Reading Level: Adult
Length: 8 hours and 19 minutes (368 pages)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Legend of Eli Monpress series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I have had this book to read for quite sometime. This was a fun and light fantasy adventure read but left me feeling like something was missing. There are five books total in this series.
I listened to this on audiobook. It was narrated by Luke Daniels, who also narrates The Iron Druid Chronicles. He does a great job narrating these light-hearted books. But honestly it was a bit distracting because I kept thinking about the characters from the Iron Druid Chronicles, the voices he uses for characters in this book are very similar to the voices he uses for characters in that series.
This book follows two main characters. The first is a thief named Eli Monpress who has an uncanny ability to convince things to do what he wants them to do. He is determined to have the highest bounty ever recorded put on his head and has decided that kidnapping a King is the best way to hit that goal. The second character is a Spiritualist (a type of wizard that has spirit servants) named Miranda who is sent to capture Eli. When the King’s evil younger wizard brother (who is an Enslaver of spirits) steps onto the throne after the King’s kidnapping, Eli and Miranda find themselves in the uncomfortable situation of having to work together.
This was a fun and light fantasy novel. I really loved the idea of everything (even inanimate objects) having a spirit that certain wizards can communicate with. This was a creative idea that made for a number of interesting situations throughout the novel.
Eli Monpress is lighthearted and doesn’t ever take anything seriously. He also has a strange ability to make any spirit do what he wants just by asking. Not a lot is revealed about his past or his true goals. Eli remains a mystery throughout.
Miranda comes across as a very upstanding and noble character. She takes herself a bit too seriously and comes off as kind of immature and whiny at times. I grew to like her character over time, but she was somewhat annoying at the beginning of the book.
There are a number of side characters who read like sketches from a Dungeon and Dragons quest. You have a couple guys wielding magical swords, a young girl partially possessed by a demon, an evil wizard, and a giant magical dog. They were all interesting, but also lacked much depth. All of them have secrets and none of those secrets were revealed in this book.
So even though there was a lot of action, interesting magic, and some interesting characters I found this book to be lacking something. Everything was just very surfacey. The story was wrapped up too neatly. There isn’t a lot that really drives the story besides the whole banishing the evil wizard. It was just very light-hearted and fluffy. When I was done with the book I was kind of like “Eh, well okay what should I read next.”
Overall a fun light-hearted fantasy. This book has an interesting magic system and some intriguing characters but it missing some depth. I wasn’t really all that engaged with the characters or the world. I do kind of want to know more about Eli Monpress and his secrets, but that would be the only reason I keep reading this series. Right now I am unsure whether or not I will continue with this series.