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The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  6,661 Ratings  ·  536 Reviews
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 int
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Orbit (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 25, 2011 Felicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So I'm giving this four stars because I have read all three books in the series and so I'm rating the series overall as such this far. The second and third books are actually better than this first one. A REALLY REALLY fun series that fantasy fans will enjoy if they like their entertainment fluffy and light, and the books get better and better, so I would definitely encourage you to check it out!

This is a familiar fantasy-renaissance world, but where everything has a "spirit", water and air and
Oct 14, 2014 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series definitely has a strong start. It is a rapid paced, easy, and really fun read. The world building and magic system are both intriguing, and though there are many common tropes present in the story, it is told with a flair that makes it a distinctive read. I would definitely recommend this series to fans of the fantasy genre.
Aug 27, 2015 Wastrel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who would like David Eddings if he weren't so damn deep and literary.
(also for: people who are secretly five)

This is a fantasy novel in which some fantasy-novel-things happen, mostly in the logical order. The author is mostly not illiterate (though there are a few baffling word choices, and seemingly no knowledge of elementary physics or anatomy). Only some of the characters are insufferable. Imagine a fantasy novel that has been adapted as a cartoon for very young children. Or imagine someone writing Mary Sue fanfics about a fantasy setting they read once, in wh
Wendy Darling
Cool magic and unbelievably funny narrative voice. I loved Rachel Aaron's Paradox scifi series (written as Rachel Bach), but after reading this, it's official: I'll read anything she writes! Eli Monpress is a charmer for sure.

Review to come.
Final rating: 4/5 stars
Final rating - for the whole series: 4.5/5 stars

“First rule of thievery,' Eli said, grinning, 'only run if you're not coming back.' (...)
'First rule of thievery, never use the same entrance twice.' Miranda rolled her eyes. 'How many 'first rules' of thievery do you have?'
'When one mistake can mean your head on a pike, every rule's a first rule,' Eli said cheerfully.”

I just read whole series in 5 days and I want to make one review to encompass all 5 books in the ser
Denae Christine
Wow. So, I haven't had that much fun with a new book since Witches Incorporated, last year.
(How I explain this series.) Everything has a spirit, every rock, tree, cat, river. Wizards are the ones who can talk to the spirits. Some wizards are enslavers and force the spirits to do their bidding. Other wizards are spiritualists who take spirits as friends/servants and work with them in mutual relationship.
Then there's Eli, who's neither. He just cons the spirits into doing what he wants, like letti
Dec 31, 2012 AnonymousBookCritics rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of anime, cocky male leads
2.5 stars
Originally reviewed: 7/1/2012

Unfortunately, for how excited I was about that opening line, how enjoyable it was to see Eli talk to a door and how quirky and fun the whole scene felt, that was as far as it went. It felt to me that all of the effort of catching the reader’s eye was put into that first chapter and the rest sort of paled in comparison. We never really get to know any of the characters. We’re given the impression there’s a story behind Miranda and her ghosthound, Gin. But th
Jacob Proffitt
Feb 03, 2012 Jacob Proffitt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
Ugh. It's one thing to write for a younger audience. It's another to write for people you clearly think are idiots. I couldn't find a single character with anything resembling realistic motivations or reactions. The heroes feel like they were written by an 8 year-old asking "wouldn't it be cool if". Everyone else feels like they were written by an 8 year-old asking "who wouldn't want that?" In other words, the world is populated by meanie-heads and egotists with a supporting cast of henchmen and ...more
May 10, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, fantasy
The magic in this book is really interesting - everything (even inanimate objects) has a spirit and can communicate. I especially loved how Eli works with the things around him. I'm definitely interested in continuing on with the series.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
May 26, 2013 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2013
Eli Monpress has a plan. It's an exciting, ambitious plan that will see yet another kingdom commit money to the already-hefty bounty on his head, making him not just a great thief, but the Greatest. He has plenty of reasons to expect success, too. Eli is a magician, and a charming one at that: rather than make a contract of service between himself and the spirits that are found in all things as the other wizards do, he charms and flatters them until they're falling over themselves to help him. H ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Rachel Aaron's The Legend of Eli Monpress is a series that has repeatedly popped up on my recommendations lists in the past; I swear every few weeks I'll be browsing through suggestions on my online book stores or Goodreads pages as usual and this blue cover will show up, with the man's face on it flashing his sly little smile at me. It's like he's saying, "READ ME! Come on, you know you wanna!"

