The Thief Lord

The Thief Lord

4.5 484
by Cornelia Funke, Simon Jones

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Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious thirteen-year-old who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo delight in being part of this colorful new family.

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Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious thirteen-year-old who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo delight in being part of this colorful new family. But the Thief Lord has secrets of his own. Soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.

Winner of the 2000 Zurich Children's Book Award and the 2001 Children's Book Award from the Vienna House of Literature.

Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Cornelia Funke's international award-winning novel, The Thief Lord took Europe by storm and lands on this shore with widespread acclaim. Filled with plenty of mood and colorful characters, this suspenseful tale marks the American debut of a wonderful talent.

Set in modern-day Venice, the book follows a troupe of runaways who partake in theft and resell their goods to a local shopkeeper. Two members -- Prosper and his little brother, Bo -- are being followed by Victor, a detective hired by their mean aunt, but luckily, they and the other kids are watched over by the gang's mysterious and self-assured leader, Scipio (the Thief Lord). As the kids have several run-ins with the sleuth, they're also focused on Scipio's new job to steal a precious wooden carousel wing. Yet when they discover a few skeletons in the Thief Lord's closet and befriend Victor, they realize there is more to their fantastic world than meets the eye.

Filled with strong characters and old-world charm, this engrossing read has a plotline that won't leave you bored. Several stories are interwoven with grace and suspense, and the ending brings them all together with a breath of satisfaction. Although the real magic comes only toward the end, Venice provides a spellbinding backdrop that will have you feeling as if you're riding in gondolas and dodging tourists in St. Mark's Square. An adventure with subtle themes of being mature and doing the right thing,The Thief Lord is molto magnifico! Matt Warner

Product Details

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Unabridged, 7 CDs, 8 hrs. 34 min
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 5.92(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Cornelia Funke is the author of the bestselling novels Dragon Rider, The Thief Lord, Inkheart, and Inkspell, all available on audio from Listening Library. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Brief Biography

Los Angeles, CA
Date of Birth:
December 10, 1958
Place of Birth:
Dorsten, Germany
University of Hamburg

