Read The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron Online


Alternate Cover Edition can be found here. Eli Monpress is talented. He's charming. And he's a thief.But not just any thief. He's the greatest thief of the age - and he's also a wizard. And with the help of his partners - a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch thrAlternate Cover Edition can be found here. Eli Monpress is talented. He's charming. And he's a thief.But not just any thief. He's the greatest thief of the age - and he's also a wizard. And with the help of his partners - a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls - he's going to put his plan into effect.The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he'll need to steal some big things. But he'll start small for now. He'll just steal something that no one will miss - at least for a while.Like a king....

Title : The Spirit Thief
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316069052
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 310 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Spirit Thief Reviews

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    2019-06-13 16:55

    So this was a delightful tome of sassy thievery. Which is honestly my FAVOURITE epic fantasy topic ever so I'm pleased. It was ultimately a little light for me, though...I mean, I spent far too much time hoping the stakes would grow higher but they all stayed pretty lowkey. It actually felt kind of YA??? But with characters in their low twenties. So if you're a mostly YA reader but looking for some epic fantasy = bring your eyeballs here. (Plus there's no romance, like zero swearing, and not even that much blood.) (Wow. No wonder I'm not knocked out of my chair with adoration. I need way more angry blood.)Basically it's the story of a sassy smooth-talking thief who kidnaps a king. And also a fabulously capable and epic female wizard who takes no nonsense from anyone. Yas. Two lovely things. Although I confess to being disappointed that Miranda featured WAY more than Eli. Like I really did like her!! But Eli was so interesting and he basically was just slouching through the whole book making jovial quips and talking the world into letting him do whateeeever he wanted and I wanted to know more about him!! But it was absolutely endless relief to actually have an epic fantasy feature a woman who WASN'T a manic pixie dream girl, but instead an intelligent and capable warrior who needed 0% males swooning after her.Did I mention no romance? Haha. It was SO REFRESHING.I also really liked the world! In this universe, everything has a spirit and wizards work with the spirits of the worlds to keep peace or fight or whatever. It's all HUG THE TREES, YO, which is lovely. Although I do have questions. THere's like small spirits in things from the doors to the ink you write like...are there spirits in their clothes? Do they need to ask permission to wear their socks?? Or eat with a spoon?? I felt the world was a LITTLE hazy on the specifics.The plot wasn't complicated, but it was fun! Actually I'll just accuse the whole book of that: A DELIGHTFUL LUMP OF FUN. It's not going to twist my feels (see aforementioned very low stakes) but it made me smile so much!! Except for those covers. Oh someone help them please. Worst covers ever.SMALL LISTS OF OTHER LOVES:• there's a talking wolf/hellhound sort of creature whom I love• Eli can literally talk a door into opening for him, LITERALLY.• Eli believes if you see food while you're in the middle of a job, you should still eat it• Yosef is an epic sword dude• there's a cute demon girl whom the world hates but she's pretty chill tbh• epic magic swords• Eli steals all the things• I have super many questions about his backstory so HECK YES I'M READING MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIESSMALL LIST OF DISLIKES:• the king was dumb• the villain was super dumb• too much polite conversation when everyone should be killing each other• it was too light/lowkey for me to be truly invested the whole time• it was pretty predictableALL IN ALL: if you're a fan of epic fantasy con schemes and magic, try it! The sass honestly had me grinning wildly and I have so many questions about Eli that I want to read mooooore. I loved reading a badass female wizard too!!! And I would like to see Eli steal literally everything from everyone. I mean, c'mon, the dude would steal your socks and then just smile charmingly and frolic away. #nice

  • Felicia
    2019-06-08 17:55

    So I'm giving this four stars because I have read all three books in the series and so I'm rating the series overall as such this far. The second and third books are actually better than this first one. A REALLY REALLY fun series that fantasy fans will enjoy if they like their entertainment fluffy and light, and the books get better and better, so I would definitely encourage you to check it out!This is a familiar fantasy-renaissance world, but where everything has a "spirit", water and air and even objects like doors and signs etc. The hero of the story is Eli Monpress, a dude who wants to be the most famous thief in the world, and is basically obsessed with raising the bounty on his head. Eli can be kind of irritating in his egoism, but the other characters are great, I particularly love his companion characters, Nico and Josef. (And they get more and more interesting in books 2 and 3). I really REALLY like the world building here, and as the books go on the world gets more and more fleshed out. Super fun and interesting, I love the sense of humor that a main character can TALK to a door. Overall there is a very tongue in cheek attitude here that I super loved. And there's no heavy romance stuff (which guys might appreciate in the morass of lady-fiction I'm uploading :) )If you like Diana Wynne Jones or any light fantasy like Piers Anthony etc, I think you might really like this series! It is definitely written at a young adult level too, so teens would def like it.I can't wait for the next one out next summer!

  • Wastrel
    2019-06-04 21:13

    (also for: people who are secretly five)This is a fantasy novel in which some fantasy-novel-things happen, mostly in the logical order. The author is mostly not illiterate (though there are a few baffling word choices, and seemingly no knowledge of elementary physics or anatomy). Only some of the characters are insufferable. Imagine a fantasy novel that has been adapted as a cartoon for very young children. Or imagine someone writing Mary Sue fanfics about a fantasy setting they read once, in which characters cross over from popular contemporary TV shows (so far as I know, none of these characters actually ARE hip teenagers from 21st century california putting on bad ren-fair impersonations of how ye people spoketh in ye olden days and shit... they just read that way). And as in those fanfics, everybody is invulnerable, and if they ever look vulnerable it's only for an instant before their previously unmentioned extra-super-invulnerability-powers come into effect. This eliminates any element of narrative tension, and becomes frankly ridiculous in the anime-style Final Boss Battle.I was interested and surprised to see just how similar this was to the fantasy of my youth - the D&D novels, the David Eddings and so forth - to the point where I felt I'd already met several of the characters before. [In fact, you've met every element of this before, if you've read any fantasy... it's extremely derivative]. The big differences are the adoption of this curiously mixed semi-millenial, semi-fauxdieval style, and the fact that this is much shallower and less interesting than the old pulp fantasies were (there's no depth to the setting in the slightest, for instance). All the distinctive rough edges have been filed off in an attempt to produce something maximally unobjectionable.The plus side of that, however, is that it really is more polished than they were. The prose is more capable than in a lot of old pulp, and likewise the grasp of pacing.However, beyond a mild and slightly surprising goodwill that I feel toward it, and the fact that it was an easy read, I can't really think of any reasons at all to recommend it - there's nothing it does particularly well.Having said that, I found it pleasant enough, in a pandering way, that I will probably read the sequel...For my more detailed thoughts, and many more questionable analogies, see my review on my blog.

  • Michael Britt
    2019-05-27 23:08

    Actual rating: 4.5I had tons of fun with this book! Picked it up due to a recommendation from one of my favorite authors, Michael J Sullivan, and it turned out to be very entertaining! She seems to have the same writing style, well as close as you can get, to Sullivan. But she doesn't do as well at creating characters as Sullivan does. Well, let's face it, I don't think anyone does. My only complaint is that I didn't feel as much of a connection to many of the characters at first, but they grew on me. The first 1/4 of the book was super entertaining, then it died down a bit for the next 1/4, but picks back up for an amazing ride for the last half. It's got great action and a pretty neat magic system. I really liked how she used spirits for her magic system and you have to learn how to control or convince spirits into working with you. Or you can be an evil warlock and enslave them. I did roll my eyes, at first, at how suave Eli was and how he could get just about ANY spirit to work with him. But when we found out why he could, I was fine with it. All-in-all, I would highly suggest this book if you're in search of an entertaining and fun book.

