Reviewed by: E
Name: Raine Benares
Job: Seeker, bride, peace talks referee
Problem: Back-stabbing diplomats, bride-hating mother-in-law
You would think that after having successfully destroyed the Saghred (aka, a legendary soul-sucking rock) and sending an evil goblin demigod to the Lower Hells that I would get some time off to plan my wedding to my sexy paladin fiancé Mychael Eiliesor, right? Wrong. Not only do I have to brace for meeting Mychael’s parents and cope with my burgeoning new powers, but it seems there may be another calamity brewing.
After the recent change in goblin leadership, the new—thankfully non-psychotic—king is willing to participate in an elf/goblin/human peace treaty. The Isle of Mid is the site of these delicate negotiations, meaning all hands on deck for Mychael and his Conclave Guardians. When the head of elven intelligence (and my wedding guest) Duke Markus Sevelien is nearly assassinated upon his arrival, I suspect my mother-in-law will be the least of my concerns. Sabotaging these talks may be only the first salvo in a treacherous and deadly new apocalyptic plot!
This blurb came from Goodreads
If you haven’t read the previous 6.5 stories set in the Raine Benares series you need to look away now, go read them, and then come back. It will be worth it. This review will be waiting and contains spoilers for the earlier books… If you loved the series as much as I did, then you probably did a happy dance when Shearin announced she was continuing the series through self-publishing. It felt wonderful to slip back into the world of Raine, Mychael, Tam, the Benares Pirates, Conclave Guardians, magic and intrigue.
As I have come to expect Wedding Bells, Magic Spells started off with a bang. Raine thought the biggest things she had to worry about after the destruction of the Saghred were meeting her in-laws and enabling the signature of a historic treaty. Not only did she have to worry about those events, she also had to deal with murder, sabotage, and her own recovering(?) magical abilities. Watching Raine take her skill and knowledge as a Seeker and combine it with the technical expertise of others was a treat. It clearly demonstrated how critical it has become for the different kingdoms to work together if they wished to survive their common enemy.
It was a lot of fun to see the primary characters from earlier in the series in their changed roles and their reactions to the growing upheaval. While I love the Raine-Mychael pairing I still admit to having a soft spot for the always tempting bad-boy Tam and I hope eventually he gets a happy ending. I also enjoyed the new characters and what they brought to Shearin’s world. I found several of them extremely delightful and I really hope they become regular cast members. The “bonding” moments between Raine and her in-laws were a hoot.
In addition to shaking up the world-order or the Conclave’s established order which to the major magic wielders of the world meant exactly the same, Shearin expanded her worldbuilding. It was fascinating to see science and technology build on the previously established world and seamlessly integrate new aspects. The impacts of these changes certainly made life a bit more complicated for Raine and crew while setting the stage for what I expect to be some exciting events to come.
Overall I found Wedding Bells, Magic Spells a bit darker but Shearin still included some humorous moments. I loved returning to Raine’s world and I can’t wait for the next installment.
I give Wedding Bells, magic Spells an A.