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The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress #4)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  4,563 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
Eli Monpress is vain. He's cocky. And he's a thief.

All Eli Monpress wanted was the biggest bounty in the world. He never meant to have obligations, or friends, but master swordsman Josef Leichten and Nico, the daughter of the dead mountain, have saved Eli's life too many times to be called anything else. But, when a friend upsets your plans and ruins all your hard work, wh
Paperback, 544 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Soooo I seriously love this series. I just love it to death, and this book doesn't disappoint. We learn a TON about Josef, and get a lot of world-building context as the author builds towards the fifth (and final) book, released this fall. CAN IT BE NOW PLEASE?!

The tone of this one is a bit more serious than the previous ones, but it is definitely due, as the glibness of characters is stripped back to reveal WHY they're so glib, and what they're really hiding. And the ending...OMG THE ENDING I
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, series
This series started out as a fun, light, quirky fantasy with a cast of witty and lovable characters, but has subsequently grown with each book into one of my favourite series. All the ingredients for a good book are there: great writing, characters you can't help but love, lots of laugh out loud moments, clever and believable scenario resolution, quick pace and a detailed back story that cracks open at unpredictable moments to surprise the reader. But the thing I love most is that Rachel Aaron s ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It occurs to me that I committed a grave injustice in my review of The Legend of Eli Monpress, the omnibus collection of the first three Eli Monpress novels -- I mentioned Eli himself and his companions Josef and Nico, but I completely neglected to name Spiritualist Miranda Lyonette, his would-be nemesis and sometimes reluctant ally. (And all of the spirits she has helping her, not least of whom is the spirit-hound Gin.)

Anyhoo, so after the relatively world-shaking events at the end of the previ
Zel Polev
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney Richards
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. Word. There are hardly words to describe how I feel right now, but I'll give it a go.

At first, I was disappointed with Spirit War. I enjoyed seeing a lot of things from Josef's perspective, but there wasn't enough Eli to suit me. But the end-- oh the end!! Honestly, the last third of the book was an emotional roller coaster, and there aren't enough words on earth to explain how the ending made me feel. It's nice to see things finally all coming together, despite the dark(er) turn the nov
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Full Review Over At Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: It’s always harder to review series books, the further you get into the series. For one, most of the plot points become spoilers for previous books, secondly it becomes a bit harder to keep repeating why you like this world or the over all series and lastly the highs of the previous volumes keep raising the bar of expectation to its zenith. So in spite of all the afore mentioned reasons, the Spirit War, book four in the Legend Of Eli
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been ages since a book made me cry. Well done. I like this series more and more, there's character development, the story is really good and the the hints about the surprises to come are perfectly placed. The only problem is Miranda, whose character is doing the exact opposite of development. :/
She's so annoying sometimes that I rooted for Sara and the "bad guys" at some cases. She doesn't think just follows and sometimes jumps in to do something without really thinking it through or caring
First posted here

With truly horrible covers and very little publicity, the first three books of Aaron's series flew completely under my radar for a long time. It wasn't until they were put together in an omnibus, The Legend of Eli Monpress, that I discovered this very fun series. Eli Monpress is the greatest thief in the world, and his ultimate goal is to get enough notoriety to have the largest bounty ever placed on his head. He is doing so in a world were every thing has a spirit, with some pe
Nayan Patel
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Overall: 6* (well-I have rated the previous ones in the series as 5*)

This is undoubtedly the best book in the series so far and I really love the way Rachel Aaron has woven the story here.

While Eli wants nothing more than an increased bounty on his head, Josef is forced to return to his homeland and take up his title as the Prince of Osera and fulfill his duty to provide the rightful heir to the kingdom.

The book is written from multiple PoVs and while the last one revolved around Nico, I was def
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
There is no way I can be objective about this book because I've been waiting not-so-patiently for it for ages. And I have to say, it did not disappoint, which is a big thing, given how high my expectations had built.

I loved it to bits. There were so many moments where I went GLEEEEEEE! and possibly hugged the book. There is so much new information and a lot of interesting backstory and the last third of the book is non stop. The only thing wrong was that the book ended. How cruel to make us wai
Niki Hawkes  - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

I want to start out by sharing the overview for the first book:

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.
I really like this series. It's more action than anything else, generally light and an easy read, but with touches of thoughtfulness that add enough depth to keep it interesting. And I like the way pieces of the big picture keep being gradually revealed, it definitely has kept me very curious while each individual book has had its own interesting story as well.

This one had a good twist with Josef's past. I liked how he responded to his mom and the situation on the island. And I really felt for p
Sometimes reading can be addicting. And I don't mean that in a cute, instagramy, way. I mean that feeling when you just can't stop reading. Not because you enjoy it but everything on paper is better than real life.

I'm a firm believer in anything that bring people joy has the power to make people an addict. I was. To reading. Even in the darkest days of my depression I read. To try, to get myself to feel anything. And I couldn't stop. I clung to reading as if that was the only thing keeping me sa
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Man, at this point I am REALLY starting to realize how much I need romance in my books. I was doing okay until this book, but now that a potential ship has been introduced with no kissing, I’m realizing how parched I am for kissing. Lack of ships aside, The Spirit War is the best Monpress book yet. It’s basically the Two Towers of Eli Monpress.