  • Monica
    2019-05-18 16:58

    This series definitely has a strong start. It is a rapid paced, easy, and really fun read. The world building and magic system are both intriguing, and though there are many common tropes present in the story, it is told with a flair that makes it a distinctive read. I would definitely recommend this series to fans of the fantasy genre.

  • Kristalia
    2019-05-31 16:58

    Final rating: 4/5 starsFinal rating - for the whole series: 4.5/5 stars “First rule of thievery,' Eli said, grinning, 'only run if you're not coming back.' (...) 'First rule of thievery, never use the same entrance twice.' Miranda rolled her eyes. 'How many 'first rules' of thievery do you have?' 'When one mistake can mean your head on a pike, every rule's a first rule,' Eli said cheerfully.” I just read whole series in 5 days and I want to make one review to encompass all 5 books in the series and my opinion on them. To be honest, I kinda struggled with the first book. But the rest of them are worth it. Really worth it. This is that type of series where books get better with each book. For example, my ratings would be: book I - 4, II - 4.25, III - 4.5, IV - 4.75 & V - 5. Why that way? The more I read, the more I realized that first two books were only introduction into something much bigger - the main story which happens in the last 3 books. And main story is much, much better than the first two books.And now, having read all of the books, I have to say: THIS SERIES IS DAMN DIFFERENT (SOMEWHAT UNIQUE) LATER ON. And awesome! With great characters and interesting story and well done everything!Why 4 in this book though? While I loveeeeeeeed the story, I didn't understand the characters in the beginning - they felt blank. But how the story went later on I understood them, especially when their pasts started revealing and when I got to see them for who they are. That way I can safely say I would marry Nico and Eli, and probably kick Josef until he landed in the ocean on the other side of the world and I would do the same for Miranda. They kinda deserve it. But Nico and Eli are precious characters that I love, Nico is amazing girl - and she and Eli both have something in common - they struggle to survive & be free. These books are not focused on romance - if that's what you are looking for. In fact, there is some flirting here and there, some kisses here and there too, but it's NOT a focus and it's not about romance, but a story about doing anything to keep being free and doing everything to save people they care about. ► WORLD BUILDING: Imagine if everything around you had a soul. IF you were a wizard, you would be able to hear what the door said, you would be able to contract with spirits and use them for self defense and for advices in exchange for power and obedience. These people are called Spiritualists/wizards. There is also a force of nature that controls everything from the shadows - a white lady called the Shepherdess - and another force of nature, but complete opposite, a Demon who wants to devour every soul it can get it's hands on. But the Demon is trapped under the mountain and he can only spread his seeds into (un)willing humans and make them hosts for the demon seed (and the carriers of such seeds are called Demonseeds). Demoonseeds are humans who terrify the spirits - as soon as one is noticed all Spirits go into panic. Demonseeds are hunted by the League - a force led by Lord of Storm, a man of great power, who follows Shepherdess' orders. And lastly, across the sea there is a continent conquered by Immortal Empress. Overall, the world building is great, especially later on when all comes to place. ► STORY: This is a story of a thief wizard Eli, who can make every spirit listen to him and help him. His companions are Josef, a man who wants to become strongest swordsman in the world because he carries the strongest awakened sword "Heart of War" and a demonseed Nico. The three of them are on a quest to make Eli the man with the highest bounty in the world. How to do that? Steal few HQ pictures here and there, steal a lot of stuff, steal a King... Whatever gets on Eli's mind.But when he steals a King, he didn't count that it would throw the whole country in chaos - because in the kingdom of Mellinor, wizards are not looked upon kindly, and King's brother is a wizard which got cut off from succession because of it. And now he finally got the opportunity to occupy it now that his brother is kidnapped due to being a lucky target of Eli Monpress.So, a Spirtualist Miranda and her ghosthound are dispatched to capture Eli and set things right - to make sure Eli doesn't ruin the reputation that wizards worked hard to get for so many years. But Eli made a deal with a dangerous force and he must play by the rules he set, or else he would lose his freedom - forever.On the other side, the Demon of the Dead Mountain wants to get free and he would do anything to achieve that.► CHARACTERS: There are four absolute main characters in the series:◈ Eli Monpress is a man who wants to become the most notorious man in the world. He would steal anything if it would make his bounty higher. One could say he is a total Attention Whore and that wouldn't be an overstatement. After all, Eli lives for making his bounty as high as possible. His bounty is his everything - after all, his whole future and even life depends on it. Once he made a bet - and that bet is the only thing allowing him to roam free in the world, and if he fails, he would have his freedom taken away and be forced to live a life which is for him worse than death. Being a wizard, he can charm his way out of almost all situations, but the thing is... He is a very special wizard. Eli is a kind person, who over time understood what it means alive and what it means to have people who are close to you and who you can love, for which he would do anything if that would mean they could be safe. What hurt me the most through the series is the fact that people have habit of misjudging him and his actions even when he is downright honest and literally begs. Everyone is used to him having a plan under a plan. (For example, I almost cried when (view spoiler)[ Josef literally attacked Eli for asking Nico to do something dangerous for him. But he didn't ask her for himself, but for his spirit. And the fact that Josef thought Eli was doing it only for his own plans and purposes hurt me to no end :((hide spoiler)])But overall, he is a reckless, stubborn and very enthusiastic person. Being a Gentleman thief requires delicacy as well.◈ Josef Liechten is a swordsman who wants his past to be forgotten. He wants nothing more than to be the greatest swordsman in the world. After all, he is carrying the strongest sword in the world - Heart of War - which has a mind of it's own. Heart chose Josef as a wielder, but Josef believes he is not worthy of using such a sword until he is the same level as it. He can also use any type of the sword, be it a short sword, long sword, two handed, daggers, throwing daggers - he is a literal walking armory. But, aside from his sword, he cares a lot about Nico, a girl he saved from dying. He met Eli on a mission but decided it would be best to follow him instead because that way he would be able to face many strong opponents.Josef is a very... tricky person. What he wants to do, he does. He is stubborn and a person who sometimes judges too harshly... sometimes with a good reason. I can't say I have been his fan because I haven't - and during the five books I have read, I didn't really care about him. ◈ Nico is a demonseed. She is literally possessed by a demon in the form of seed which is in her chest. But because of it she can regenerate very fast, can move through the shadows and go anywhere. But Nico feels indebted to the man who saved her life, Josef, and wants nothing more than to stay by him. Even when the whole world wanted her to die, except for the Master Demon who urged her to fall into depravity, Josef wanted her to live and stay herself. Nico is a wonderful bundle of pure cutness which needs to be protected at all costs. She wants to stay alive, she fights everyday to stay human, to not fall into the darkness her Master (Demon of the Dead Mountain) wants and she wants nothing more than to stay with Josef and help him and his ambitions. But later in the story, she becomes so strong that my love for her knows no bounds.◈ Miranda Lyonette is a member of the Spirit Court sent to capture Eli Monpress before he tarnishes the reputation the Spirtualists worked so hard to achieve. But her missions don't always go like planned. Miranda is dutiful, honor bound and spirits are her everything - even more than humans. She would always do what is right - even if it defies the laws set by her council or even laws set by humans. Miranda is an action heroine who follows what is right. She despises people who enslave spirits (force their will on them to make them do their bidding) and would do everything to stop them. But, like Josef, she judges too harshly sometimes without even listening to reason. Also, there is no talking about Miranda if her spirits are not mentioned as well. Her spirits are cute, loyal and interesting. But most of all is Gin - a ghosthound she freed and convinced to work with her - and they get along so well it's so hard to see Miranda without Gin with her. ◈ Others:There are more characters in the story, and a lot of them impact it greatly, but many of them appear more in the later book, but I have to write about few more characters - which will include some minor spoilers. But I will put every serious one under the separate spoiler tags. (view spoiler)[◈ Benehime is a Shepherdess, a literal Goddess of Creation. Her will is absolute, spirits tremble in her presence and her word is law. But being a Goddess also has it's disadvantages - she is lonely, she is tired and she wants to keep her hands on the only person she had to let go. After all, they made a deal - but she always makes sure to either help or speed things up. Through the whole book I felt anger at Benehime, anger for doing whatever she can to get the person she wants to be her slave forever - even (view spoiler)[ starting a war between 2 continents just to make him beg for help (hide spoiler)]. Benehime is like a child who doesn't understand when she is being cruel - and not just that - she likes playing around and screwing up everyone else. Even the ones loyal to her. Everything to make herself happy in the little world of her own.◈ Lord of Storms is a leader of the League, and he has his eyes set on one particular Demonseed - Nico. But being in the company of Eli, he can do little to kill her. And that frustrates him very much. Lord of Storms is also a literal storm spirit who was shaped into a man so it would be easier to lead his league against all demons and demonseeds that spawn in the world. Ever loyal, he would do anything for his Shepherdess.◈ Demon of the Dead Mountain is a high class demon who wanted to devour the world once. But he was trapped with the power of Shepherdess under a mountain and ever since then he was only able to spread his seeds into people and try to convince them to give themselves up so he could control them and once again be free in the world. There are even more, but these are some of the key players through the whole book and the most important ones. (hide spoiler)] ► OVERALL: Interesting series - it is worth reading once you pass first book. Books 3-5 are each about one of the characters - 3 is for Nico, 4 is for Josef and 5th is for Eli. Miranda got her short story as wellSpirit's Oath about her past, and this is what I loved. I love when I meet the characters through their pasts because otherwise they feel bland. Overall, unique ideas, great world building and strong ending - Either there were no plot holes or I did not notice them at all. But overall, for that ending, and for Eli, it is worth it. The next section is based on all of the books. LIKED: ☑ Characters and their development through the books. Especially Eli and Nico.☑ Ideas, especially book 2, 4 and 5. ☑ Different perspective on demons and gods and fantastic world building.☑ Conclusion of all 5 books.DISLIKED: ☒ Slow paced beginning into the series, it takes at least 2 books to figure out how main characters thinkOTHER IMPORTANT INFO:⚠ Standalone: No. Series of 5 books + a prequel story about Miranda's past. Completed.⚠ Point of View: Third person, multiply POVs.⚠ Cliffhanger: Only in fourth one. ⚠ Triggers: (view spoiler)[torture, body horror of a kind, seeming anorexia, mind rape, do sociopaths count?(hide spoiler)]⚠ Love triangle: NO. THANK GOD.⚠ Angst: Of course. But not always. It's usually funny. ⚠ Supernatural: Yes. Gods, spirits and wizards that talk to spirits. And demons, unique demons.⚠ Explicit content: No.⚠ Ending type: (view spoiler)[HEA(hide spoiler)]⚠ Note: It's wonderful series with unique ideas, wonderful world building and great characters once you pass first 2 books. Their development come through 3, 4 and 5th book.

