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Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

>>Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Title: The Thief
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Pages: 280
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: C+

From Goodreads: "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.

My initial impression of this book was pretty good. I liked that the author uses good volcabulary (words such as agora, megaron) which I think would be great for younger readers. However, I thought the first 60 pages or so of the book to be quite boring. It mostly has to due with traveling the countryside, but I personally thought there wasn't enough information given to have any anticipation of the events in the story.

The main characters are three boys (including the title's theif), a soldier and a magus. Although I thought the constantly changing relationship of the three boys to be kind of interesting, I felt the story was hindered by the exclusion of any female character. I tend to gravitate to the female characters of the story and sometimes during The Thief I felt like I wasn't connecting as much as I could to the main characters. In the end this changes but sadly, it wasn't soon enough for me.

Many readers will enjoy the twist ending as did I. Based on the ending alone and how the novel leaves off, I could see myself reading the sequal The Queen of Attolia but perhaps from the library. However, I do recognize that this book would probably be very popular with younger audiences. It's clever, well written, and the characters deal with relevant issues (such as bullying). I recommend this to anyone who find the premise especially interesting, or for youngsters who are looking for a fun, quick read with a surprise ending.

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