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The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief (1996)

by Megan Whalen Turner (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Queen's Thief (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5841332,313 (4.05)335
  1. 80
    The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (mak_mohn)
  2. 70
    The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (mak_mohn)
  3. 50
    The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen (gluestick)
    gluestick: Boys who come up with ingenious plans and incredible plot twists.
  4. 50
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (notemily)
  5. 50
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (bell7)
  6. 40
    Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (quigui)
  7. 20
    The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Although one is Greece-esque fantasy and the other is a Roman-era mystery, both share scrappy, compelling characters in the form of Gen and Marcus Didius Falco.
  8. 20
    The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (bwebb22)
  9. 20
    StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce (multilingualmaid)
  10. 20
    Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (gluestick)
  11. 20
    The Raven Ring by Patricia C. Wrede (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  12. 10
    Take a Thief by Mercedes Lackey (Nikkles, gluestick)
  13. 10
    Joust by Mercedes Lackey (gluestick)
  14. 10
    The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan (gluestick)
    gluestick: Tale of two thieves.First book is great.
  15. 00
    The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (themulhern)
    themulhern: Both books are closely inspired by a mythology and a geography. But both books are also highly original and the first in a series of similar books.
  16. 00
    The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Two unusual protagonists who rely on their tongue, wit and ingenuity to get themselves out of tight scrapes.
  17. 00
    The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron (gluestick)
    gluestick: Another charming,ingenious,mischievous thief with a secret agenda and an inflated sense of his own worth.Could be Gen's long lost twin brother.
  18. 01
    Warhost of Vastmark by Janny Wurts (majkia)
    majkia: Arithon and Gen are very similar in approach, all about complex plans kept close to the vest.

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» See also 335 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
A very intriguing start to a fantasy series, I found myself engrossed with Gen’s character. I absolutely loved reading from his perspective and his playfulness was refreshing from other angsty narratives in other YA stories. I just wish we had more of a view of his surroundings since we get to know the other characters quite slowly which meant getting interested in other characters took a relatively long time.

A tie between 3-4 stars simply because the middle parts got a bit tedious, and not a lot of female characters until the end of the story. I feel we don’t really regret certain character’s deaths because they felt very detached and we hardly got to know them.
I’d probably recommend it to people looking for a quick fantasy story, a bit on the light-hearted side.
I look forward to reading more in this series from Megan Turner (Everyone says the next few books are much better)! ( )
  bubblyair | May 21, 2015 |
Overall, I found The Thief an enjoyable light read. It’s quick (I read it in under a day) and entertaining.

From the back: “The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.”

The Thief is excellently written. Turner’s word craft is deliberate and effective. This book should be used as an example for the fact that young adult literature does not mean “badly written.”

“All of my own impulses to balance and move seemed to conflict with those of the guards, and I was jerked and jostled down the portico, just as graceful as a sick cat.”

The most interesting thing about The Thief is Gen, it’s unreliable narrator. His voice is never tiring or bland, and he remains witty throughout. Gen is intelligent and complicated, often holding back as much as he reveals, making for a nice plot twist at the end.

The biggest flaw of The Thief is that the majority of it is spent traveling from Point A to Point B, which became dull in places. Interspersed through these parts where some “stories within a story,” myths of the gods and heroes. At first, these did not seem to have any purpose besides to add cultural background and world building at the expense of slowing down the story. However, as the book progressed these stories became highly relevant.

Also, there were hardly any female characters in The Thief. I’d heard this going in, along with the fact that the sequels are apparently better in this regard (edit - this is true). It didn’t stop me from enjoying The Thief, but I hope the woman who shows up at the end of the book has a larger role in the sequels (edit - she does).

I’d recommend The Thief for people looking for a quick and entertaining fantasy read.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page ( )
  pwaites | May 3, 2015 |
I can't wait to read the next in the series! ( )
  mlake | Apr 28, 2015 |
I dunno. It was creative, but for some reason I just didn't feel enchanted by it. I haven't decided whether to finish the series. It's more political intrigue, less character development, than I like. And I'm obviously missing something that the Newbery committee saw.... ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Yes, but Kindle.
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Turner, Megan WhalenAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Natale, VinceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stengel, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important places
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For Sandy Passarelli
First words
I didn't know how long I had been in the king's prison.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
"There is something I want you to steal. Do this for me, and I'll see that you don't go back to prison. Fail to do this for me, and I will still make sure that you don't go back to prison."

The king's magus needs a skilful thief. Incarcerated for stealing from the king himself, Gen is the just the pawn the magus is looking for. Cocky, brash and extremely uncooperative, Gen is press-ganged into an unlikely band of travellers and marched through Sounis, into hostile Attolia.

Concealed in Attolia is an object of such power it can make or break a king - but even stolen treasure has it's price.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060824972, Paperback)

"I can steal anything."

After Gen's bragging lands him in the king's prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king's scholar, the magus, needs the thief's skill for a seemingly impossible task -- to steal a hidden treasure from another land.

To the magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Gen flaunts his ingenuity as a thief and relishes the adventure which takes him to a remote temple of the gods where he will attempt to steal a precious stone.

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Average: (4.05)
1 4
1.5 1
2 22
2.5 7
3 136
3.5 62
4 246
4.5 42
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