My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I came to this book without reading the first in the series, but it was immediately easy to follow and enjoy the fast-paced story. I’ve wanted to read a novel by Rachel Aaron since I came across her brilliant writers’ blog and how-to-guide, ‘from 2k to 10k’. Could writing at speed really result, as she claimed, in compelling stories and flowing prose, or would the speed show up in the form of poor plotting or sloppy style? Well, since coming across The Spirit Rebellion (book 2 in a series featuring the incorrigible thief Eli Monpress), I have my answer. Despite the very occasional typo, The Spirit Rebellion is a superb story, well written, and I would have been proud to have produced it at any speed.
Eli Monpress is an entertaining character: a roguish wizard with a penchant for befriending waifs and strays, and accumulating priceless artefacts. Miranda, apart from being a Spiritualist, is more of your average girl-next-door type, and she’s not too happy about finding herself thrown into the midst of Eli’s chaotic way of life, especially when it leads to her expulsion from the Spirit Court, to which she’s dedicated her life. When Eli’s latest theft and Miranda’s new job bring them both to the Duke of Gaol’s citadel, they are thrown together again in a quest to vanquish the tyrannical ruler of the region.
Their quest pits them against some fearsome adversaries, and the book is peopled with an unlikely but fascinating cast of characters, including a demon-possessed girl, the West Wind, and Eli’s adoptive father. There’s never a dull moment in this high-speed adventure, and I’ll definitely be looking out for the rest of the series.
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