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.