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Thief Eyes

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  711 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
The latest YA fantasy book from Bones of Faerie author Janni Lee Simner!

After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Jake Rideout
Feb 24, 2010 Jake Rideout rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I read it in one day. I'm always impressed when a book inspires a burning desire to read another this case, it's the Icelandic saga Njal's Saga. Thief Eyes is about a sixteen-year-old girl, Haley, who follows her father to Iceland so she can see the place where her mother disappeared a year previously. There she finds a strange coin that brings her nothing but trouble. Soon she discovers that her mother was caught in an ancient magic--and, by picking up t ...more
Oct 12, 2011 coffclass rated it did not like it
I found this book confusing. About Haley's ancestors and everything--was it because I have no background on the Iceland legend this was based on? If that's the case, then it's a huge drawback for readers. There were so many things that were not normal, and they weren't explained, and Haley wasn't even that surprised about them. I mean, if I was Haley and I was suddenly in this weird situation, I'd be shocked. Haley wasn't.

I'm not sure if it was the pacing, but even until the end, I wasn't so sur
Apr 29, 2010 ~Tina~ rated it it was ok

Thief Eyes leads us to the unstable geological planes of Iceland where Haley tries to uncover the truth of her mothers disappearance. When she finds out that sorcery is the reason her family is broken and she is also in danger of the same doom her mother had faced, Haley has to break the pattern that was set over thirty generations ago...

While I absolutely love the concept of legends, magic and madness I'm afraid this was poorly delivered in terms of writing pace, character developme
Jun 13, 2010 Kari rated it really liked it

A magnificently weaved tale of magic and lore, Thief Eyes spins a new twist on sorcery. Pulling in several elements in unexpected ways, Simner has created a piece that is both refreshing and engaging. Set in Iceland and heavy on the culture and land, there are numerous unique aspects of this book.

Starting with a prologue that will capture the reader’s attention and spark many questions, the book spends only a small amount of time settling in before the action picks up and the plot really begins.
Sherwood Smith
May 19, 2010 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: fantasy
This book shares a lot in common with the basic structure of Bones of Faerie: an angry but powerless dad, a daughter who doesn't communicate with him, a runaway (magical) mom, the daughter has to go find her. How the first person she meets is the possible boyfriend.

That said, Simner addresses the issue of a broken family from a different angle, always with the eye on the teen view. Haley and Ari are both from broken homes, something they talk about on their adventure, as they try to figure out h
Sep 10, 2010 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(4.5 stars) Thief Eyes begins with a spine-tingling scene of sorcery, in which Hallgerd, a young girl in ancient Iceland, calls upon dangerous powers in order to avoid an unwanted marriage. With this scene, Janni Lee Simner sets an ominous mood, gives us some background information, and provides a few tantalizing hints about what might unfold later.

We move then to Haley, a young American girl of today who has just arrived in Iceland with her geologist father. A year ago, Haley’s mother went miss
Kater Cheek
May 09, 2010 Kater Cheek rated it liked it
Thief Eyes is a YA adventure novel steeped in Icelandic culture. Haley, an American teenager, persuades her father to take her to Iceland on his research trip. Both of them are haunted by the mysterious disappearance of Haley's mother a year earlier. Haley's father thinks her mom just ran away and had an accident, but his colleage, Katrin, thinks that Haley's mother was the victim of sorcery. As it turns out, Katrin is right.
Simner ties in Haley's adventures with Norse mythology and Njall's saga
Jun 18, 2010 Rachael rated it really liked it
When her mother mysteriously disappears in Iceland, Haley and her father are shocked and confused. Somehow Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland. Hoping for some closure, Haley instead finds herself entangled in what she thought was only Norse mythology and Icelandic sagas. Her possession of an ancient silver coin, a gift from her ancestors, ties her inexplicable to a powerful spell cast long ago by her maternal ancestor Hallgerd, a woman and sorceress who would do anything to escape ...more
Dec 14, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book, and one that I plan to read again.

This fantasy entrancingly brings the reader into a fun combination of modern day and Nordic mythology. In addition to wonderful developed and realistic characters, this book is like a visit to Iceland. Simner captures the setting perfectly.

So many great writing craft things in this book: characters, use of endowed objects, fantasy techniques. Also of interest is the use of intertextual references to modern books and film. As I said, Thief Eyes
Sep 07, 2010 Victoria rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. Like BONES OF FAERIE it's very different from most material out there right now.

