The Thief Lord

The Thief Lord

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The enchanting international bestseller with bonus back matter and a beautiful new cover!

Two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, have run away to Venice, where crumbling canals and misty alleyways shelter a secret community of street urchins. Leader of this motley crew of lost children is a clever, charming boy with a dark history of his own: He calls himself the Thief Lord.

Propser and Bo relish their new "family" and life of petty crime. But their cruel aunt and a bumbling detective are on their trail. And posing an even greater threat to the boys' freedom is something from a forgotten past: a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545227704
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 05/01/2010
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 35,582
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.93(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Cornelia Funke is the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The Thief Lord, Dragon Rider, and the Inkheart trilogy, along with many other chapter and picture books for younger readers. She lives in Los Angeles, California, in a house filled with books.


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. 536 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.
sirfurboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a good adventure in a wonderful setting. Part of the main plot appears to be borrowed from Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes", but this is a very different story.It should be enjoyable to younger readers, although is not a children's book that is so transferable to adults I think. It nevertheless remains a delightful romp with plenty of action, adventure and intrigue.
ruthaly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An amazing childrens book.You should read it
laf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about two children who run away to Venice, Italy. I didn't care for the story because there wasn't that much action, and it was extremely unimaginative. It was too realistic. I didn't like it because there wasn't any fantasy in it at all. There are a lot of runaway children in the world, and this seems to be a story about two of them. All in all, I say you should not read this book because it's extremenely boring.
renatak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Prosper and Bo are sent to live with their aunt and uncle when their parents pass away. The only problem is that they want Bo, and not Prosper. Prosper does not for a second agree with going to boarding school and leaving Bo behind with their dreaded Aunt Esther. This leads them to run away to Venice, Italy, which is the enchanting city their mother often spoke of. Prosper and Bo soon discover that Venice is not as glorious as their mother had made it seem. With winter approaching hastily, and with no real plans where to go they are adopted by the Thief Lord.Prosper and Bo try to survive living in an old, abandoned cinema whilst resorting to crime to get every day essentials. They also have to avoid being caught by the secret investigator who is hired by their Aunt Esther. These are just a few of the obstacles which meet Prosper and Bo.¿The Thief Lord¿ is a clever and charming tale which incorporates exciting adventures. Though it is gloomy at times, it is also quite humorous due to the innocent, clumsy and inexperienced characters of Prosper and Bo. Funke has produced a clever and creative novel for almost all ages. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys adventures, and even if you don¿t I think you might just like this one. This novel will definitely go down as one of my favourites!
heathersblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Funke is a fantastic storyteller. The characters in her novel are from all sorts of off bits of life and by the end we end up feeling sympathic for very nearly all. I love the way the lines between "us" versus "them" of children and adults blur...literally and figuratively...
lions32 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When kids abbandon their old homes or have nobody to help teach them right from wrong they turn to thievery... I reccommend this book to anyone who loves to read about adventure. Takes place in Italy
tundra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was ... interesting. I'm not sure I'd want my future children to read it when they're too young or they might want to run away and turn into thieves. This book definitely paints parents as the bad guys who ruin their children's lives, and the ending was unconventional and not quite what I expected.
elizabethholloway on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(MS Adventure) The Thief Lord is a great adventure and a completely engrossing book. From the beginning, the readers sense the real jeopardy the children face but also have reassurance in the kind disposition of Victor. All the children are distinct and their desires and fears help drive the plot. Scipio, the Thief Lord, is complex and sympathetic despite the fact he lies to the others. Lastly, Venice, herself, is the most compelling character, full of magic and mystery!
lscottke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Venice. Two motherless runaway children, unhappy at home with their father and stepmother, fall in with other waifs hiding out in an abandoned movie theater. The mysterious Thief Lord, no older than they are, leads them in purloining things for a front. They meet an old noblewoman during a failed robbery and a kindly detective commissioned to trace the runaway children. Someone sinister is trying to collect the last pieces of a carousel assembled on an island in the laguna¿This is not as good as Inkheart, but is nevertheless an enjoyable read.
katekf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a good but strange book for me. The book goes between two points of view; Victor Getz, a private detective in Venice who's hired to find two runaways and the two runaways, boys named Prosper and Bo. Prosper and Bo recently lost their parents and were taken in by their aunt who wasn't terribly concerned with either of them and they run away to Venice, which they mother always spoke about in terms of magic. The boys find safety with a group of runaways that have a leader known as the Thief Lord. This is a solid book but it has some moments of uneven tone as it seems unclear if it wants to be an honest look at the hard life of runaways or instead a magical book about Venice. I would recommend this book for a middle grade reader as I think a more experienced reader who prefers Riordan, Nix or Rowling would pick up on the unevenness.
lindsay7564 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Funke has been one of my favourite authors since i was a kid. Wish she would right more! z