Title: Spirit’s End
Author: Rachel Aaron
Series: The Legend of Eli Monpress #5
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Overview: Eli Monpress is clever, he’s determined, and he’s in way over his head. First rule of thievery: don’t be a hero. When Eli broke the rules and saved the Council Kingdoms, he thought he knew the price, but resuming his place as the Shepherdess’s favorite isn’t as simple as bowing his head. Now that she has her darling back, Benehime is setting in motion a plan that could destroy everything she was created to protect, and even Eli’s charm might not be enough to stop her. But Eli Monpress always has a plan, and with disaster rapidly approaching, he’s pulling in every favor he can think of to make it work, including the grudging help of the Spirit Court’s new Rector, Miranda Lyonette. But with the world in panic, the demon stirring, and the Lord of Storms back on the hunt, it’s going to take more than luck and charm to pull Eli through this time. He’s going to have to break a few more rules and work with some old enemies if he’s going to survive.
If you are a fantasy-lover and have not yet had the pleasure to read The Legend of Eli Monpress, you are missing out. This series has some of the best world-building of any series I’ve ever read. Combine that with great characters, a cool magic system, originality, an engaging plot, and a fantastic writing style, and you can begin to see why I hold this author and series in such high regard. Aaron is such a great writer that, in my opinion, there’s not a single element storytelling from a craft standpoint that she doesn’t do brilliantly.
With that said, you would think composing this review would be a walk in the park, however, I’ve stalled on writing it longer than any other book this year. I loved how it wrapped up all of the conflicts of the series. It was a beautifully epic series that deserved an epic ending, and that’s exactly what it got. I feel really guilty for saying this, but I think the ending may have been just a tad bit too drawn out. It essentially took up a full third of the book, making me hold my breath uncomfortably for a really long time. There was so much momentum going into this last book that I don’t know how Aaron could have done it any other way. I wanted to know what happened badly enough to devour it in one sitting, but definitely had one of those Lord of the Rings (film) moments where I wasn’t sure if it was actually ever going to end. As with the LOTR, although it felt drawn out, I couldn’t tell you which part I felt she should cut… it was all essential to completing the plot and everything needed time to fully flesh out (not to mention the dozen or so amazing characters that needed proper resolution). Anyway, I think you can see why I’ve had such conflict over this one. Let’s suffice to say, now that I’m finished with the series, I eventually loved where it ended. We ‘ll leave it at that.
I’m actually kind of sad it’s over – I thoroughly enjoyed these characters, some of which are now among my all-time favorites (Nico, I’m talking to you). This is one of those books I will definitely go back and reread, if for nothing else than to study the craft because, seriously, Aaron is brilliant. The good news is, I just found out she published a space opera trilogy under the name Rachel Bach, so you’d better believe I will be devouring those as soon as I can get my hands on them!
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