Obviously, my curiosity gotten the better of me, or more accurately, World Without End's Women of Genr
Oct 28, 2010 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This debut novel, the first of three books to be published in a matter of months, is a sparky introduction to what promises to be an entertaining series. Though it is nothing particularly new, it is engaging and fun, and will bring a smile to many a reader.

What is the winner for me here is the tale’s engaging tone. It’s light, fun and not particularly deep nor dark. It plays with the genre in a style that was reminiscent to me of early David Eddings. For many, that’ll be recommendation enough.

Feb 15, 2013 Soo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
There is a spirit in everything in the world and only a handful of people have the ability to communicate with them. It's the strength of the person's spirit that defines the power they have and their control that maintains how much they can do with it. In this world, there is a man who desires to be the best thief of all time and he does most of his work with carefree chitchat with the spirits that live in everything. Eli Monpress won't let a small thing like plans falling apart to keep him fro ...more
Shari Kay
Mar 31, 2016 Shari Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

I've liked this author's work in Nice Dragons Finish Last and Fortune's Pawn and I was in the mood for Y.A. I thought I'd give this one a try.

It was good. I think this was Aaron's debut novel, and you can tell that it is at times. Pacing was off abit, especially during the climax in the throne room. I mean, why are they just standing there letting the villain expound about his...villainy? And after the protagonists let him fulfill his goals without even trying to stop him...whe
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide)
Mar 28, 2016 Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide) by: Nikki
Initial Impressions 9/23/15: This was really cute! A bit more cutesy than I expected, I think, but a fun read overall! I think it read a bit younger than adult so I was a bit thrown by that but the characters were SO enjoyable, I loved learning about this world, and I kind of just want to binge the rest of the series now...
I think it could have had a bit more world building but I suspect that's something that we'll delve into quite a bit more in subsequent books. I'm definitely curious to know
I have had this book to read for quite sometime. This was a fun and light fantasy adventure read but left me feeling like something was missing. There are five books total in this series.

I listened to this on audiobook. It was narrated by Luke Daniels, who also narrates The Iron Druid Chronicles. He does a great job narrating these light-hearted books. But honestly it was a bit distracting because I kept thinking about the characters from the Iron Druid Chronicles, the voices he uses for charact
Sep 08, 2016 Enzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun ride this one turned out to be. The fun started from the first pages. You are reading about Eli Monpress but until you see another "Wizard" struggle with what he does you understand what has happened before and just how good a thief he is. All the time laughing at a thief who simply will not play his accustomed role.
This book quickly introduces a number of great characters on both sides of the aisle. Hmm maybe aisle is the wrong way of putting it. At times it feels like Monpress and h
Sep 16, 2010 Mihir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a complete surprise and a complete winner for me. Rachel Aaron has written a very engaging story which can be best described as "Terry Brooks Meets Scott Lynch".

The story line begins with a thief who's always looking for ways to increase the bounty on his head. Eli Monpress and his gang are the main protagonists, with almost everyone behind them for various reasons. This book is a refreshing change from the Gritty wave that fantasy seems to riding right now and is a nice throwba
Sep 01, 2015 Noelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. A very fun Princess Bride-esque action adventure heist romp with lots of quips! And spirits! And magic! A TALKING GHOST HOUND!! And a swordsman sidekick that's pretty much a 20-something Bronn! Not a lot of background info on the characters yet but they all show lots of promise and that's what the sequels are for I'm pretty sure.
Sep 30, 2010 Stefan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In the opening scene of The Spirit Thief, Rachel Aaron’s charming debut novel, the notorious thief Eli Monpress is trying to escape from the royal dungeon of Mellinor. Since he’s not just a thief but also a wizard, he does this by quite literally trying to charm the dungeon’s door into opening: not by casting a spell on it, but rather by persuading, cajoling and wheedling it into letting him through, explaining that it really would be much better off without those annoying nails keeping it toget ...more
3,5/5 stars
This took me far, far longer than the length justifies, but I guess I wasn't in the right mood. Sometimes it's just like that, I guess.
Also... I was a bit disappointed. So I guess 3,5 stars is not really a bad rating by any means and to me, the around 3 can mean two things.
Either the book had some good ideas and some pleasant stuff, but some mistakes made me unable to give more, or (like here), something was kind of missing.

The story was about Eli Monpress, a master thief, with tw
Sep 12, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing
Awesome! 5 books in this series, and if book one is any indication it's going to be great!

Full review when I've finished the series.


Now THAT was a fun story!

My motivation for reading is simple. I read books to be entertained, and when I've finished reading them I want to feel happy. That's it. Really.

