Title: Armed & Magical
Author: Lisa Shearin
Copyright: 2008 (Ace); 293 pgs.
Series: Rain Benares #2
Summary: Armed & Magical picks up where the first book ended. Paladin Mychael Eiliesor has brought Raine — along with her cousin Phaelan and her landlady’s grandson, Piaras — to the Isle of Mid in order to confer with Archmagus Justinius Valerian, head of the Conclave of Sorcerers. Piaras, a talented spellsinger, is hoping to be admitted into the school, but it’s Raine’s bond with the soul-sucking Saghred that’s the main reason for the trip. With the new term about to start at the Conclave, the archmagus is busy overseeing the events when they arrive. Before Raine gets the chance to speak with Justinius, there is an attack and students start to disappear.
More than one group is pursing Raine because of her bond with the Saghred, and there are those who are interested in Piaras’s spellsinger abilities. They are seen as valuable weapons, even by their own people, the elves. Mychael has promised to protect them both and do everything in his power to help Raine. If Mychael had his way, she would be tucked safely away behind magic wards and protective spells, but Raine can’t sit back and do nothing when others are in danger because of her.
Comments: Raine is a fun character. I like her a lot. She can take care of herself, but with the Saghred as her “psychic roommate”, she knows she needs all the help she can get. She’s also a little afraid — she doesn’t want anyone to get hurt because of her. But none of that stops her from helping as best she can. Raine’s protective of Piaras, who she loves as if he was her little brother, and will do anything to keep him safe, even if it puts her into more danger.
Despite their rocky first meeting, Mychael is interested in Raine. The attraction is mutual. Too bad about the soul-sucking rock. As paladin, he’s obligated to safeguard the Saghred and prevent it from being used as a weapon; however, the man is just as determined to find a way to break the bond between Raine and the Saghred.
I’m always a bit leery of triangles, but I really don’t see Tam as a true rival. Raine has known Tam for awhile. She has had plenty of opportunities to get involved with him long before Mychael entered the picture. And now with the Saghred messing with her magic, the attraction she feels isn’t really her feelings for him. She cares about him as a friend.
The book has some fun moments. I particularly liked Raine’s attempt to check books out of the library. And later, when she uses her Saghred-enhanced magic to glamour herself to look like her cousin — it has some unexpected results.
(Cross-posted from my entry in the bookshelf bingo game on Good Reads, with some modifications)
Start: 11 April 2012
Finished: 14 April 2012
Favorite Quote: “The only treasure anyone has tried to take is you.”
— Mychael to Raine