Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Shop Suki Ad Campaign Pieces Prime Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Customer Review

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic follow-up - just got to survive the dreaded wait for the next one..., 7 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Armed and Magical (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a wonderful sequel, which I loved reading.

'Armed and Magical' is the second in the series charting the adventures of Raine Benares and her attempts to rid herself of the Saghred, a soul-sucking rock of cataclysmic power.

The action picks up pretty much straight after the events of the first book. Raine is on the Isle of Mid, the home of the Conclave of Sorcerers, the Conclave college for magic users and the Guardians who protect the them. She is looking for someone to break the connection between her and the Saghred. Accompanying her is Piaras, her unofficial little brother, who is hoping to gain a place as a student of one of the Conclave's spell singing Maestroes.

As the book unfolds it becomes clear that there are a number of interested parties who want their hands on Raine, the Saghred and Piaras or a combination of the three. Many of those parties also want Mychael, the Paladin of the Guardians and Raine's chief protector, and Justinius Valerian, the Archmagus and Mychael's boss, dead. A series of dramatic confrontations, with an entertaining mix of magic, action and political machinations, ensue. All this happens in a short timeframe, the action is crammed into a couple of eventful days and nights (and all only a week after the events in 'Magic Lost, Trouble Found'.)

The plot is cleverly worked out and the action is non-stop.

There are loads of fantastic scenes. I loved the scenes in the Scriptorium (or library) with it's dangerous contents and officious chief librarian. The fact that Mychael rides to the rescue and there's a dragon involved make it even better.

The characters in this series are wonderful. They are vivid creations, who live, breath and make you laugh.

The book is once again told from the first person from Raine's perspective. She has a unique and very entertaining voice, so much so that the fact that it's a first person narrative sort of fades into the background - whereas often that narrative style can get in the way.

Raine is a great character. She's funny, brave, intelligent and independent, the combination of all those features making her likeable and someone you have to root for.

Mychael is even more gorgeous in this book and you get a fuller picture of his character with him working on home territory. It's absolutely clear how much he cares about Raine and how far he is willing to go to push his office to protect her, as Raine herself says: "Most girls get flowers or candy. I get a declaration of marshal law." He's written with the perfect combination of honour, rule bending for the right cause, humour and very tightly reined in passion, while retaining a clear sense that he is a powerful and formidable opponent. There is a lovely moment between him and Raine near the end of the book where his restraint cracks a bit and I can't help but hope we see a bit more of that in the next book.

Tam is also back and is dangerously attractive. We learn more about his dubious past and it informs the choices he makes now. His relationship with Raine is believable and passionate, and the images of him striding around furious and dressed all in black including thigh high boots do leave a lasting impression.

Generally speaking I hate love triangles in books, largely because I always like one pairing more than the other, and get frustrated if things are not progressing the 'right' way. In this case the Mychael / Raine / Tam triangle actually works really well. There are complications on all sides and it will be interesting to see how things progress. (I'll clearly be cheering for auburn haired, spellsinging healers who lead an army of Guardians, but I can see why others might be going for tall, sliver and sexy).

There are lots of other great characters. Raine's cousin Phelan is charming rogue. He's thoroughly believable as a pirate and as a man who is going to look after his family.

Vegard, Raine's slightly homicidal Guardian bodyguard and his stoical partner Riston are lovely characters, Vegard especially.

There are lots of very unpleasant bad guys - varying from bad bureaucrats to really evil- but they are all individual and interesting.

I enjoyed all the political goings on and thought that having to factor the political realities in to temper the tendency to just bash heads made the book more interesting.

Like the first book, this one is also very funny. Raine's tone throughout is wry and there are some great lines: "I couldn't be bound to any stone of cataclysmic power. Mine had lawyers."

All in all it was great and I want to read the next book now...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in

Review Details



Top Reviewer Ranking: 49,218