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.
After loving book 1 of this series I have no idea why it took me so long to get to this one. Book 2 picks up pretty directly after the end of book 1, following the misadventures of the thieving band of Eli Monpress, Josef, and Nico while at the same time following their frenemy Miranda the Spiritualist and her ghosthound Gin.
“No worries,” Eli said. “I’m confident in my confidence.”
I can confidently say that Rachel Aaron improved on book 1 in every way. Everything from character moments to action to worldbuilding was so well done and I was thoroughly impressed by that.
I especially loved the development of our main trio Eli, Josef, and Nico. Each of them had significant character moments that helped the reader understand and care for them more. Josef especially had a significant moment in this story that changed the trajectory of his story quite a bit in the best way possible. Not only that, but the relationships between them were expanded upon and felt deeper and more impactful. Josef and Eli having their bromance, Josef constantly being annoyed at Eli and Eli smiling all the while. Josef and Nico continue to be endearing as well. Josef being Nico’s protector and Nico being much stronger than she appears to be.
“He glared at Eli as he walked away. “Don’t get yourself killed, idiot.”
The villain in this one was also more sinister and easy to hate. I found myself wishing some really bad things be done to Duke Edward as he abused his power over others in so many ways. Hern was a nice side villain who I really didn’t like one bit either.
One of the things that I appreciated most about this book was the subtle shift to a darker tone. Book 1 was very whimsical, fun and didn’t take itself too seriously. However, the author was able to use some worldbuilding and character moments in this one to really increase the stakes and shift to a somewhat more dark tone for the series as a whole, all while not completely losing the overall hopeful and fun tone of the story.
“The life of principle is never convenient”
All that being said, I really loved this entry in The Legend of Eli Monpress! The Spirit Rebellion managed to bring what was great about book 1 back to the table and improve upon it in every way, adding important elements to the story that made the characters more compelling and increased my investment in the story. I’m already 9 chapters into book 3, The Spirit Eater!