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The Legend of Eli Monpress

(The Legend of Eli Monpress #1-3)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  4,116 ratings  ·  288 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
Paperback, Omnibus, 1040 pages
Published February 24th 2012 by Orbit
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 ·  4,116 ratings  ·  288 reviews

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TS Chan
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rachel Aaron’s debut fantasy series, The Legend of Eli Monpress, was so addictively entertaining and fun that I blasted through all three books in the first omnibus in just four days.

It had been quite a while since I have so much fun reading a series, one which also keeps getting better as it progresses.
"Lady, if you are here to warn the king about Eli, then you’re a little late.”
“You mean he’s already stolen the artifact?”
“No. He’s stolen the king”

EEli Mo
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've finished the first book in the omnibus and is now moving onto the second. I must say I've not enjoyed reading a fantasy this much in some time. I love books that are fun and fantastical and I can definitely see why people compare it to my own Riyria books. Looking for more enjoyable nights reading the rest of this one. ...more
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Celeste by: TS Chan
Shelves: fantasy
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

The Legend of Eli Monpress is such a classic romp of a fantasy tale. The world building was solid, the magic system entertaining and fascinating. I love the idea of every single thing on earth, from rocks to grass, from rivers to wind, having a consciousness of its own.But what made the story for me was the cast of characters. There was a lot of character development here, especially in the form of the relationships betw
K.J. Charles
This is one review to cover a five-book series because I'm lazy.

I absolutely loved the first book of this, glommed it and the next two in short order. Cocky charming thief, grumpy swordsman, mysterious girl with mega fighting skills, all of them superpowered in one way or another. It's classic pre-grimdark fantasy, without too much edge--bad things happen but not in detail, we're never really in doubt that our heroes will survive and come out on top. Fun.

The world building is ingenious--and bui
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Legend of Eli Monpress is an omnibus containing Rachel Aaron’s first three novels: The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion, and The Spirit Eater. The fourth novel in the series, entitled The Spirit War, is due out in June, so this book is a great way to catch up if you’re unfamiliar with this light but entertaining fantasy series. I enjoyed these novels, back when they were first released within three months of each other in 2010, but the new omnibus edition is a nice improvement over the ind ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
An omnibus collection of the first three (of five, so far) books about Eli Monpress, wizard thief who's adorably headstrong & cocky, very, very good at what he does, and whose ambition is to have the largest bounty ever recorded. Fast-paced and fun; as the first book opens, Eli (with his companions Josef Liechten the swordsman, and a mysterious girl called Nico) is stealing a king (much easier than trying to get into the royal treasury). But as the series progresses, things get darker and more c ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had trouble rating this because its 3 books in 1, and I felt differently about each book. Book 1 was the weakest and i thought it was about a 3.5. I think book 3 was the strongest....I dunno... 4.2? During the first book ai felt like Spirit Thief was a rough draft for Nice Dragons because there was so much in common, down to a water spirit being an asshole. it was different enough for me to enjoy it though.

Longer review to come.
Pauline Ross
Whew. {Pauses to catch breath} Well, that was a roller-coaster ride and no mistake. Action heaped on action, the same frenetic scene fragmented into half a dozen different points of view, a bunch of wildly original characters, all with their own very different agendas, and a hapless king kidnapped by a wily thief while a usurper seizes his opportunity. Can the villain(s) be defeated and the rightful king restored to his throne? Oh dear, let me think about that for a moment... But just because a ...more
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a face paced, fun read. I loves the characters, and the magic system is very unique. I can't wait to read more Eli books! ...more
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it

The Legend of Eli Monpress is an omnibus that collects the first three novels of the epic fantasy series bearing the same title by Rachel Aaron. It includes the debut effort of The Spirit Thief , The Spirit Rebellion , and The Spirit Eater , all of which were published back in 2010 in consecutive months one right after the other.

I was quite eager with my anticipation of The Spirit Thief . For some reason, it seemed to me to be heavily promo
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humour
Originally read these as three separate editions, but looking forward to the omnibus with its much prettier cover!

