Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Thief

Megan Whalen Turner
HarperCollins, 1996

It took me some time to see the light. I thought this book started slow. Sure, the first person point of view character had an engaging voice and a charming personality, but I read for plot. I wanted action and adventure. When a young thief is dragged out of the royal prison and hired by the king to steal a politically significant and possibly magical artifact from a neighboring country, he sets off on a pleasant ride through the countryside escorted by a soldier, a scholar, and two scholarly apprentices. Snooze. I don't think I would have read any further if my husband hadn't taken over and read the book out loud to me.

Not reading on would have been a tragedy. I would never have discovered that several members of this jolly party, including the narrator, are not who they seem to be.

Read this book twice. The first time, it is a good book that gets better and better. The second time, once you know all the answers, the book is a work of pure genius. Recommended for ages twelve and up.


  1. Loved, loved, LOVED this book! Loved the twist, loved the set-up, loved the characters.

    Unfortunately, the sequel, The Queen of Attolia, is ALWAYS checked out at the library. They have the third one, The King, but the second is missing. I suspect it's lost for good...guess I'll have to take the plunge and just buy it.

  2. The style of the second book is very different from the first. I adored The Thief, and merely liked The Queen, but I did very much enjoy The King. And I loved reading The Thief out loud. I don't think the other books work as well out loud.