The Thief (The Queen's Thief Series #1)

The Thief (The Queen's Thief Series #1)

by Megan Whalen Turner


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"Gen the thief is released from prison in the imaginary medieval land of Sounis by the king's magus, on the condition that he join an expedition to recover the legendary Hamiathes's Gift Stone....For the chance at regaining his freedom, Gen agrees....His ultimate discovery of the legendary stone and the clearing of his reputation are as grand as the fantastic myths the travelers tell on their fateful trip. This is an uplifting book, a literary journey that enhances both its characters and readers before it is over."—Kirkus Reviews.

Author Biography:

Megan Whalen Turner, author of The Thief (a Newbery Honor winner) and Instead of Three Wishes, lives in Menlo Park, California. In Her Own Words...

"When I was ten I read a lot of great books, and when I couldn't easily find more, I decided I would be a writer and write stories of my own, even though it didn't sound as exciting as reading. The only impediment to beginning my career right then was that I couldn't think of anything to write.

"Joan Aiken said she saw stories all around her, prompted by everyday events. She also said (in her bio) that she'd been telling stories since birth and completed her first novel in Latin class when she was seventeen. And there I was ten years old without a rag of a story to call my own. Roald Dahl said he kept a notebook in which he scribbled his ideas so that he wouldn't forget them. This sounded sensible and I gave it a try. When I forced one out, it sounded like this: Write a story about a blind girl who wants to go to school and be like everybody else.

"Well, that idea just sat there on the page. It did not magically turn into a story the wayit was supposed to. (Or if it did, it was somebody else's story: Light a Single Candle.) So much for Roald Dahl.

"I let the matter drop, I didn't write anything, and I didn't think very much about it again until I was in my third year of college when I had to choose a field and begin a senior project. I thought that writing had to be easier than sifting down to read, say, The Mill on the Floss, and I proposed to study children's literature and write some of my own.

"What I produced was almost uniformly horrible, but I think that was because I didn't want to write anything that wasn't perfect and nothing comes out perfect the first time. I think that anyone who wants to write well has to write copiously first. But I didn't know that then, so I gave up on writing and spent seven years as a children's book buyer in various bookstores. Then my husband, who is a professor of English, got a grant to do research for a year in California and I left my job to go with him. I thought that if I didn't set myself to do something constructive, I might end up reading, say, The Mill on the Floss, so I decided again to write, and I did. I produced short stories that I sent to Diana Wynne Jones. She recommended that I send them to Susan Hirschman at Greenwillow, who agreed to publish them, to my surprise. I had intended them as writing samples, hoping to interest Greenwillow in a novel if I ever wrote one.

"This was so easy and so surprising that it might contradict what I said earlier about a writer needing to write a lot before writing well, but I realize, in retrospect, I did write a lot-English compositions, answers to essay questions on science homework, college papers, and thankyou notes. Especially thank-you notes. My mother always supervised mine and she had high standards. In fact, my advice to anyone who wants to be a writer is to avoid reading any other author's biography. Spend your time on your thank-you notes."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060824976
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/27/2005
Series: Queen's Thief Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 33,704
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

New York Times–bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner is the award-winning author of six novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. These epic novels of intrigue and adventure can be read in any order, but were published as follows: The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, A Conspiracy of Kings, Thick as Thieves, and Return of the Thief. Megan Whalen Turner has been awarded a Newbery Honor and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature. She has won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award. She worked as a bookseller for seven years before she started writing. Her first book was a collection of short stories called Instead of Three Wishes.

Read an Excerpt

The Thief

Chapter One

I Didn't Know How Long I had been in the king's prison. The days were all the same, except that as each one passed, I was dirtier than before. Every morning the light in the cell changed from the wavering orange of the lamp in the sconce outside my door to the dim but even glow of the sun falling into the prison's central courtyard. In the evening, as the sunlight faded, I reassured myself that I was one day closer to getting out. To pass time, I concentrated on pleasant memories, laying them out in order and examining them carefully. I reviewed over and over the plans that had seemed so straightforward before I arrived in jail, and I swore to myself and every god I knew that if I got out alive, I would never never never take any risks that were so abysmally stupid again.

