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Incredible! Shearin Does it Again!,
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This review is from: The Trouble with Demons (Mass Market Paperback)
A girl doesn't expect a simple shopping trip to turn into a living nightmare, but that's what happens to Raine Benares when she spots a demon. An unwilling bond servant to the Saghred, a stone of power that sucks out souls for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Raine has enough on her plate, what with various people, including acting Archmagus Carnades Silvanus, wanting her dead. But a whole lot more is piled on when a powerful dark mage opens a Hellgate. Having demons who want to feast on everyone on the island is bad enough, but when she finds out the Queen of Demons wants to free her husband and King's soul from the Saghred, well, saying things go from bad for worse is a pretty big understatement.
I am pretty much speechless. Seriously, can these books get any better?! Well, I know they can because I reached the end and have inklings about the next book, but oh my wow. Just one word. Amazing.
The pace of all of the novels in the Raine Benares series is awesome, but it gets to unbelievable measures in The Trouble with Demons. When you're racing against demons to save an island full of people AND to stop said demons releasing countless evil souls from the Saghred to her royal demonicness' bidding, there really isn't any time to stop, pause, and take a breath. As weird as this may sound, while reading, I had to resist the urge to get up and run, to help everyone get where they needed quicker.
Raine is such an unbelievable woman. As you can tell, she's dealing with a lot of crap, and it would be completely understandable if she were to fall to pieces, but not Raine. She has strength, of the physical, mental, and emotional kind beyond belief - seriously, it's practically a miracle that this girl doesn't just drop to the floor from mental exhaustion - but realistically, the girl doesn't have time for a breakdown; lives are at stake, the ones she loves are in danger, and demons, ghosts, and Death's freaking minions are turning up around every corner, for crying out loud! The girl deserves a holiday, if not a medal. Kudos to the fictional elf.
The bond to the Saghred isn't the only bond in this novel. Magical bonds and pairings make some appearances, and what was once a mildly confusing perhaps-perhaps-not love triangle gets several kinds of complicated, and kind of scary, if you ask me. But good too. Even with having to deal with Hell - quite literally - Raine is lucky in some ways.
There are so many awesome supporting characters in this novel, I can't tell you, and you come to love pretty much all of them, even the baddies; you love-to-hate them. I really want to go for a drink with Phaelen, Raine's pirate cousin, Sora Niabli, demonology tutor, and Archmagus Justinius Valerian; god, that would be an awesome night, the stories that would be shared! Vegard, Guardian knight and Raine's bodyguard is just awesome, he's the big brother I've always wanted - and reminds me a hell of a lot of Barak from Eddings' Belgariad series.
The end of this book is just... there are no words. Raine realises decisions need to be made on all sorts of things, people are making their thoughts known, Raine finds herself a girlfriend in Sora for a good heart-to-heart, and things start to get seriously complicated and... well, bigger. I can't go into much more detail without spoilers. The only bad thing is that I now have to wait a whole year before I can find out what happens next.
David Eddings has sadly passed away, but never fear; we have a fantasy master (mistress?) in Ms. Shearin!