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The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

The Thief Lord (original 2000; edition 2010)

by Cornelia Funke, Christian Birmingham (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,830146725 (3.81)135
Title:The Thief Lord
Authors:Cornelia Funke
Other authors:Christian Birmingham (Illustrator)
Info:Chicken House (2010), Paperback, 376 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

Work details

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (Author) (2000)

  1. 20
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (Bitter_Grace)
    Bitter_Grace: These books are completely different in tone, but have the identical concept of a merry-go-round with certain magical properties.
  2. 31
    The secret garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (benfulton)
    benfulton: The redemption of unhappy childhoods.
  3. 10
    The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric (Rubbah)
    Rubbah: magic in venice
  4. 00
    The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby (Bitter_Grace)
  5. 11
    The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  6. 00
    Pool Boy (Readers Circle) by Michael Simmons (benfulton)
    benfulton: Thief Lord is the better book, but Pool Boy is a similar story set in a world without magic.
  7. 00
    The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (68papyrus)

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» See also 135 mentions

English (143)  Swedish (2)  German (1)  All languages (146)
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
Bex recommended this as a book I could use with my Chatterbooks group, so I duly ordered copies and set out to read it. Unfortunately, not enough copies came in to the library, so I also ordered Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce. I read that one first as I had fewer copies, and Bex had this one I could borrow. Cosmic was a quicker, easier read. This one was enjoyable, but I'm not sure the group will likeit as much. It takes a while to get going. If not for the blurb, the whole magic element would remain a mystery until well into the book, which makes it feel a bit like an afterthought to liven things up.
On the plus side, I worried that the two stories would have nothing in common for discussion at the meeting, but in fact they do. They both deal with children being more responsible than the adults who are supposed to be looking after them.
Overall, this is a book I probably wouldn't have chosen to read if not for Chatterbooks, and whilst I'm glad I did, it won't become a favourite to be reread multiple times. There were things I wanted explained that weren't.
I am curious enough to want to watch the film sometime. I'm betting some of the loose ends will be more neatly tied up. ( )
  Helen_Earl | Aug 6, 2015 |
In sixth grade I picked up this book and ended up falling in love with it. Looking back, I can't really explain its charm for me. It was one of those rare finds where I inexplicably fell in love with every word that was put on the page; the book that I would love having in my hands, savor every sentence of, look longingly at the cover whenever it was closed shut. I'm not sure why I loved it so much, but for that year or two it was my uncontested favorite.

( )
  Proustitutes | Jun 11, 2015 |
Prosper and Bo are two children who ran away from their aunts' house after their mother died. They make it to venice where thy live with a group of street urchins that live in an abandoned theater. They meet the Thief Lord who is a mysterious figure that provides money, food and shelter to these children. The children often steal things in order to get money. One day they get offered a very strange job. they have to steal a wooden wing from a wealthy household. They do this but are caught by the owner who they then befriend to help them solve the mystery of why they need the wing. It is discovered that the their lord is actually a child of a wealth venetian businessman and all the children feel betrayed. they soon forgive him though and they decide to go through with the delivery. they give the wings to their buyer who was a baron. They wind out the wing was part of a carousel that let people become older or younger. They find the carousel and stop the baron from using it. the theif lord then uses it to become and adult and he adopts all of the children

I think this an amazing book. The dialogue and the description are superb. The characters are very interesting. i have always been a fan of Cornelia Funke and this book made me love her work even more. I hope she continues to make great books. I think The Thief Lord is a book that is a must read for everyone. ( )
  justiceb.B1 | Mar 24, 2015 |

I think this novel might be aimed at children a bit younger still than the Inkworld-trilogy. But, if you can put aside the fact that it is completely unbelievable, it's a very enjoyable read.

It's about a bunch of kids in Venice, who have their own underground society. Their leader is a masked master thief.

It's a very original story, and the writing is nice as well. It reads quickly but the story perhaps is a bit childish (and that's something you either like or not). ( )
  Floratina | Jan 4, 2015 |
Brothers Prosper and Bo have recently escaped to Venice, Italy to escape their aunt and uncle’s care after the death of their mother. Luckily, soon after their arrival, they meet the Thief Lord (or Scipio), a legendary thief of a similar age to Prosper who takes care of the brothers and his other orphan charges by stealing from fancy palaces and museums. Prosper and Bo are quite pleased with their new life with their new friends until they realize the cruel aunt and uncle they’re trying to run from has hired a detective in Venice to search for them. But that’s not the only problem: Scipio isn’t all he seems, and the Thief Lord’s secrets may destroy the lives the orphans have tried so very hard to make for themselves.

Cornelia Funke paints a beautiful picture of Venice, a city full of mystery and charm. Readers will enjoy the descriptions of the plans that go into the thievery and the descriptions of the decadent palazzos. Proper and Bo’s brotherly relationship is the center of the story, but their relationship with their friends also feels genuine. The main strength in this book lies in the Thief Lord’s loyalty to the orphans, and the tenuous trust of the orphans with the Thief Lord. There is also a glossary at the end for the Italian terms peppered throughout the book. For those interested in an exciting thriller set in beautiful Venice, The Thief Lord will surely please. Highly recommended. Grades 6 and up. ( )
  krmajor | Dec 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Funke, CorneliaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Latsch, OliverTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meier, LotharIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Rolf -- and to Bob Hoskins, who looks exactly like Victor
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It was autumn in Venice when Victor first heard of Prosper and Bo.
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Disambiguation notice
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 043942089X, Paperback)

Imagine a Dickens story with a Venetian setting, and you'll have a good sense of Cornelia Funke's prizewinning novel The Thief Lord, first published in Germany in 2000. This suspenseful tale begins in a detective's office in Venice, as the entirely unpleasant Hartliebs request Victor Getz's services to search for two boys, Prosper and Bo, the sons of Esther Hartlieb's recently deceased sister. Twelve-year-old Prosper and 5-year-old Bo ran away when their aunt decided she wanted to adopt Bo, but not his brother. Refusing to split up, they escaped to Venice, a city their mother had always described reverently, in great detail. Right away they hook up with a long-haired runaway named Hornet and various other ruffians who hole up in an abandoned movie theater and worship the elusive Thief Lord, a young boy named Scipio who steals jewels from fancy Venetian homes so his new friends can get the warm clothes they need. Of course, the plot thickens when the owner of the pawn shop asks if the Thief Lord will carry out a special mission for a wealthy client: to steal a broken wooden wing that is the key to completing an age-old, magical merry-go-round. This winning cast of characters--especially the softhearted detective with his two pet turtles--will win the hearts of readers young and old, and the adventures are as labyrinthine and magical as the streets of Venice itself. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Two brothers, having run away from the aunt who plans to adopt the younger one, are sought by a detective hired by their aunt, but they have found shelter with--and protection from--Venice's "Thief Lord." Welcome to the magical world of Venice, Italy, where hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelter runaways and children with incredible secrets.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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