Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Spirit's End by Rachel Aaron

So the journey that began for me a couple of years ago comes to an end. Spirit's End is, for me, rather bittersweet. I'd like to say firstly that it was a fun ride and I'm very pleased that I picked up The Spirit Thief and went on this trip with Eli Monpress and Co. So why is it a little bittersweet moment? Mostly because it's finished. This is one of the most recent epicish type series that I can remember seeing to it's end. Many of them seem to drag on for years, outlasting their creators and/or their welcomes. Eli Monpress hasn't done that.

The books did become progressively darker as each installment came out, but they still never lost that underlying sense of fun that they began with. The author has a few balls in the air by now and it was interesting to see how she resolved the various storylines, and did so in a satisfactory way.

A lot of this one takes place a white limbo called Between. This is where the goddess known as Benehime the Shepherdess dwells, along with her two brothers the Weaver and the Hunter. Interesting that a white nothingness is where some of the book's darkest sequences are set. The relationship between Benehime and Eli is truly twisted. It's also quite frightening how fixated Benehime is on the wizard/thief, who only wanted to be loved, not possessed.

There's some wonderful moments in this where Eli is free of Benehime and still proving that he can make it without her, because his powers of persuasion are his, not hers and she can't take them away from him.

Thinking about the ending of the book, whilst everything is resolved and we've probably heard all of Eli's story and that of the world he inhabits, it is left open ended enough that if the author wanted to go back and write more she could, but she doesn't have to. They really came full circle, with Eli still trying to increase his bounty and planning more capers with Josef and Nico, while Miranda will do her level best to bring him to justice.

A really fun series that was well plotted and had a cast that was young and vibrant. I look forward to seeing what else Rachel Aaron can give us in the future. While you wait you should give the Eli Monpress series a chance, it's one of the better ones to come out in recent times, and unlike many other better regarded series, this one actually has an ending.

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