Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief (original 1996; edition 1996)

by Megan Whalen Turner

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6811442,212 (4.04)337
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.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 337 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
This story felt very passive and quite boring to me. By the end of the first forty pages, all that had happened was the main character took a bath. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This story felt very passive and quite boring to me. By the end of the first forty pages, all that had happened was the main character took a bath. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Oh how I adored this one. ( )
  olduvai | Jan 19, 2016 |
(Re-posted from http://theturnedbrain.blogspot.com)

So you know how in cartoons when a character needs to portray an air of innocence they slump their shoulders, shove their hands in their pockets and whistle?

Megan Whalen Turner’s ‘The Thief’ is pretty much the literary equivalent of the innocent whistle. It devotes great effort to convincing the reader that Gen, the titular thief, isn’t up to anything, and in the end is about as convincing as whistling cartoon character.

Any magician will tell you if you don’t want the audience to see what you’re doing, then give them something else to look at. Turner doesn’t do this, she just hides away Gen’s true plans and motivations which, considering this is a first person novel, doesn’t leave the reader with much to see inside of Gen’s head. He complains of being tired and hungry a lot, and he spends a lot of time describing the other characters and their interactions, but… that’s about it.

He makes no effort to escape or to change his situation, simply passively going along with what his captors tell him to do and passivity is rarely an interesting trait in a protagonist. And yes people who have finished the book are going to say, ‘but, but, Megan! (er, Megan as in me, not Megan as in the author...) Gen had a plan all along!’ To which I reply that that’s no excuse. Look at the Artemis Fowl books, for example. They’re aimed at a younger audience than this one, so that removes any silly age argument, and one of the coolest things about them is that the reader rarely knows what Artemis is really up to until the final reveal. Half the time the reader doesn’t even know he is up to something. Artemis Fowl is a world champion poker player next to The Thief's innocent whistle.

Another thing I like about the Artemis Fowl books (I’m a big fan, can you tell) is that Artemis is a genius and we actually get to see evidence of him being all smug and geniusy. Gen is supposedly a super awesome thief, and yet we see no evidence of his skills. Yes we see the results, occasionally throughout the book Gen will mention an object he apparently stole a few pages earlier but we never actually see him steal anything. Imagine if every time a character got into a tight spot the writer simply skipped the part where they got out of it? Or if Sherlock Holmes just announced that he knew who the bad guy was without ever explaining how he figured it out? How are we, the reader, supposed to believe in Gen’s skills when we never actually see them in play?

So not only are most of Gen’s thoughts hidden away, we never see any evidence of his supposedly awesome skills. Couple this with the fact that for much of the book nothing happens, and you can see why a reader might get a little frustrated. There’s only so many campfire stories and descriptions of olive trees that a girl can take!

Now you might think from all this negativity that I didn’t much like this book at all. But honestly, despite its flaws, it was a pretty fun and easy read. There were some pretty clever turns of phrase scattered throughout, and once things actually started to happen (nearly three quarters of the way in, mind you) things picked up dramatically.

I might eventually pick up the next books in this series, but I’m not in any huge hurry to do so.
( )
  MeganDawn | Jan 18, 2016 |
The last 70 pages were good but not worth the first boring 100. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Sandy Passarelli
First words
I didn't know how long I had been in the king's prison.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
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.

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
196 wanted
4 pay1 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.04)
1 4
1.5 1
2 26
2.5 7
3 139
3.5 62
4 256
4.5 42
5 261

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,163,791 books! | Top bar: Always visible