Reading the five books of Eli Monpress satisfied both requirements more simply than any other books I've read. Some books try to be so enlightening they ruin the entertaining part. Others ar
Dec 12, 2010 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Why I read it: kept seeing it reviewed all over
The Plot: At first glance this sounds like a lot of other books I've read. A thief who is so good that he can do anything and get out of any scrape? It sounded a bit like The Thief (The Queen's Thief, Book 1) or The Lies of Locke Lamora. I mean, in The Thief, we start out in pretty much exactly the same place--with our hero locked up figuring out how to escape. But there's an interesting magic system here that makes it different. Every single thing
the thing that drew my attention to The Spirit Thief was the tagline: What he gets away with is criminal. Nothing like a clever tagline to get my curiosity going! :) And then, I was definitely hooked by the back cover summary. A thief who stole a king? Ridiculous yet genius.

It has been so long (okay, since Blameless and Bewitched & Betrayed) since I've found a new fantasy series - and it has been never since I found one that releases the first 3 in the series in monthly succession! Not sure
Jun 12, 2012 Jason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit this one was quite a disappointment. As a huge fan of Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards series, I was looking forward to another Renaissance-analog fantasy with a lovable and capable thief as a main character. Alas, The Spirit Thief fell short on many accounts.

All of the characters seemed very flat. Their motivations were weak at best, and at worst, completely non-existent. I never had any idea why anyone was doing anything. The world itself seemed to have no back-story, either. Sure, I
Oct 08, 2010 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humour
An EXCELLENT fantasy debut. I tore through this book in two nights, even while sick, and really couldn't put the book down once I'd gotten halfway.

The plot is, frankly, pretty formulaic - I found myself musing at several points that the author had clearly watched a lot of Trigun and had a thing for "mysterious gunslinger/swordsman face-offs," in addition to including plenty of standard fantasy elements like the Band of Misfits Causing Mischief and the various escalating Boss Fights - and certain
Aug 22, 2010 Samantha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book begins on a promising whimsical note, involving a conversation with a door. That being said, the book that follows largely fails to deliver on the initial promise, although there are good and even great moments here and there.

This is a spirited (see what I did there?), light-hearted adventure romp, set in a world where all things have "spirits", and magic involves getting these spirits to do your bidding - either by inviting them to voluntarily serve you, as the "Spiritualists" do, or
Apr 26, 2012 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I honestly wasn't expecting it to be all that good, especially after the first couple pages and I got an idea of what POV characters were going to be dragging me around all day.

That said, the first pages also intrigued me--sweet-talking a door. Really interesting concept, which quickly developed into an awesome and mostly original magic system of spirits and different ways of manipulating them. :) This was probably the greatest reason of why I liked this book, because it was flat-out fresh and
Uhhh, I like this one. A lot.

I loved that the story is a fun romp of a thief stealing a King and nothing works out the way it should - until it does in a way. XD I had a lot of fun reading the story and the magical system? Wow. Love it. Everything has a soul/spirit and is able to talk back to you (and you can hear it if you are able to). That's so awesome. I love that Eli is different to others and that he is just able to talk to the spirits and convince/charm them to do what he wants from them.
4.5 stars. Eli, The (Spirit Thief)Wizard, Joseph possessor of the Heart of War's Magic Sword, Miranda the Mystic Spiritualist and her Ghost Dog, Niko a Demon Seed who has not become a demon yet, The White Lady and many other creative characters make up this enchanting mystical story.

Eli is a wizard who can borrow the spirit of any thing on earth except people. He is quite charming and has the essence of a bright light that makes him irresistible to all things, you could even say they are enamor
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Hello, my name is Rachel Aaron, and I write the Heartstriker books, a new Urban Fantasy series about misfit dragons, starting with Nice Dragons Finish Last. I also wrote The Legend of Eli Monpress fantasy series for Orbit Books about a wizard thief and the poor bastards who have to try and stop him. PLUS I'm also the author of the new, rolicking fun Science Fiction romance Fortune's Pawn under the ...more
More about Rachel Aaron...

Other Books in the Series

The Legend of Eli Monpress (5 books)
  • The Spirit Rebellion (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #2)
  • The Spirit Eater (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #3)
  • The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #4)
  • Spirit's End (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #5)

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“First rule of thievery,' Eli said, grinning, 'only run if you're not coming back.' (...) 'First rule of thievery, never use the same entrance twice.' Miranda rolled her eyes. 'How many 'first rules' of thievery do you have?' 'When one mistake can mean your head on a pike, every rule's a first rule,' Eli said cheerfully.” 18 likes
“How did you get in here?' (...) 'How I got here isn't important, because I could do it twenty times again, each time a different way.” 11 likes
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