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Eli Monpress is clever, he's determined, and he's in way over his head.

First rule of thievery: don't be a hero. When Eli broke the rules and saved the Council Kingdoms, he thought he knew the price, but resuming his place as the Shepherdess's favorite isn't as simple as bowing his head. Now that she has her darling back, Benehime is setting in motion a plan that could destroy everything she was created to protect, and even Eli's charm might not be enough to stop her. But Eli Monpress always has a plan, and with disaster rapidly approaching, he's pulling in every favor he can think of to make it work, including the grudging help of the Spirit Court's new Rector, Miranda Lyonette.

But with the world in panic, the demon stirring, and the Lord of Storms back on the hunt, it's going to take more than luck and charm to pull Eli through this time. He's going to have to break a few more rules and work with some old enemies if he's going to survive.

560 pages, Paperback

First published November 20, 2012

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About the author

Rachel Aaron

27 books2,645 followers
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 name Rachel Bach.

I was born in Atlanta, but I currently live a lovely, nerdy, bookish life in Denver, CO with my lightspeed son, perpetually understanding husband, and far too many plants. Besides my own books, the internet knows me best for writing very fast. The best way to get to know me is probably to read my blog or follow me on Twitter.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 319 reviews
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
843 reviews1,684 followers
August 15, 2019
A befitting end to a story which started as a light and humorous read turned darker with every new edition. A great series with an interesting magic system.
Profile Image for TS Chan.
691 reviews851 followers
June 17, 2021
Easily one of the most addictive and fun fantasy series I’ve read in recent memory, The Legend of Eli Monpress concluded most satisfactorily in Spirit's End, and now occupies my list of favourites.

Then I realised that the damn wily and charming thief has also stolen something precious from me. There is an empty space where my heart used to be as I bid goodbye to my favourite thief. Can I pledge a huge bounty to capture him alive, please?

This final volume started with a Prologue from young Eli’s perspective and what made him decide to become the world's greatest thief with the highest bounty ever on his head. The last missing piece of his backstory leading into the scene I've been dying for following the cliffhanger in the previous book.

The series is indeed Eli’s story and the overarching central plot belongs to him in spite of the cast of main characters who play significant roles and have more than their fair share of the narrative. In fact, the only grouse I have about this series is what I deem as an insufficient amount of airtime from Eli himself; every time he appears, the scene somehow brightens and I am drawn further into the story. More often than not, he is more than willing and contented to take a backseat to his companions, Josef and Nico, in the heroics and heavy-lifting department. Even Miranda had more occasions to shine with her magical prowess. However, it is the sheer audacity of Eli’s plans and ideas that no other person can even begin to imagine nor have the guts (or perhaps idiocy) for that the world ultimately hinges its survival on. This is also not to say he did not place himself in danger while the rest carried out his audacious plans.

Coming from the Heartstrikers series, I noticed that Rachel Aaron has a knack of starting a tale on a relatively light footing and then progressively building upon the story, the world and the characters to end with an epic flourish where the entire world is imperiled. Straight off the bat from the ending of The Spirit War, things are getting seriously wrong. Spirits are panicking all over the world with rivers flooding the cities and towns, and trees and forests ripping themselves apart causing earthquakes and unintentionally killing humans nearby.

The creation myth behind the world and all the answers to the questions and mysteries arising from past books are revealed and tied together in this instalment and the underlying tone of the story becomes quite grim in dealing with demons and darkness, hunger and madness. The climax of this finale is long with loads of action and full-blown displays of power, which I appreciated given the end-of-the-world magnitude of the stakes at hand.

Another aspect of this series which I really liked was the lack of romance, or rather the absence of a forced or hate-to-love romance. It is so easy for the story to end up with Eli and Miranda falling in love, an occurrence which I was initially worried about. That’s not to say that there is no love in the narrative. There is the love between Josef and Nico, which in my view transcends romantic love. There is the love between unlikely friends although Eli and Josef will never admit it openly. Then there is the love and loyalty between a Spiritualist and his or her spirits to whom they are inextricably bound by oaths of power and service.

The spirit magic was one of my favourite elements in this series. I am pretty sure many of us fantasy lovers have imagined what it would be like having mundane everyday items being able to talk. This was the inspiration behind this magic system created by Rachel Aaron. Half the fun is having a supporting cast made up of gullible doors, flirtatious trees, restless winds, gossipy household knick-knacks, grouchy rivers, and amongst lots more, a bossy sword. Underlying the magic is the message of free will and choice, a thread running from Eli’s story to the oaths of the Spiritualist and the abhorrent practice of Enslavement.

