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The Spirit Thief

(The Legend of Eli Monpress #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  8,499 ratings  ·  681 reviews
Alternate Cover Edition can be found here.

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 thr
Paperback, 310 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Orbit (first published 2010)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,499 ratings  ·  681 reviews

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Em Lost In Books

Well this was super fun, and have a very interesting magic system.
C.G. Drews
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
So this was a delightful tome of sassy thievery. Which is honestly my FAVOURITE epic fantasy topic ever so I'm pleased. It was ultimately a little light for me, though...I mean, I spent far too much time hoping the stakes would grow higher but they all stayed pretty lowkey. It actually felt kind of YA??? But with characters in their low twenties. So if you're a mostly YA reader but looking for some epic fantasy = bring your eyeballs here.

(Plus there's no romance, like zero swearing, and not eve
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
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
Michael Britt
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5

I had tons of fun with this book! Picked it up due to a recommendation from one of my favorite authors, Michael J Sullivan, and it turned out to be very entertaining! She seems to have the same writing style, well as close as you can get, to Sullivan. But she doesn't do as well at creating characters as Sullivan does. Well, let's face it, I don't think anyone does. My only complaint is that I didn't feel as much of a connection to many of the characters at first, but they grew
Too young and dumb for me, and this time I say that as an observation and a critique.

* * * * *

I don't usually rate books I don't finish, but I will have to from now on. Marking this as read and rating it to circumvent the Goodreads recommendation "algorithm" from recommending similar books. It seems that's the only way around the system.
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
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.
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 letting
Kitvaria Sarene
This is really easy going, funny and entertaining popcorn fantasy!
"I should not like that" was more or less my first thought when starting this book, when the main character talks to a door. A wooden door. Yes - you read that right! And the door even answers and has a conversation with Eli, and decides it actually didn't like to have nails in it. How good for Eli, who needs to get to the other side of that door, and that is quite easy walking over a pile of boards on the floor... Say what?

I hav
Beanbag Love
No rating. Stopped at about 40%.

I think it might just have been me, but I just could not connect with any of these characters. It's not poorly written and there are elements reminiscent of one of my favorite YA series, Queen's Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. But it just didn't hook me and I felt I gave it enough time.

Again, it might have been me and bad timing for me to start a new-to-me series from a new-to-me author. Especially fantasy where world building is so important and really takes a re
Full review at Tenacious Reader:

The story, overall, is fun, starting out with Eli, the greatest thief of all time, stealing not the typical salable items, but rather a King. I mean, sure, you hear stories of princesses being stolen in the night and held for ransom or whatever other nefarious reasons someone might have to steal them. But stealing a king is a bit more unexpected, not to mention ambitious.

I think I had two issues with this book, which unfort
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Lakshmi C
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
What I liked :

- The writing - light, fun and fast paced. Just like instant noodles.
- Therapy for a door
- bounty hunters
- sword fights
- giant ghost hounds
- magic system with spirits in absolutely everything.
- exiled and exasperated kings
- Marion - the librarian. She was interesting and unique - I wish she were the female lead instead. Curious, nervous, resourceful, hidden spine, considerate, open minded
- nemesis

“Gin,” she said loudly, “if anyone gives you trouble, don’t bother asking perm
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jacob Proffitt
Feb 02, 2012 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
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Krista Hansen
I decided to read this after hearing that Micheal J. Sullivan recommends it to Riyria fans. Like the Chronicles series, this is a fun, light and charming tale about a thief in a medieval fantasy world. Unlike Riyria, though, this lacks character depth. That's fine for a first novel that kept me entertained enough with fun thievery and a creative magic system. However, I doubt my patience will last through the whole series if the books don't add more character depth and plot complexity.

Luke Danie
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audio
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.
Adam Whitehead
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Eli Monpress is a trickster, a thief and a manipulator of spirits. His latest caper involves kidnapping the King of Mellinor, but the kingdom holds a dark and ancient secret that triggers an intervention by the powerful Spirit Court, the arbitrators of the use of spirits and sorcery. Monpress may be in over his head, but he has resources to call upon that no-one suspects.

The Spirit Thief is the first novel in the five-volume Eli Monpress fantasy series by Rachel Aaron, and was her debut novel. T
Ahdam Rana
3.5- it was ok

Well this was an interesting book that I thought I would read to bridge some gaps here and there and overall it was all right not terrible but not amazing.

It may be that my last book may have dampened my thoughts on this book slightly because I felt something was missing since it was a very simplistic story with a quick pace which I liked but once I read it I just felt there could be more to it also I may be spoilt on this but the worldbuilding isn't good since I felt that the worl
Lesa Divine
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 🌟

I enjoyed this. Very quick read. Fantasy with NO LOVE STORY on the side. Thank goodness.

Eli a thief but he don't run around picking pockets he wants gold but only way to get it is by making sure he has the King's attention. But again he's not a simple thief he uses his powers of talking to spirits to help him. Follow by a swordsman and a young girl with her own scary abilities.

Miranda looking to put a stop to Eli he's breaking all the spiritualist rules and her boss wants him caught and answe
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 28, 2010 rated it liked it
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.

Nov 29, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, english
The only thing I liked about this book is the magic system. The rest of it is just a collection of fantasy clichés : bad analogies? Check. Failed attempts at humor? Check. Ultimate Good vs Evil? Check. Inexplicably powerful characters? Check. Needlessly complicated battle sequences? Check. You can predict the ending half way through. The whole thing is quite underwhelming. So, am I going to read the rest of the series? Probably. Since for some reason I like to needlessly punish myself.
Quite The Novel Idea ~ Words from the Clouds

3.5 stars

Well, wasn't this just a big ball of fun? Yes it was. I mean, it has a stabby swordsman, a cute badass demongirl, a sassy lovable thief and a warrior wizard woman with her pet ghosthound. What more do you need, honestly? Unfortunately, though this book was a lot of fun and I have lots of love for most characters, it wasn't really much more than that. And that's a true shame. Though to be fair, I will gladly admit I have been spoiled in the Fan
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours) 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
Sep 08, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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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 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)
“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.” 26 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.” 15 likes
More quotes…