This is basically the tie up of a 1000 yr old Icelandic saga.

Over 1000 yrs ago a young girl's (Hallgerd) father promised her she could choose her own destiny. When she became of age though he married her off to someone she didn't love. She casts a spell to get one of the daughters on her line to switch places with her.

A 1000 yrs later a husband and wife from the States are in Iceland. He's a g
K. Lincoln
Sep 03, 2010 K. Lincoln rated it really liked it
Thief Eyes starts out in a rift valley in Iceland. Haley has accompanied her father on a research trip, but truly she's there to see for herself the spot where her mother disappeared a year ago.
Haley is a genetic descendant of Halgerd, a girl who learned sorcery from her Uncle and used it to cast a spell on a coin to exchange places with a future descendent so she wouldn't have to marry against her will in her own time.
Haley's mother picked up the coin, but dropped it, messing up the magic so th
To be honest, this book scared me a bit to pick up and read. I really like the author's book before this, "Bones of Faerie," and I was wondering what she was going to do with this one.

At first, I thought it was just going to be a retread of the other story: girl hero, missing mom, daddy issues. But, as I got reading, this actually turned out to be much more original and different than I expected. There ended up being quite a few things about this book that I loved.

The use of Norse mythology for
Katie M.
May 05, 2010 Katie M. rated it did not like it
I probably spent more time glaring at this books and telling it how much I hated it that I did actually reading it.
I'm pretty sure it took me about... three months(??) to read it, and I regret every page of it. Worst. book. Ever.
The plot was slow and severely dull, the characters didn't do a whole lot for me, and for a 256 page book is seemed to drag on for a lifetime. Amazingly enough, the only character I didn't hate was Halgerd, the antagonist, because she seemed to actually have some dep
Nov 30, 2011 Victoria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iceland, ya-fiction
I struggled mightily with this book. Books that blend 'real life' and fantasy typically aren't my cup of tea, but I was willing to give this one a chance because it took place in Iceland. I was hoping that there would be a good blend of Norse mythology/Icelandic sagas.

The author attempted to blend these elements and the results were...not good. The author butchered the saga elements and themes to within an inch of its life (the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" pops to mind). I also found
Jul 11, 2011 TheBookSmugglers rated it liked it
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers HERE

Thief Eyes opens as a young woman called Hallgerd casts a spell, raging against her father and a broken promise. The spell – cast with fire and coin – takes Hallgerd through time as she searches down the line of her female descendants, trying to find someone who would trade places with her. But each and every one of her daughter’s daughters, knowing the effects of such a magic spell too well, turn their backs to Hallgerd. Until a thousand years do
I started reading this book without expecting too much. The plot sounded okay, but other than that, I didn't even think I'd like it.

The book's pretty good. The storyline focused more on the plot itself, which is a relief, otherwise I'd be closing this book and placing it under "dropped" rather than reading through so many romantic scenes. Not much swearing, either. Maybe about three to five times only.

Simner also did a good job with maintaining the characters with their personalities, though I c
Apr 13, 2016 Bridget rated it it was ok
Shelves: favorite-covers
Actual rating : 2.5 stars