Although one might find that the whole affair wrapped up just a bit too neatly at the end, sometimes I do need this kind of storytelling. It’s a sweet breath of fresh air that is exactly what I was hoping for right now. A fast-paced light-hearted fantasy that delights with witty humour and an engaging story that grows with its great characters. That it came with fantastic worldbuilding as well was a delightful bonus.

With Julius Heartstriker and Eli Monpress, Rachel Aaron has created two atypical and highly endearing main protagonists that I absolutely adore. Come to think about it, these two share a common trait - their ability to talk!

You can purchase the book from Bookshop.Org(Support Independent Bookstores) | Amazon US , or the omnibus edition (books 4 & 5) from Amazon UK.

You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions.
Profile Image for Mihir.
641 reviews289 followers
November 7, 2012

Full Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic


OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: I’ve been waiting to read this book since Rachel first wowed me with her debut back in 2010. The Spirit Thief was a lighthearted caper that cajoled the readers as much as Eli did the spirits of his world. The story introduced a thief who wanted to reach a specific bounty. Over the course of the next three books, the author revealed her plan and the direction of the storyline while deepening the world and enriching the character cast. Since this is the fifth and last book in the Eli Monpress saga, it goes without saying that the review will contain spoilers for the previous books so beware those who haven’t read up to the 4th book.

Rachel Aaron's very entertaining saga comes to an end with this huge tome, compared to the first three, the last two books were much larger as they had to deal with events that were consequential to the character actions in the previous volumes. That's the theme of this book "ALL ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES"; each and every character is bound to it. Be it with Eli and his thievery, Nico with her demon, Josef with his kingship, Miranda with her spiritualist oaths or the Shepherdess with whatever she has been supposed to do. This volume has every character dealing with the consequences of their previous actions. The character cast is at its widest however once again the author shows her deft grasp of the story by not making the plot run off course. The plot has so many threads however all of them nicely coalesce to give the readers an action-packed, world-shattering climax.

The main story deals with Eli and Benehime, the latter’s fascination with the former has been a strong point for the story however in this book we learn more about what truly does Benehime want. The readers will definitely be surprised as I was as with the stark revelation of her true nature and plans.Miranda has problems of her own with the spiritualist court.Josef and Nico are finding more about the limits of their powers and weapons. There are many more characters about whom the story deals with as well. The gist of this story is about the secrets of this world primarily who/what are the Shepherdess and the other powers? What/where is the world? What lies beyond the veil? All these secrets are the crux of the series and previously in her interview, Rachel has said this about them:

"The Shepherdess and the “what is going on with this world” questions are the big plot of the series, and the closer we get to the end, the bigger these problems get. They play a big roll in book 4 and book 5 pretty much is nothing but dealing with these problems because things are really going to hell."

The story effectively dwells on these very plot points and then proceeds to resolve them in a very big "Michael Bay" way.

With the previous volumes, each book dwelled on a single character to fill in their background details, for this book we don’t get a specific character but the world itself. Many mysteries, which have been beguiling the readers, are revealed to the fullest extent. This was what I liked so much about the book, the book has such a tight plot that it does everything and then some. The story, plot pace and characterization is top notch with this one, the story has many things going for it and with this being the last book, the author manages to tie in everything in to the story and so full marks to her for making the ending a thoroughly satisfying one.

Now onto the points that didn’t get me all so warm, namely Benehime’s characterization. I wouldn’t be remiss if I said that her reasons while showcased are a bit flimsy. Ultimately I realize that there had to be a villain for the story and she was the one, however I’m not entirely convinced for her reasons to do what she has done so far and does in this book. Another point that might not go down smoothly with readers is the issue of character deaths, obviously I can’t talk much without spoiling the plot and so I would wait to see what the readers think about it. I think with the series being the way it is, the ending is somewhat predictable but the way the author makes the story reach its final destination, it just feels right. Dealing with massive revelations about the world and its backstory, Rachel Aaron does manage to give us a fitting end to the saga. Be ready to have your mind blown with the ingenuity of the characters alongwith the author’s plotting skills as things bear fruit, which have been laid to root since the first book

CONCLUSION: Spirit’s End brings an end to a wildly entertaining and action-filled series that has charmed and beguiled its fans to the fullest extent. Rachel Aaron is an author who has shown her flair for writing entertaining stories with good characterization. The Legend of Eli Monpress is a debut series that will be remembered as one that offers wholesome entertainment and also one that mixes comedy, fantasy & SF in a smart mixture to give the readers a really entertaining read.
Profile Image for Rosu Aquabutts.
171 reviews9 followers
September 4, 2016
"It was okay."

