Spirit’s End: an Eli Monpress Novel by Rachel Aaron
Fifth and final novel of the series; review may contain spoilers for the fourth.
Having saved the Council Kingdoms at the expense of his own freedom, Eli seems to be in a bit of a pickle at the start of the book. Fortunately, if there’s one thing Eli is good at, it’s being so annoying that people will do anything to get rid of him, so Eli drops out of one bad situation and into a Council prison and a family reunion. Of course, even without the Shepherdess’ favour, no prison can Eli for long, and soon he is reunited with Josef and Nico and off to Maker Mountain to try to help a friend.
The Shepherdess, however, has a plan of her own, and finally unleashes the Storm League to go after Nico, which by itself is enough to change the world forever. But she’s going to do more than that.
Etmon Banage, arrested for treason, gives the Rectorship of the Spiritualists to Miranda, who must not only deal with politics within the organization, but also try to deal with conditions caused by the Shepherdess’ plan.
And of course, the Demon of Dead Mountain is involved. His fate will finally be settled, as will that of his daughter . . .
We learn a lot more about the world this time, and the world behind the world. Who the god-like beings are and what they’re up to. We learn the answers to the questions one character asks early in the book: “What is on the other side of the sky? . . . Why do the mountains ignore the claws that scrape their roots?” I had a couple of problems with the worldbuilding, but they mostly came down to, “she didn’t do it the way I would have”, which is a legitimate reason to write my own version but not a good reason to not recommend this.
So I do. Recommend it, that is. You should start with either The Spirit Thief or else The Legend of Eli Monpress, the omnibus of the first three books.
Bound In Blood by P. C. Hodgell