Thief Eyes in an ok book, but definitely nothing special. Quite honestly it's just bland and dull. I did like how it was set in Iceland, I found that to be really original. I thought it was neat that the storyline is based off of Njal's Saga, one of Iceland's medieval stories. I also liked how Ari turned into a polar bear and not a werewolf! Werewolves are so overdone and I mean come on, who doesn't love polar bears? Sadly that's all I enjoyed in this book. The characte
Jul 10, 2010 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An adventurous fantasy that takes place in Iceland, based on characters from Norse & Icelandic mythologies/sagas, with an American teen girl trying to find her mother, who disappeared there a year before. She and an Icelandic boy end up in an alternate world where they must battle against spells, flames that cause earthquakes, and shapeshifters. An engrossing read that will keep you guessing until the end.
Jul 03, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
I've actually been fascinated by Iceland for a couple years, but Thief Eyes is my first fictional encounter with it. Icelandic sagas and Norse mythology come to life in this well-crafted novel about choices. The teen romance/adventure was entertaining, and I loved the vivid geologic backdrop. Simner's appreciation for ambiguity is what I'm still thinking about, however.
Mar 22, 2011 Rose added it
I really loved this book! Just the perfect mix of contemporary and fantasy. Loved the very decent Ari, who is a good guy and not a Bad Boy. Loved the accuracy of the linguistics (sometimes they speak in Icelandic and sometimes English, and Ari’s English is correct but a little awkward—the details are very nice.)
Aug 18, 2012 Jojo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-books
twists you'd never expect. magic beond this time. this book will capture you within the first chapter, and bring you to a world like our own, but with magic twists on every page.
I loved this book, I got so into it, it took me less then a day to read it all! I hope you liked it as much as I did.
A teenaged girl gets caught up in the aftermath of an old Icelandic curse, and adventure ensues! One of the best and most original YA fantasies I've read in a very long time. Also, there is a talking fox, which is just icing on the cake of awesome.
Christine Osborne
Apr 08, 2016 Christine Osborne rated it liked it
Not spectacular but not bad. It was actually really good, engaging, unusual, and sweet (I say that about all books don't I?). The characters and plot were engaging, twists made it unexpected at times, and the writing was splendid. I liked Haley's devotion to Jared even with Ari, and they worked it out well in the end. The family drama was nice, nothing particularly new or unusual, but well written nonetheless. Freki was so sweet I'm sad. A downside would be how quickly Svan was gotten rid of. I ...more
Thief Eyes is a book about a girl named Haley who travels to Iceland with her dad in hope to find her long lost mother. Along the way Haley ends up stuck in a world of spells regarding her ancestor Hallgerd where she has to find her way out.

This books cover alone was enough to make me want to buy it,but I found myself extremely confused throughout 99% of this novel. Not only was the storyline of the book puzzling so were the spells and dynamics all together. The one thing that I would say I enjo
Aug 17, 2010 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
(I may need to add a "saga-based" shelf!)
Review-ish post about this book is here:
Aug 29, 2015 Karri rated it it was ok
I really struggled at first with this book- this the 2 star rating. It took me a few days to get into it and I had to put it down and convince myself to just pick it back up and read it. After I did, and it got going again. I did manage to get through it and it did start to flow better. It's an mixed Icelandic tale of sorcery thrown into the setting of today- it isn't super deep, although it does deal with betrayal in all sorts of fashions. I just can't explain it. It was hard to connect with th ...more
Micaela Muldoon
Jun 22, 2016 Micaela Muldoon rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-mythic
One of my most recent literature fetishes has been stories that are somehow related to Norse mythology. While there are many books that deal with the Norse pantheon out there (though not too many YAs), this book treats it very differently. It is one of the most unusual books I have ever read.

The basis of the story is Njal’s Saga, one of the old Icelandic works that border myth and truth. (Many of these old stories correspond to actual locations in Iceland, as specific as characters’ houses.)

Beth Dawkins
Jul 05, 2011 Beth Dawkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Haley’s mother disappeared while on a trip in Iceland with her father. Haley gets him to take her to Iceland to discover what happened to her mother. With the help of Ari, a young boy around her age, they uncover not only what happened to her mother, but the truth of an ancient spell.

Haley’s ancestor, Hallgerd, made a spell to switch lives with a daughter of her own line, to thwart an unwanted marriage. Hallgerd’s daughter gave her daughter’s line keys to keep them from having to switch with he
Sara Grochowski
Apr 26, 2010 Sara Grochowski rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Though I've never read Janni Lee Simner's debut novel BONES OF FAERIE, I had heard wonderful things about it and jumped at the chance to read her second novel, THIEF EYES. Much to my dismay, I failed to fall in love with Haley's story and found it difficult to finish.

First off, I did enjoy parts of the novel, most notably Haley's attraction to Ari. Even a hint of romance can catch my attention, so this is no surprise. However, the novel is not particularly long, which caused their story to feel
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Jan 10, 2011 Kathy (Kindle-aholic) rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I really enjoyed this book. The characters felt very real, and it was easy for me to get into the book. I also liked how the Icelandic/Norse mytholgy was incorporated - it made sense, didn't feel forced, and the conclusion wasn't a copout either. The mythology was a nice change from other YA fantasy books (no vampires or faeries in this one).

The description on the book talks about passion between the characters, and one of the criticisms I read is that the reader didn't feel any great passion b
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