I was thinner than I had been when I was first arrested. The large iron ring around my waist had grown loose, but not loose enough to fit over the bones of my hips. Few prisoners wore chains in their cells, only those that the king particularly disliked: counts or dukes or the minister of the exchequer when he told the king there wasn't any more money to spend. I was certainly none of those things, but I suppose it's safe to say that the king disliked me. Even if he didn't remember my name or whether I was as common as dirt, he didn't want me slipping away. So I had chains on my ankles as well as the iron belt around my waist and an entirely useless set of chains locked around my wrists. At first I pulled the cuffs off my wrists, but since I sometimes had to force them back on quickly, my wrists started to be rubbed raw.After a while it was less painful just to leave the manacles on. To take my mind off my daydreams, I practiced moving around the cell without clanking.

I had enough chain to allow me to pace in an arc from a front corner of the cell out to the center of the room and back to the rear comer. My bed was there at the back, a bench made of stone with a thin bag of sawdust on top. Beside it was the chamber pot. There was nothing else in the cell except myself and the chain and, twice a day, food.

The cell door was a gate of bars. The guards looked in at me as they passed on their rounds, a tribute to my reputation. As part of my plans for greatness, I had bragged without shame about my skills in every wine store in the city. I had wanted everyone to know that I was the finest thief since mortal men were made, and I must have come close to accomplishing the goal. Huge crowds had gathered for my trial. Most of the guards in the prison had turned out to see me after my arrest, and I was endlessly chained to my bed when other prisoners were sometimes allowed the freedom and sunshine of the prison's courtyard.

There was one guard who always seemed to catch me with my head in my hands, and he always laughed.

"What?" he would say. "Haven't you escaped yet?"

Every time he laughed, I spat insults at him. It was not politic, but as always, I couldn't keep an insult in when it wanted to come out. Whatever I said, the guard laughed more.

I ached with cold. It had been early in the spring when I'd been arrested and dragged out of the Shade Oak Wineshop. Outside the prison walls the summer's heat must have dried out the city and driven everyone indoors for afternoon naps, but the prison cells got no direct sun, and they were as damp and cold as when I had first arrived. I spent hours dreaming of the sunshine, the way it soaked into the city walls and made the yellow stones hot to lean on hours after the day had ended, the way it dried out water spills and the rare libations to the gods still occasionally poured into the dust outside the wineshops.

Sometimes I moved as far as my chains would let me and looked through the bars of my cell door and across the deep gallery that shaded the prison cells at the sunlight falling into the courtyard. The prison was two stories of cells stacked one on top of the other; I was in the upper level. Each cell opened onto the gallery, and the gallery was separated from the courtyard by stone pillars. There were no windows in the outside walls, which were three or four feet thick, built of massive stones that ten men together couldn't have shifted. Legends said that the old gods had stacked them together in a day.

The prison was visible from almost anywhere in the city because the city was built on a hill and the prison was at the summit. The only other building there was the king's home, his megaron. There had also been a temple to the old gods once, but it had been destroyed, and the basilica to the new gods was built farther down the hill. Once the king's home had been a true megaron, one room, with a throne and a hearth, and the prison had been the agora, where citizens met and merchants hawked their jumble. The individual cells had been stalls of clothes or wine or candles or jewelry imported from the islands. Prominent citizens used to stand on the stone blocks in the courtyard to make speeches.

Then the invaders had come with their longboats and their own ideas of commerce; they did their trading in open markets next to their ships. They had taken over the king's megaron for their governor and used the solid stone building of the agora as a prison. Prominent citizens ended up chained to the blocks, instead of standing on them.

