cover image The Spirit Thief

The Spirit Thief

Rachel Aaron, Orbit, $7.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-06905-2

After a slow start, debut author Aaron pulls the action together and turns in a romp of a lighthearted fantasy starring an absolutely darling rogue. Eli Monpress is a talented thief with a knack for persuasion and more than his fair share of looks and charisma, and his skill with magic makes him truly formidable. While trying to earn the title of the man with the biggest bounty on his head, Eli kidnaps the king of Mellinor, planning to let him go once the bounty goes up. Then the king's exiled brother pulls a fast one and takes over the kingdom, and Eli must make things right. Aaron's breezy style at times tends toward the farcical and absurd, which may not be what she intended but will keep humor-loving readers looking out for subsequent volumes in the planned trilogy. (Oct.)