The Spirit Thief: a book review

Aaron_Spirit-Thief-MM

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 his bounty on his head, so he’ll need to steal some big things. But he’ll start small. He’ll just steal something that no one will miss – at least for a while.

Something like a king.

I work at a bookstore, which means every day I am able to see just what books are coming out, popular, etc. One of the many perks of working in said bookstore is the discount – and the free books. I encountered the Spirit Thief, and subsequent novels, this way, when I saw the Spirit Thief on the new release mass market wall and decided to give it a go. It was one of my best decisions to date.

The Spirit Thief follows the story of Eli Monpress, a legendary thief with the power to speak with the spirits of nature. Though all wizards are able to communicate with spirits, Eli’s gift is unique, and his charm in the spirit world keeps him one step ahead of bounty hunters after his growing prize. When he goes to the kingdom of Mellinor to, well, steal the king, he is pursued by Miranda Lyonette, a Spiritualist wizard, and her ghosthound Gin, as well as a mysterious, scarred bounty hunter and a wronged prince.

Pros

Dat magic system. Without a doubt, the best magical system I have ever encountered is in this series. Rather than a few specified, special people being magical and able to manipulate elements, etc, the magic exists in nature. Therefore, each rock is a spirit, fire is a spirit, even doors are a combination of spirits from the iron of the nails and the wood of the boards. When a character is a wizard, they are able to communicate with these spirits. Spiritualists, members of the Spirit Court, of which Miranda is one, make vows of protection to spirits in order to coax them into jewellery. So when someone casts a fire spell, so to speak, they’re asking the fire spirit in the ring to come out and fight for them. This, of course, is not the way Eli does things – he strikes up a conversation with the spirit in its natural element and charms the pants of them.

Magical system aside, the characters are charming, Eli especially. Though Josef is a little one-sided, Nico is fascinating, being a demonseed – a wizard with a demon growing inside her body. The landscape is fully realized, and the reader isn’t bombarded with facts; they’re evenly placed throughout the book. The action is good, and the dialogue is natural.

Cons

It’s hard to like Miranda at first. She grew on me eventually, but the first read-through I really had a problem with her. She’s a little pompous, but that comes with her position as apprentice to the commander of the Spirit Court. My second time reading through the book, I liked her more – and now I just like her in general. There are a few instances where things are told instead of shown, but it isn’t so common that it’s really a noticeable problem.

Not a lot of cons, eh? Hm. I need to start picking books I don’t adore.

All in all

I just finished my third or fourth? Probably third read-through of the Spirit Thief, and I’m way psyched to continue with the series again, and to finally read the fourth book. It’s a fun, exciting read that doesn’t get old.

The Spirit Thief gets four of five stars. Because why not.

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