  • Wendy Darling
    2019-06-14 19:05

    Cool magic and unbelievably funny narrative voice. I loved Rachel Aaron's Paradox scifi series (written as Rachel Bach), but after reading this, it's official: I'll read anything she writes! Eli Monpress is a charmer for sure. Review to come.

  • Denae Christine
    2019-06-05 17:14

    Wow. So, I haven't had that much fun with a new book since Witches Incorporated, last year.(How I explain this series.) Everything has a spirit, every rock, tree, cat, river. Wizards are the ones who can talk to the spirits. Some wizards are enslavers and force the spirits to do their bidding. Other wizards are spiritualists who take spirits as friends/servants and work with them in mutual relationship.Then there's Eli, who's neither. He just cons the spirits into doing what he wants, like letting him out of prison.Reader thoughts: This series starts off light-hearted and fun. You read the first book and think little about it except that it was a great story. The second book opens a few more aspects of the world. The third leaves you very curious with just a glimpse into the higher realm of how things work. The fourth leaves you desperate to know what happens and how it all came to be this way and how-did-I-not-know-all-that-in-the-first-book feeling. The fifth was INTENSE. No kidding. So intense I had to set the book down and take a walk around the apartment. Twice.Original review:Characters. Not well-developed yet, but I can see how there's plenty of room for me to learn more about them in books to come. They are consistent, and the reader learns about them, just doesn't learn much. It's not a big enough book, though.Beings. A good plethora, from spirits, Great Spirits, humans, wizards, ghosthounds, and demons (and whatever the Shepherdess is). I hope there will be a few more like the ghosthounds.Magic. I love the way some people abuse their power and how it's an ethical debate and the different factions and how Eli doesn't side with any of them.Conflicts. Perfect. With Eli against the King, and the King's brother against the King, and the wizardess against Eli and the King's brother, then enemies of enemies become friends. :)Pacing. Perfect. Everything happens within a few days, and characters keep acting all at the same time.Ending. Perfect. Evil destroys the wicked, good character has problems, friend steps in to help, big bad magic goes against big good magic and I won't say more. :)Writer thoughts: The magic system is very well done and very well defined, what a person could and could not do and how magical strength played into it. RA knows how to keep her world consistent. She knows what beats to hit and when. Her cast is small, focused, and her scale grows more epic. With this series, she delves into character ideas and pasts without lots of inner dialogue. Fascinating how that works.

  • Kitvaria Sarene
    2019-06-11 19:00

    This is really easy going, funny and entertaining popcorn fantasy!"I should not like that" was more or less my first thought when starting this book, when the main character talks to a door. A wooden door. Yes - you read that right! And the door even answers and has a conversation with Eli, and decides it actually didn't like to have nails in it. How good for Eli, who needs to get to the other side of that door, and that is quite easy walking over a pile of boards on the floor... Say what? I have no idea WHY it works - but it does! Instead of shaking my head and putting it down, I kept and kept on reading... I really enjoyed the humour in it, and loved the characters! It also had a bit of a Pokémon vibe for me, mixed with what felt like "Hitchhikers guide" to me.I smiled, giggled and laughed - I also held my breath and stared. If you want something really entertaining but not too full on comedy, this is perfect!

