Title: The Spirit Thief
Author: Rachel Aaron
Series: The Legend of Eli Monpress #1
Published: October 1st, 2010 by Orbit
Genres: (High) fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars
Synopsis: Eli Monpress is talented. He’s charming. And he’s a thief. But not just any thief. He’s the greatest thief of the age – and he’s also a wizard. And with the help of his partners – a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls – he’s going to put his plan into effect. The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he’ll need to steal some big things. But he’ll start small for now. He’ll just steal something that no one will miss – at least for a while. Like a king.
Let me just start by saying that while I expected this book to be good, I didn’t expect for it to be THIS good -I have quite high standards for fantasy reads. I have barely any free time at the moment because of university, yet I read this book in two sittings. In fact, the only reason I didn’t finish it in one sitting is because it was midnight and I had to go to class the next day.
The wizards in this world are very different than what I’ve read before. Often, they talk about using energy and channeling it to do whatever they want. In this world however, the only way a magician differs from a normal human is that they can hear the spirits talking. Normal humans can’t do so. Everything has a spirit. The bench you sit on, the trees and grass outside, the curtain, everything. They all talk, yet only wizards can hear them. These spirits make wizardry possible. There are different kinds of wizards: Sipiritualists and Enslavers. Spiritualists make a sort of contract with spirits: their service for the wizard’s energy. The spirits enter into service willingly but they are servants of the Spiritualist. An Enslaver however, breaks a spirits will until it does what the wizard wants it to do.
Do you see how incredible the world already sounds? Then there is the Spirit Court: he ones who keep the balance between spirits, wizards and humans. Eli Monpress is a wizard and a thief, which makes him a violator of the rules of the Spirit Court. Which is why Miranda -a Spiritualist- is sent to Mellinor, to catch Eli before he steals a precious artifact.
I don’t want to tell you where the story starts off or where it goes because you just have to experience it for yourself. Just know that it is absolutely magical! Also, I was expecting a different story. I was expecting it to be more like The Lies of Locke Lamora, where they slowly build up to the theft/score. Here, that wasn’t the case. Yet I loved it too. SO MUCH.
And the characters. I can’t even… First of all, Eli is pretty much the most fun character to read about. He’s funny, witty -and a bit arrogant too- and I can definitely say that his motivation for stealing is unique. His traveling companions are very interesting too! Then there is Miranda, the Spiritualist of the Spirit Court. She’s smart, stubborn and proud yet she is a lovable character. And her giant dog (?) Gin was witty and loyal and just great. I can’t even.
I am going to read the second book immediately, because I can’t let go of the characters and the world. I NEED MORE. Rachel Aaron, I can’t applaud you enough for creating this.