Author: Rachel Aaron
Page Count: 456
Publishing Info: Orbit, October 26, 2010
Why I read it: Second in a series
The Plot: I've got to start taking notes when I read, especially when it's taking me so long between reading and reviewing. In this second book of the Eli Monpress series, Eli is still working on getting a higher bounty on his head. We find out a little bit more about what motivates him, and there is a little more depth to the story, with some surprises and foreshadowing too. The target this time is the Duke of Gaol's citadel, which has been advertised as thief proof. This proves too much of a temptation for Eli, so of course he sets off to rob it. And of course, things don't go exactly as planned.
The Characters: I really love the characters in this series. Eli is a character that I can really root for, even if he is a bit over the top at times. I really want these characters to succeed, except maybe Miranda in her plans to catch and arrest Eli. That would take away a lot of the fun. As the series progresses, it seems that we're digging a little deeper into the lives of the characters, which is good since the first was a little more plot driven.
The Setting: There's nothing too spectacular about the setting here. It seems to be pretty standard fantasy stuff. I do still like that everything has a spirit, which makes it so that wizards can communicate with anything. Rachel Aaron really had a good idea there, and she utilizes it well.
A Sample of the Writing:
High in the forested hills where no one went, there stood a stone tower. It was a practical tower, neither lovely nor soaring, but solid and squat at only two stories. It's enormous blocks were hewn from the local stone, which was of an unappealing, muddy color that seemed to attract grime. Seeing that, it was perhaps fortunate that the tower was overrun with black-green vines. They wound themselves around the tower like thread on a spindle, knotting the wooden shutters closed and crumbling the mortar that held the bricks together, giving the place an air of disrepair and gloomy neglect, especially when it was dark and raining, as it was now.
Who Should Read This? Fantasy fans who are into adventure and fun, and aren't looking for anything especially deep or serious.
Final Thoughts: I'm really loving this series, and I think it's getting better and better. It's just nice, easy reading with no extra junk that doesn't need to be there. I'm looking forward to the third book, and will definitely keep following this author.
Cover Thoughts: If I thought the cover to the first book was misleading, this one is even more so. When I saw it, I thought the book was going to be about Miranda, especially when the tagline reads "What she gets away with is madness". The taglines on these books are really cheesy, and they don't even really go along with the series. This book is still very much centered around Eli, although Miranda is still there, as well as the other supporting characters.