Bewitched & Betrayed by Lisa Shearin

Truth be told I have been in a reading slump of late. And I'll be the first to tell you that it just ain't any fun. Add to that a lot of traveling and a potential move in the works (again) and you have some seriously crazy days with not much down time for reading -- let alone any blogging. But it was like the postman just knew I needed a little pick me up when he stopped by on Monday to deliver my rescue in the form of Lisa Shearin's latest Raine Benares novel Bewitched & Betrayed. And just like that I was giddy, I was happy, the endless packing didn't look quite so daunting and I had a serious good book to settle into. No wonder I look forward to checking the mail so dang much. Much more rewarding than therapy.

Following hot on the heels of The Trouble with Demons, Raine Benares' adventures are off to a heady start in Bewitched & Betrayed. Still bonded to that soul-sucking rock otherwise known as the Saghred, Raine has watched her minimal yet respectable magical abilities skyrocket and her enemies multiply just as fast. Which is somewhat understandable after Raine was unable to prevent the souls of six evil mages - including Raine's arch-nemesis Sarad Nukpana - from escaping the Saghred and who are now running rampant on the Island of Mid. Nukpana is one serious evil dude bent on total world domination and would like nothing better than to completely skewer Raine and all those near and dear to her. And since Nukpana has made this fight personal, Raine is more than happy to make it her mission in life to track him down once and for all. After all, she's a seeker.

One of the best parts of this witty series has to be the ever intriguing cast of secondary characters. Raine's less than law-abiding, yet unfailingly loyal family makes numerous appearances to my unending delight - including everyone's favorite pirate, Raine's cousin Phelan. His snarky remarks always leave me in stitches. Though the Benares clan's interactions were comical and even a little.. *gasp* ..heartwarming, they couldn't begin to hold a candle to what we find out about commanding and by-the-book Paladin Mychael. Mr. Share-No-More-Than-Necessary finally opens up to Raine about his past and we get some very surprising insights into what I had previously seen as a pretty one-dimensional character. I don't want to spoil anything, but the man has depth. Depth and skills. Plus he's pretty cute. Pretty much the triple threat there.

Even though Raine really has no time to take a breath between one action scene and the next, her constant running stream of smart remarks keep the pace from becoming overwhelming. She's always willing to let humor diffuse the tension of any given situation and that is a fine quality indeed. And though sometimes I have sorta of scratched my head over the story arc thus far, I'm quite pleased where Lisa Shearin has taken us in Bewitched & Betrayed. Plenty of action, plenty of confident, sexy men, and buckets of Raine's irreverent sense of humor. If you haven't given this snappy series a go, I'd highly recommend picking up all four books. Believe it or not, each is better than the last.

series reading order:
~ Magic Lost, Trouble Found - my review
~ Armed & Magical - my review
~ The Trouble with Demons - my review
~ Bewitched & Betrayed

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Lurv a la Mode review
Skunk Cat Book Reviews

book source: provided by the publisher, ACE Books


Chachic said...

Reading slumps are the worst! It's frustrating to experience one of those and you go book hungry. I'm glad you got a good book to get you out of it. I think I have the first two books in this series and I look forward to reading them!

Michelle said...

Chachic - If you have the first couple of books in this series, I'd start them as soon as possible. They are so much fun.