I picked up The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron because the sample page ended on the phrase, “He’s stolen the king.” Interested in meeting the kind of person who would steal a king (not kidnap a king mind you, that gets old), I looked forward to a quirky medieval fantasy tale.
Well, I got a wonderfully frustrating thief in Eli Monpress, foils for his cheer and antics in his two companions, and a unique and clever fantasy world to play in. I particularly enjoy the magic system employed in this book. Eli is called a wizard, is hunted by a guild of wizards known as Spiritualists, and spirits can awaken, think, feel, and are the general venue for magic. Magic seems to be control of spirits. I got the sense from this novel (the first in the series) that there is more to it than that, but it is still too soon to see.
There is a great deal of emphasis placed on free will and choices, the good people often having many, and the bad guys resorting to forcing their will on others. Free will being a favorite theme of mine, I think this book shall remain on my shelf and I shall read the rest of the series. Hopefully the series will stay as entertaining as this first romp through Eli’s world.
I must say I found the plot rather predictable, but the characters are endearing, and this book is simply so much fun! Part heist caper, part game of cops and robbers, and part saving the kingdom I enjoyed the plot and pacing. There are a lot of details like Josef’s sword, the nature of demons, the League of Storms, and the occasional mention of the Shepherdess, I want to see explored in future installments in the series. I know most of the books are already out so if you are looking for a new series to sink your teeth into, take a look at this witty fantasy and its easy humor.