The Thief. Copyright (c) by Megan Turner . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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The Thief (The Queen's Thief Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 323 reviews.
Angieville More than 1 year ago
This book has been sitting on my shelf for several (we won't go into how many exactly) years. I even *gasp* had both sequels sitting on the shelf next to it. And in the interest of full disclosure, I even started THE THIEF a couple of years ago, got 25 pages in, and stopped. For reasons I no longer recall. The fault, whatever it was, was clearly mine because this book is the beginning of something truly special. I completely understand why it won the Newbery Honor and am very glad it did. Gen is a thief, and a rather boastful one at that. Claiming he can steal anything, Gen succeeds in making off with the King of Sounis' seal only to brag about it to the wrong man and get himself thrown in the King's prison indefinitely. Along comes the Magus, the King's senior advisor, who pulls Gen out of prison and sets him an impossible task. Journey to a hidden temple, steal a mythical artifact, and turn it over to the King. On pain of death. A long, slow, excruciating death. Not being a fool, Gen agrees to the terms and sets out on the journey accompanied by the Magus, his two apprentices Sophos and Ambiades (or as Gen likes to refer to them: Useless the Younger and Useless the Elder), and the inimical soldier Pol. And thus begins the adventure. Set in a world that is not quite ancient Greece but looks very much like it, it is a story that builds up slowly, but surely and I won't say that I didn't wonder once or twice if it was ever going to get where it was going. But hindsight is 20/20 and I can see now just how methodically and craftily Megan Whalen Turner leads you down the primrose path into thinking it's a simple story about a simple thief. It's remarkable, really. Because the whole thing does build up into one humdinger of a climax and by the time you realize what's happened there's nothing left to do but doff you hat to the irrepressible Gen for he completely wins the day and the reader as well. Nothing in this story is what it seems and that is possibly Turner's greatest strength. She (and her Thief) have the ability to take on any guise and pull off any ruse in order to achieve the desired result. In this case, it was my unadulterated adoration and I gave it up without even a hint of regret. THE THIEF, for the two of you who haven't yet fallen victim to this wonderful series, is the first of three books in the Queen's Thief series. Word is Ms. Turner is at work on the fourth as we speak. Thank the gods.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Published in 1996, The Thief was selected as a Newberry Honor Book in 1997 (had the winning book been different for that year, I'd say Megan Whalen Turner had been robbed, but I hold a special place in my heart for E. L. Konigsburg's The View From Saturday so I can't say that). One website gives this explanation of the award: "A medal presented annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published in the United States in the preceding year. The recipients must be citizens or residents of the United States." That hopefully illustrates how big a deal it is to any readers unfamiliar with such awards. Whalen's second novel, The Thief is set in a world that Turner likens to ancient Byzantium in later volumes (Byzantines > Greeks). In this one, however, she acknowledeges similarities to ancient Greece. The story follows a man named Eugenides who, at the beginning of the novel, finds himself locked in the king's prison of a foreign land. Quietly biding his time, Gen occupies himself by marking days and practicing cat-like movements around his cell. The achingly monotonous routine is broken when the king's scholar, the magus, recruits Gen for a hunt of sorts. The magus knows the site of an ancient and valuable treasure that would be of great value to his king. But despite his vast learning, the magus cannot get the treasure alone. He needs a skillful thief. And before his arrest, Gen "had bragged without shame about [his] skills in every wine store in the city" before his arrest outside of still another wine shop. Given his choices, Gen unsurprisingly agrees to acompany the magus on the quest. As their party traverses the countryside on their way to this elusive treasure, it becomes clear that more is at stake than riches. This novel (and its two subsequent sequels) center around three kingdoms--Eddis, Sounis, and Attolia--whose fates, readers soon realize, are bound together more intricately than anyone might have initially thought. Some novels are adventures, some are character-driven. The Thief is, for the most part, a quest novel although it does feature several twists and more than a little intrigue. However, without Turner's wonderfully evocative characters none of that would matter. Eugenides is, in many ways, a star. And he knows it. Nonetheless, affection for this character is contagious--he is unbelievably sympathetic and extremely original. And clever. By the end of the novel it becomes obvious that Gen is always at least five steps ahead of everyone else and always holding all of the cards. Told in the first person, this novel is the first I ever saw where a character said something acidly. ("That," I said acidly, "is the way my mother told it to me.") It seems silly to talk about one sentence from a piece of dialogue, but that kind of writing is why I love Megan Whalen Turner's books. In fact, if I was being completely honest, I cherish these books. Working in a library, I sifted through discards for years to acquire the complete trilogy. The books are old and dingy with processing marks aplenty, but none of that really matters because they're also all mine. Although it was a Newberry Honor Book for children's literature, I've seen this novel categorized as YA. It's also the kind of book that could easily appeal to boys and girls--fans of historical fiction and fantasy. In other words, this is a book for everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love O. Henry for his fabulous plot twists. Megan Whalen Turner produces some great ones too throughout her Thief series. Some have said that the book starts out slow but if you hang in there it is WELL worth the experience. Do NOT read when you need to sleep at night my mom, my sister and I all stayed up to finish it! This book is beautifully written and wonderfully orchestrated.
