to misuse this stone, and discovering her father used to be the protector of the stone is now vanquished inside the talisman she must go on to find a way to disconnect the stone from her before it eats her soul as well. Loved by both the most black magician around and the strongest white magician around, although neither will admit it, she must continue stumbling her way while trying to remain alive.
"Great story, substandard narration."
There is a rhythm and a beat to a well written, first person, story. Lisa Shearin feels it, Raine Benars has it. Unfortunately for the listener, Eileen Stevens has neither; at least not in this first installment of the series.
This is a happening story. It's fun, fast, believable, and full of magical mayhem of the highest caliber. Raine Benars, elf, is a street kid at heart. She has high standards, but they may not always reflect those of her society. She finds things for a living. Some of the things she finds may or may not be considered legally lost...
In this story she starts out with the best of intentions and, through a series of events which are completely beyond her control, ends up the center of attention in a wild magical quest which drags her through the lowest of the low to the highest levels her society can offer - and she manages to fit in perfectly at every turn. If you are ready for fun, this is the perfect series for it.
This story rates 4 stars. Unfortunately, the narration doesn't.
"Couldn't finish the book due to unsuited narration"
This audiobook would have been better with a different narrator. I hope Audible commissions a different recording in the future.
I had such a hard time staying interested in the story because of the monotonous unsuitable narration.
I never read the book in print but heard I would probably like it. As it was, I got about 3/4 of the way through the audiobook before abandoning it because the narration is so unsuited.
"Totally the wrong person to narrate this book!"
There is a flow to a story. This woman does not have any decent grasp on this concept.
The voice is fine. The rythme and flow are terrible. She chops it up in ways that really don't work. And if she messed up the flow of thought and action any more than she does, I would be pushed over the edge into screaming and pulling out my hair out of frustration. I have read these books in print. This recording is terrible. The fragmentation makes the story being read confusing. This is not a confusing text. The flow of the writing is quite natural and engaging, until this woman reads it. Avoid books read by Eileen Stevens.
"Too slow, lead heroine too whiny"
I was very disappointed in this as I had high hopes based on other reviews but I just couldn't get into the story. I found Raine Benares to be an uninspiring lead; she was mediocre in her life and her magic skills but all of a sudden when trouble comes she turns into some super-fighting, tactically aware wonder. I am sorry, but the increase in magic skills is explained but not anything else. You don't go from only ever using your fighting skills in practice and threats (while not explicitly stated, given her lack-luster level of magic skills and humdrum life, it was apparent she isn't fighting bad guys every day) to being able to fight skills warriors to the death without nary a scratch.
I guess what I really couldn't stand most of all was how whiny Raine sounded. It might have been all inner dialogue (but boy was there a lot of that) but it got on my nerves around 3 chapters in. Listening to the audio version rather than reading this was the only way I got through the entire book - if I had to be the one turning the pages the book would have disappeared very quickly.
For what should have been a fast-paced, action filled story (the entire book takes place over the course of less than a week) it just seemed to drag on. I blame that on too much of 'what Raine is thinking right now' rather than focus on 'what is actually going on with the action'.
I note some of the previous comments about the narrator and while I didn't find her compelling, she was no worse than what my own voice sounds like in my head when I am reading a story so it was acceptable to me.
"Excited about this series"
Slow to start, but enjoyed the characters development. Narrator did a great job of putting voice to different characters.
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