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Genre: Fantasy, General Fantasy
Although Rachel Aaron’s creative fantasy novel manages to pull the reader in by the middle of the book, the first half has a slow pace and is hard to follow. This fifth installment in The Legend of Eli Monpress series will probably leave readers who are new to the series confused for a large portion of the book. But once the unusual characters and setting are explained, the reader is free to enjoy the eventually exciting plot. As the book comes to a close, you’ll be dying to know the ending, and will be awed by the well-planned but unexpected conclusion. Overall, it’s a worthwhile read, especially for fans of the series.
As the book opens, the famous and proud thief, Eli Monpress, is snatched from the scene of a battle and is taken back to the world of the Shepherdess, who favors him above all others. Although he once loved her, he can no longer accept her cruel and uncaring ways; he requests again to be set free, and she agrees. But, hurt by his betrayal, she removes the mark of her blessing and sends him to be captured by the authorities who search for the thief. After a daring escape, Monpress goes on the run with his friends, Josef, wielder of the Heart of War, and the unusual demonseed, Nico. In his travels, he discovers just how much the Shepherdess has been ignoring her duties. Meanwhile, their longtime enemy, new leader of the court, Miranda, is learning exactly what is going on and vows to stop it. Slowly the secret workings of the spirit world are explained to them, and they are brought together in a fight to save what is left of the world from the Shepherdess’ betrayal. (ORBIT, Nov., 560 pp., $14.99)
Reviewed By: Annalee Schuck
Published: November 2012