  • Lisa
    2019-06-03 18:04

    Full review at Tenacious Reader: story, overall, is fun, starting out with Eli, the greatest thief of all time, stealing not the typical salable items, but rather a King. I mean, sure, you hear stories of princesses being stolen in the night and held for ransom or whatever other nefarious reasons someone might have to steal them. But stealing a king is a bit more unexpected, not to mention ambitious.I think I had two issues with this book, which unfortunately, turn out are not trivial when it came to my enjoyment. First, while on the surface, the premise of each of the characters sounds intriguing, in execution I don’t feel like they were fleshed out enough to feel any connection to them, including Eli. It was just missing something for me, and I decided while the concepts were good, there just didn’t seem to be enough there to fully engage me. Perhaps readers that prefer action over characters, this will not be an issue.The other area I struggled with is that everything just felt over the top for me. There were certain scenes I am guessing others will love, but just didn’t work for me. For instance, persuading a door to let him through. I often don’t do well with anthropomorphic creatures, so anthropomorphic inanimate objects is just something that rarely works for me. Like I said, others will love this aspect, and that’s great. It just wasn’t for me and probably creates more of a detachment from the story in my case.And then there was the humor, often a sticking point for me. Unfortunately I think choosing the audiobook production probably made this humor harder for me to swallow. Eli is a character that is supposed to be funny, and I was at the mercy of the narrator’s performance. How he delivered the lines and jokes may have been spot on with what the author intended, but I would prefer a bit less overt delivery of the jokes. You can say the same joke multiple ways, and the emphasis can really impact how it is received. When I have control of the emphasis, I can tone down overt humor a bit (if that makes any sense to anyone else). The performance in this made it a more over the type of humor than I enjoy. Please keep in mind, I often struggle with overt humor in books, so if you don’t, just ignore me.Overall, I think it is a decent book, but was likely not a great fit for me. I may have done better with the print version, but I suspect even then I would still have listed most of the same concerns, especially with the characters, just the humor may have worked better for me.

  • AnonymousBookCritics
    2019-06-06 21:51

    2.5 starsOriginally reviewed: 7/1/2012Unfortunately, for how excited I was about that opening line, how enjoyable it was to see Eli talk to a door and how quirky and fun the whole scene felt, that was as far as it went. It felt to me that all of the effort of catching the reader’s eye was put into that first chapter and the rest sort of paled in comparison. We never really get to know any of the characters. We’re given the impression there’s a story behind Miranda and her ghosthound, Gin. But that’s only because as readers we can recognize that set-up, some witty banter here or there, a caring touch or look, we know there’s more than just Spirtualist and ghosthound here. But that’s all we’re given! Every scene where we’re actually in Eli’s head is nothing compared to that opening scene. In fact, Eli quickly becomes that classic over-cocky thief that always has a witty remark prepared. That would be fine, if we got to know something else about him that pulled him out of that trope, but we don’t.While I understood what was happening and I knew everyone’s motivation for what they did, I didn’t feel any need to care. So Eli wants his bounty to be one million whatever-the-currency-is-called. I get the impression from the blurb on the back cover that there’s a greater reason behind this than just him wanting a new poster, but we’re given nothing to work with. In fact, Eli reminds me of Flynn Rider (Disney’s Tangled) with none of the character development.Finally, the abuse of similes was painful. I say this not to be snarky or mean but because it literally stilted my ability to get into the setting. There were too many ‘this felt like this’ or ‘that flowed like this’ for me to wholly visualize a single scenario. Read the entire review HERE.

  • Lakshmi C
    2019-05-24 18:51

    What I liked :- The writing - light, fun and fast paced. Just like instant noodles.- Therapy for a door- bounty hunters- sword fights- giant ghost hounds- magic system with spirits in absolutely everything. - exiled and exasperated kings- Marion - the librarian. She was interesting and unique - I wish she were the female lead instead. Curious, nervous, resourceful, hidden spine, considerate, open minded - nemesis-Funny“Gin,” she said loudly, “if anyone gives you trouble, don’t bother asking permission, just eat them.”“Treason against the Spirit Court? Don’t you have to be a member of something to commit treason against it? I don’t recall ever joining your little social club.”“Just a thief?” Miranda gave him an incredulous look. “You kidnapped the king of a council kingdom.”“I was going to give him back,” Eli said, splashing a handful of water on his face.“You,” Renaud said, scowling, “protect me? What would you do, sneak up behind him and make a speech?What I didn't like :MirandaI have a list of reasons for not liking her - 1 Smug2 Irritating3 know it all with faulty / incomplete information 4 interfering5 thoughtlessWill I continue? Definitely, Maybe

  • Jacob Proffitt
    2019-06-01 21:09

    Ugh. It's one thing to write for a younger audience. It's another to write for people you clearly think are idiots. I couldn't find a single character with anything resembling realistic motivations or reactions. The heroes feel like they were written by an 8 year-old asking "wouldn't it be cool if". Everyone else feels like they were written by an 8 year-old asking "who wouldn't want that?" In other words, the world is populated by meanie-heads and egotists with a supporting cast of henchmen and sycophants.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-06-04 15:47

    Rachel Aaron's The Legend of Eli Monpress is a series that has repeatedly popped up on my recommendations lists in the past; I swear every few weeks I'll be browsing through suggestions on my online book stores or Goodreads pages as usual and this blue cover will show up, with the man's face on it flashing his sly little smile at me. It's like he's saying, "READ ME! Come on, you know you wanna!"Obviously, my curiosity gotten the better of me, or more accurately, World Without End's Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge gave me the perfect excuse and motivation to finally pick this book up and read it. And I'm happy to report, I wasn't disappointed.The book begins with a kidnapping. Eli Monpress, the greatest thief of his age and also a talented wizard, has decided to pull off the greatest theft the world has ever seen, and what greater theft is there than the stealing away of a nation's king? His plans to increase his notoriety fall through, however, when he unwittingly brings about political turmoil that could threaten the kingdom and even the spirits of the land. Miranda Lyonette, the spiritualist tasked to hunt Eli, ends up joining forces with him and his friends to put a stop to the evil forces before they can destroy everything.I've noticed that in recent years, the genre of fantasy has evolved towards being darker and grittier, and on the whole I feel it's a good trend. Still, every once in a while it's still nice to see something like The Spirit Thief that's fun, down-to-earth and makes you feel good after reading it. There's a lighthearted feel to the story, but there's also enough suspense in it to hook you. I for one found it very engrossing from the get-go.I also found the magic system intriguing. The wizards in this world don't perform magic directly per se; instead they make requests or set up arrangements with the spirits that exist in everything from mundane objects like doors to the natural elements like the air, lava, or even full bodies of water. Miranda the spiritualist, for example, maintains symbiotic relationships with multiple spirits who serve her, and in return she provides them safe places to reside and lets them feed off her magic.My only issue is a minor one. It has to do with the characters and a feeling that they haven't met their full potential. For one thing, the series' eponymous character feels merely like a side character, and while Eli is described as roguish and charming, I can't help but think of him as more cocky and annoyingly obnoxious. Maybe it has to do with how much he's constantly described as "grinning", and all I can picture in my head is that cover image every single time. The same goes for his companions Josef the swordsman and Nico the demonseed; both are very interesting, but don't seem to feature prominently enough for me to truly care about what happens to them. My feelings for the characters not withstanding, this was a good start to what looks to be a series I definitely want to keep reading. If the rest of the books are as entertaining and fun as this first one, I think I'll enjoy it quite a bit.See more reviews at The BiblioSanctum

