Book Review: The Trouble with Demons by Lisa Shearin

Ace
370 pp.

The Trouble with Demons (Raine Benares, Book 3)In this book, Raine is facing even more problems than before concerning her unwanted attachment to the Saghred, a powerful soul-stealing magical object. Her problems include a demonic invasion, continuing political shenanigans, a soulbond oh god not a soul bond with not one but TWO men, and a second magical object called the Scythe of Nen.

The horde of demons is trying to arrange a jailbreak of their king, who is currently imprisoned inside the Saghred (where he ended up after trying to use the aforementioned Scythe to extract souls). The queen wants Raine to cough up(or go look for) a magical object called the Scythe of Nen which is apparently the only object that can cut into the Saghred and carve out imprisoned souls.(For some reason only a virgin is able to locate the Scythe, and there are many, many jokes about the impossibility of finding a virgin among the student population of the island, or in fact the entire civilian population.) The horde of demons is in cahoots with Rudra Muralin who is still using both illegal and legal methods to get Raine extradited so that he can get his hands on the rock.

So, Raine has to find the Scythe before the demons do, and ideally prevent the jailbreak. This turns out to be harder than it has to be, thanks to the machinations of elven government officials. Despite her various difficulties, she manages to more or less win the day and the book ends on a mixed victory and a lot of relationship angst.

Once again, another light, humorous read with lot of action a blithe disregard for anachronistic speech and world building that makes me wince. There is a lot of action, and the plot is engaging.  I even liked the developing relationship between Rain, Tam and Mychael. On the other hand, while the developing romance between Raine and her two romantic interests has taken an interesting turn, I kind of wish this could have happened without the enforced armistice of a three-way soul bond. (Which is to say, Tam and Mychael were kind of all ready at a “friendship” level, and there really wasn’t any rivalry between them, which was a plus. I utterly cannot stand the usual love triangle that appears in romance themed urban fantasy.)

Another plus is that the writer is not making “soul bonds” out to be super special and one hundred percent wonderful. (This would be mostly why I cannot stand the entire “two people ending up sharing skull space and it is awesome” romantic sub-genre a lot of the time.) I liked that it was instead implied to be occasionally unpleasant and aggravating.

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Filed under fantasy, non-earth, Review: Book, romance, urban

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