Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Con & Conjure by Lisa Shearin

I've been a fan of this series for years. Con & Conjure is the fifth book; last spring I reviewed the fourth, Bewitched & Betrayed. I said then that I thought the series was nearing a natural end, mostly because the main character's romantic subplot had resolved. But after reading Con & Conjure, I definitely see I was wrong. The series hasn't lost any steam, and in fact seems to be accelerating.

Raine Benares is still linked psychically with the Saghred, an ancient artifact once used to annihilate armies and enslave entire countries. Raine just wants to get rid of the thing, but there are a lot of people who want to use it--and her--for their own purposes. One wrong move and Raine will end up starting a war.

Raine brings in her cousin Mago, older brother of her pirate cousin Phaelan, to help. Mago isn't a pirate, though. He's a banker--and the best there is at emptying other people's bank accounts for his own use. Raine figures her enemies won't be able to do quite as much harm if they can't pay their minions.

The book is action-packed and fun, an urban fantasy set in an alternate world. There's a lot of tension but a lot of humor too. Some of the main characters from previous books don't have a lot of page time in this one, like Tam and Phaelan, and others aren't in the book at all. Raine is the prime mover, and since the action is nonstop she doesn't get much rest.

I liked that some of the plot arcs from the previous books resolve in this one, while new ones pick up. It sounds like the next book will take place in another city. The worldbuilding here is particularly fun, with inventive settings and details, so I'm looking forward to exploring a new area. I was disappointed that Mago's swindling--which was set up so perfectly in the beginning--didn't come to much. I'm hoping he'll stick around and do more next time.

While the plot is thoroughly satisfying, the cliffhanger ending means it's going to be a long wait for the next book.

B&N link


Lisa Shearin said...

So glad you enjoyed the book; thank you for the awesome review!


K.C. Shaw said...

Thanks for writing awesome books! :)