The Spirit Rebellion by Rachel Aaron

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Eli Monpress is brilliant. He’s incorrigible. And he’s a thief.

He’s also still at large, which drives Miranda Lyonette crazy. While she’s been kicked out of the Spirit Court, Eli’s had plenty of time to plan his next adventure. But now the tables have turned, because Miranda has a new job — and an opportunity to capture a certain thief.

Things are about to get exciting for Eli. He’s picked a winner for his newest heist. His target: the Duke of Gaol’s famous “thief-proof” citadel. Eli knows Gaol is a trap, but what’s life without challenges? Except the Duke is one of the wealthiest men in the world, a wizard who rules his duchy with an iron fist, and an obsessive perfectionist with only one hobby: Eli.

It seems that everyone is hunting for Eli Monpress.


TW: mild violence, torture

Okay, first, I’d like to apologize for how…eh…the covers are for this series because IT’S A LIE. THE COVERS DO NOT LIVE UP TO THE GLORIOUS CONTENTS. That said, if you get the omnibus like I did, you probably save money overall, AND you get a much nicer cover. But moving along to what matters: the contents.

Holy smokes, it’s even better than the last one and I’m ready to sell my soul to this series. All the parts of the first book that I loved came back (Miranda being headstrong and powerful, Eli being so casual and yet slightly mysterious, Josef always spoiling for a good fight, Gin having strong opinions and being a good dog, etc, etc), but we also got SHINY NEW THINGS. This includes new characters (all very, very interesting, and a couple you just love to hate), as well as pieces of backstory for Eli and Nico in particular that are bound to have repercussions down the line.

Possibly one of the coolest things about this book, though, is that the world is broadening. We get to visit new locations, and we start getting a better sense of the world overall. New Great Spirits come into play, new politics between characters arise, and the bits and pieces we see of the League of Storms in particular give me a sense of foreboding. There’s unrest in Eli Monpress’s world, and not all of it stems from his absurd thievery.

Essentially, The Spirit Rebellion does a wonderful job of carrying out its self-contained plot while also threading in the strands of something much greater. It’s not a set-up novel, because it does have its own arc, its own direction. It’s just simultaneously aware that it also plays the role of small puzzle piece in a bigger picture.

Also, I have to say that I just adore Miranda Lyonette with everything I have. While it’s true that she can’t do all the things that Eli can do, she is absolutely a powerful wizard in her own right, and the relationships she shares with the spirits in her service are so wonderful. I love that even a tiny little ball of moss is willing to pledge allegiance to Miranda, and to have such strong belief in that allegiance that it fights back when things go wrong. Backed by more powerful spirits that share the same sentiments, of course, but the point still stands: there’s something amazing about Miranda that appeals to me, heart and soul. I think it might even be because she seems to be shifting from lawful good to neutral good, which is one of my favorite D&D alignments. She’s still concerned with rules and regulations to some extent, but she’s steadily growing able to make the right choice, rules be damned. It warms my heart, and sometimes, you just need some good versus evil where the good keeps getting better and ultimately wins. Miranda feels like she could be that.

Additionally, there’s no romance! Still! And that delights me just as much as Miranda does. It could still go the Eli/Miranda route (I wouldn’t be shocked if it did, just disappointed), BUT, so far, it hasn’t actually taken any of those steps. Everything is platonic, or steeped in rivalry, or good versus evil. Romance isn’t even in the picture, not a little bit, not at all, and it’s so refreshing for that to be true.

I’m not sure what else to say without spoiling the delightful intricacies of the plot, so I think I’m going to leave it at this: if you didn’t take me seriously in my review of The Spirit Thief, take me seriously now, and give this series a try. It’s fun and light and clever, and it shows no signs of slowing down!


Have you read the Eli Monpress series already? Are you planning to? Who’s your favorite good-aligned character? Let’s talk!

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