I don't know, big disappointment all around.

Too many boring, overwrought anime battles. Too much of banking on the history of relationships we know nothing about and care less about. Too much of characters going BACKWARDS in their development. Too much of the status quo being upheld at the ending despite the complete madness of where it seemed like it was going.

And WAY too many death fakeouts! Mellinor's dead! Haha J/K he's alive. Karon is dead! Haha J/K he's alive. Sara is dead! Haha J/K she's alive. Nico is dead! Haha J/K she's alive. The Lord of Storms is dead! Haha J/K he's The Hunter. Josef is dead! Haha J/K he's alive without even a good EXPLANATION. Nico is dead again! NAH SHE MADE IT. ELI IS DEAD. SHOCKER, NO HE IS NOT.

It all ends with everyone exactly where they started. Nico is an actual demon and she is fine and acting normal which is impossible I don't care if you're your own master we have spent 5 books stressing the intensity of demon hunger! Josef walks away from his kingdom after spending a book learning to treasure it so he can do what he always does, pursue dumb animu fites and murder people. The entire world is changed but it doesn't FEEL changed. Even Miranda is the same person she was at the start, just with a higher position.

Eli is the only character who should be able to get through this more or less unchanged.

Soooo yeah. Strong start, shit was crazy and fun and high stakes, but the longer it went on the more I just got bored and EVERYTHING turning out so fucking fine and boring was a huge bummer.

Also I empathized with Sara and Benehime more than I did half the other main characters, so there's that also.

I liked enough in it that I can't say I straight up did not like it, but damn, a series has never had such an impressive downward curve as this one.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Nathan.
399 reviews123 followers
May 11, 2013
Fantasy Review Barn

Ah Eli Monpress series, your time is ending way too soon. I know I should be happy. After all, I get a satisfying conclusion to a series that has avoided turning into a repetitive serial. A series that has avoided bloat. A series that truly did get better with each and every book. And it is not like the author is leaving, she has something new in the works so I will get to read her stuff again. But I sure will miss about new adventures involving this tight cast. I’ll miss you Eli, and you Josef and Miranda. And Nico, wonderful Nico, I think I will miss you most of all.

I am actually a bit amazed at how well Aaron tied up all of her loose threads in this book without making it feel like a checklist. Unanswered questions are answered. Questions I didn’t even know I should be asking were answered. Better still, these questions were answered within the framework of yet another interesting adventure for the heroes. Of course the fate of the very world is at stake but unlike many stories that use the old cliché I felt it was a perfectly reasonable escalation. We have learned as the series progressed just why our favorite characters were at the center of everything going on; with a hand guiding them through much of the time. So it doesn’t feel contrived at all to find the cast central to everything important as the world is crumbling around them.

There is so little to say without getting into to spoilers. Fans of previous books will love the way the book continues to build, Aaron has walked the line between exciting and over the top delicately throughout and for the most part handles it great. Everything a fan loves about the characters continues, including their strong bonds that have defined the series. I had some frustrations in the middle of the series with the “spirits” angle being forgotten for plot convenience at times, but saw none of that here. And the final details of the relationship between humans and spirits was something I would have never worked out on my own, but made perfect since. Just great.

I was a bit turned off by Miranda’s story. While all the characters have some Mary/Gary Stu qualities, Miranda’s backstory doesn’t really justify the respect she gets. Her final plan is accepted by people who don’t even know her, and accepted almost without question. And with the constant escalation of danger I felt the author was a bit too willing to have characters live through sure deaths a few too many times; there was always a convenient power source to heal up injuries for the next round.

Rating this one has to be done in two ways. For the book itself it is a solid outing with a few minor annoyances. A solid four stars. But as a series ending it spoils us. The author stopped before I tired of the characters, and as mentioned wrapped up the story better than I through it could be. And that I feel is worth the full five stars, with a sum adding up to more than its parts.

5 stars.

Profile Image for Tammie.
1,283 reviews146 followers
June 8, 2019
Eli Monpress is clever, he's determined, and he's in way over his head.

This was a good end to the series. There were perhaps too many people who cheated death, and things may have ended a little too neatly, but overall I enjoyed this series. I recommend it if you enjoyed any of Rachel Aaron's other books.
Profile Image for Julian.
80 reviews
November 22, 2013
This series was fairly done and ended, I think, in a good place. There were some things that irked me about the series overall though.

