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.
I was thoroughly delighted by the first installment in the Legend of Eli Monpress series, The Spirit Thief. Aaron's combination of simplistic storytelling, witty dialogue and fast-paced action made for excellent reading. And she continues to play to these strengths in the second book, The Spirit Rebellion.
The story picks up directly where it left off in The Spirit Thief and we continue to follow the group of thieves (Eli, Josef and Nico), as well as Miranda from the Spirit Court. There is also one striking new edition: Giuseppe Monpress, and I must say that his addition made for a great deal of additional fun, particularly in the form of the banter between himself and Eli, and I hope that Giuseppe will be appearing again in the upcoming books.
What I liked most about The Spirit Rebellion was the way in which Aaron wrote the story. Her writing style is natural and unforced, her character's dialogue smooth and her action and fighting scenes superbly done. At the end of the second book, when the action continues to build, there were several sentences that she used that really captivated me and just forced me - lets say enslavement for those who have read the first book - to continue. When Josef had a battle there was “What happened next happened in an instant”; when Miranda had a face-off there was “What happened next was almost too fast to see” and finally when Eli had one of his brilliant moments there was “What happened next seemed to unfold in slow motion”. These type of sentences made the story for me.
In The Spirit Thief the usage of magic consisted of using a spirit for each purpose i.e. a fire spirit for making flames, but also that each piece of the world was a spirit in itself. The utilization of spirits continues in more depth in The Spirit Rebellion and it was an endlessly fascinating area.
Another plus point for The Spirit Thief is the depiction if its heroes: Eli, Josef, Nico and even Miranda. They are the main focus of the story, each has their own strengths and weaknesses and they are, very importantly, not overly powerful or invincible. Each character encounters challenges which lead to them maturing and this character development really added an extra dimension to each.
The Spirit Rebellion is a worthy sequel to The Spirit Thief. Aaron's writing style matures well while maintaining her light-hearted touch. There is plenty of action complemented by witty dialogue and I am very curious to see how the events unfold in the following books. Aaron definitely has talent.
Review by Jasper de Joode
1 positive reader review(s) for The Spirit Rebellion
Rachel Aaron is the fantasy author behind the Legend of Eli Monpress, a series that has been read and thoroughly enjoyed by Fantasy Book Reviewer Jasper de Joode. Jasper caught up with Rachel in April 2012 and asked her some [...]
Stefan from UK
Rachel Aaron breezes through what is often called the "difficult second book", In fact, she improves upon her first novel, which is a sign of a good writer getting even better. She maintains the tension and mystery while also keeping the humour witty - no mean achievement. After the first book readers will be familiar with the characters and here they grow further and become excellent companions. The Spirit Rebellion is a great book, one which I read in only a few days, which is for me very fast and the best commendation I can offer.
9.6/10 from 2 reviews