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!
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. ;)
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?
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. :)