Book Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief (The Queen’s Thief #1) by Megan Whalen Turner

I didn’t know how long I had been in the king’s prison. The days were all the same, except that as each one passed, I was dirtier than before. Every morning the light in the cell changed from the wavering orange of the lamp in the sconce outside my door to the dim but even glow of the sun falling into the prison’s central courtyard. In the evening, as the sunlight faded, I reassured myself that I was one day closer to getting out. To pass the time, I concentrated on pleasant memories, laying them out in order and examining them carefully. I reviewed over and over the plans that had seemed so straightforward before I arrived in jail, and I swore to myself and every god I knew that if I got out alive, I would never never never take any risks that were so abysmally stupid again.
Turner, Megan Whalen. The Thief. New York: Greenwillow, 1996.
Read an excerpt

“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.” (from Goodreads)

From the very beginning, Gen’s voice was what drew me in. I think he’s one of my favorite characters ever.  He’s witty and snarky, and I was always laughing at the things he said and did. And he doesn’t always tell the reader the whole story. He was just a fantastic character to follow.

The story itself was a little slow at times. There was a lot of traveling and not a lot of action throughout the whole middle section of the story. And sometimes there were things that are mentioned about the history of this world that I wasn’t sure really mattered. I enjoyed some of those sections, because it had some cool mythology, which is fun for me. But it was slow. But, that said, the ending made up for it. I’ll for sure be reading the rest of the series. Gen’s voice is fantastic and I think that Ms. Turner is a great writer.

*news about THE THIEF*

Author connect: Website
Sequels: The Queen of Attolia (#2), The King of Attolia (#3), A Conspiracy of Kings (#4)
Similar books: Graceling by Kristin Cashore


*for writers*

A Page from Megan Whalen Turner’s Book: She has successfully created a fantastic, yet unreliable character. If you’re looking to write an unreliable character, take notes from this book.


About Karen Krueger

I write for teens when I'm not chasing after two cute kids. I love to sing and eat cereal (though not at the same time), and I most certainly am not a vampire because I'm addicted to sunshine.
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3 Responses to Book Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

  1. shalleemcarthur says:

    I liked this book a lot– especially after the ending. Once the ‘twist” happened, I suddenly realized how brilliant the rest of the book had been. Thanks for the review!

  2. I was totally blown away by the ending! I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series too.

  3. Chersti says:

    Love love loved this book! The series has been so amazing, and I can’t wait to hear what you think when you are done 🙂

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