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 ple
Jul 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-finished
I gave this novel an honest run (I only began reading The Spirit Thief, which is book one in this omnibus version of the trilogy), but I just could not immerse myself in the writing or characters. I made it to page 50 out of 310 pages (16%) before deciding to put my reading time elsewhere.

I think that this would be a great book for early teen or YA reading, as the plot set-up is kind of dished up all in one serving without any real development. At 16%, I would have hoped for more in the way of
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
The Spirit Thief
Rachel Aaron has a gift, you guys. It’s amazing that The Spirit Thief was her debut. For so many authors, The Spirit Thief would be the lofty peak of their career, but Aaron/Bach basically does amazing things every time.

There’s a lot that’s familiar in Eli Monpress, but it’s also something wholly original and Rachel Aaron. She excels at both world and character building, twisting archetypes into her own delightful mishmash of balls-to-the-wall awesome. At most points, I thought I
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Five stars from me is pretty rare. But this deserves it.

It would almost be enough to create one great character: Eli Monpress, thief, wizard, trickster, plausible con man and beloved of a goddess. But here we have at least two, because we also have Miranda Lyonette, dedicated and principled Spiritualist, who divides her time between trying to catch Monpress, reluctantly aiding him in a good cause, and rescuing oppressed spirits.

Because this is a setting where animism has been taken to its logica
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

Picking this one up on a whim, I was sold on it before I even cracked a page. As the greatest thief in the land, Eli Monpress is trying to increase the bounty on his head (for his own amusement, of course) so he decides to steal the king. He's also a wizard, introducing the reader to an awesome new magic system that involves manipulating the spirits of inanimate objects. But this story's not just about Eli. There are several other characters w
Steven Ackerley
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
No real spoilers in here, but beware, I didn't enjoy this book.

I feel a little bad giving this book two stars, because if I was in my low-teens I would have loved it. However, it just annoyed older, more cynical me. First up: Eli is a dick, a really unlikeable dick. That’s not always doom for a book, but it is when every other character is unlikeable also. Plus, each character appears to have one single motivation for the things they do, and the ways they act. They don't grow, the don't change,
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fantasy Review Barn

Obviously this is a collection of three books, but I can honestly say I had never heard of them before the collection was announced. It is a real shame, I sure would like to have enjoyed these earlier.

The first book is the weakest by far. It sets up the series nicely, gives us the facts of the world(and our three lead characters), and is a quick read. But it reads like a Saturday morning cartoon and has no depth. Main lead Eli is cocky, he runs with the greatest swordsman arou
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a review for this book as well as books 4 and 5 in the series, The Spirit War and Spirit's End. The series starts off pretty generically, and if I'd only had the first book, rather than 1 - 3 in an omnibus edition, I don't know that I'd have bothered to look for the second. That said, the series develops well, and in fact some of the presumably ancillary initial stock characters turn out to be of great significance and interest as the series continues. Not the best fantasy I've read rece ...more
The Flooze
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Spirit Thief"

This debut of Eli Monpress is a thrilling, engaging tale that never lets up.

We're not solely in Eli's head the whole time, making the book an ensemble effort that allows us deeper insights into the world at large. It also grants a greater connection to all the characters involved, rather than relegating anyone to simple sidekick status. That's especially handy when it comes to understanding the magic system. We experience the craft from more than one point of view, build
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The is one of the best series I've read in years. I've reviewed the other three books so first I'll say this is an amazing series that everyone should read. Here are my reviews of the first three books in the series (what you get in this wonderful omnibus.)

The Spirit Thief

Magic, mystery, and a little bit of good old thievery. All in all Rachel Aaron’s first book in her The Legend of Eli Monpress series is a truly fantastic book.

I’m a little embarrassed to say I didn’t initially recognize this bo
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I love this author's science fiction novels under the name Rachel Bach, so I decided to try her fantasy novels. I am not disappointed! She has such original ideas and captivating characters! I love Eli and Miranda! I've been reading the whole series back to back and haven't tired of it a single bit. Highly recommend! ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Woah! This took me a while but it was worth it :)
I'm gonna quickly give my opinion on each book and then I'll just review this as a whole for reasons ^^
The Spirit Thief : This was a slow start for me. But a charming one. The magic system and characters made it worth it. The plot was pretty straightforward but the final scene really worked for me. Overall a pretty good start!
The Spirit Rebellion : I was a bit worried that this book would be a perfect repeat of the first one. But it took a turn an
Aly (Fantasy Books Closer Looks)
"Only a stupid man doesn't respect his opponent's strengths, and if there's one thing Eli is good at, it's never showing up when you want him and always showing up when you don't."