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The Thief Lord 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 484 reviews.
Artemis15 More than 1 year ago
The descriptions in the book were phenomenal, such as, 'The moon hung high above the city as Prosper rushed out of the theater. The alley's lay empty and grew wisps of fog that floated eerily over the canals.' I just like the way Cornelia Funke ties in her descriptions with the action parts of the book, or the slow parts of the book, or for any part of the book for that matter. Without these little tid-bits of descriptive material, then there would be only dialogue, as most books do have. Descriptive writing is what makes up any book, especially this one. I like the character development as well; at first I didn't even know the slightest information about them besides their names, such as Hornet, Bo, Prosper, Mosca, Riccio, Scipio, and many more. By the end of the book, I felt like I had a one on one connection with all of the characters because gradually, Cornelia developed her characters into their personal stories, such as their real name's or where they were actually from. Although very boring at times, this book is a good read for all age groups, I recommend this to all.
Reads_a_lot More than 1 year ago
Okay, I kind of ruined it for myself by watching the movie first! However, the movie was great, just READ THE BOOK FIRST!
The book was great too, I love Cornelia Funke as an author. I strongly recommend any of her books. Especially, Igraine the Brave, the Inkheart trilogy, and Dragon Rider.
If Prosper were real, I'd marry him! :)
Patrick_Lean More than 1 year ago
The Thief Lord written by Cornelia Funke is a wonderful fictional story about two boys who ran away from their aunt. The story is exciting from the beginning, and the plot keeps you on a cliff hanger. Cornelia Funke does a great job of creating a setting, and it is easy to relate to the characters. As a person who finds it hard to stay interested in many books, I was not able to put this book down. Although being a quick read, The Thief Lord delivered a rich plot about how a group of street kids copes in the city of Venice. There are many twists in the plot. Cornelia Funke does a good job of writing each chapter from different points of view while still maintaining the main characters. After reading my first book written by Cornelia Funke, I will be sure to pick up another book she has written in the near future. Without a doubt I would recommend this story to people of all ages. It would keep younger kids intrigued while still providing entertainment for adults. To summarize, The Thief Lord is a great, exciting, and interesting book that would surely entertain whoever picks it up.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
At first glance it seems likely that Cornelia Funke's novel The Thief Lord (2000) will center around the Thief Lord. All the same the story actually starts with Prosper and Bo, brothers who have run away to avoid their nasty aunt who wants to separate them. Convinced that all of the wonderful stories their late mother told them about Venice will be true and keep them safe, the boys make their way to that fair city. Unfortunately Venice is not as magical as their mother had told them (at least not right away). Just when Prosper is prepared to accept defeat and return his younger brother to the warm and safe, if not loving, home of his aunt, the boys are taken in by a very unusual band of children. Led by Scipio, the Thief Lord, the children live in a condemned theater living off the riches that Scipio steals from Venice's elite. The children know little else about Scipio, but in exchange for his support and protection they are willing to overlook that small detail. Meanwhile, the brothers' aunt has enlisted a private investigator to locate the boys and bring Bo back to her (Prosper will be sent to an orphanage). Like any other investigator worth his salt, Victor soon picks up the trail of the children. The more this trio sees of each other, the more tenuous the children's existence in the Venice theater seems. Indeed, Victor's investigation could unearth a secret about the Thief Lord that will change all of their lives. Forever. The Thief Lord is told in the whimsical, ethereal tone common to some fairy tales. It is entirely appropriate for this story, but also manages to make it that much harder to believe that the story is real. While the book was enjoyable, it always felt like the characters were at a remove--visible but not near enough to discern subtleties.Funke describes Venice and its landscapes beautifully but leaves the characters much less dimensional I liked that the story had a lot of twists and turns, but by the end of the novel it felt a bit like one too many turns. Funke blends realistic incidents with pure fantasy creating an uneasy combination that sometimes works well in the text and other times left me scratching my head. In some ways it feels like the first and second half of the the story come from two different plots. After realizing that the novel was originally written in German, I suspect that the different culture and writing conventions might have contributed to my uneasiness in deciding whether I actually liked the book. In summary, The Thief Lord was entertaining and will likely please any young fantasy readers in the house even though it was not completely wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
All I am going to say in this review sums up in that this book is that it's great. It has the suspense of a mystery but has a story safe enough for a child to read. I'm not saying that this book is just for kids, though. It's good for adults too. As you read, you will be intrigued by the 'Thief Lord' Scipio, feel the internal struggles of Prosper, and be excited by the mysteriousness of the Thief Lord's life. This book is so good that I wish Funke would write a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really did like it. It was a great book that kept me reading till I finished the whole book....<333333
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading books about adventure. There is some magic in it, but to me it feels kind of subtle, which I actually like. I never wanted to put the book down while reading it. Also there is a movie to the book and I feel like they followed the book really close.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to be swept off to a land of mystery and twist endings, this is the book for you. I truly loved it and I now dream of going to venice.
SpeedSD More than 1 year ago
My son had to read this for school, and I like to know what he is reading so I picked it up also. This is a really great book about friendships and growing up (or not). My son enjoyed it very much (he is 11). It story is set in Venice, and you really get a feel of the area while reading this book. The story centers around two brothers -- Prosper (age 12) and Bo (age 5) who have run away from their aunt Esther because she only wants to keep Bo and send Prosper away to a boarding school. The boys can't stand to be apart and run away to the streets of Venice where they meet up with several other children. All of these children are lead by a boy known as Scipio (or, the Thief Lord). Meanwhile, the lovely aunt Esther has hired a private detective to look for the boys. The story line was a little slow to take off, but once it started moving, it never slowed down. It is a magical story that left me with a smile on my face. Lots of twists and turns in this story, and the ending was absolutely fabulous. We will definitely look for more from this author.
JGolomb More than 1 year ago
Peter Pan Meets Annie, Oliver Twist and Harry Potter Cornelia Funke's young-adult classic, &quot;The Thief Lord&quot; is a wonderful amalgam of Annie, Harry Potter, Oliver Twist and Peter Pan based in the true-to-life fantasy-land of Venice, Italy. The story centers around the run away brothers Prosper and Bo, whose mother recently passed away but left her boys with vivid stories of a city without streets and only canals, boats instead of cars, and palaces interspersed with a never-ending maze of teetering homes. Their Aunt Esther is only interested in adopting the younger Bo, and when faced with the prospect of being separated, the boys run from their native Germany to the Venice of their mother's bedtime tales. The boys hook up with a colorful band of other homeless children, led by the enigmatic leader Scipio, known as The Thief Lord. Using a recently abandoned movie theater as their home, the children have carved out a reasonable existence for themselves, until Aunt Esther employs Venice detective Victor Getz to track down Prosper and Bo. The homeless children engender the Lost Boys from Peter Pan, while a combination of character qualities encapsulate Peter Pan himself. The story is actually quite simple and reads very quickly at almost 350 pages. My 7th-grade son read the book in advance of our family trip to Venice and couldn't wait for me to read it as well. My 4th grader shouldn't have any problem with the readability and concepts, and I think even my High Schooler will enjoy the simple innocence of the characters as well as the solidly colorful sense of Venice that Funke provides. The sweet spot for the story is probably high-reading 4th graders through 6th grade. And I'd highly recommend this for any children traveling to Venice. There's a rather dramatic shift towards fantasy in the last third of the book. It took me by surprise, since the first two-thirds are quite realistic and down to earth. At first thrown off and not particularly appreciating the shift, I've found myself thinking about the conclusions and simple messages of the story and found myself rather liking it. While rich with the emotions of the homeless children, Prosper and Scipio in particular, the story is very appropriate for most ages, with no violence, and clear children's-story morality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The thief lord is a MUST READ.I rate it a billion stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was full of suspense and mystery. But, like any other Cornelia Funke book, it ended with an amazing flourish. The ending was very surprising. Really,really good book.
christy_wooke More than 1 year ago
Loved this until the ending. The book was so so wonderful, and then all of a sudden near the end, a magic carousel is introduced out of nowhere...? BUT definitely worth the read.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
Cornelia really seems to weave a rich tapestry out of this story-from the plot, to the characters, in my opinion, she did a remarkably astounding job!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book and movie was amazing!! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to rrad this but I haven't yet so please tell me about how good this book is. Also I was wondering if anyone knew how to find Night of the Twisters. Please say if you can answer my kibda questions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cornelia Funke is brilliant. You won't waste your time reading this. If you get the chance, try out Inkheart, too. She was my first "favorite" author. Not much else to say. ~RaisingCain
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a movie made a few years back it was good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
<3 it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago