The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress #1) – Rachel Aaron

The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress #1) – Rachel AaronTitle: The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress #1) by Rachel Aaron
Publishing Info: October 1, 2010 by Hachette
Source: Gift
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 23, 2015

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.
The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he'll need to steal some big things. But he'll start small for now. He'll just steal something that no one will miss - at least for a while.
Like a king.


I was really excited to start THE SPIRIT THIEF with my On the Same Page gals considering how much I’ve been getting into adult fantasy lately! It was an interesting read but not too far in, I started to question whether it really was adult fantasy and turns out more people have shelved it under young adult than adult. I guess it shouldn’t really matter one way or the other since I tend to read a lot of YA fiction that appeals to ages of all sorts but THE SPIRIT THIEF really was just a tad disappointing in the sense that it did feel significantly younger than what I had hoped.

I really did enjoy the book from start to finish and THE SPIRIT THIEF was a fun and fairly quick read but I did wish that it had a lot more depth. The book did feel a bit young and being a reader of young adult books, I actually think it felt more on the MG/YA border than it did sitting totally in YA. Needless to say, it didn’t even come close to the adult feel that I was hoping for and anticipating. The overall tone and lack of details in the magic system, world-building, and character depth really brought the reading level down for me. Again, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but it did change my outlook of the book. I was really hoping for a whole lot more to wow me and pull me in but it was more of just a face-value “good” read. I like my fantasy (both YA and adult) to really pull me in, keep me hooked, and have me theorizing long after I’m done reading. Although it did do a nice job of keeping the door open for future books and leaving some things to be explained later, I just can’t escape the desire to explore just a bit more in this book. When it comes down to it, I think disappointment wins out because this is published under a sci-fi and fantasy imprint which houses adult authors so I have to go with the fact that it just didn’t live up the content that I felt it should have.

The overall story was interesting.always enjoy stories about thieves, especially rascally ones and Eli Monpress didn’t disappoint there! I rather enjoyed Eli’s quest to add more money to his bounty (he claims that any thief would be proud of) and there seemed to be hints that there was more to this story but that wasn’t really explored in this book. I really enjoyed the concept of spirits and how the spirits and wizards (or “Spiritualists”) interacted! The idea felt really unique and it’s not something that I’ve really read before. The interactions did seem a bit juvenile, once again, and I think that gave the book a really middle grade feel for me. It could just be my interpretation of the book but spirits being stubborn, refusing to cooperate… Just something about it had a very young tone.

I really wished I had gotten to know each character more as well. I loved Eli and Josef (he reminded me a lot of Jean from Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series and Inigo from The Princess Bride) and I really wanted to learn so much more about Nico! I was glad that I got to find out some small pieces here and there as the action progressed but I did think there would be a bit more character development there. They were a crew and I really loved how they worked together but I also didn’t feel that pull to keep them together and I didn’t feel the tug on my emotions as much as I had hoped when things went wrong.

THE SPIRIT THIEF was a fun, easy read. I’m not sure if I want to continue with the series since I’m just left with the feeling that it has so much more potential and just didn’t quite live up to it. I’m definitely curious about what else goes on and I’d love to get to know the characters more so I may continue the series someday but as of right now, it’s not too high on my immediate list.

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

lock & mori gr updated


Eli // Character Obsessions: His bounty, stealing, spirits. 
Eli was a lot of fun and his attitude definitely lived up to my expectations. I had expected to fall in love with him (since that’s usually what I do with rascally thieves) but I didn’t quite make it there. He was a great main character, though, and always kept the book funny and light.
Miranda // Character Obsessions: Rules, quests, spirits, protection.
Miranda was a bit too much of a rule follower and that always bothers me a little bit. I think mostly because those characters aren’t flexible and it’s always a little more fun when you break the rules!


Kept Me Hooked On: Light fantasy. I read a lot of “heavier” fantasy nowadays but that’s not a bad thing. I really enjoy losing myself in the worlds and really getting to know the characters. This was definitely a change of pace to the lighter side.
Left Me Wanting More: Development. I really just wanted everything to be a bit more developed. World, characters, plot, background… I could have used a lot MORE.

Addiction Rating
Try it

It’s hard to say whether I’d recommend this one or not! I think it’s like the “fluff” of the fantasy realm like we so often find with contemporary. This was definitely a lighter feel so if that’s what you’re looking for, this could be a good read for you! I like my fantasy a lot more detailed though so I have a hard time saying “read this”!



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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1 thought on “The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress #1) – Rachel Aaron

  1. Maureen Beatrice

    Great review! Honest and interesting to read. To bad you had some struggles with this book. It’s so strange that this book is called Adult Fantasy when it really doesn’t seem to be one.
    The cover looks really great and I would definitely pick this one up if I saw it in a bookshop. I also really like stories about thieves.. makes me think about whatching Aladdin when I was younger and thinking what he did was soo awesome! LOL


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