  • Soo
    2019-06-16 00:01

    There is a spirit in everything in the world and only a handful of people have the ability to communicate with them. It's the strength of the person's spirit that defines the power they have and their control that maintains how much they can do with it. In this world, there is a man who desires to be the best thief of all time and he does most of his work with carefree chitchat with the spirits that live in everything. Eli Monpress won't let a small thing like plans falling apart to keep him from his goal. In fact, he takes it all in stride with confidence and an impish grin. Throw in a swordsman with a magical sword and a young girl bearing a demonseed and you have the trio of ornery characters that keeps the world of spirits on their toes.If you enjoy snarktastic characters who confidently walk into trouble and are ready to rumble with anything that stands in the path of their convictions, you've come to the right place! It all starts with a simple ransom of a king for a little bit of the kingdom's gold and a promise to rank up the bounty on Eli. Everything spirals out of control when a contender for the throne comes to play. Enemy of my enemy is my friend is a great concept!My thoughts:(view spoiler)[First, I would like to say that I read the prologue in book 5 by accident. I gained an interest in Eli and a good feel for some of the characters in the series. Without that encouragement, I definitely would not have made an effort to finish this book.I love snark. I love cocky, intelligent characters. I love spunky gals who live with conviction. All of these things are good things to have in a story. However, it doesn't flow every well when five different characters act like split personalities of one person. Split personalities that aren't very different from one another. World building is great but please don't do it in a manner that feels like listening to a boring lecture. That happened a few times. I got a handle on the spirits and how it works the first time it was explained. All explanations after that were not necessary and the words could have been used to further character development rather than to enthuse on the world that the author loves. I like the fact that the author loves the world and characters but it would be nice if it flows better with the whole of the book.Although a lot of stuff happens in this book, I only got a bare hint of the characters involved. That makes it hard to care when something good or bad happens to them. Without reading the prologue, I would have no idea about Benehime and the Lord of Storms. I wouldn't understand the comment made by the Great Spirit when it said that Eli bears her mark. If I go with just this book, I would have to say that I love Josef. I enjoyed the fights and I really like the way he takes care of Niko. What about Renaud? All this crazy stuff happens and no mention of the pivotal bad guy. Eh. I'll read the rest of this series because I am curious to see what happened between book one and five. I just don't feel a driving need to read it all right now.(hide spoiler)]

  • Shari Kay
    2019-05-28 00:08

    3.25 ✭I've liked this author's work in Nice Dragons Finish Last and Fortune's Pawn and I was in the mood for Y.A. I thought I'd give this one a try.It was good. I think this was Aaron's debut novel, and you can tell that it is at times. Pacing was off abit, especially during the climax in the throne room. I mean, why are they just standing there letting the villain expound about his...villainy? And after the protagonists let him fulfill his goals without even trying to stop him...where'd he go? They did all this fighting while he what...sat around and twiddled his thumbs? My other issue was for a book about was really more about Miranda. We got her point of view more than anyone elses and I really wanted the thief's. I wanted to know what he was thinking. His motivations. His relationships with Nico and Joseph. I wanted to hear him persuade the spirits more. It was fun when he did. I'd say ST needed more character development, but knowing this is a 5 book series...I think we'll get it. Eventually.I enjoyed it enough to pick up book 2

  • Suzanne
    2019-06-10 20:49

    The magic in this book is really interesting - everything (even inanimate objects) has a spirit and can communicate. I especially loved how Eli works with the things around him. I'm definitely interested in continuing on with the series.

  • Ahdam Rana
    2019-05-22 15:58

    3.5- it was okWell this was an interesting book that I thought I would read to bridge some gaps here and there and overall it was all right not terrible but not amazing.It may be that my last book may have dampened my thoughts on this book slightly because I felt something was missing since it was a very simplistic story with a quick pace which I liked but once I read it I just felt there could be more to it also I may be spoilt on this but the worldbuilding isn't good since I felt that the world and people around the main characters were empty maybe due to being set in one city but who knows.However I do think the story has potential and while I didn't feel myself to feel something for the characters I have a feeling they will develop more in the future and some of things brought up in the story would be interesting to see what there roles would be and of course the magic is probably the best thing in the book since it very fascinating and cool especially when Eli does it since it was the magic that drew me to the book so I cant wait to see what the series hold for me

  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    2019-06-06 18:07

    Eli Monpress has a plan. It's an exciting, ambitious plan that will see yet another kingdom commit money to the already-hefty bounty on his head, making him not just a great thief, but the Greatest. He has plenty of reasons to expect success, too. Eli is a magician, and a charming one at that: rather than make a contract of service between himself and the spirits that are found in all things as the other wizards do, he charms and flatters them until they're falling over themselves to help him. He also has his companions: Josef, a mighty swordsman covered in blades who wields the most powerful sword in the world; and Nico, a demonseed whose true nature is shackled and hidden but from whom the spirits recoil in fear.His plan is quite simple: steal the king of Mellinor and hold him to ransom. This they have no trouble pulling off, but there are a couple of things that even Eli couldn't have predicted: First, a real wizard from the Spirit Court, Miranda Lyonette, turns up at the castle gates hot on Eli's trail with her giant ghosthound companion Gin; Secondly, it turns out that King Henrith has an older brother who had been exiled years ago when it was discovered that he was a wizard - this in a country that bans wizards and prohibits their spirit magic. Now that Henrith is in harm's way, Renaud puts his own plan into action - and it's one with a high number of casualties.With Renaud identified as a threat far greater than Eli, Miranda instead enlists Eli's help - and she'll need it, for Renaud has his sights set on something far greater than a throne, and unleashing it will reveal dark truths about the origins of Mellinor as well as one very powerful and very angry spirit.Fantasy is a broad genre with lots of room for many different subgenres and types of story. There's your classic Epic Fantasy (or "high fantasy" as it is sometimes called) that tends to follow the now-formualic footprints unsuspectingly laid down by JRR Tolkien; there's the mystery/detective-themed Urban Fantasy set in our own world but with some major and generally paranormal differences; there's the fairy-tale-retelling kind of fantasy that just never grows old; and there's the almost-comic fantasy of which The Spirit Thief is one example. It's not that this is laugh-out-loud funny, but it's a story told in a light tone where often things and people just aren't taken seriously. I'm not sure what to call this kind of fantasy, but it's definitely "fun".I tend to read more epic fantasy than any other kind, mostly because the stories are more involved, the narrative more detailed, and the characters more thoroughly fleshed-out. I've never been big on detective/crime/mystery stories (though I enjoy the odd "literary" one), which is why I struggle with urban fantasy, but The Spirit Thief contains enough world-building and the kind of fantasy tropes that I enjoy, as well as an entertaining thief, that the plot became hugely enjoyable.It's plot-driven and swift-paced with lots of action, some exciting and even tense scenes of danger and adventure, and Aaron has achieved a very nice balance of revealing just enough to keep you satisfied with this story and where it's going, while keeping many cards to her chest to make you want to read on in the five-book series. As others have noted, the book manages to toe the fantasy line while also having fun with it, and it's quite clever in that regard. It either sends up standard characters or it takes things in unexpected directions. While overall the story is just as formulaic as most fantasy novels, it has just enough quirks in the details to keep you from getting bored. While Eli is the "spirit thief", this story is mostly carried by Miranda, who figures a bit more prominently in the story than Eli does. Eli remains something of a mystery - though an increasingly intriguing one - by the end. That works quite well, though to be honest, in this comic-relief style of story, you never really get to know any of the characters. Eli is a character you definitely want to get to know better and figure out, which I think is why Aaron deliberately tantalises you with little hints and mysteries about him. And it doesn't even annoy you! She has a great knack for it. He's roguish and charming and very friendly, as mentioned before, but also seemingly arrogant and selfish - or is he? How much of him is a ploy, a deception, a disguise? Who's the real Eli Monpress? (That said, who is Josef, who is Nico? Lots of mystery and mystique there!)The lightness of tone and comic relief moments are, as I mentioned, balanced out by a lovely vein of darkness and real danger. There are moments when I was deliciously tense and full of worried anticipation. The magic system, such as it is, is another delight: the idea that everything has a spirit and those spirits can be approached and talked to by those humans born with the ability to hear them and control their own spirit (i.e. wizards), is completely original but is still rare enough to be refreshing. Plus, the spirits themselves can be quite funny.Readers of Jim C Hines, Terry Pratchett, KE Mills (Karen Miller writing comic fantasy) and other, similar authors will delight in the magic, humour and dark mystery of The Spirit Thief.