Josef's Fight Scenes - By the end of the last book I was so thoroughly tired of Josefs fight scenes, it was the same thing over and over. Despite being the supposed greatest swordsman in the world he always gets trounced before learning yet another lesson from his sword. It happened time and time again, to the point of being maddening.

Nico and Josef - Look, I get that this wasn't a romance novel, it never pretend to be one and I didn't go in expecting it to be an overarching theme, but ending the series without the characters even acknowledging their feelings for one another? That was definitely lame.

1 Chapter Ending - The last chapter of the series is them putting everything back to rights. The epilogue is really short, shorter than most of the chapters in the book and only touches on a small handful of people, some of whom I personally didn't really care about (Alber Whitefall, and Alric). We got to see Etmon Banage, Miranda, and the Trio, thats it.

What about...

Sara Banage
Slorn & Pele
The town of Home
Various Spirits
The side of the world
The creator
Those 50 coins that Miranda totally stiffed that information broker.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for David S Meanderings).
321 reviews82 followers
February 11, 2022
"Death was the reward you got for playing the hero, and he’d been frightfully heroic.”

I just finished this and it may be the emotions talking, but Spirit’s End is simply the most satisfyingly perfect ending to a story that I’ve ever read. I very rarely can point to a series, even my favorites, and say that I wouldn’t change a thing about how it ended. Rachel Aaron wrapped up this 5 book series in such a way that I honestly couldn’t have hoped for better. The character arcs, the climax of the plot, the emotions, the final state of the world, the falling action, every single thing felt so very right.

I honestly cannot praise Rachel Aaron enough. This series went from a fun, straightforward adventure heist in book 1 and slowly built on itself book by book until we get the perfection of a climax that is Spirit’s End. We see the main trio of Eli, Josef, and Nico go through so much and grow in such believable and meaningful ways. There were times of gutwrenching sadness, but also many more times of heartwarming goodness and hysterical chaos with these three. Their relationships with each other felt so natural, flowing from their shared time spent together before the series even began and continuing to morph into something much deeper as the series goes on. I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite from the three because they were all so great. I loved every single minute with them.

“Josef swore loudly. Nico was Nico…..she would sacrifice anything to keep him and Eli safe. It drove him crazy. She didn’t seem to understand that she had value too, that she was worth saving.”

I love how the magic system is so simple, yet so intricately built into the fabric of the world. The bonding of wizards to the spirits of typically inanimate objects such as trees, mountains, water, etc for the use of their intrinsic powers made for so many creative, fun, and action packed moments throughout the series. Aaron used the freedom and flexibility this magic system afforded her to great effect.

There were many twists and turns in this series and they all hit so well, including the ones in book 5. The plot of this last book was a wild ride from beginning to end. It was fast paced without ever feeling rushed, utilizing many different things that had been revealed or hinted at in the previous books in super cool ways.

“Obviously you’re not a fan of my work, or you’d have realized by now that, overlooking today’s extremely uncharacteristic heroics, I’m probably the least responsible man in this oversized spirit preserve.”

I absolutely loved this final book in the Eli Monpress series without reserve. As you can see by my rating it was utter perfection in my eyes. If you are in the mood for a series that is full of hope, amazing friendships, and just utter goodness in the midst of the dark, pick it up!
Profile Image for Amanda.
293 reviews
August 10, 2013
You know, I don't know if this book degenerates into the worst ending ever or the best ending ever.

So, all my gripes about Aaron's lack of ability to handle a massive overplot (this is going to be my new word for the plot that ties the whole series together)kind of come to a head. She really kind of writes herself into a corner by setting up this hierarchy of power and setting up this Ultimate Creator creation myth. With human willpower and the responsibilities/ethics theme that runs through the books, it's really difficult to see how she's going to craft a solution using humans to prevent the end of the world. And as I got deeper and deeper into the book and more and more into this creation myth, I realized the danger is entropy itself, so how is she going to pull this off?

And she does, but it's not very satisfactory in my opinion. But, it is thrilling! The pacing picks up and after 4 books, I really felt like I cared about what happened to Eli, Josef, and Nico, but almost more importantly, what happens to the spirits. It's really Eli and the spirits that provide most of the witty banter in these books and while Eli doesn't do much stealing, he has that flamboyancy that is so characteristic of thieves as well as the ability to think of a reckless, seemingly impossible plan that fixes everything.

