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The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief (original 1996; edition 1996)

by Megan Whalen Turner

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,8501472,037 (4.04)363
Title:The Thief
Authors:Megan Whalen Turner
Info:Greenwillow Books (1996), Edition: 1st Edition 2nd Prtg, Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:listsofbests to get
Tags:unowned, listsofbests, readingrants

Work details

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (Author) (1996)

  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 363 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
January 1, 2012

I enjoyed the medieval Greece-like setting, the stories of the gods, the elaborate heist, as well as the real politic of the international situation. A really good adventure story with characters that gradually are revealed to us. My only complaint was that it was pretty much devoid of female characters until the very end. I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

I forgot to mention that I haven't read better descriptions of someone learning to ride since [b:The Horse and His Boy|84119|The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5)|C.S. Lewis|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388210968s/84119.jpg|3294501].

Library copy.

June 4, 2015

I will only add that in fact the rest of the series does include multiple female characters. And I loved this at least as much on the second reading as the first. ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
I will do a short review....Well I liked the book...I liked the storyline of the book. The twist at the end was not I was expecting...frankly I kind of figured out that "useless senior" will betray the group, but I had no idea about the identity of Gen.
The only thing that stopped me giving it 5 stars is that I hate first person narrations. I do not find them to do justice to the plot.

But this is definitely a worth read.... ( )
  razzzat | Oct 3, 2016 |
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 | Jun 6, 2016 |
This is what I wrote two years ago after my first time reading it. As you can tell, I wasn't a great fan. I was also a bit annoyed because my mother said it had to be good because it was a Newberry award winner:
"I'm not sure I should even write a review for this book, because my response to it is so different from all the other responses I've seen.
Gen is the classic witty, clever orphan. He goes on an adventure to get something, and is bullied into doing it. This book won a Newberry. That seems, to me, just about all you need to know to make your decision about whether to read it, and even whether to like it. Maybe it's because I had just read the fantastic False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen that I had such trouble getting into this book, because they share enough aspects that it felt really blase. Guy forcing main character to do things he doesn't want to? Got it. Some sort of sidekicks that turn out to be different than how they originally seem? Nice, but seen it! A twist ending? Sorry, but it wasn't handled very well. I had to read it through twice to figure out what the big surprise was, and I'm still confused exactly what "that" entails.
I'm not saying this is a bad book, I just personally didn't connect with it. I have been told that "it's a Newberry. It's good. End of story," but I don't really accept that as the instant makings of a classic."

Now, it's a few years later. I've lived, I've learned, and I've perhaps acquired some patience. Plus, I really liked the sequel. So, approaching the book with an open mind, I did realize that it wasn't as dry and uninteresting as I first found it to be. The rest of the books in the series gave me a lot of serious respect for Gen, so when he was all whiny in this first book (honestly though, there is a lot of whining going on in this book!) I took it with a grain of salt. It's all part of the plan, right?
I really can't go into any more detail about the book, because practically everything holds a second meaning after you finish the book. I am still a bigger fan of the the Ascendance trilogy, and I always will be, but the Thief series is no longer cast aside in my regard. I will never be the biggest fan of The Thief, because it really isn't my cup of tea. But I can respect good writing, and I know when to pass it on to those who will enjoy it more than me.

This review is also on my blog. ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
Gen is the best thief in the land--too bad he's also the most boastful. After stealing the king's seal and showing it off to his cronies in a wine shop, Gen is caught and throne in jail to rot. But eventually, the king realizes he has need of him. Gen is sent on a mission to steal something (what, he is not told) under the watchful eyes of the Magus, his two apprentices, and a soldier. As the quest gets more dangerous, bad luck and lies damage the tenuous friendships formed among the group.

Told in the first person, and masterfully done. The last few chapters felt a little weak compared to the tense, taut writing elsewhere. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (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
Wyatt, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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.

(summary from another edition)

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