Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Queen's Thief 1#: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Published: December 27th 2005 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 1996)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Goodreads Summary: 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.


I hadn’t read a YA book in a while. I decided to pick up The Thief by Megan Whallen Turner not because I wanted to reconnect with the genre but because many people had recommended it to me.

I have mixed feelings for The Thief. Read further and you’ll know why *put on my most mischievous smile*.

Gen is a talented young thief who’s been jailed because he tried to steal from the King of Sounis, a country in Turner’s book who resembles Ancient Greece.

One day, the magus, a knowledgeable scholar and advisor to the King comes into his cell and propose him a deal that isn’t truly one. Gen will regain his freedom if he accepts to steal Hamaithes’s Gift for him. If he refuses, well...I’m letting you the pleasure to imagine what will happen to him. Hamaithes’s Gift is a stone blessed by the Gods. Whoever is in its possession can claim the throne of Eddis, a country neighbouring Sounis. 

So, Gen has no choice (let’s be honest) but to embark on a perilous journey with people that he doesn’t know, who consider that he’s no better than a hood rat and who may wish his death.

I loved the little thief that was Gen. He was arrogant, witty, smart and funny. If it wasn’t because he was the narrator I would have never been able to go past the first part of the book.

It’s not that it was bad as such. The main and only problem it had is that there wasn’t any real action. I didn’t know where the characters were heading, I didn’t know what Gen was going to steal and I didn’t know what the magus motives were.

Now that I think about it, I’m being a bit harsh. Gen alone doesn’t deserve all the credit. Actually, all the characters Turner created were interesting and it’s due to all of them that I wanted to carry on reading.

The more you turn the page, the more you learn about them and the more you realize that none are truly what they seem to be. The mystery shrouding them distracted me from the fact that no real action was happening in the first part of the book.

By the way, if you were planning on picking up this book, don’t let what I just said discourage you. The Thief is actually an enthralling book. It’s just that about three-quarter of the novel lacks action. However, it doesn’t mean that as you read, the story doesn’t shape up. 

Even though The Thief is supposed to be YA, it didn’t always felt like it. Besides, there are many twists that unravel during the second part of the book that I truly hadn’t expected. 

As I said previously, the characters are very well developed. There is also the some faint political intrigue playing out. 

I’ve already read Queen Of Atolia, the next book in the series. This is why I can assure you that the story gets even better and it’s also the reason why I would recommend the first book in The Queen's Thief series to anyone.


  1. I was surprised that the start of this sounds like Throne of Glass - the protagonist being in prison, and only released on the grounds that they do something for someone else. But besides that this sounds extremely interesting. I'm gonna give it a try!

  2. Ah!!! I haven't read Throne of Glass, but from what I heard of it, I can tell you that this book and The Thief are woooorlds apart, lol. For starter, there isn't really any romance in The Thief, there isn't any hot prince and the main character isn't this pretty guy who can play piano, haha. He's smart, though. I'd really love to hear your opinion about The Thief so read it. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

  3. I love YA and read an awful lot in this genre, so I am surprised you don't! I think you really did like the characters but the plot was a bit too slow and it was hard to know where it was going - which brought the rating down a bit. I know the feeling. I am someone who really likes character driven novels, so maybe this one will be for me.

  4. When I was younger I use to only read YA, however as I grew older I kind of left that genre behind, lol. The thing is that I didn't find heroes who saved the world and were deeply in love with their soulmate that believable anymore.

    By the way, when I say I don't read YA, I'm talking about fantasy YA, lol. I should have made myself clearer. However, if there's a fantasy YA that sounds very promising, I'll definitely get my hand on it. For example, I really want to read The Young Elite by Marie Lu. Actually, now that I think about it I want to read pretty much everything from this author.

    I recommend The Thief to you. The characters are well developped, they each have a very distinct personality, so you don't feel the slowness of the plot that much. Besides the middle and the ending of the book totally make up for the snail like beginning. You're right, though. I did downgrade my rating a little bit because of how slow the plot was to get going.


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