So, the end reeks of deus ex machinae, even though it's all "human" effort and it gets a little preachy, but I think that I love the arc of Eli, Josef, and Nico's characters and relationships enough to say that I liked these books.
Profile Image for Pam Baddeley.
Author 2 books41 followers
March 13, 2021
With this volume, the end of the saga of Eli and his friends arrives. The growing threat to the very existence of their world becomes clear as the story progresses, after a beginning which shows how Eli originally became the favourite of the Shepherdess, one of the three Powers who rule creation. At last, the truth is revealed about her and her two brothers, and the reason for their roles. Insight is thrown on more minor characters such as the Lord of Storms, Eli's parents and the mysterious character Sparrow. And the characters are forced to rely on unreliable allies in the fight against the ultimate threat. In the course of the story, the character arcs of the main players - Eli, Josef, Nico and Miranda - experience major developments and resolutions. The world in which they live also experiences a major transformation.

The main detraction I found were quite a few typos and other mistakes, such as 'bare' when 'bear' is meant and one place in particular where a couple of continuity errors stood out - a character removes his coat twice and someone folds their arms twice in succession - which occurred in the space of a few pages. I also wasn't sold on the ending . So for those reasons, my overall rating is 4 stars.
Profile Image for Narilka.
567 reviews38 followers
June 9, 2019
Spirit's End is the final book in The Legend of Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron. It is a satisfying ending to a series that went a completely different direction than I was expecting based on the first book. Things have gone seriously wrong and the fate of creation is in the balance. It's up to Eli and friends to save the day.

With this final installment we come full circle and it's back to Eli being the focus. I like how each book has each book has given us insight into a specific character and this time we get two for one: Eli's early life and his relationship with Benehime! "It's complicated" is a good description. As much as I can understand where Benehime is coming from, her frustrations with her unending task, I still have a hard time being sympathetic to her character and the fact that she's basically caused the current crisis. On the flip side, I totally get where Eli is coming from, wanting to deal with life on his own terms. It's an interesting contrast considering how intertwined these character stories have become.

All those nagging questions I've had about the series are finally explained! Aaron pulls out all the stops, all cards are on the table. We get a full background on the spirits, the roles of the great powers, what's really going on and more. It was so nice to have these mysteries answered, even if the answers themselves made more problems for our characters.

While Eli is back in focus, it is not only his book. Josef, Nico and Miranda all have important parts to play. I'm happy to say that Miranda is no longer annoying and her job as Spiritualist is more important than ever. Nico finally displays her full strength, though she's still not as confident in herself as she should be. And Josef.... well, he has some unrealistic and impossible fights. Several side characters make appearances and have interesting reveals of their own (Sara, Banage, Sparrow to name a few) and we're introduced to the other Powers of creation that I'd been curious about.

One thing to mention. I've seen several reviews complaining about the fight scenes. I somewhat agree. They are definitely over the top in this book. If that kind of thing bothers you then there are definitely parts of this book that you won't enjoy. I like big battles, even when they're silly and unrealistic.

Overall, I'm glad I read the series. It turned into something different than I expected from the first book and was quite enjoyable. I like where all the characters ended up. I hope Aaron decides to write more in this world some day.
Profile Image for Shree.
123 reviews18 followers
July 21, 2019
A good series
I enjoyed it.
I recommend it to people who love Sanderson works.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,210 reviews1,648 followers
January 6, 2016
4.5 stars

Tbh I’ve been putting Spirit’s End off for several months. Don’t get me wrong: I really like this series. All of the books are great, and I wasn’t lying with my ratings. However, the lack of romance was getting to me, and I was just sort of done. Only I had one more book left. I took a break and reread Harry Potter and read a couple other things too, but the time had come. I decided I was going to finish Spirit’s End, no matter what, even though I wasn’t in the mood. Well trolololol I was so not in the mood that I sat down and binge read the whole thing because it was so fucking good.

Spirit’s End, which I’d been putting off, turned out to be my favorite of the whole (very good) bunch by a long shot. In the final installment, Rachel Aaron stepped up the action, the epicness, and the feels. Conclusions often go out with a whimper rather than a bang, but this one BOOMS. The ending surprised me in so many different ways, and I love the way Aaron resolved everything. Although View Spoiler ». There’s a reason I love Rachel Aaron/Bach’s books so much. Her plots are to die for basically. This one is SO epic, and I would talk about it more, but also spoilers. Part of why it’s so awesome is that I couldn’t predict a lot of what went down.

Also, reading this one, I realized something that’s been true all the time but that I’d failed to notice: this series would make the BEST anime. Like, I actually could see one playing out in my head. The magical system, the characters, everything fits so well with the anime form. I mean, Josef’s powers are extreme, as are the looks of most of the characters. The demons totally had me thinking of the hollows in Bleach View Spoiler »! It’s all there, and I suspect intentionally since I know Aaron enjoys anime.

