Fantasy: The Spirit Rebellion & The Spirit Eater by Rachel Aaron

Oh how the world can change with just a stone roofing tile. Helped by a wizard thief, the greatest swordsman of all time, a girl with a demon problem, and the ever stubborn Spiritualist who wants them all arrested.

The 2nd and 3rd books in the Eli Monpress series continue the romp through the world of The Spirit Thief. Neither book falters nor slows down. If the first book was our introduction to the world and the main players in it, then the sequels focus more or less on the three members of Eli’s band. The Spirit Rebellion leads to revelations about Eli’s past and The Spirit Eater deals with Nico – the girl with a demon problem. Josef the Swordsman is covered in the next book, The Spirit War which will be reviewed shortly.

In addition to the main trio, Miranda Lyonette is the perfect foil to Eli. She is the cop to his robber, the white knight to his anti-hero. And she manages to be a likable well rounded character. Miranda is not the villain here. She just happens to not be in the Eli Monpress club. She is not the only member of that club, but she is certainly the only one I like. Both Rebellion and Eater have fantastic villains and well crafted plots. Witty banter and feats of daring abound. I was charmed and entertained by it all. Out of the five books total in the series, one, two, and three are similar in tone and quality. I cannot recommend one over the other.

That said, if you think this sounds like a relatively brainless series: Think again. The exploration of free will, control, and choice underlay the struggles and threats of this action packed world. And you must read these three books if you are going to understand the final two books in the series. At the conclusion to The Spirit Eater I sensed that a change in tone was imminent. I was not sure I wanted to read the next book if that was the case. A shift from the light witty action series to dealing with issues on a grand scale is rarely done well. Goodness was I wrong. So while I recommend this series highly, the first three books are strong fun reads, the last two are so epic that when I tried to describe them to friends, I lost the words because I did not want to spoil anything.

Read these, you won’t be disappointed.

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