Where I Got It: The library.
Who I Recommend This To: If you’re looking for some brain candy set in a magical world where everything has a spirit, then you should check this out.
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Publisher: Brilliance Corporation (2010)
Length: 8 hours 19 minutes
Series: The Legend of Eli Monpress Book 1
Eli Monpress is a well-known, and badly wanted, thief. He travels with a renowned swordsman, Josef, and an emaciated woman, Nico, who has a hidden secret that may literally be eating away at her. Their objective in the land of Melinor is to steal the king and extract a ransom. The kingdom of Melinor is not friendly to wizards, and in fact has actively shunned them for 400 years. Miranda is a Spiritualist from the Spirit Court, sent to Melinor to make a good impression, for one thing. She had her spirit hound make quite the first impression, and things quickly go down hill from there as she learns of Eli’s presence, the stolen monarch, and the recently returned older brother (who happens to be a wizard).
This book was full of quick banter, ridiculous situations, and memorable characters that give just enough seriousness to balance, but not detract, from the silliness. I liked the idea of everything, from stone to stream to dust devils, having spirits and that those spirits have needs, rights, and are capable of loosing their sanity and personal identity. There’s sword fights, compelling love and sacrifice, betrayal, conflict among the good guys, and a very persuasive spirit talker. While the characters didn’t particularly grow once they were established, they were immensely entertaining and I loved spending time with them. The plot was a little predictable, big picture-wise, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching Rachel Aaron fill in the details.
Our narrator Luke Daniels, whose work I know from Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, was excellent in this as well. I love his baffled, stunned bunny voice, the deeply pissed off spirit voice, and the accents. Heck, I’ll listen to anything Luke Daniels performs.
What I Liked: Miranda’s spirit hound was funny in an over-protective way; the near-constant conflict the main characters find themselves in; spirits like shiny things :); the dynamic between Josef and Nico makes me want to read more in this series; very epic ending.
What I Disliked: Miranda’s personality seemed to be mostly seriousness and/or piss & vinegar.
Tis the season of Fantasy Celebration and Stainless Steel Droppings is hosting the reading event to take part in and enjoy – Once Upon A Time. Come join the fun!