Book DetailsTitle: The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress)
Author: Rachel Aaron
Page Count: 320
Publishing Info: Orbit, October 1, 2010
Why I read it: kept seeing it reviewed all over
The Plot: At first glance this sounds like a lot of other books I've read. A thief who is so good that he can do anything and get out of any scrape? It sounded a bit like The Thief (The Queen's Thief, Book 1) or The Lies of Locke Lamora. I mean, in The Thief, we start out in pretty much exactly the same place--with our hero locked up figuring out how to escape. But there's an interesting magic system here that makes it different. Every single thing has a spirit, from trees to sand to doors, and wizards can hear and talk to the spirits. So, our main character, Eli is looking for a way to increase the bounty on his head, and the fastest way he knows how to do that is to kidnap a king, and he's able to sweet talk just about any spirit into doing whatever he wants. Craziness ensues.
The Characters: At first I was pretty sure I wouldn't like Eli. He seemed a little too good at everything. But it turns out that Eli wasn't quite as strong as I first suspected. He had weaknesses and flaws, which made him a better character, and surprisingly, I really liked him. Yes, he was snarky and a little full of himself, but he was also funny and interesting. I also really liked Josef, the swordsman who is a part of Eli's gang, and would like to know more of his backstory. There really aren't very many characters in this one, but that's part of what makes it nice. You never get confused about who is who.
The Setting: The story takes place in the fictional kingdom of Mellinor, and never really goes beyond that. We start out in the castle, and the whole story takes place within a few miles of it. It never feels stagnant though, and the scope feels broader than what we're given.
Who Should Read This? Fans of fantasy, especially lighter fantasy that includes humor.
Final Thoughts: I was a little leary of this one at the start, but it turns out that I really liked it and thought it was a lot of fun. I'm glad that the second and third books are already out so I don't have to wait to continue on with the series.
Cover Thoughts: The cover for this one is a bit deceiving. It looks like it might be an urban fantasy or something, not the fun adventure fantasy that it is. If you're turned off by the cover, ignore it and give this one a go anyway.