Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review

I just finished reading The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner and it was so good I decided to do a book review.

It's been a while since I've found a book this well written and enjoyable. I've had a run of somewhat sub-par books and was beginning to get a bit depressed about it. There's nothing as sad as bringing home a stack of books, and not being satisfied with a single one of them!

Seriously depressing.

My sister happens to own The Thief and she kindly loaned it to me. We take reading very seriously,  you know, and when someone loans another their book...well, it is a very kind thing. :)

Right, here we go.

Gen is a thief. 

A rather proud, rather arrogant thief.

And it just so happens that he got caught stealing the King's Seal and is currently languishing in prison. That's what happens when you steal something and brag about it at the local wine shop.

“That prison," I said with heartfelt sincerity, "Was absolutely the most awful thing that has happened to me in my entire life." I could tell by the way he looked at me that he thought my life had been filled with one awful thing after another.”

Then Magus, the King's Scholar, suggests putting a use to the thief and test Gen's boast, "I can steal anything," (I said he was a bit arrogant, didn't I?)

“I want you to steal something."
I smiled. "Do you want the king's seal? I can get it for you."
"If I were you," said the magus, "I'd stop bragging about that." His voice grated.
My smile grew. The gold ring with the engraved ruby had been in his safekeeping when I had stolen it away.”

Gen has to travel to a neighboring kingdom and steal something called Hamaithes Gift. It is a precious stone and was traditionally used to show ruler-ship.

So, Gen and the Magus set out, along with two apprentices and a soldier/guard.

“All I wanted to do was lie in the dry grass with my feet in a ditch forever. I could be a convenient sort of milemarker, I thought. Get to the thief and you know you're halfway to Methana.”

Being, as he was, in prison for a couple months, Gen is rather out of shape, dirty and slightly ill. Instead of playing up that angle, though, he is just plain cranky and rude. He insults his fellow travelers every chance he gets, complains non-stop and must always have the last word.

“No friend had I made there, but I wasn't with this group to make friends, and besides, he sneered too much. I've found that people who sneer are almost always sneering at me.”

Despite how much of a stinker Gen is, you honestly can't help but like him. You want to give him a good shake at certain times, but he is undeniably charming. And there is just something about him that you can't quite put your finger on...

“A thief never makes a noise by accident.”

As the story unfolds and things become more serious, all the characters show what they're made off. There are some really surprising twists and turns in the plot that I never saw coming and that really added to the story's strength. 

Friendships are made.

There is betrayal.

I grew to love Gen. He is darn right cool. Plus, he's a little guy and I always like that. ;) 

“Being six feet off the ground does give one a sense of superiority.” 

I don't think you could really call him a hero, he's too rotten for that. But he is courageous and honorable...

And if he'd only straighten up a little he could be one.

The story alternates between witty and carefree to dark and very serious. A rather perfect mixture for a quest, no?

“Dying would have been so much easier.”

I finished the first book and went to the second one, The Queen of Attolia without a pause.

And if it's possible, I'm enjoy this one even more. You get catapulted into the story and something happens right off the start that caught me totally by surprise.

And made me rather angry.

Anyway! That's that. I recomend these books with five gold stars! Absolutely fantastic. :)

God bless!


  1. Hey, I dunno if I've introuduced myself yet, I'm Freya and I ADORE your blog. I don't actually have one, but I like reading other peoples. "The Theef" sounds Thrilling, I must try it. "Friendships betrayed" WHY? That sounds exciting!

    God Bless
    Freya Rose :)

  2. I totally know what you mean about the level of importance placed upon the lending of a book from one sister to another. I am very particular about my books and how they are cared for, thus the reason for my pickiness when someone asks to borrow one. "Don't break the binding, and don't bend the pages, and DO NOT dogear anything, I don't care how important the page is, and don't get fingerprints on the shiny smooth cover...." it's really insane.

    "The Thief" sounds very interesting; I will definitely get it and read it soon!

  3. Hello, Freya. Thank you so much! :)...Well, *Friendships* aren't really betrayed. But there is betrayal, if that makes any sense. It is a very exciting story. The second one even more so.

    Hey, Elizabeth. Isn't it funny how attached you can get to a book? One of my favorite books EVER is called Lark and I'm the only person in my family to own it. It is very hard for me to loan it to anyone and I usually take it with me whenever I go away on trips. It's sort of my 'comfort' book.

    Thanks, Ivan. :)


  4. I'm catching up on all my blog commenting right now, but as soon as I finish, I'm going to open The Queen Of Attolia and get reading. I loved The Thief, and this was a brilliant review! I hope more peoplez readz it, precious, yes!

  5. Aww, thanks, Katrina. :) I can't wait for you to read the next one. I HAVE to talk about it with someone. It's driving me crazy!

  6. If I remember correctly, I introduced you to Lark too. You're welcome :-)

    I am glad that you're enjoying the series so much. They are really fun books to read, and the sort of books that authors can learn from. They seem effortless, sweeping you up into the story, but she's got some solid world-building going on there, and her character developement is fantastic. I can't wait to hear what you think of The King of Attolia.

  7. Ah that sounds so good! I'm starting it today!
    Your blog color is really cheery! Also, I love its set-upWho am I kidding? I just love your blog altogether! your 'about me' page is brilliant! I think I did get that reference. SO LONG SO LONG SO LONG!!! (?) :) You're a timetraveler as well? Really? How exciting! Does this mean you like Doctor Who also?


  8. Well golly! Thank you so much, Freya. You've totally made my day. :D
    Yeah, I think you did get that reference! "So long...and thanks for all the fish." lol.

    I do really enjoy Doctor Who. *Nods sheepishly.* I'm not as huge of a fan as some of my sisters, but I think its a really fun show. Nine was a brilliant Doctor and I think Eleven is my favorite. I'm not sure if it was actually Eleven that I loved or Eleven AND THE PONDS! :D

  9. I FOUND THIS BOOK!!!!!!! I was so happy I almost danced in the library. For a long time I've been flipping through the pages of the last two always thinking, "I think these would be good, but I don't want to read them out of order. What if I miss something important."
    Then all of you were talking about this amazing book and I realized it was the same series. So I went on a library hunt and found all four books!! Now I will get to read them!!

    If we ever meet up I'll bring my bow. (And Robin Hood made bows very cool, but The Lord of the Rings only doubled it, as you mentioned.) I'll even try and find some of my unbent arrows to bring.

    I think you're right about Bucky, I heard somewhere he was turned bad. Ack! It would be so bad if Rodgers had to kill him! He's already lost his best friend once...and his girl...and the time period he grew up in. He doesn't need something like that to happen.

    This is why you and your sisters are so wonderful, you're some of the few who actually like Dawn Treader. I loved that movie and was so sad few others did.

  10. Oooh, yes! Bring the bow! *Mrhrhrhr*

    I will cry and cry of Steve has to kill Bucky. That's just too aweful.

    I know. I thought that the Voyage of the Dawn Treader was brilliant. I love how it had that whole, "You need to defeat the darkness in yourself" thing. Cause it's so true! Love it.