The Thief (Queen’s Thief #1)
Megan Whalen Turner
Published February 28, 2017 (orig. 1996)
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About The Thief
The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.
What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.
So, I’ve had a copy of THE THIEF for a while, but after reading this review of RETURN OF THE THIEF, which is the grand finale of the series (no spoilers, so feel free to peek), I finally decided to give it a go via the audiobook performed by the incredible Steve West.
I could probably listen to Steve West read the phone book, so I felt like this was a pretty sure win. It took me a bit to get into the story, I think because it begins in what struck me as a strange place. Gen is in prison and at first looking to escape before ending up being roped into a journey. It also takes some time to really get introduced to his companions and took me some time to get interested in them.
Once I got into the story, though, I enjoyed reading it. Turner is pretty much a master at the timing of revealing secrets. All the way along, there are things that I wondered about and then later, at just the right moment, I’d learn new information that changed how I thought about those earlier scenes.
I haven’t read any further in the series at this point, but I’ve seen lots of reviews basically saying this book largely just sets up many things to come, and that the subsequent books are super fantastic. All the audiobooks in the series are performed by Steve West, so, bonus!
My only complaint about THE THIEF is that there are very few female characters in the story at all, and all of them are extremely minor characters. I wish there had been more female characters.
Some things about the book reminded me of THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer Nielsen, so I think readers who enjoyed that one might also like THE THIEF. I’m excited to read the rest of the series.
Recommended for Ages 10 up.
Major characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Some references to cursing but not explicitly shown.
Gen and the Magus tell stories about the “old gods” and their exploits. Gen meets a spiritual guide in a dream.
Some bullying and battle violence. Some reference to cruel treatment in the prison.
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I loved this series. And yes, it reminds me of The False Prince in some ways. I wish I could gear up to read her latest book in the series, but it’s been so long since I read the other books. I’m not sure if I’ll remember enough from them.