The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #4) by Rachel Aaron
Oh wow. Just wow.
Series review to come. One book to go.
Now THAT was a fun story!
My motivation for reading is simple. I read books to be entertained, and when I’ve finished reading them I want to feel happy. That’s it. Really.
Reading the five books of Eli Monpress satisfied both requirements more simply than any other books I’ve read. Some books try to be so enlightening they ruin the entertaining part. Others are entertaining but have horrible endings. Or maybe they could be entertaining but have too much other baggage–emotional topics, bad language, or juvenile writing, for example–that gets in the way.
There was nothing that stopped me from being simply and completely entertained while reading Eli Monpress, and now that I’m finished I can’t wipe the satisfied smile from my face. The characters are strong, complex, and imperfect—which, ironically, makes them perfect. The writing is smooth—so smooth it’s hard to believe Rachel Aaron doesn’t have more stuff out there. The Eli books are it, but you’d think she’s been writing for years as a best seller. I saw no signs of her being a first time author. What a joy! And her story . . . wow. So, so much fun to read.
Eli Monpress is the world’s greatest thief. He’s also a wizard—someone who can communicate with the spirits that are the living parts of what everyone else sees as inanimate objects. He’s so smooth he can talk his way in or out of anything, and he’s got the bounty to prove it. Miranda Lyonette is the wizard Spiritualist—sworn to defend the spirits from those who would abuse them—who is tasked with catching Eli and bringing him to justice. Not that Eli abuses spirits as much as he gives the already-misunderstood wizards a bad name. But as hard as Miranda tries to catch Eli, for some reason they always end up working together in the end to save the day—and ultimately the world. Josef is the honorable Swordsman with the mysterious past. Nico is the girl who could end up saving them all . . .
The book’s themes center around the ambiguities in what is morally right and morally wrong, the unbreakable bonds of friendship, the imperative of having integrity, the importance of always keeping your promises, always doing the right thing—even (especially) when it’s the hardest thing, and most powerfully, the lesson that YOU are in charge of YOU and we all have the power to become masters of ourselves. All this in a fast paced story set in a completely unique and imaginative world. No language. No Sex. A bit of violence that adds to the drama. I’ll say appropriate for 12-years olds and up because the books are long—like 400+ pages each.
I give Eli Monpress my full recommendation—with a smile on my face!