I just finished Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin, and I really liked it. I didn't expect to, to be honest. The whole first chapter had me almost putting the book down repeatedly--it was pretty much two lines of dialogue, one paragraph of exposition, over and over, to the extent that I actually wondered if maybe I'd picked up a sequel instead of the first book in a series. But after the first chapter, things improved.
I love Shearin's worldbuilding, and the plot is solid. Raine Benaris, an elven seeker--she finds things people want found and other people want to remain not found--stumbles upon an amulet of unimaginable power, which links itself to her with near-fatal results. She can't take the amulet off, it's feeding her new magical skills she doesn't want, and she's attracting the attention of lots of unpleasant people as a result.
The book reminds me inescapably of Jim C. Hines's short story "Blade of the Bunny," oddly enough. It's got the same light tone, bantering and not-entirely-honest good guys, and a dangerous item. That's fine in a short story, but at times while reading Magic Lost, Trouble Found, I really wished for more depth of character. I also found the chicklitty, streetsmarty narration a little tiresome.
But it's a fun book, and I just put the sequel in my shopping cart over on Amazon. And now I'm going to go update the recommended books list over there. --> (Even though I also have to go rewrite part of the masquerade scenes in Stag in Velvet because I dressed the king in a peacock costume, and everyone will think I copied.)
I'm so glad you enjoyed Magic Lost, Trouble Found. I think you'll find that the second book in the series (Armed & Magical) not only moves at a faster pace, but also goes into much more character detail and depth.
And don't change your king's costume on my account; I'll know that you didn't copy. ; )
Well, as long as you promise to back me up if anyone ever comes up to you and says, "You know that other book that has a big masquerade near the end? That writer copied you."
Incidentally, the men in your book are to swoon for! I can't wait to see how Raine handles them in the second book. :)
Having someone think you copied something is the sure sign you didn't read the other, supposedly-copied thing beforehand.
Let's hope so, because I have some rather amusing (to me) lines about the peacock costume. I don't really want to change them.
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