The Magic Thief

( 129 )

Overview

Young Conn, living as a thief and not knowing his own talents, apprentices himself to a wizard named Nevery and helps rescue the city's store of magic from an evil underlord and traitor.

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The Magic Thief (Magic Thief Series #1)

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Overview

Young Conn, living as a thief and not knowing his own talents, apprentices himself to a wizard named Nevery and helps rescue the city's store of magic from an evil underlord and traitor.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
An uncommonly engaging young narrator kicks this debut fantasy ahead of the general run. Street-rat Connwaer's skill at picking locks and pockets comes back to bite him when he tries to steal the "locus magicalicus" talisman of gruff sorcerer Nevery Flinglas. Suddenly, Conn finds himself apprenticed to the magician, searching for a locus magicalicus of his own (all magicians have to have one), and deeply involved in discovering why all magic is rapidly draining out of the town of Wellmet. Canny, a quick study and endowed with a heroic appetite for biscuits, Conn works his way into the hearts of both his master and the mystery, meeting several memorable characters-notably Benet, a surly hired thug who can cook and knit as well as he can break heads-along the way to a literally explosive climax. All in all a sturdy start, illustrated with Caparo's realistic portraits at the chapter heads and reminiscent of Angie Sage's Septimus Heap tales (Queste, 2008, etc.) in style and setting. (map; glossary, runes and biscuit recipe not seen) (Fantasy. 10-13)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“This is the first in an anticipated trilogy, and since Conn has a lot yet to learn, he is sure to draw avid fans back for more”
ALA Booklist
“What works wonderfully well here is the boy’s irresistible voice” (starred review)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
“This is the first in an anticipated trilogy, and since Conn has a lot yet to learn, he is sure to draw avid fans back for more”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“This is the first in an anticipated trilogy, and since Conn has a lot yet to learn, he is sure to draw avid fans back for more”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606865132
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2010
  • Series: Magic Thief Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 419
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Prineas

Sarah Prineas lives in the midst of the corn in rural Iowa and can usually be found writing fantasy novels on a stealthy silver MacBook Air called Dash. Prineas's Magic Thief series introduced readers to the irascible wizard Nevery and his gutterboy apprentice, Connwaer. Sarah holds a PhD in English literature and recently taught honors seminars on fantasy and science fiction literature at the University of Iowa. She has an amazing dragon action-figure collection and occasionally bakes biscuits (although she says hers never seem to turn out as tasty as Benet's do in The Magic Thief). She is also the author of Winterling, Summerkin, and Moonkind.

Sarah is married to John Prineas, a physics professor, which comes in handy when she's writing about magic. They are the parents of Maud and Theo.

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Read an Excerpt

Magic Thief, The SNY

Chapter One

A thief is a lot like a wizard. I have quick hands. And I can make things disappear. But then I stole the wizard's locus magicalicus and nearly disappeared myself forever.

It was a late night in the Twilight, black-dark as the inside of a burglar's bag. The streets were deserted. A sooty fog crept up from the river, and the alleyways echoed with shadows. Around me I felt the city, echoing and empty, desolate and dead.

The cobblestones under my bare feet were slick with the evening's rain. No luck that day for my quick, pocket-pick hands, and I hadn't managed to filch my supper or a bit of copper to buy it with. I was hollow with hunger. I might have tried somewhere else, except that the Underlord had a word out on me, and his minions would beat the fluff out of me if they could. Keeping an eye out, I lurked in an alleyway.

At dusk, the shift had changed at the factories along the river, and the workers had trudged by, up the hill to their tenements, and I hadn't even bothered to try them. They never had any spare money. Now it was late. The rain started up again, not a hard rain, but a cold one, just enough to get into your bones and make you shiver. A good night for misery eels. I hunched into my lurking spot and thought about warm dinners.

Then I heard it. Step step tap. Step step tap. I edged back into my alley shadows to wait, and along he came. Old man, I thought. A bent, bearded, cloak-wearing old croakety croak leaning on a cane. Climbing the steep street toward me. Muttering to himself. His purse, I decided, would be paying for my dinner, though he didn't know it yet.

At my corner, he paused. Fog smoked around him. He lifted his head, and I saw the gleam of a keen-eyed glance beneath his wide-brimmed hat. Nobody here, I thought. Just us shadows. He lowered his head and went on. Step step tap. Step step tap.

I was a shadow, a breath of air, light-feather fingers and—quick hands—I ghosted up behind him, dipped into his cloak pocket, grabbed what I found within, and was gone. Away clean.

Or so I thought. The old man went on, not noticing a thing, and I slipped back into my alley and opened my hand to see what I'd got for my trouble. Maybe enough for a nice roast pork dinner, a few potatoes with pepper, some pie for afters.

Even in the shadows, the thing I'd stolen was darker than dark, and though it was small, a stone no bigger than a baby's fist, it was heavier than the heart of a man on his way to the gallows tree. It was a magical thing. The wizard's locus magicalicus. As I stared down at the wizardly stone, it started to glow. Soft at first, with the red warmth of coals in a winter hearth. Then, a sudden fierce flash of lightning and the alley was alive with dancing, flashing light, the shadows fleeing like frightened black cats.

I heard the wizard coming back. Step step tap. Step step tap. Quickly I fisted the stone and shoved it down deep into my pocket. Darkness fell again. As I turned, blinking the brights from my eyes to look, the old man came tip-tapping around my corner, and, reaching out with a big hand, grabbed me by the shoulder.

"Well, boy," he said. His voice was strong and gravelly.

I stood still. I know trouble when it grabs me.

The old man looked down at me with keen-glancing eyes. Silence for a long, dark moment. In my pocket, the stone weighed and warmed. Then he said, "You look hungry."

Well, yes. I was. Carefully, cautiously, I nodded.