I stumbled upon this omnibus of the first three books in Rachel Aaron's series (consisting of "The Spirit Thief", "The Spirit Rebellion" and "The Spirit Eater") a while ago at my local used book store, and it sounded like something that would be right up my alley so I decided to pick it up! The story centers around the
Text Addict
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This wasn't the book I went to the bookstore for, but it was one of the three I allowed myself to buy this month. (Sure, it's three volumes in one, but it counts as one purchase!)

And I bought it because I'd never before read a book in which the first scene features a protagonist sweet-talking a door. I just had to read the whole thing. Also, the cover art is perfect - how could you NOT like a book with that face on it?

But I digress. The titular Eli Monpress, sweet-talker of doors, rocks, and en
Denae Christine
Reader thoughts: I haven't read books that were so addicting since I first read Harry Potter. Even the Percy Jackson books and Artemis Fowl books, while good, did not distract me so much from school and sleep. Maybe because I wasn't trying to read them while studying for finals. But, still.

I really feel like I cannot get enough Eli Monpress!! I wish there were more scenes from his pov in the books. He's my absolute favorite character.

EDIT: Two weeks after I finished it the first time, I have alr
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This series is sooo good!
The worldbuilding was excellent, there are layers upon layers and everyone answers to another higher power, so when you think you've got it figured out - bam. No.
The writing is very easy to read and almost whimsical, not taking itself too seriously. It really got across Eli's rambunctious nature and Miranda's futile, comical attempts at trying to catch him.
There is a nice underlying theme of agency that's present which is always cool to see,
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I've read the first book in the series some time ago because of Micheal Sullivan's review:) It was compared to Riyria and that's why I gave it a chance.
Well it's nowhere near as great as Riyria but it's fast and enjoyable read and I can see some similarities. Definitely a good way to spend my evenings. Good idea and fast-paced action so it's never boring. And I liked the characters.
I have one major complaint however. Eli and his friends get away from every trouble too easy. They sometimes get
Evan Oliver
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
So Fun.
I picked this book up in the middle of a reading slump, and let me tell you, it pulled me right out.
It's fun. It's so much fun. Sometimes, I don't want to read about another gritty dark hero, or a dark and terrible world, I want to spend time with fun characters. I want to walk with them through a fun world that makes me smile and laugh.
I want to meet terrible characters who reap their just rewards, I want to watch the good guys destroy them with courage and cunning plans.
That's what th
Dec 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I bought this omnibus after hearing that it was similar to Michael J. Sullivan's Ryria series. Wow that was a mistake. It has all of the action of Ryria but it's missing all of the great characters and relationships. After reading 1000 pages of Eli Monpress and his crew I am left feeling so unfulfilled.

Great action
Great fights
No character development
No character relationships

It's an airplane read, a beach read and if that's what you want then I think you will enjoy it.
Myself...I enjoyed it but i
Ashley Jones
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved these books. It took me about 50 pages to really get into it, but after that I was always excited to get back. I love an author that can create a world, and set rules within that world that actually make sense and are followed throughout the story. Miranda Lyonette is definitely a heroine I can get behind. While she strives to do her work, and follow the rules, she won't stand for injustice. She's not perfect, but that makes her all the better. The thought of a world made up of spirits thr ...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Aaron - The Legend of Eli Monpress 81 67 Jun 07, 2019 05:15PM  

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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

Other books in the series

The Legend of Eli Monpress (5 books)
  • The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1)
  • 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)

News & Interviews

  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
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“Sometimes the price of doing the right thing is higher than we realize when we do it.” 9 likes
“Why are you still complaining?” Miranda said. “It didn’t help yesterday; it didn’t help two weeks ago. What makes you think it’ll help now?” 8 likes
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