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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is This the End For Raine and Friends?, 8 Jun. 2012
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Book Gannet (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares) (Mass Market Paperback)
The Saghred is gone! The soul-sucking rock, and bane of Raine Benares' life, has been stolen by the recently resurrected and completely insane dark mage Sarad Nukpana, who's taken it halfway across the world to prepare for a Goblin global invasion.

If Raine wasn't an elf - and therefore Sarad's number one target - and she didn't care so much about the mage students on Mid - Sarad's number one sacrifices - she might almost be relieved. Oh, except she's still bonded to that stupid rock, so any soul-sucking it does has to go through her first.

Luckily there's a plan. Raine and her friends will sneak into the highly paranoid, mage-controlled Goblin capital city, steal back the rock, release all the trapped souls to the Reapers, while stopping them from taking Raine's too, destroy the Saghred - thereby halting the Goblin apocalypse - kill Sarad Nukpana and replace the current Goblin king with his slightly more acceptable brother. Oh yes, and try not to die. Simple... apart from the small problem that Raine's magic is missing, but details, details.

Raine is back, and on the do or die mission to end all suicide missions. If you're new to this series (Magic Lost, Trouble Found etc) stop right now and go back to the beginning. The action in this book starts from the off and doesn't let up until the end. There are no catch-ups and very few breathers. Even existing fans might need a quick refresher before starting this one.

And that might be why I didn't enjoy this as much as usual. The action is so relentless that there's little time for anything else - and a distinct lack of Mychael, despite him being there throughout. Oh, there's still a smattering of humour, plenty of magic and loads of Plan Bs, but this felt more like the second-half of something than a complete book. I also felt a little frustrated by the limitations of Raine's pov. There were times I'd have loved to have seen what some of the others were up to, particularly Talon.

In terms of the series, though, this is a must read. After all the thieving, countertheft, kidnappings, tricks, deaths, resurrections and worrying mental states this is finally it. Do or die. This is where failure to finally deal with the Saghred is no longer an option. It's taken a while to get here, but in those terms it's worth it. True, I think the dramatic tension was somewhat lacking, but at least the story's never slow.

A good continuation of the series, if not quite as fun or imaginative as others, fans should try and refresh themselves before reading this. I suspect it all flows better that way. And with an ending like this, I wonder where Shearin will turn her attention next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We're off to infiltrate Mordor and we're expected!, 30 July 2012
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This review is from: All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares) (Mass Market Paperback)
At the end of the last novel Raine's nemesis and former resident of the Saghren (or Rock of Soul Sucking yes I know I misspelt it but that does sound like a better description for it!) has regained a physical body and expending lots of mages he has stolen Raine's not so welcome artefact and returned it to the goblin capital and is readying the ceremony to replenish the rock and gain ultimate power!
Raine and co go off to stop him and have to use the very questionable help of a certain old foe and his ability to use mirror magic.
This novel finishes off this saga but leaves an opening for future adventures but I won't say who died, who survived but only that the goblins have a gas compound that invokes paralysing fear in goblins but causes anyone with elven blood into homocidal maniacs with a level of overconfidence that has to be read to be believed!
Don't believe me?
Buy this book and read for yourself!
Some very remarkable revelations and a few new characters both on the good and bad guy side makes me wish someone would turn this into at least a tv mini-series!
Yes i enjoyed it and heartily recommend you read for yourself, for full enjoyment if you haven't yet pick up the rest of the series you won't regret it!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Raine Benares goes out with a bang, 6 July 2013
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares) (Mass Market Paperback)
With All Spell Breaks Loose, Lisa Shearin brings the story of Elven Seeker Raine Benares to a satisfying conclusion. Sure, there could be more stories (the ending sets things up for it), but this marks the end of the six-book saga of the evil and intelligent stone called the Saghred. While this book didn't grab me as much as I would have liked, it wraps things up nicely in an exciting manner that keeps you riveted to the climax.

Goblin dark mages have stolen the Saghred. With the power of the stone, the dark mage will be able to take over the world and destroy the Elven race. One thing stands in his way: while Raine is alive, he can't access the stone's power. Solution? Make sure she's not alive. Raine and her friends may be making it easier for him as they undertake a covert mission to the Goblin homeland to destroy the Saghred once and for all. Or die trying.

Shearin manages to keep the tone of All Spell Breaks Loose fairly light, even with the apocalyptic possibilities that the plot presents. Part of that is because Raine is a bright and engaging narrator. The series is told in first person, and she brings all the sarcasm and "oh boy, not again" attitude toward the proceedings even as she's scared out of her wits. Having to invade the Goblin homeland when you have no power of your own (apparently the Saghred has cut her off from her abilities) would be enough to terrify the strongest mage.

Once again, Shearin's characterization really makes the book sing. There's little of the romantic byplay that was so prominent in the previous books, mainly because Raine is pretty solidly with Mychael (the head of the Guardians at the magic school where most of the previous books have taken place), so there's no potential love triangle. However, that's made up for by the relationships with new Goblin characters, allies that they meet once they have reached the Goblin city.

We find out a lot more about Tam, a dark mage who walks the razor-thin line without allowing the darkness to take hold of him. We meet his family, rebels against the villain and his puppet ruler. We even see where he learned his magical talents: from his tutor Kesyn, who is a marvellous character. Old and just wanting to be left alone, Kesyn is drawn into the fight after seeing what's at stake. He's a curmudgeon and wonderful to read abour.

At times the plot drags, but those moments are few and far between and things usually pick up fairly quickly. A couple of times, I was in danger of losing interest and had to work to keep going, but then Raine would say something or there would be some interesting little twist and the book would pick up again. The last 100 pages are almost impossible to put down, though, as everything from the last five books culminates in an explosive conclusion.

All Spell Breaks Loose is a great finale to the series, and I can't wait to see what Shearin comes up with next. If that involves further adventures of Raine Benares, I won't complain.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book © Dave Roy, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars All Spell Breaks Loose ... all loose ends get tied up, 26 July 2012
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This review is from: All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares) (Mass Market Paperback)
If you know Reine, this is book not to miss. If you are new to Lisa Shearin's universe most definitely start from the beginning - "Magic Lost, Trouble Found".

It has been great fun to follow the neck breaking journey of Reine through battles with demons, evil stones and horrid adversaries. She managed to collect lovers, stay close to her friends and not lose her sense of humour. It looks like this book leaves her in a really good place and now the big question is where will Lisa Shearin be leading us in her next book and how soon that will happen?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars raine benares, 5 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares) (Mass Market Paperback)
I enjoyed this possibly final adventure of Raine Benares and hope that Lisa Shearin will be able to write more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars spellbinding, 12 April 2013
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This review is from: All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares) (Mass Market Paperback)
this is a welcome addition to the collection I had started . I could not wait to start reading and could not put it down until I had finished it
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4.0 out of 5 stars All Spell Breaks loose by Lisa Shearin, 12 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares) (Mass Market Paperback)
Enjoyed the series, it’s full of magic and the supernatural, just my kind of book. I would encourage others to get this book and the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 4 Oct. 2014
This review is from: All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares) (Mass Market Paperback)
Myth and magic mayhem still rolling in on Raine and her pals.
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All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares)
All Spell Breaks Loose (Raine Benares) by Lisa Shearin (Mass Market Paperback - 29 May 2012)
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