Artstar More than 1 year ago
This book starts out very slow but by about page 90 or so it becomes engrossing. It pays off big time in the end. Contained an awful lot of d and gd words for a young peoples book though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello, fellow book readers. I would just like to tell you my, Michaela E. Age 12, thoughts on this book. So far I am enjoying it although it does say the d word quite often and I am only in the book about PG 30. It seems well written with a interesting plot subject. Reading it though now is gruesome because of the slump in the book where there is no climax. Currently if you made a climax chart it would be a straight line. I congratulate anyone who can get through this part. Just to let people wondering it is 170 pages. Hope you have found my review helpful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I had to do a book report on a newbery award or honour book and i chose this one... i absolutely loved it and deffinately will read the next ones in the series <3
katarinasmama More than 1 year ago
I'm re-reading the first three books because the fourth, A Conspiracy of Kings, has been released this summer and I enjoyed them so much the first time that I wanted to make sure I didn't miss any of the details before I read the newest installment. The Thief is the first book in the series and introduces one of my all time favorite characters, Gen. Gen is a boastful thief, who lands in prison because of his well publicized reputation that he can, indeed, steal anything. When the King's magus arrives with a proposal for Gen to steal a famous religious object belonging to a rival country, Gen has very little choice and joins the magus and his two apprentices on a journey through a landscape filled with dangerous obstacles. What I love about The Thief is that it's told from Gen's point of view and well being a thief, he can't always be entirely trustworthy, now can he? Or perhaps he is just that -- trustworthy, loyal and predictable. You can never be sure. Not even when the last page is turned. The world that Megan creates is so detailed and dense that you want to keep unraveling its many layers of politics and intrigue. The mythology is presented with a nod to ancient religions and one that makes you think about your own current belief system as well as those of others around you. This is one of those books that you will not be able to put down and when you finally do, it'll leave you thinking, interpreting and wondering about what you just read. Given the synopsis and general fantasy plot, you'll wonder if he's that Hot Boy with a Sword I adore reading and I'll tell you that Gen hates sword-fighting and tries to avoid killing anyone. That statement alone will hint at the luxurious details and tasty little plot twists that will surprise and delight you as you journey along with Gen. I encourage you to pick up this series and join me in reading it this summer.
lilredrooster More than 1 year ago
This was a different book, I have to say. I started out not knowing what to expect, and turned out pleasantly surprised. The author starts the book off right in the thick of things, without a history, lead-up, or pretense. Gen starts in the prison, and we meet him and get to know him as he makes his journey across lands to steal a somewhat mythological prize. The background of the plot and world are revealed as Gen, the magus and his apprentices, and a traveling soldier, make their way across the country, yet everything is held back slightly, so the reader never gets the full story; just enough to go on. That technique, and being able to keep the suspense through not telling the reader everything (especially since the story is told in first-person by Gen), is very tricky, and Turner pulled it off masterfully. Really, her storytelling abilities are honed sharper than a knife, and really shine throughout the novel. Very few people could pull off the ending she did without some kick-ass abilities and careful plot construction. Much kudos there. The characters are also surprisingly real and relatable, especially given that the world created isn't like reality. There are multiple deities, divine interventions, and towns, cities, and countries that are completely unknown. But the characters are realistic, witty, and downright funny. Turner really writes them to be clever and fleshed out, even though they remain somewhat mysterious throughout the novel. Only thing I felt a bit lost on was the geography and world-building, because that part felt a bit superficial, but the way that Turner ended the story left ample room for growth without potentially boring the reader. I'm really looking forward to the next installment, can't lie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the plot of the book, it was charming and entertaining. It had my attention from the beginning and i didn't think it would be very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, I think it was really good. Started out a little slow and it really did keep you waiting the first half of the book, but in the end it paid off. To me it was slightly predictable in some ways, but I think it was still a great read. Over time, I really fell in love with the main character gen. I also really want to the next book. The religion, I think, was also really interesting and a nice addition to the story. I think the book was good. Really good. But I really wish the guy who pushed the guy off the cliff didn't have to die! I really liked that person! If u read the book you'll know what I mean but I'm not spoiling anything!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Basicly, this book is about a teen thief named Gen in an ancient civilization. He is freed from prison to go on a hunt for a powerful stone from the gods that will grant the owner immortality. Good Plot. Gen, also Eugenides, is a funny, quick wiitted, and cheek boy who you will quickly learn to love. There are also characters that you will hate. All characters are well formed and carried out through the entire book. The letdown of this book was the execution of the plot. I WAS BORED! Walks through olive trees, stomach rumblings, and memories of Gens past come up far too often in this story. Te only exciting part is the end, which can get confusing if you do not pay proper attention. If you are busy and cannot focus on a story well this is not for you.
