Once again, a cover image that drew me in and I had no clue that it was first published in 1996 as a children’s book. 25 plus years and the book still hold water. Megan Whalen Turner creates an alternate world with the sky and the earth as gods, their children, and the three kingdoms called Eddis, Sounis, and Attolia always looking for a way to get the upper hand over the other. The setting of the story reminds the reader of Greece and the mythologies that surround it.
Book #1 in The Queen’s Thief series is like a prequel to the highly rated Book #2 The Queen of Attolia and unless you are a fan of travel experience kind of books, the Thief is probably gonna be boring for you. The first half of the book is literally an exercise in reading wherein Eugenides, Sophos, Ambiades, Pol and the King’s magus undertake a journey across kingdoms from Sounis, crossing into Eddis and reaching Attolia to search for an ancient relic. Sophos and Ambiades are the Magus’ apprentices and Pol is the soldier assigned to accompany Sophos, and our darling Gen is the thief whose claim to fame of stealing anything and everything lands him in the king’s prison.
The story is narrated thru Gen and his sneaky, cunning, and incorrigible persona makes for some delightful reading. Interspersed with the tales of the GODS, as recounted by Gen and the Magus, the author gives a fair idea about the fights and intrigue that sways the three kingdoms. As an adult, it was easy to fall in love with Gen, he is lovable and endearing and I loved his sarcastic and witty responses to his companions, sometimes exasperating though subtly handling his companions and understanding the dynamics of the team. A child would miss out on the nuanced writing exhibited by the author and probably enjoy Gen and his antics as it is but for an adult, it is clearly the impressive word building in the story that captures their attention.
The Thief is not an adventure thriller, even with some brilliant twists at the end of the story, and it is definitely not the fantasy-like LOTR that enraptures its readers, but Megan Turner’s world is equally fascinating what with understanding how thoroughly we have all been fooled by Gen. This slow-paced character-driven story would appeal to only those who have time and patience to enjoy the author’s marvelous writing and I wouldn’t mind seeing Gen on the big screen soon.
Many thanks to Net Galley, Hodder, and Stoughton, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
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.
Eugenides, the queen’s thief, can steal anything – or so he says. Then his boasting lands him in the king’s prison, and his chances of escape look slim.
So when the king’s magus invites him on a seemingly impossible quest to steal a legendary object and win back his freedom, Gen in no position to refuse.
The magus has plans for his king and his country. Gen has plans of his own . . .
Megan Whalen Turner weaves Gen’s stories and Gen’s story together with style and verve in a novel that is filled with intrigue, adventure, and surprise.
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