The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner | Book Review

Posted October 17, 2018 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 7 Comments

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner | Book ReviewThe Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Series: The Queen's Thief #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on December 27, 2005
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 280
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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2 Stars
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.

I’ve been hearing great things about Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series for years, but wasn’t ever really interested in The Thief because there’s no romance in it. I must have at least a little romance in my books or I start to go a little nuts! However, I quickly changed my mind when I found out that Steve West narrates these books because I’m basically in love with him. Honestly, his narration was pretty much the only reason I even finished it. I mean, it was ok. I was intrigued enough that I wanted to see how things ended. And I’d heard of an awesome twist that happens in The Thief, so I was curious about that as well. A word to the lovers of this series: don’t make it sound THAT amazing and filled with twists and action because I built it all up so much in my head that I’m not sure anything would have lived up to my anticipation. As always, my main points are bolded.

1. The bulk of this story takes place during a journey toward a mythical treasure. There’s a lot of walking. A LOT of walking and traveling and horseback riding and stopping for camp at night. Things were very uneventful for a long time. 

2. Gen complains a lot. Like, I wanted to slap him upside the head all the time but didn’t because he’s STEVE WEST so I refrained from getting too mad. I mean yes, his life is not so good. He’s been held prisoner and now he’s been let out to go steal a treasure for the magus so the magus can give it to the king and have all the credit and notoriety. That sucks. Gen is a prisoner during the entire journey. That’s not fun at all. But oh my gosh, does he have to be such a whiney baby!?

3. I found the mythology of this world to be rather interesting. While the characters walk and walk, they tell the stories of their belief system. We get to hear about the creation and their system of gods and goddesses. It was interesting for a while, but then I started to grow bored and wanted something else to happen.

4. The twist. As I mentioned before, when people build something up to be so unbelievably amazing and exciting I almost always end up being disappointed. I wish I hadn’t known a twist was coming. Maybe my imagination is just way too big, but I thought up a ton of possible twists that would have been more exciting to me. Yes, it’s a twist. Yes, it did kind of make me double-take and start analyzing everything up to that point to see why I hadn’t thought it up myself. But it was still not as grand as I had hoped. It did make me glad I finished the book, though, so I guess it still worked a little.

All in all, I enjoyed The Thief enough to immediately start The Queen of Attolia. I wanted to know where things would go next, and I wanted to listen to more of Steve West’s swoony voice!! But I ultimately DNFed it after about an hour into the audiobook, so I guess I reached the point where even Steve couldn’t keep me going anymore. And that makes me sad. I can see why people like these books, but I can also tell that they came out before YA fantasy really took off. I’ve just read much better.

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7 responses to “The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner | Book Review

  1. The Thief is a bit underwhelming but Attolia is amazing! The series gets much better from here on. The characters are really drawn better and the plot is pretty interesting. It deals with some difficult stuff as well, so I hope you enjoy it!
    Lakshmi recently posted…Mini Reviews [October 2018]

  2. This is a series that has always been in the back of my mind as one I should probably read, but unfortunately I will likely never get around to it. I’m sorry it didn’t quite live up to your expectations.

  3. I adore the Queen’s Thief series, but I confess I’m not a huge fan of The Thief. It was just “meh” for me – for the reasons you mentioned in your review – but I assure you the series improves immensely as it goes along. While The Queen of Attolia does get off to a slow start, it eventually hits its stride and becomes impossible to put down. :-)
    Angela @ Angela’s Library recently posted…Halloween Candy Book Tag

    • Jana

      That’s really good to know, and I’m so glad I’m not alone. Maybe I’ll give The Queen of Attolia a second chance. :) Thank you!

  4. *cries quietly into her coffee; tries not to take your opinion personally*
    I really love this series, though it probably helped that I did NOT know there was a twist going in, so I was able to be surprised instead of let down. Like others say, the next books are even better (and you just might get some romance, though it’s very atypical!). Also, I think YA has become very cinematic in their style, like authors are hoping to be the next big breakout franchise, but the Attolia series rely on a lot of interior thought and subtleties.
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