sbigger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Thief is a very interesting fantasy novel. The story is about Gen, a thief who is caught and jailed for stealing the King¿s Seal. The King¿s magus, by the orders of the King, takes Gen out of jail and sets off on a dangerous quest to find the Hamiathe¿s Gift. Hamiathe¿s Gift is suppose to be held by the true leaders of the neighboring country and the King wants an alliance so he can attack his enemy on the other side. The book creates characters that are very believable within the author created world. The author even explains the mythology within the story, so you learn more about the world and why people act the way they do. The theme isn¿t totally the normal good vs. evil, though it can be seen. I see it as the theme of the underdog triumphing against all odds. The added humor, plot twists, and surprising ending make it a good book to have in Middle School and High School libraries.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ah, okay. I get why so many people love this series now.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book; I'd give it more like 4.5 stars if I had the option. It didn't change my life or anything but it was a very good young adult fantasy book. So far there are three books in this series that I have seen called "The Queen's Thief" series. This is the first of the three.In this book Gen is languishing in prison after bragging about stealing an important item from the king and getting caught. The King's magus comes to promise that he will free Gen if Gen can find and steal the magus a very important item.This book is well-written and is written in a very straight forward, easy-to-read, style. It is definitely a fantasy adventure; the world the story is set in will remind of the middle ages a little bit with the exception of some additional bits of technology thrown in (guns, clocks, etc). This book is just a good book until you get to the end. The twists thrown at the reader at the end of the book are very well done and make this an exceptional book.I was disappointed when the book ended...I really want to read more about Gen's adventures. Luckily there are two more books out there that I can read!
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read a review that had a spoiler, so the ending didn't come as a surprise, but this journey fantasy was wonderful all the same. I do enjoy a good quest, and the questing gang was entertaining, the world was interesting, and the mythology skewed enough from Greek standards to be eerie. I'm really looking forward to spending more time with several of the characters. I'd give this to someone looking for a straight fantasy/swordplay story, or someone who enjoys mythology.
Cauterize on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of Gen, an imprisoned thief since he bragged to everyone that he was the biggest thief in the world - in front of the King's spies. He is freed and forcibly enlisted by the King's Magus to travel to Attolia to steal a mythical object, one that can only taken by a masterful thief. The party includes the Magus' two apprentices and a bodyguard and they all must work together on the quest.Honestly, the book was mediocre. Gen is a charming, charismatic thief (as he should be), but that's not enough to pull a novel along. I didn't care about the other characters and they seemed one-dimensional. The big "Thief Trial" was boring and didn't live up to the hype when Gen figures it out. There were some amusing twist and turns, but somehow this book is lacking that certain something. The person who told me about this series said that this book was only okay but you have to go through it to get to the next two, which are stellar.The book also could have greatly benefited from the inclusion of a map. I was sorely confused most of the time since the party travels through three kingdoms, among numerous rivers and across fields and mountain ranges. The author often refers to these landmarks to describe where the party is travelling, and I don't have enough of a visual memory (or the patience) to keep track of these things in my head. If I can't, I don't know how many kids will be able to do it.
sagrundman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Thief is a very interesting fantasy novel. The story is about Gen, a thief who is caught and jailed for stealing the King¿s Seal. The King¿s magus, by the orders of the King, takes Gen out of jail and sets off on a dangerous quest to find the Hamiathe¿s Gift. Hamiathe¿s Gift is suppose to be held by the true leaders of the neighboring country and the King wants an alliance so he can attack his enemy on the other side. The book creates characters that are very believable within the author created world. The author even explains the mythology within the story, so you learn more about the world and why people act the way they do. The theme isn¿t totally the normal good vs. evil, though it can be seen. I see it as the theme of the underdog triumphing against all odds. The added humor, plot twists, and surprising ending make it a good book to have in Middle School and High School libraries.
