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.
“Hello, Lord Whoever-You-Are. I don’t know if you’ve heard of me, but I’m Eli Monpress, the greatest thief in the world.”
Fascinating Magic System✔
Fast Paced, Engaging Plot✔
Welcome to the world of Eli Monpress.
The series’ titular character Eli Monpress is a snarky, witty thief who’s dream is to become the most famous thief of all time by accruing a bounty of 1 million gold pieces. He is the good side of chaos who just loves heists and thievery, but will do what is right when people are in danger. It was really easy for me to root for this charmingly smug thief and the rest of his crew.
The tone of this story reminded me a lot of how I felt when reading Riyria Revelations by Michael J Sullivan. A big part of that was one of Eli’s crew Josef. Josef is a master swordsman with an endearing grumpy and sometimes pessimistic nature. I thought of him as a combination of Royce and Hadrian because of that and now I can’t get that out of my head. Ultimately though the biggest thing that reminded me of Riyria is that sense that everything will be alright in the end. That through all the bad things that happen and the chaos that ensues, good will win out. I loved that about this book.
I also really enjoyed the introduction of Josef’s brother-sister like relationship with the demonseed Nico and I am looking forward to seeing more of their relationship. I am also very curious to see where Nico’s own development will go as we see some of who she is and what she can do towards the middle/end of this entry.
Miranda the Spiritualist is a major part of this story and is often the lense through which we get a lot of the worldbuilding. While the world of this series is somewhat simple, I didn’t see that as a negative. Rather, the straight forward, familiar nature of this world fit this story perfectly as it allowed the other aspects to shine all the brighter, Miranda being one of them. Miranda is a by the book Spiritualist who rides on the back of a giant Ghosthound named Gin. They have been sent on a mission to apprehend Eli Monpress in order to protect a precious and dangerous magical artifact. Miranda shows us how incredible a Master Spiritualist can be as she slowly realizes that the “simple” task she was assigned is more difficult than she thought as unexpected, life threatening trouble erupts in the heart of Mellinor. Gin is also a fantastic animal companion and I loved seeing their close relationship with each other.
The plot in this one was fast paced and so much fun! There were a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and plenty of action. I really enjoyed following both Eli and Miranda’s third person POV for the majority of the story, while also getting some other characters’ perspectives here and there. Renaud was a solid, if somewhat tropey villain who was easy to dislike and root against.
“Lady,” the Master of Security said, shaking his head, “if you’re here to warn the king about Eli, then you’re a little late.”
Miranda scowled. “You mean he’s already stolen the artifact?”
“No.” The Master of Security sighed. “He’s stolen the king.”
I had a fantastic time with the magic system in this one! Without getting much into it, in this world every typical inanimate object or part of nature has a spirit. Each spirit has its own personality and if you are a magic user in this world you are able to interact with these spirits in order to use and or change their natural properties. I was fascinated by the creative ways that the author used this magic system. The action scenes were amplified by it as opposing wizards have different levels of ability and spirits to call on to help them. Oh also, there are “awakened” magical swords! I’ll let you figure out what that means when you inevitably read this series.
I loved this book! It is not often, especially recently, that I am so engaged that I want to put down everything else and solely focus on a single book, but this author has achieved that. Rachel Aaron has created a relentlessly light hearted, action packed, high stakes story that kept me intrigued and engaged throughout. I am super excited to continue and see where this story will go and if things continue to go well, to add this book to my favorites shelf.