The Spirit War is mostly Josef’s book, but Eli also gets a fuckton of character development and back story. From a character perspective, things are getti
Feb 11, 2017 added it
I give up. Not going to rate this book, because technically I didn't finish, but I also didn't hate it. This series is just really not that interesting. The characters are fun, the magic system is interesting, it's just... not an interesting story and as books get longer and longer, I can't handle spending so much time when nothing really worthy of mention ever happens.

With a bit of a less... uninspired story I would have loved this. Being in a bit of a rut is not helping any of it either. I wa
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eli's backstory - finally! I haven't often read a story where it's the man who's the victim in a controlling, abusive relationship, and when the abuser is a goddess (or something like), what can you do? Eli's bravery and cunning in winning his freedom made my heart ache.

Which is probably what soured me on Miranda in this book. She came across as a shrill fishwife. She's become arrogant and so cocksure that she knows what a wastrel Eli is that she becomes almost unlikeable. One of my fave authors
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: practical-magic
Between 3.5 and 4 stars. Have to admit some of the shine is coming off the series (reading so many of the books in a row really reveals some formulaic plotting) BUT still a rollicking adventure and I mean non-stop adventure. It's hard to catch your breath with all the stuff going on for the poor heroes. The books have gone as follows: an intro to all characters, a focus on Miranda, a focus on Nico and a focus on Josef so the character that gives the series its moniker is perhaps the one the read ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I found out there were more books in this series. I loved the first book so much I actually purchased 2 and 3 since the library didn't carry them, and that's rare for me. It's been a few years and my interests have definitely changed, so I was worried I wouldn't like this. No need to worry though, it was excellent. The characters are as strong and interesting as ever, the mystery of what the spirits are and how they work continues, and large scale war is on the horizon. I usually don ...more
Thomas Taylor
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Rachel Aaron's Spirit books are what Locke Lamora wishes his sequels could have become. While Locke's sequels have gotten increasingly worse, the Eli Monpress books seem to only be getting better with each installment.

Spirit War fills a lot of backstory and information into Eli's world and all the characters around him. You learn a lot about Eli, Nico, Josef, and even Eli's parents.

The book culminates in some rampant action after starting off a little
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow, marriage, death, intrigue, war! A whole load of those little plots that have been hinted at in the previous books are brought together in a face paced page turner, and the cliff hanger!!! Well I'm heading straight for the concluding part of this series! Brilliant!
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. I read the second half of this book all in one sitting because it was so engaging and I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Battle! Intrigue! More good fun, all with Eli at the center...
Jan 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fifantasy
3.5 stars. Much more serious than the previous ones in the series. Definitely progressed the story, though - will be interesting to see what happens in the last book.
Becca C
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first half of this book was kind of a mess.

The second half of this book reminded me why I kept reading this series after the first one. It wasn't a 5-star incredible redemption, but it went back to the roots of what made this an interesting setting.

Two stars for the first half and four stars for the second half averages to three stars, I guess. I will be continuing this series after this, however. I have to finish it now, with the way this one ended. One thing to note is that I think the beg
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this series really steps up its game starting with this book. A lot. We're finally getting into serious worldbuilding and backstories and it's not just "Eli runs around stealing things and Miranda fights enslavers". The "bad guys" are nuanced and I really liked Josef's character development and a better explanation of Benehime and what's going on in the world overall and what Eli's deal is.

Basically, so many things are coming together and I feel like Rachel Aaron's writing got notice
Joshua Marx
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Great book. I like that we are really getting into the backstory of all the characters to really learn who they are and their motivations; it actually makes the first book better to know who they are. Not as fun or light-hearted as the other books, but it makes up for that with how well the plot as developed. I also have to admit that I liked that Miranda was not as prevalent in this book.
Lee Wagner
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best out of the series yet. A book mostly about Josef is amazing. That he's secretly a Prince with an entire country that hates him is great. Still unsure about Nick and his relationship. Is he a father figure or more. Too bad about Eli but I think he'll be alright. I mean he is the greatest their in the world
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 stars. Josef headlines in this one and it just gets more and more cray!
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time that I’ve read the summary on Goodreads, and goodness is it misleading. Yes, Eli Monpress is both charming and a thief (the greatest thief, in fact), but the depth of this story is certainly not encapsulated within this summary, so take it with a grain of salt.

This is a re-read for me. I first read this book in 2015, as a means of getting out of a five-year book slump (as an important note, this is an omnibus edition, including the first three books in the series: The Spir
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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 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)
  • Spirit's End (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #5)

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“You can't have a life worth living when you're constantly worrying about things you cannot fight or change.” 2 likes
“She was still gawking when she heard Gin take a hissing breath. A second later, the floor began to vibrate under her boots, and then it started to lift. Miranda gasped and flung out her arms for balance, but it was Slorn who caught her hand and kept her from falling. The bear-headed man held her eyes just long enough for a small, subtle wink before letting her go as the stone platform under their feet rose smoothly into the glowing tunnel.” 1 likes
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