  • Mark
    2019-06-13 20:50

    This debut novel, the first of three books to be published in a matter of months, is a sparky introduction to what promises to be an entertaining series. Though it is nothing particularly new, it is engaging and fun, and will bring a smile to many a reader.What is the winner for me here is the tale’s engaging tone. It’s light, fun and not particularly deep nor dark. It plays with the genre in a style that was reminiscent to me of early David Eddings. For many, that’ll be recommendation enough.To the tale, then. Eli Monpress is an Errol Flynn type hero, a swordsman, renegade wizard and thief with the ability to talk to inanimate objects (that have once lived) and persuade them to do his bidding. This leads to his undoing at the beginning of the tale, but he manages to escape Allaze Prison faster than you can say ‘With one bound, he was free!’ Now rather bereft of funds, he then apparently kidnaps and holds for ransom Henrith, the King of Mellinor.At the same time, redheaded wizard and Spirit Council messenger, Miranda Lyonette, arrives at Allaze Castle with her ghosthound Gin. Bearing a belated message she finds herself involved in the recovery of Henrith, not to mention capturing Eli and take him back to the Spirit Court for sentencing.Unfortunately the deposing of King Henrith has led to his older brother, the exiled (and rather insane) Prince Renaud to arrive in Mellinor and take his place. Eli and Miranda find that in order to restore order they have to work together with Eli’s bunch of mercenaries to restore Henrith to kingship and remove Renaud, as well as deal with the opening of an ancient relic and the appearance of an equally ancient Spirit god. So: a quest novel, with a touch of flirting thrown in, and a range of unusual (if not particularly new) characters, with enough of a knowing wink to keep things on the right side of fun. Eli is a likeable enough rogue, Miranda’s a strong heroine, King Henrith is not as stupid as initially portrayed and I also liked the laconic humour of Gin the ghosthound. The dialogue’s pretty sharp, the pace is frantic and the overall vibe is of a writer having a lot of fun with the telling of the tale. In terms of the world here, the idea of spirits being used by wizards and who work in alliance with their Spiritualist friends is not new but admirably done, and the actions of the characters are sensible within the environment set, though at times they are a little close to the realm of far-fetchedness, which in a Fantasy novel can take some doing! Nevertheless, perhaps reminiscent of Chris Wooding’s Ketty Jay series but in a Fantasy setting, there’s a lot here for readers to like, if perhaps at times one or two too many ‘inescapable escapes’.The ending is one which sets itself up nicely for the next book in the series. The Spirit Rebellion follows next month, followed by The Spirit Eater the following month.For readers just wanting something to entertain, without having to think too deeply about the whys and wherefores of such actions, this is fun, though fun that makes sense. This is what I would like Karen Miller to write like, but this has a better internal logic and better world building.A promising debut and one from a writer to watch in the future.Mark Yon, October 2010

  • Fatima
    2019-06-14 17:49

    The only thing I liked about this book is the magic system. The rest of it is just a collection of fantasy clichés : bad analogies? Check. Failed attempts at humor? Check. Ultimate Good vs Evil? Check. Inexplicably powerful characters? Check. Needlessly complicated battle sequences? Check. You can predict the ending half way through. The whole thing is quite underwhelming. So, am I going to read the rest of the series? Probably. Since for some reason I like to needlessly punish myself.

  • Bee {Quite the Novel Idea}
    2019-06-08 22:11

    Quite The Novel Idea ~ Words from the Clouds3.5 starsWell, wasn't this just a big ball of fun? Yes it was. I mean, it has a stabby swordsman, a cute badass demongirl, a sassy lovable thief and a warrior wizard woman with her pet ghosthound. What more do you need, honestly? Unfortunately, though this book was a lot of fun and I have lots of love for most characters, it wasn't really much more than that. And that's a true shame. Though to be fair, I will gladly admit I have been spoiled in the Fantasy department. Very spoiled indeed. (She says while adoringly petting her precious copies of The Lies of Locke Lamora and Six of Crows.)This lovely book with the tragically horrendous cover (someone save these books please??) was recommended to me by my dear friend Kaye. Which I will thank her for copiously as soon as I have finished this review. As I have mentioned, this book was a lot of fun. The plot moved along at a nice pace and never really dragged at all. There was plenty of action and lovely sassy banter. And there's a very interesting magic system with wizards and spirits that I really wanted to know more about (because somethings were really vague?? I need more info...).BUT to me it felt a bit too simple and predictable, plot-wise. The stakes were quite low so I never really sat on the edge of my seat because I feared for my precious character's lives. It felt a lot like YA most of the time. Very light YA Fantasy. If you're into that sort of thing, you'll have a grand time. I'm not a super Fantasy fan so yes, I did have a good time reading this book. I've just been spoiled, people. I told you this earlier. Other Fantasy books may have ruined me, I will freely admit that. My standards are very high these days.With that also came that the first 25% kind of bored me a bit? Because it was mostly someone else's POV that consisted of other people discussing and grumbling about how great Eli Monpress is rather than just giving us Eli's POV and showing it to us. It didn't help that that POV was Miranda's most of the time. Though yes, Miranda is a badass warrior type wizard that doesn't need a man to save her... ultimately I didn't like her as much as I liked Eli and his gang. Even her ghosthound Gin was a lot more fun than her. Unfortunately, we got so much of her POV in this book, ergo me is a bit sad.The best part of this book, the part that makes me want to continue this series in the first place, is Eli and his lovely gang. There's Josef, an epic swordsman that is sometimes grumpy but cheers up when he gets to stab all the people. (Who doesn't?) And also Nico, a cute demon-girl who is also super badass but feared by everyone because of what she is. She's still chill af though. I loved her. AND the best character, the MVP, is of course Eli himself. He's such a clever, witty, child-like, sassy thief. I adore him. And I love his friendship with Josef and Nico. He's just the best, honestly. He amused me to no end and I will read all of the books he is in just because he's so very lovely.In the end, The Spirit Thief was a lot of fun. Even though it felt a bit simple, the characters made it worth the read for me. Mostly Eli. I have a thing for sassy thieves. BUT WHO DOESN'T THOUGH? Should you read this book? Yes, you should. Absolutely. If only so we can flail over our mutual love of Eli.

  • Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
    2019-05-28 18:03

    Initial Impressions 9/23/15: This was really cute! A bit more cutesy than I expected, I think, but a fun read overall! I think it read a bit younger than adult so I was a bit thrown by that but the characters were SO enjoyable, I loved learning about this world, and I kind of just want to binge the rest of the series now... I think it could have had a bit more world building but I suspect that's something that we'll delve into quite a bit more in subsequent books. I'm definitely curious to know more! I loved Eli, naturally, and also loved Josef (he felt like a mix of Jean from Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastard series and Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride). I really can't wait to learn more about Nico too... Very fun read but didn't quite wow me... I'm hoping book two really pulls me in even futher! Full review as originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 11/13/15: I was really excited to start THE SPIRIT THIEF with my On the Same Page gals considering how much I’ve been getting into adult fantasy lately! It was an interesting read but not too far in, I started to question whether it really was adult fantasy and turns out more people have shelved it under young adult than adult. I guess it shouldn’t really matter one way or the other since I tend to read a lot of YA fiction that appeals to ages of all sorts but THE SPIRIT THIEF really was just a tad disappointing in the sense that it did feel significantly younger than what I had hoped.I really did enjoy the book from start to finish and THE SPIRIT THIEF was a fun and fairly quick read but I did wish that it had a lot more depth. The book did feel a bit young and being a reader of young adult books, I actually think it felt more on the MG/YA border than it did sitting totally in YA. Needless to say, it didn’t even come close to the adult feel that I was hoping for and anticipating. The overall tone and lack of details in the magic system, world-building, and character depth really brought the reading level down for me. Again, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but it did change my outlook of the book. I was really hoping for a whole lot more to wow me and pull me in but it was more of just a face-value “good” read. I like my fantasy (both YA and adult) to really pull me in, keep me hooked, and have me theorizing long after I’m done reading. Although it did do a nice job of keeping the door open for future books and leaving some things to be explained later, I just can’t escape the desire to explore just a bit more in this book. When it comes down to it, I think disappointment wins out because this is published under a sci-fi and fantasy imprint which houses adult authors so I have to go with the fact that it just didn’t live up the content that I felt it should have.The overall story was interesting. I always enjoy stories about thieves, especially rascally ones and Eli Monpress didn’t disappoint there! I rather enjoyed Eli’s quest to add more money to his bounty (he claims that any thief would be proud of) and there seemed to be hints that there was more to this story but that wasn’t really explored in this book. I really enjoyed the concept of spirits and how the spirits and wizards (or “Spiritualists”) interacted! The idea felt really unique and it’s not something that I’ve really read before. The interactions did seem a bit juvenile, once again, and I think that gave the book a really middle grade feel for me. It could just be my interpretation of the book but spirits being stubborn, refusing to cooperate… Just something about it had a very young tone.I really wished I had gotten to know each character more as well. I loved Eli and Josef (he reminded me a lot of Jean from Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series and Inigo from The Princess Bride) and I really wanted to learn so much more about Nico! I was glad that I got to find out some small pieces here and there as the action progressed but I did think there would be a bit more character development there. They were a crew and I really loved how they worked together but I also didn’t feel that pull to keep them together and I didn’t feel the tug on my emotions as much as I had hoped when things went wrong.THE SPIRIT THIEF was a fun, easy read. I’m not sure if I want to continue with the series since I’m just left with the feeling that it has so much more potential and just didn’t quite live up to it. I’m definitely curious about what else goes on and I’d love to get to know the characters more so I may continue the series someday but as of right now, it’s not too high on my immediate list.

  • Stefan
    2019-05-20 23:07

    In the opening scene of The Spirit Thief, Rachel Aaron’s charming debut novel, the notorious thief Eli Monpress is trying to escape from the royal dungeon of Mellinor. Since he’s not just a thief but also a wizard, he does this by quite literally trying to charm the dungeon’s door into opening: not by casting a spell on it, but rather by persuading, cajoling and wheedling it into letting him through, explaining that it really would be much better off without those annoying nails keeping it together (which results in the memorable line “Indecision is the bane of all hardwoods.”).After all, in the fantasy world of THE LEGEND OF ELI MONPRESS, every single object, from the tiniest pebble to the largest mountain, has a spirit. A wizard’s power derives from the ability to enter into a mutual contract with these spirits, although others, on the more evil side of the spectrum, actually enslave them. Eli, uniquely, seems to be able to just talk them into doing what he wants. This may be a familiar magic system in fantasy, but it’s used here in such a charming and often funny way that you’ll barely notice.The plot of The Spirit Thief revolves around a few central characters, and if most of them lack depth, they’re at least consistently entertaining. The wizard thief Eli Monpress initially confuses everyone (including the reader), because his goal isn’t, as you might expect, stealing Mellinor’s treasure. Instead, he merely wants to become more notorious so his bounty is raised — or possibly raise his bounty to become more notorious. Either way, he’s definitely not your standard criminal. Miranda is a powerful Spirit Court wizard who, along with her giant ghosthound companion, has been dispatched to Mellinor to deal with Eli, partly because he is giving wizards everywhere a terribly bad name and partly because he may be looking for an ancient magical artifact with terrifying powers. Mellinor’s King Henrith is initially elated to have caught Eli so he can collect the already sizable bounty, but soon finds himself kidnapped by his former prisoner in order to increase that bounty even further. Finally, Eli has two companions: Josef, the mysterious swordsman with his even more mysterious sword, and Nico, a girl and “demonseed” who seems to have mysterious and terrible powers...The Spirit Thief is in some ways an old-fashioned sword and sorcery novel that focuses on Eli Monpress, the roguish wizard thief who’s out for adventure, fame and personal gain with his companions. The tone of the novel is so light that it’s almost breezy, mainly because it’s filled with lots of funny interactions like characters bickering or sending each other dirty looks even during the most stressful moments. Despite the action-packed plot, there’s lots of unabashed silliness in this story — which you probably would have guessed, given that the first scene features someone in a deep conversation with a door.If the book has one problem, it’s that it’s hard to pin down its tone. After the first few pages, I felt like Rachel Aaron was going for very early Terry Pratchett, focusing on jokes at the expense of a serious plot. However, the plot takes form once the (true) villain takes the stage, and Eli’s world takes shape as an edge of darkness creeps in.Most of the events happen within a mile or so of Mellinor’s palace, which gives The Spirit Thief’s story a deceptively small scale because there are plenty of references to larger powers and events that are only hinted at in this first novel. Still, because of this story’s smaller scope and the relatively short length of the novel, it sometimes feels like an elaborate prologue for the rest of THE LEGEND OF ELI MONPRESS.If Rachel Aaron can expand the scope and impact of the series without sacrificing its sheer fun and readability, THE LEGEND OF ELI MONPRESS could prove to be a winner. As it is, The Spirit Thief is a light but charming and highly entertaining novel that definitely piqued my interest for the next book, The Spirit Rebellion, due out from Orbit in November 2010. If you’re traveling over the holidays and looking for something quick, light and fun to read on the plane, this fast-paced and cheerful little novel would be a great choice.(This review was also published on the Fantasy Literature website -

  • Lazybee
    2019-06-08 17:59

    It was a pleasure reading this book. There is no complications. It is a simple kidnapping gone wrong book, with a bit magic mixed in.