The pacing in some of the other novels tended to be pretty placid at the start and slowly amp up, but Spirit’s End was intense and unputdownable the whole time. Even more impressive is despite the scale of the danger they were facing, it never last its sense of humor. I mean, in small moments sure, but on a whole the tone fits with the rest of the series. I adore when people laugh in the face of danger.

The characters of The Legend of Eli Monpress are precious. Eli’s charming and oh the poor boy. I feel bad for all he’s been through, but also so happy that he found his family in Josef and Nico. Despite it all he can laugh and be good to others, rather than continuing the abuse he received from Benehime. Once again, I’m so in love, not just with Eli, but with his role in this series. Though it’s “his series” arguably, he often does the least to save everyone. His role when he does save the day is actually more of a passive one: View Spoiler ». It’s such an interesting dynamic. He’s the leader, but his sidekicks are much more impressive and powerful; his strength is clearly in his ideas and his trust in his friends.

Nico, Josef, Miranda, Gin: I’ll miss them all. One of my favorite non-romancey tropes is the found family. These people, all strange and out of place in the lives they’d led to that point, find each other and find a home. So many feels, man. Yes, I would have also liked a wee bit more of the romance between Nico and Josef, but ultimately I’m happy with their group dynamics. And I am happy that there was no romance for Eli because he’s so not in a place for that, and I actually read him as ace, though I don’t know if he’s aromantic or not. Also that may be headcanon so whatever.

I’m still a bit unsure what to make of Sara. Her whole arc in this series, while fascinating, has me scratching my head a bit. Is she a villain? A misguided good guy? I definitely like Eli’s dad, though he’s a bit stodgy, although what else do you expect from Miranda’s idol. Sara and Sparrow are an interesting case, and, though I’m not sure how I feel about it, I do like that there’s so much moral ambiguity in this series. It’s a good example of the fact that nothing’s simple. Even Benehime has shades to her character. Eli himself is our hero, but he’s also an unapologetic thief, so.

Spirit’s End is one of the strongest series endings I’ve read. Get on this series, guys! I recommend it most highly to fans of Six of Crows, Firefly, or anime like Bleach.
Profile Image for Denae Christine.
Author 4 books162 followers
April 23, 2018
Reader thoughts: Absolutely amazing.
I've been wracking my brain all week, and I can only come up with three series where I really liked the end. This is one of them.

My friend warned me this book would be intense, but in my arrogance I thought, "Oh, of course, the books have been getting more intense, this is just like before." No. The other books gained intensity in linear progression. This one was exponential. I literally had to set the book down two or three times because my mind was blown. I had take a break from this book and go do math homework to let my imagination calm back down. That's how awesome this book is.
Not only are all the conflicts bigger and better and newer, but there are more things happening in more places on higher levels all around. I kept expecting to get a quiet scene just to recuperate, but it never happened.

When people used the swear word "Powers" back in books 1, 2, 3, I didn't even realize that "Powers" referred to the three pillars of the world, Weaver, Shepherdess, Hunter. There were so many things hinted at that should have guessed, things about the sky, about Ollor, about the demon, about the Lord of Storms, about Illir, about Sara, about Eli. (Hey, as I said, this book covered a lot.) Timothy Zahn is the best at this skill, foreshadowing.

Rachel Aaron is my new favorite author of all time. Yes, above CS Lewis and Rick Riordan and Sigmund Brouwer and Timothy Zahn and Shannon Hale and John Flanagan and the rest. (Since writing this review, Brandon Sanderson has taken over as the new favorite.)

Writer thoughts: Only now can I appreciate how well RA has tied in all these books of the series. The character arcs are so well plotted. I learned things about characters I thought I already had figured out.

And, despite the fact that the characters are doggedly persistent, they are not at all one-dimensional. This is important. Josef isn't just a swordsman, he's also a prince and an unobservant guy who doesn't notice how Niko feels about him.