"Then I will buy you some dinner," the old man said. "Roast pork, perhaps? Potatoes and pie?"

I swallowed. He hadn't realized I'd nicked his focus locus stone, had he? Would I go with him, then? Eat a good dinner against the cold and wet night? My head was telling me this was not a good idea. The old man was a wizard, clear as clear, and what kind of fool sits down to eat dinner with a wizard?

But my empty-since-yesterday stomach was telling me even louder that it wanted pork and peppered potatoes and pie. It told me to nod and I did. "Well then," the old man wizard said. "The chophouse on the corner is still open." He let me go and started step-tapping down the street, and I went with him. "I am Nevery," he said. "And your name?"

Telling wizards your name is generally not a good idea. I didn't answer. Just walked along beside him. Carefully, so Nevery couldn't see, I put my hand into my pocket. The locus stone fit smoothly into my palm, heavy and warm. With the stone in my hand, the night felt less cold and damp, my stomach less empty. The wizard seemed to be looking ahead to the chophouse on the corner, but I caught a glimpse of his keen-gleam eyes, watching me from under the brim of his hat.

The chophouse was lit by a coal fire in the hearth and was empty except for its keeper. "Dinner," the wizard ordered, and held up two fingers. The chophouse keeper nodded and went to fetch the food. We settled at a table, me with my back against the wall, Nevery blocking my way to the door.

"Well, boy," the wizard said, taking off his hat. In the brighter light I saw that his eyes were black and his hair, beard, and eyebrows silver gray. Beneath his dark gray cloak, he wore black trousers and a black frock coat with a velvet collar and an embroidered black waistcoat, all of it just a bit shabby, as if he'd once had more money than he did now. He leaned his gold-knobbed cane against the table. "A cold, wet night for travelers, is it not?"

A cold, wet night for anyone, I thought. I nodded.

He looked at me. I looked back....

Magic Thief, The SNY. Copyright © by Sarah Prineas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 129 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(100)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 131 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Lynn Crow for TeensReadToo.com

    Conn was just hoping for a few coins to buy food when he picked the pocket of the wizard who passed his alleyway. What he gets is an adventure far bigger than he could have imagined. The wizard, Nevery, takes an interest in Conn, and takes him in as a servant and then an apprentice. With regular meals, blankets to sleep under, and enough magical objects and lessons to keep Conn's eager mind occupied, the once-homeless boy couldn't be happier. <BR/><BR/>Unfortunately for Conn, nothing is as simple as it seems. Before he can truly become an apprentice, he must find his locus magicalicus (the stone which will focus his magical power) in a most unlikely place, convince Nevery that one of his fellow wizards is consorting with the city's cruel Underlord, and figure out why the city's magic is fading away--and how to save it--before the city dies from the lack of it. It's a terribly large task for a boy who has only just started learning his letters, but Conn is nothing if not resourceful. <BR/><BR/>THE MAGIC THIEF will pull readers in so completely that they'll have trouble setting the book aside. The details of the Victorian-esque world are so vividly drawn that readers will feel the chill of the icy winds and taste the buttery goodness of Conn's favorite biscuits. What makes the book particularly special is Conn himself. His voice is lively, with exactly the sort of street-smart practicality and frankness you'd expect from a boy who has spent most of his life on the streets. Despite his criminal background, Conn is good-hearted, and simply longs for a place where he can make something of himself. <BR/><BR/>Readers will sympathize with his struggle to prove himself to Nevery and the city's authorities, and appreciate his clear-headed thinking amid all the secrecy and scheming of the adults around him. The novel's conclusion is quite satisfying, while leaving lots open for the second book in the trilogy, which many will be clamoring to get as soon as they have finished this one. An all-round enjoyable read that easily stands out from the many fantasy novels on the shelves.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Done with the book

    The book is an amazing book! I would recommend this book to any person who likes the Percy Jackson series.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Great book

    Loved this book and the rest of the trilogy too.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Amazing!!!

    I absolutely love this book! It is well written, cool and a great page turner for all ages! One of my favs.!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2011

    Fantastic Series

    This story contains characters that have hidden layers that are revealed as you get to know them. The world of Wellmet has been carefully constructed by Sarah Prineas, allowing the reader to really enter that world. This stories contains humor, suspense, and optimism. Pick it up today!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2011

    one of my favorite books!!!!!

    this is such a good book!!!!!!! i recomend this for all people who love fiction and excitement.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2009

    Conn on the run

    I loved the story and the action in The Magic Thief. I just couldn't put it down once Conn was sneaking in to the palace. And I just about bit my nails off when he got captured by the Underlord Crowe's right hand man Pettivox and almost strangeled by the misery ells. Overall it was a great book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Great book

    Almost done with the first book in 1 1/2 days!!!! Really good book got in trouble for reading it and not paying attention in class!!!! ;)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    The magic theif

    The magic thief is very interesting and i love mystery and adventure bcooks. I read this book in 4 days. I can read the second book in 3 days.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    The magic thief

    This book is full of surprises and is fantastic

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Good book

    At first it was confusing with made up words but then it got interesting and i found i couldn't put it down.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    One of the greatist most magical book ive ever read!!! I loved every moment i spent reading it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    amazing

    It is one of my favorite books and i'll read it time and time again it is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo goooooooooooooooooooooopooooooooooooooooooooooood thank you good night and incase I don't see you again good morning

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Awesome

    Read it good for 11 year olds

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2011

    Awsome

    Get this now

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2011

    Awesome

    This book is the best book ever! I love it!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    :)

    Good. Reccommended

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    great book

    i read this and i could not stop! i finished it in a day flat!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    FIRE?FIRE

    FIRE?FIRE
    TWICE THE MAGIC FOR ALL!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    Yourmom

    Great book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 131 Customer Reviews

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