The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen’s Thief # 1
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Number of pages: 280
My copy: paperback, bought from Powerbooks
“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.
* * *
So I’ve been hearing about The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner for the longest time, and all reviews I’ve read seemed positive. Back then I had a series compulsion, and I refused to start a book series when I know I don’t have all books with me. I had a hard time finding a copy of The Thief until someone pointed me to the right direction, and eventually I ended up acquiring the next two books in the series. That should have been enough to get me started on the series ASAP, but I waited a little while more for reasons that I can’t really say until I finally made myself read it for this month’s Required Reading.
Eugenides, also known a Gen, is a thief, and a loudmouthed one at that. After bragging about his thievery in the wrong wine shop, Gen ends up in the prison of the king of Sounis, where the story opens and he patiently waits for something to happen so he can escape. Before he can, though, the king’s magus comes to fetch him and includes him in a mission that requires Gen’s talents. He was to steal a hidden treasure that could possibly be just a fairy tale.
To speak more of the plot would spoil it, and the last thing you’d want to be with in this book is spoiled. I was drawn in the story immediately by Gen’s voice. I loved him from the moment he opened his mouth and spoke to the magus. Gen is snarky, sarcastic, and he got on everyone’s nerves by the way he complained and how he kept on asking for food. But even so, I never felt annoyed with him. Gen is charming in his own way, and I can see why people liked/loved him so much. :) The supporting characters were well-written, too, and I think I have a soft spot for Sophos. I would love to see more of him in the future books.
The plot seemed very simple at first, but when everything unraveled at the end, I had to stop myself from gasping and reading back to the other pages to see what I missed. In a way, this reminds me of how Jellicoe Road was written — you think you have the whole picture, then the author surprises you with a twist that left me gaping. I love how it took me by surprise and when you think about it, it all makes sense. I liked how everything fell into place without sacrificing any other element in the story.
I can’t say I’m a huge fan yet, but I really enjoyed reading this one. It starts a bit slow, but stick to it and you’ll be rewarded in the end. :) I am very excited to read The Queen of Attolia now. :)