  • Karissa
    2019-06-14 21:59

    I have had this book to read for quite sometime. This was a fun and light fantasy adventure read but left me feeling like something was missing. There are five books total in this series.I listened to this on audiobook. It was narrated by Luke Daniels, who also narrates The Iron Druid Chronicles. He does a great job narrating these light-hearted books. But honestly it was a bit distracting because I kept thinking about the characters from the Iron Druid Chronicles, the voices he uses for characters in this book are very similar to the voices he uses for characters in that series.This book follows two main characters. The first is a thief named Eli Monpress who has an uncanny ability to convince things to do what he wants them to do. He is determined to have the highest bounty ever recorded put on his head and has decided that kidnapping a King is the best way to hit that goal. The second character is a Spiritualist (a type of wizard that has spirit servants) named Miranda who is sent to capture Eli. When the King’s evil younger wizard brother (who is an Enslaver of spirits) steps onto the throne after the King’s kidnapping, Eli and Miranda find themselves in the uncomfortable situation of having to work together. This was a fun and light fantasy novel. I really loved the idea of everything (even inanimate objects) having a spirit that certain wizards can communicate with. This was a creative idea that made for a number of interesting situations throughout the novel. Eli Monpress is lighthearted and doesn’t ever take anything seriously. He also has a strange ability to make any spirit do what he wants just by asking. Not a lot is revealed about his past or his true goals. Eli remains a mystery throughout.Miranda comes across as a very upstanding and noble character. She takes herself a bit too seriously and comes off as kind of immature and whiny at times. I grew to like her character over time, but she was somewhat annoying at the beginning of the book.There are a number of side characters who read like sketches from a Dungeon and Dragons quest. You have a couple guys wielding magical swords, a young girl partially possessed by a demon, an evil wizard, and a giant magical dog. They were all interesting, but also lacked much depth. All of them have secrets and none of those secrets were revealed in this book. So even though there was a lot of action, interesting magic, and some interesting characters I found this book to be lacking something. Everything was just very surfacey. The story was wrapped up too neatly. There isn’t a lot that really drives the story besides the whole banishing the evil wizard. It was just very light-hearted and fluffy. When I was done with the book I was kind of like “Eh, well okay what should I read next.”Overall a fun light-hearted fantasy. This book has an interesting magic system and some intriguing characters but it missing some depth. I wasn’t really all that engaged with the characters or the world. I do kind of want to know more about Eli Monpress and his secrets, but that would be the only reason I keep reading this series. Right now I am unsure whether or not I will continue with this series.

  • Amyiw
    2019-05-19 16:50

    4 1/2 starsSomething holds it back from greatness, mostly pacing and a pretty simple storyline, though very good. The book is called "The Spirit Thief" and because Eli is a thief, I erroneously thought he was the spirit thief. He isn't.This series' name is The Legend of Eli Monpress, but I don't think it is so much about Eli as his band of cohorts and the Spirit Court member trying to catch him. The players are Eli, a wizard of strange means, Miranda Lyonette- agent of the Spirit Court, agency in charge of wizards, Gin- Miranda's side kick ghosthound, Josef Liechten- A great swordsman with a powerful sword (member of Eli's band of thieves), and Nico- a demon seed (she can use magic too). All these characters have their play in the game and their story. A bit of each is told and all are interesting. We get insight and only a slight understanding of each and want to know more by the end. Still we get a conclusion to this episode of Eli's band of Thieves so no cliffhanger which is a major plus.So Eli directing his people, wants to make himself a more known and wanted man. He wants his bounty to be increased and in that wish thinks kidnapping a King would be a good idea. Wizards of this world are only wizards because they can somehow use the spirits of objects. This is done as slaves, servants, or friends?, we learn just a little about which each means and who can "talk" to spirit (wizards). This kidnapping puts him in Miranda's sights and she tries to capture him. All this is interrupted by 2 more players, the swordsman that wants to best Joseph, who is working with the Kings brother, who is a wizard himself and has his own agenda. Things go sideways for everyone's plans but Eli has a plan.So this reminded me a little like the Princess bride meets the Hustler and throw in a little (lot) of magic. Not quite as funny as the movie but definitely a fun ride. Kind of a spoiler but more description. (view spoiler)[If it were made into a movie I can see the beginning flashing the characters pictures with their definitions.Eli- the wizard thiefJoseph- swordsman with the magic swordNico- Demonseed extrodinaireMiranda- Wizard policeGin- Ghosthound extrodinairePrince Renaud- Spirit slaverCoriano- Bounty hunterand in the endingLord of Storms from the League of Storms- Oversight of Spirit Court (hide spoiler)]I actually think this could be pretty well done in a movie as the plot is not too complicated but the characters are. Don't like it as much as her Dragon series, Heartstrikers, Nice Dragons Finish Last, probably because it was a first book. But definitely a series I'll continue. Really good start.

  • Enzo
    2019-05-31 21:51

    What a fun ride this one turned out to be. The fun started from the first pages. You are reading about Eli Monpress but until you see another "Wizard" struggle with what he does you understand what has happened before and just how good a thief he is. All the time laughing at a thief who simply will not play his accustomed role.This book quickly introduces a number of great characters on both sides of the aisle. Hmm maybe aisle is the wrong way of putting it. At times it feels like Monpress and his gang are not exactly in the same boat. They feel like they are on the same side for convenience. So lets list who is on what team:Eli Monpress thief and captain of the good guys. Yeah, he steals and kidnaps but why shouldn't he. Josef the swordsman who is part of Eli's gang. He is tall, strong and manages to convey the defacto fighter/tank of this group. Nico a young looking girl that has a big secret to hide and is only controlled by Josef. Thats team Monpress. Chasing Monpress is Miranda Lyonette. A member of a the Spiritualist Guild tasked with catching Monpress at all cost. She is joined by Gin a ghosthound! Yes he is impressive. Talks and can move much faster then his size might suggest.We also have the lone swordsman. I don't know but when he speaks my mind puts Inigo Montoya. The King ... yes, the kidnapped one. King Henrith and his brother Renaud. Who I can't really put into one team. This all adds to a lot of fun and action. Non-stop action it seems. I blame the start of the school year that denied me reading this book much faster.Highly recommended for those out there that enjoy books like the Gentlemen Bastards series.

  • Shanna Swendson
    2019-06-06 00:12

    This series has one of the more interesting magical systems I've seen. Many objects, both living and inanimate, have their own spirits, some of which are fully awakened and some of which are dormant. The wizards in this world are those that can hear and communicate with these spirits. The good ones develop a kind of symbiotic relationship with certain spirits that then mediate with all the other spirits, while the bad ones enslave spirits. And then there's the guy who just seems to flirt with the spirits so that they then want to bend over backwards to help him. He's the greatest thief around, possibly because he can persuade the wood in locked doors that it would feel a lot better without those irritating nails sticking through it. But he's not nearly as famous as he'd like to be, and he sets out to get the biggest bounty ever on his head. To do that, he decides to steal something really big. Like, say, a king. Only he neglected to do his research on the royal family dynamics, so he doesn't realize that leaving the throne vacant long enough to make his ransom demands will cause all sorts of problems that he'll then have to set right. Oops. This one was a ton of fun. Think Leverage or White Collar, but with magic in a fantasy world. I think the world needs more fun, quirky fantasy with lots of humor but still with some action and tension and intriguing characters you like and pull for, so I'm always glad when I find a good one. This series has become an auto-buy for me.

  • Chip
    2019-05-26 16:16

    Characters 4.9*Universe 4.5*Plot 3.8*This was a fun book and a fairly quick read that was extremely enjoyable. I want to immediately read the next ones in the series (unfortunately, for some weird reason my library only has volumes 1, 4, and 5 electronically so I'll have to actually wait for a physical copy).Characters: All of the protagonists are fun and are of varying degrees of complexity. The antagonists are less complex, but they serve as decent foils for Eli and company. Make no mistake though, Eli is the star of the show.Universe: The world-building of this story is quite fun and enjoyable. Bonus points because it accomplishes one of the main things I look for in a story: the world impacts the story - it isn't mere a background prop.Plot: Filled with fairly standard story lines, but well executed.I look forward to more Eli.