Authors must layer their characters, especially in a series rather than a standalone. One way to do this is by revealing backstory, the way Aaron has done. Another way is to give characters conflicting motivations. Should the wizards keep the spirits quiet, asleep, and happy? Or should the wizards give the spirits back some power and let them be susceptible to panic but still have the ability to fight? As characters argue this out, you can see their layers.
Profile Image for Rachael.
437 reviews21 followers
August 18, 2016
Pretty disappointing conclusion overall. Book #4 gave me some hope that #5 might deliver but sadly it did not. The magic system and world building is so sloppy and inconsistent it appears the author was just making it up as she went along which makes it terribly hard to get attached and invested.
Also, despite her best efforts she never quite got us rooting for the three main characters as a team, and just barely individually.
The Josef fight scenes were so ridiculous I honesty just started to skim them. I assume she just copy and pasted them from book to book. They wouldn't grate so much if she hadn't gone on and on and on about him being such a great swordsman. If you're going to claim that for your character might be good to follow through on that.
Hated how many unkillable, invincible characters were in this book.
The ending was aggravating, and seemed almost like a cop out, but she did create and impossible situation to resolve so I guess I couldn't have expected better. Oh well, lots of negative things to say.

There were little things I enjoyed throughout the book. The all clear signal from Nico was charming and unexpected. The tower spirit was also fun to see. Eli's character, of course. Though he was often over the top/trope-y, you just are so thoroughly on his side that he carries the books for you. I enjoyed the powerful but flawed Alric quite a bit as well. Slorn was tremendously interesting (I just couldn't get past the inexplicable bear-head thing). Loved what bone metal really was. Enjoyed how Miranda saves Lord
Of the storms and how Eli made him the hunter.

Overall, I would skip the series. Everything exists way too much in the authors head, instead of writing a story that readers can get swept into.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Penny.
172 reviews345 followers
November 27, 2012
A good ending to a great series, but I can't say I enjoyed it as much as books 3 and 4. That said, it was full of excitement and resolved all the open questions very well. The ending was perfect and I love that the very last scene made me chuckle! :)

Rachel Aaron delivers an entertaining series without ticking all the boxes typical of most books. The lack of a "predictable" outcome in a particular plot point is my strongest recommendation for this series. It's a spoiler though not a huge one, but in order to avoid annoying people I'll hide it:

Awesome fun series! I recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, easy, enjoyable read. We could all do with a bit of Eli in our lives :)
Profile Image for Richard.
559 reviews36 followers
December 15, 2018
Hands down one of my favorites from this year.

A very satisfying ending to this series.

Everyone plays a major role in this outing, and a couple willingly pay the ultimate price.

All the cards are on the table too. No more giving crumbs and tidbits of the larger story. So satisfying.

Profile Image for Molly Mortensen.
393 reviews213 followers
December 1, 2022
The final book! I was both sad and excited.

Miranda dealing with wizard politics sounds awful, but luckily her story had little to do with politics. She discovered that stars were vanishing and her quest was to mitigate the damage. ()

Eli's being a prisoner wasn't as bad as I was afraid it would be but it's still awful how he's forced to act like Benehime's pet. Luckily, his imprisonment didn't last long. Unfortunately, he went from being her captive to being thrown in the council jail… But that didn't last long either.

Joseph has really stepped up. Let's hear it for character growth.

Nico didn't play a very big role in this one, she was kind of just there. As much as I understand her crush on Joseph it's kinda sad how much that's taken over her storyline.

I appreciated the attempt to give Benehime a reason for doing what she's doing but she's still not that great of a villain. Too one dimensional, like a spoiler princess rather than an all powerful goddess.

My main negative was that the characters just kept reacting to the things that were happening.

The epic battle at the end was suitably epic, if a little long. And I liked it all except for the very end. (See below)

Continuity errors: Throughout the entire book Sted is referred to as Den. Den was never a demonseed.

Ending spoilers:

First what I liked:

What I didn't like:

I'm glad there was an epilogue but our trio was barely in it! Their tiny bit was pretty perfect though. (And the League still stalking Niko was great!)
Profile Image for Joseph.
671 reviews84 followers
October 18, 2016
In which we finally find out what's been behind the events of the previous books. (Well, we've been getting bits & pieces of backstory already.) Long story short: Eli, who has a real way with the spirits that manifest in pretty much everything in the world (in this setting, most so-called wizards are actually Spiritualists who've made bargains with one or more spirits of wind, fire, water, etc.), is also a serious favorite of Benehime, the Goddess who runs the world. But, for various entirely appropriate reasons, he wants nothing to do with her and has spent most of his adult life (and the previous four books) trying to run as far from her as fast as he can.

Well now Benehime has had enough; she's going to take her ball (and the master spirits that have kept the lesser spirits relatively calm) and go home; and if that means that the entire mortal world becomes demon chow, well, that's really not her problem, is it?

So now it's up to pretty much everyone else (Eli, Josef, Nico, Miranda, and several other folks, some of whom were previously pretty squarely in the anti-Monpress camp) to find a way to, well, save everything and everyone.

