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March 18, 2010 / Chersti Nieveen

book review: the thief by megan whalen turner

Turner, Megan Whalen. The Thief. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

(Quick Note: Megan Whalen Turner’s book A Conspiracy of Kings is coming out next week on the 23rd. To celebrate, I’m going to post my interview with Megan that same day. And we have a couple of other fun things leading up to it! –Chersti)

GUEST POST: Cherylynne Bago

Cher-y-lynne  {sher-uhl-lin} – noun

          1. One who sells or recommends children’s books at Barnes & Noble; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books.
          2. A struggling young adult writer.
          3. A lover of chocolate and popcorn.

Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University.
Originhttp://cherylynne.blogspot.com

“I saw you at your trial,” he said finally. I didn’t say that I’d noticed him there as well.

“You’re thinner.”

I shrugged.

“Tell me,” said the magus, “have you found yourself reluctant to leave our hospitality? You said at your trial that not even the king’s prison could hold you, and I rather expected you to be gone by now.” He was enjoying himself.

I crossed my legs and settled deeper into the chair. He winced.

I said, “Some things take time.”

“How true,” said the magus. “How much time do you think it’s going to take?”

Another half an hour, I thought, but I didn’t say that either.

Gen was imprisoned after stealing the king’s seal and flaunting it. But now the king needs him. The magus believes he knows the location of an ancient artifact, but only the greatest of thieves could steal it. And Gen, despite his lack of manners and big mouth, is the greatest thief that they have ever seen.

The Review
Wow. That was my reaction after closing the book. Just…wow.

Let me tell you something. I usually skim or completely skip over talk of politics and geography in books. In most stories, it’s only important if you’re trying to draw a map. And I generally just don’t care enough.

Big mistake. If I can give you any advice when reading this book, it’s PAY ATTENTION TO EVERY DETAIL. It matters in the end, it really does. When I hit the twist at the end (which Shannon Hale called “the greatest twist in all of young adult literature”) I just about went into shock. Having heard what Shannon Hale said about it before, I knew a twist was coming. I predicted a few. I thought I was seeing all kinds of foreshadowing for a bunch of different endings.

I WAS SO WRONG.

And yet I didn’t feel cheated. The signs were all there. Foreshadowing was solid. It was just all stuff that I didn’t pay attention to, because I didn’t realize what they were leading up to. It’s definitely one of those books that you need to buy, because you have to read it more than once.

In short, if you haven’t read this book yet, you need to. Gen is fun and witty, the kind of person that you just love to cheer for. The plot is made up of mystery, adventure, action, history, and just a touch of fantasy. It’s everything that anyone could want.

And if you’ve already read the whole series, then you’ll be happy to hear that the fourth book, A Conspiracy of Kings, comes out March 23rd. *squeal*

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4 Comments

  1. Nikki Mantyla / Mar 18 2010 1:40 pm

    I really, really want to read the first three again this weekend in preparation for the fourth. I really, really hope I can fit it in! Nice review, Cherylynne! Nice to meet you at the book dinner thing. 🙂

  2. Jenilyn / Mar 18 2010 4:27 pm

    I’ve been listening to them on audio and have been blown away by her foreshadowing. Such a fabulous series!

  3. Cherylynne / Mar 18 2010 6:36 pm

    It was nice to meet you too! This is actually the only book in the series that I’ve read, so I really need to get on the ball and read the rest of them.
    And Jenilyn, it’s good to hear that the audiobooks are good. I get annoyed by a lot of the readers on audiobooks. And yes, her foreshadowing is one of the best things about the series. They’re so seamlessly thrown in.

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