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.
It’s been a couple of months since I read this one and I confess I’m still a little bit confused on my feelings toward it. This story continues the story from the first book. Eli is on the run and Miranda is dealing with the consequences. I have to say, I really felt for Miranda here. The Spirit Court seems pretty corrupt and she definitely got a raw deal. I do love Miranda, and especially love when she and Eli interact with each other whether they are working on the same side (reluctantly) or she’s trying to catch him.
The thing I loved most about the first book, which I continued to love here, is Eli’s character. He’s actually a pretty great person for a rascal and a thief. His ego continues to be amusing. Of course when someone advertises something as ‘thief-proof’, Eli is going to try to prove that wrong–he’s the greatest thief ever, after all. That being said, the other thing I enjoyed in the first book is the camaraderie between the characters. I love a story with a rag-tag group. But something felt missing between them. Like all the bones were there, but the meat was missing and there just wasn’t that ‘group’ feeling, like it was lacking a connection somewhere.
The other thing I really loved about this one is the further glimpse into the world of spirits that we get. The Duke is up to no good and even the spirits in his realm are subject to his every whim. I don’t want to go into much detail because I don’t want to spoil things, but we get to see how spirits can be used mercilessly and I really felt for the spirits under the Duke’s rule.
The plot to this was not bad. I enjoyed seeing Eli do his thing and then have to figure out how to deal with the Duke and an unexpected character show up to steal his spotlight. But some of the side-plots felt like they weren’t happening in the same story, like perhaps they were there to try and advance those characters, but didn’t really have much impact on the story overall.
Ultimately, the book felt uneven to me and fell a little flat in places. I can’t exactly put my finger on what was missing other than to say it felt like this book needed something more to it. Perhaps more heart, because that’s one thing I’ve come to love about Aaron’s writing. And I see the beginnings of that here, but it’s not fully fleshed out, so that leaves me feeling a bit disappointed. I did still enjoy the book in the end, however, and will continue the series because I really can’t resist a rogue. 3.5/5 stars.