Review: Spirit’s End by Rachel Aaron

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Spirit’s End by Rachel AaronSpirit's End by Rachel Aaron
Series: The Legend of Eli Monpress #5
Published by Orbit on November 20, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Epic Fantasy
Pages: 560
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars

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.

Tbh I’ve been putting Spirit’s End off for several months. Don’t get me wrong: I really like this series. All of the books are great, and I wasn’t lying with my ratings. However, the lack of romance was getting to me, and I was just sort of done. Only I had one more book left. I took a break and reread Harry Potter and read a couple other things too, but the time had come. I decided I was going to finish Spirit’s End, no matter what, even though I wasn’t in the mood. Well trolololol I was so not in the mood that I sat down and binge read the whole thing because it was so fucking good.

Spirit’s End, which I’d been putting off, turned out to be my favorite of the whole (very good) bunch by a long shot. In the final installment, Rachel Aaron stepped up the action, the epicness, and the feels. Conclusions often go out with a whimper rather than a bang, but this one BOOMS. The ending surprised me in so many different ways, and I love the way Aaron resolved everything. Although View Spoiler ». There’s a reason I love Rachel Aaron/Bach’s books so much. Her plots are to die for basically. This one is SO epic, and I would talk about it more, but also spoilers. Part of why it’s so awesome is that I couldn’t predict a lot of what went down.

Also, reading this one, I realized something that’s been true all the time but that I’d failed to notice: this series would make the BEST anime. Like, I actually could see one playing out in my head. The magical system, the characters, everything fits so well with the anime form. I mean, Josef’s powers are extreme, as are the looks of most of the characters. The demons totally had me thinking of the hollows in Bleach View Spoiler »! It’s all there, and I suspect intentionally since I know Aaron enjoys anime.

The pacing in some of the other novels tended to be pretty placid at the start and slowly amp up, but Spirit’s End was intense and unputdownable the whole time. Even more impressive is despite the scale of the danger they were facing, it never last its sense of humor. I mean, in small moments sure, but on a whole the tone fits with the rest of the series. I adore when people laugh in the face of danger.

The characters of The Legend of Eli Monpress are precious. Eli’s charming and oh the poor boy. I feel bad for all he’s been through, but also so happy that he found his family in Josef and Nico. Despite it all he can laugh and be good to others, rather than continuing the abuse he received from Benehime. Once again, I’m so in love, not just with Eli, but with his role in this series. Though it’s “his series” arguably, he often does the least to save everyone. His role when he does save the day is actually more of a passive one: View Spoiler ». It’s such an interesting dynamic. He’s the leader, but his sidekicks are much more impressive and powerful; his strength is clearly in his ideas and his trust in his friends.

Nico, Josef, Miranda, Gin: I’ll miss them all. One of my favorite non-romancey tropes is the found family. These people, all strange and out of place in the lives they’d led to that point, find each other and find a home. So many feels, man. Yes, I would have also liked a wee bit more of the romance between Nico and Josef, but ultimately I’m happy with their group dynamics. And I am happy that there was no romance for Eli because he’s so not in a place for that, and I actually read him as ace, though I don’t know if he’s aromantic or not. Also that may be headcanon so whatever.

I’m still a bit unsure what to make of Sara. Her whole arc in this series, while fascinating, has me scratching my head a bit. Is she a villain? A misguided good guy? I definitely like Eli’s dad, though he’s a bit stodgy, although what else do you expect from Miranda’s idol. Sara and Sparrow are an interesting case, and, though I’m not sure how I feel about it, I do like that there’s so much moral ambiguity in this series. It’s a good example of the fact that nothing’s simple. Even Benehime has shades to her character. Eli himself is our hero, but he’s also an unapologetic thief, so.

Spirit’s End is one of the strongest series endings I’ve read. Get on this series, guys! I recommend it most highly to fans of Six of Crows, Firefly, or anime like Bleach.

Favorite Quote:

“If there’s a problem, we’ll figure it out,” Josef said. “Or make Eli figure it out. That’s what we keep him around for.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif we may experience turbulence and then explode firefly

5 responses to “Review: Spirit’s End by Rachel Aaron”

  1. Meg says:

    YES SO VERY YES TO YOUR SPOILER I MEAN SERIOUSLY THOUGH WTF
    Meg recently posted…Review: Confessions of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle CuevasMy Profile

  2. I’m so glad you loved this series! I read these quite a while ago and absolutely LOVED them. I think I binge-read them all. It makes me a bit sad to see how underrated it is, so I’m so happy to see your review!

    I never really thought about it, but you’re right. This would make quite the anime!
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted…Mini Reviews of Riyria | A Thank You Note to Michael J. SullivanMy Profile

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