The Thief | Megan Whalen Turner
Awards: Newbery Honor
“I am a Master of foolhardy plans.”
Eugenides, or Gen as he likes to call himself, is a thief and he can steal anything. What he can’t do is keep his mouth shut about it. After landing himself in the King of Sounis’s prison, Gen is unexpectedly offered the chance of a lifetime. The task is simple. Steal Hamiathes’s Gift—a stone rumored to have come from the gods of old—securing the King’s alliance with Eddis and winning his freedom, or end up dead. Gen can’t resist. Who could turn down the chance to prove their fame as a great thief, perhaps the greatest thief in Sounis? Readers journey with Gen across a fantasy landscape in search of a legend. But what Gen finds in the end is not what he, or the readers, expected.
Rating: PG / PG-13
Cussing. “Damn.” “Hell.” Violence. Gore.
The Thief is one of those books that was hiding all your life and you can’t believe you missed it. I had never heard of Megan Whalen Turner. This is a great read fully deserving of the Newbery Honor. With a strong male lead in Eugenides (or Gen), The Thief is full of gritty wit and unexpected twists, unfolding a refreshing fantasy world perfectly executed. Told in the first person voice of the main character Gen, The Thief ushers the reader into a story that deceptively simple at first glance, but reveals itself in rich layers, from beginning to the unexpected ending.
As for Gen, who steps off the page with his smug sarcasm and smug confidence, I cannot get enough of him. Confession: I like teen male leads more than female ones. Now that we got that out of the way, can I keep bragging on the quality of the characters in this book? Ms. Turner not only created a believable fantasy world (that you can grasp within a few paragraphs. I know, shocking right?) but she also brings to life an entire convincing cast of fantastic people that I kept wishing I could talk to. The Magus, Pol, and Gen all clamored for a spot on my favorite male character list. And I still cannot make up my mind.
Read this book. It’s hilarious and worth it.
ps. This is the first book in a five book series. I read the sequel The Queen of Attolia. I was not impressed (more on that in another review). The other Queen’s Thief novels are The King of Attolia, A Conspiracy of Kings, and Thick as Thieves: A Queen’s Thief Novel.