ncgraham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Do you mean," I squawked, "that we are out here in the dark looking for something from a fairy tale?"In the genre of young adult fiction, one sometimes runs across a Newberry Honor book that is so overwhelmingly good, it makes one wonder why it did not win the Medal. Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief (1997) is one such book.The thief of the title is Gen, a young pickpocket who has stolen the king of Sounis' seal and, after giving himself away by bragging about it, is now serving time in the royal prison. Gen boasts that he can steal anything, even himself out of prison, but he has not quite gotten around to doing so when he is summoned away by the king's magus, who is not so much a magician as a scribe and advisor. He offers him an opportunity for freedom, providing he make good on his boast, and steal that which no one else has yet found; but if he cannot make the theft or tries to run away, the king will give him cause to regret it. The idea flatters Gen's vanity and, so he sets out with the magus in quest of the mysterious object . Accompanying them are Ambiades, the magus' standoffish pupil, Sophos, an nobleman's son, and the warrior Pol. As they travel, the difficulties and conflicts of their journey are intermittently lightened by stories that the magus and Gen tell about the ancient gods, deities who have long been forgotten outside of their cultic rituals. The characters' minds, however, are firmly set on the trials ahead.I had the most terrible attitude in approaching this book. Perhaps due to the overwhelming amount of praise I had heard showered upon it, I worried it would be a let-down. Even after the lovely opening description of light changing in the dark prison, I thought that this was going to be a typically dry YA book (a ridiculous notion, since for the most part I love YA). But after the setup of the first chapter I was intrigued by the central predicament, and soon the characters themselves began to win me over, Gen particularly. He is a humorous but flawed narrator, making both a multi-dimensional character and a spellbinding storyteller. I cannot recall laughing so much at a book since I read a P. G. Wodehouse novel last semester. Everyone else is similarly well-defined and -developed, though none are as they seem.Though I had been forewarned about twists, I had not expected so many¿and I would not have guessed the final one in a million years. When I read it, I blinked at the page and thought, Is she even allowed to do that? But it works. Trust me, there is nothing like it.I read The Thief in one day, going late into the night in order to finish it, and when I was done I could not believe it had taken me so long to discover it. I turned around immediately and recommended it both to a preteen neighbor, who is an avid book lover, and my sixteen-year-old brother, who is not. This is a compliment I rarely pay, to urge others to read a book as soon as it's finished. The Thief is a treat for people all ages who love adventure and intrigue. Some mild swearing aside, there is no reason not to put this treasure on your family's bookshelf.
DevonBrenner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A rollicking adventure with surprise twists. LOVED this book.
audryh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The "Queen's" thief connives a way to steal and ancient stone assuring her of the throne. Confusing, surprising, withholds info to reader. Newbery Honor Book.
5hrdrive on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On the positive side, I did like the mythology and I liked a couple of the characters. But the only reason I kept reading is that I expected that something interesting would eventually happen; there had to be a payoff somewhere. The surprising revelation at the end offered a decent resolution to the story (I suppose), but wasn't worth slogging through the previous two hundred pages.
rivkat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young thief, thrown in jail after bragging too much about his latest success, is forced to become part of an expedition to find a legendary stone that will allow the country¿s kingdom to unite with another. The thief is charming and his companions are nicely annoying and sympathetic by turns, recognizable as people. There are a couple of twists, at least one of which is pretty obvious, but overall it¿s a charming adventure. I¿m hoping for more palace intrigue in the next one.
tyrvek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read in a while. It has a great reread value, and many plot twits with lively characters. It has humor, an almost classical greek world and character that the reader can empathize with, if not exactly identify with.
yhaduong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For a long while I resisted reading this book, I like my fantasy to have a tiny bit of romance in it and this seemed to be more of a young boy's adventure story. Then I picked up the second book in the series, The Queen, and loved it. So I went back to The Thief and discovered a wonderous world. Since then I have read and reread this series any number of times.There is so much subtly and craft in the telling of the tale that you feel no word is wasted or thoughtless. Each sentence, each paragraph, falls into a rhythm of storytelling that reveals new discoveries to me each time I reread this book. I marvel anew at the cleverness of The Thief and am reminded each time of how appearances can be deceptive. One of the best heist/confidence game stories ever.
desislc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A grand rollercoaster of an adventure story with lots of twists and turns in the most unlikely places. The very fact that this is narrated in first person is in itself misleading since this tends to make readers assume that they're being told everything the protagonist does and thinks (yes, I know there are other exceptions- I've read some of them!).Gen, an imprisoned thief, is recruited by the king to steal a mystical(and possibly nonexistent)artifact as the condition of his permanent release.