The Spirit War
Young Adult / June 7, 2016

Legend of Eli Monpress #4. Author: Rachel Aaron. Summary: Eli Monpress is vain. He’s cocky. And he’s a thief. But he’s a thief who has just seen his bounty topped and he’s not happy about it. The bounty topper, as it turns out, is his best friend, bodyguard, and master swordsman, Josef. Who has been keeping secrets from Eli. Apparently, he’s the only prince of a rather feisty country and his mother (a formidable queen who’s every bit as driven and stubborn as he is) wants him to come home and do his duty, which means throwing over personal ambitions like proving he’s the greatest swordsman who ever lived. Family drama aside, Eli and Josef have their hands full. The Spirit Court has been usurped by the Council of Thrones and someone calling herself the Immortal Empress is staging a massive invasion. But it’s not just politics — the Immortal Empress has a specific target in mind: Eli Monpress, the greatest thief in the world. Content Review: Sexual content: Character says “If he hadn’t warned us [about enemy warships on their way] they’d have found us as naked as a cheating lover.” Queen tells prince he must sire an heir….

The Spirit Eater
Young Adult / May 27, 2016

Legend of Eli Monpress #3. Author: Rachel Aaron. Summary: With the pressure on after his success in Gaol, Eli Monpress, professional thief and degenerate, decides it’s time to lie low for a bit. Taking up residence in a tiny seaside village, Eli and his companions seize the chance for some fun and relaxation. Nico, however, is finding it a bit hard. Plagued by a demon’s voice in her head and feeling powerless, she only sees herself as a burden. Everyone’s holiday comes to an untimely close, though, when Pele arrives to beg Eli’s help for finding her missing father. But there are larger plans afoot than even Eli can see, and the real danger, and the solution, may lie with one of his own and her forgotten past. If only Nico could remember whose side she’s on. Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: 8 derogatory names, 3 d*** Violence: Second hand account of demon killing many men. Character strangles a woman to death. An assassin falls out a window to his death. Three sword fights. There is a demon trying to take over a character’s body. Men fight demon in a swordfight slash hands-and-feet type thing.

The Spirit Rebellion
Young Adult / May 25, 2016

Legend of Eli Monpress #2. Author: Rachel Aaron. Summary: Eli Monpress is brilliant. He’s incorrigible. And he’s a thief. He’s also still at large, which drives Miranda Lyonette crazy. While she’s been kicked out of the Spirit Court, Eli’s had plenty of time to plan his next adventure. But now the tables have turned, because Miranda has a new job — and an opportunity to capture a certain thief. Things are about to get exciting for Eli. He’s picked a winner for his newest heist. His target: the Duke of Gaol’s famous “thief-proof” citadel. Eli knows Gaol is a trap, but what’s life without challenges? Except the Duke is one of the wealthiest men in the world, a wizard who rules his duchy with an iron fist, and an obsessive perfectionist with only one hobby: Eli. It seems that everyone is hunting for Eli Monpress. (Summary from Goodreads.) My Thoughts: If anything, the second installment of the Legend of Eli Monpress got better. Eli is still an idiot, but at least we have more background on him. In fact, we have more background on all the characters, tantalizing hints about an even larger plot line at work, and an unusual…

The Spirit Thief
Young Adult / May 21, 2016

The Legend of Eli Monpress #1. Author: Rachel Aaron. Summary: Eli Monpress is a classically charming, cock-sure thief with a past. Unlike other thieves, however, he has honed his escape technique with an unusual tool: he just asks. The door was happy to oblige. Right now, his goal is to raise his bounty. He started off by kidnapping a minor king, who shouldn’t cause too much trouble. As might be expected, everything went wrong. The question now is not merely whether Eli can fix it… but whether he is honorable enough to try. My Thoughts: Disclaimer: I read this book in the Legend of Eli Monpress omnibus, which encompasses the first three books. I think that alone, it would not have been as good; Aaron hints at character background without fulfilling, has a few quick expositions on the magical world but doesn’t fully explain, and leaves us rather unsatisfied at the end. Still, I loved it. Fast-paced and humorous, The Spirit Thief is chock-full of fascinating characters (and aggravating characters) and an interesting magic system. Eli fits quite well into a certain stereotype of cocky thief, but he has his own character which sets him apart from others. For one,…