The Spirit Thief
Orbit Books (327 pp, $7.99, October 2010)
Reviewed by Thomas M. MacKay
Eli Monpress is a thief, and he would be the first to tell you that he is a pretty good one. That is not the reason the wizards of the Spirit Court have put a bounty on his head and sent one of their top troubleshooters to hunt him. Eli Monpress is also a wizard, and he is giving the wizards a bad name. He is deuced hard to catch, though. He travels with a swordsman who carries a magical sword he refuses to use, a demon-possessed girl who refuses to succumb to her demon, and the voices of all the spirits that live in every tumbled rock and growing tree. And Eli Monpress has a goal – it may not be his only goal, it may not even be his most important goal, but Eli Monpress intends to have the bounty on his head grow to be the largest there has ever been.
Of course, in order to do that he is going to have to give a lot of people pretty significant reasons to dedicate their gold to his capture. And since he is a thief, that means stealing things – and he travels to the little country of Mellinor to do just that. Mellior’s perfect because, by law, no wizards are allowed to live there. But Mellinor doesn’t have any great treasures in its treasure room worth doubling the bounty on Eli’s head, so he will have to steal something else. Something they would notice; something they would want back. Something that usually sits on the throne. Or perhaps that should be someone…