Again, fast-paced and enjoyable, even though the stakes are suddenly astronomically higher.
Profile Image for Bruna Bellini.
176 reviews17 followers
June 17, 2015
Although I loved this series, the conclusion of it was.. so so!
I don't know but, live in a world, knowing that basically you live in a cage, because outside, there are hungry demons wanting to get in and destroy everything, doesn't sounds acceptable for me.
So, see that Eli and his friends are living their lives like nothing that matters, doesn't make sense to me.
And I was waiting for a better end for Nico. I know she is happy, now, and with her Joseph but, still a demon and immortal with a human lover, doesn't sounds a very happy ending for me.
The battles was nice! Lord of the Storm join Eli and his friends was really great!
But, overall, it was a weak conclusion for me.
Even so, the whole series was a great entertainment!
Profile Image for Rachel.
102 reviews6 followers
January 24, 2013
You know, even after finishing this entire series, I'm not really sure how I feel about it. It's a fun, well-fleshed world, with an intriguing magic system, but overall things just fell a little flat for me and I can't really put muy finger on why.

This last book pretty much ties everything up neatly and hands it to us in a bow.

Also, I'm hoping the HUGE number of typos (mostly homophones) in my ebook will be fixed soon.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
274 reviews67 followers
March 22, 2013
WOW! What a great ending to one of my favorite series EVER (and for me that's saying a lot...) I just wish I could have more Eli. This is one of those series that you don;t want to some to an ebd. I'll miss Eli, Miranda, Josef, Nico, Gin....everyone. A great ending to a great series.
Profile Image for RS Rook.
388 reviews9 followers
September 25, 2021
This was a pretty good finish to the series. Quite a bit darker in a lot of ways, but never truly loses its campy Sam Raimi vibe.

Aaron improved a lot as a writer from the beginning to end of this series and that was fun to see. Her characters all have strong goals and convictions which makes the conflicts between them interesting and generally keeps the drama from feeling forced. The plot plays out like a good game of chess, except every piece has its own agenda (it also occurs to me that considering how the series ends, that would be literally true of chess pieces in this world, which is pretty funny).

Unfortunately, the obsessive and singular nature of each character's goal can leave them all feeling a bit one note. And where Aaron excels at conflict, she sort of fails at affinity. It's fairly easy to see why these characters might respect each other, but not so much why they might like each other. The friendships feel more contrived than the fights, which is an interesting problem, since the opposite tends to be the case (especially on the lighter side of fiction).

I also think Aaron is a little limited by the Manga version of this that is played out in her head (the series was originally conceived of as a comic). This is particularly evident in the very shonen-esque nature Josef's duels, which reminded me a lot of the fights from Bleach, and like in Bleach they end up being repetitive and honestly really boring very quickly. But if you like that sort of thing a la Bleach, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z etc, you might like it a lot more than I did.

Despite its faults, I am still pretty impressed with how the series ended. Goes out with a well-earned BANG! and even has some interesting things to say about power and self-determination.
Profile Image for Brewergnome.
322 reviews4 followers
April 14, 2017
Another "read" by audiobook.

An excellent end to the trilogy, with some wonderful twists. Not the ending I expected. A lovely world concept, taken all the way to its logical ends.

The reader was quite good, with identifiable voices for characters/spirits and a different tone entirely for the narrator.
Profile Image for Karsyn .
2,324 reviews36 followers
July 3, 2021
I enjoyed this last Eli Monpress. I think I would have liked it better if I hadn't waited so long to finish it. It dragged a little for me, perhaps it wouldn't have if I read it soon after the 4th one, but it was still enjoyable and didn't take me long to remember what was going on. Enjoyable series overall.
Profile Image for Vicki.
33 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2018
I finished this a while back. I LOVE the books about Eli Monpress and his friends. It's a fun ride with well-developed characters you'll remember forever. Definitely recommend this series if you like fantasy novels.
Profile Image for Llaph .
1,054 reviews26 followers
September 20, 2019
This was a really good ending to an interesting series. I love how she wrapped everything up and took care of things I did not see coming.
I would have loved to see more of the spirits for everything talking, LOL. The bit with the tea cup near the end was funny.
41 reviews
December 11, 2017
The fifth novel in The Legend of Eli Monpress series brings us to the exciting conclusion and neatly wraps up the final lingering questions. It's even more epic than the previous book and maintains the 'feel good adventure' vibe even as the stakes are raised higher and the situation becomes more dire.
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