Book Review: The Spirit War by Rachel Aaron


Eli Monpress is vain. He’s cocky. And he’s a thief.
But he’s a thief who has just seen his bounty topped and he’s not happy about it. The bounty topper, as it turns out, is his best friend, bodyguard, and master swordsman, Josef. Who has been keeping secrets from Eli. Apparently, he’s the only prince of a rather feisty country and his mother (a formidable queen who’s every bit as driven and stubborn as he is) wants him to come home and do his duty, which means throwing over personal ambitions like proving he’s the greatest swordsman who ever lived.
Family drama aside, Eli and Josef have their hands full. The Spirit Court has been usurped by the Council of Thrones and someone calling herself the Immortal Empress is staging a massive invasion. But it’s not just politics — the Immortal Empress has a specific target in mind: Eli Monpress, the greatest thief in the world.



I’m a huge fan of Rachel Aaron’s work and have steadily been working my way through her backlist. The Legend of Eli Monpress series has been a fun ride so far but this book kicks things up to another level. LOVED IT.

This volume focuses on Josef and his back story, just like the previous book revealed a lot about Nico and her back story. We learn that Josef is a prince! Although he’s not really keen on taking up his royal duties and would much rather continue with his greatest swordsman in the world quest. I loved all of the things we learn about Josef. Not only do we get his back story but we learn more about who he is as a person, what he wants out of life, the things that are important to him, and what makes him tick. I appreciate diving into a character in depth like that, especially these side characters because Rachel always makes her friends a bit like a found family.

As we dig into Josef’s past and visit his homeland the gang gets involved in the local politics, which turn out to be rather far-reaching and world-changing than it seems on first glance. While the gang is dealing with Josef’s stuff, Miranda is out trying to find out more about the spirits and what can be done about The Spirit Court. Eventually all these threads come to a head and things get really real.

I’ll admit, because I was listening to this on audio I did zone out a few times and so I have only a mild recollection of how things escalated so quickly near the end but wow, they really escalated! We also get some more of Eli’s background and some crazy things happen right at the end of the book. That ending!!! I probably won’t wait too long before continuing on to the last book because after that ending I really want to know what happens. Also, I feel like Eli’s still a bit of a mystery in some ways and I can’t wait to see what else is revealed in the conclusion to this series.

If you’re looking for a fun series with a great cast of characters, some capers, but also has some serious depth to it, then this is definitely a good one to check out. 4.5/5 stars.

15 thoughts on “Book Review: The Spirit War by Rachel Aaron

  1. proxyfish says:

    Great review! I’ve never heard of this series but this sounds terrific!

    I also zone out at times with audiobooks… I find I have to be doing something else at the same time to maintain concentration! 😂

  2. Susy's Cozy World says:

    You reminded me of this series. I have a volume with the first three books, or so I think, and I have read the first one. But I never continued it even if I intended to do it. As per usual, so many books and so little time!
    But I am glad you enjoyed this one and now I really want to go on with this series!

  3. Meaghan @ Hail and Well Read says:

    I am always SO EXCITED to see this series get some love, and I’m so happy to hear you loved this one! It’s probably my personal favorite, barring the stellar facets of the conclusion and how they handle all the character relationships, and I love love love the way it all blows up near the end.

    Hopefully this review gets more folks to try the series out! You put everything there is to love about the series into this so well!

    • waytoofantasy says:

      It really does all blow up at the end of this one, I was NOT expecting that! I’m looking forward to the last book and seeing how everything turns out. I am really loving Rachel Aaron’s stuff, I’m trying to work my way through her back list. 🙂

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