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Thief Eyes

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  612 ratings  ·  97 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
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

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

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.
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
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
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
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. Bird
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.
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
(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
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
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
Kater Cheek
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
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
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.
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.)
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.
(I may need to add a "saga-based" shelf!)
Review-ish post about this book is here:
Beth Dawkins
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
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)
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
Miz Lizzie
This novel finds its inspiration from one of the Icelandic sagas and the account of a woman who denied 3 locks of her hair to her husband and thus assured his death. When Haley's mother disappears after an argument with her father during a working vacation in Iceland, Haley is obsessed with retracing her mother's steps. Haley is disinclined to believe that ancient sorcery is behind her mother's disappearance until Odin's raven Munin carries her off to his mountain for safekeeping. As Haley unrav ...more
Kari Ramirez
Back in 2009 I read Runemarks by Joanne Harris. I wasn't in love with that book, mainly because I felt that Harris assumed the reader was already familiar with Norse mythology so at times I felt lost. Still, while reading Thief Eyes, I felt like this was just a less complicated, watered down version of Runemarks.

The only commonality they have is the mythology. Munin & Freki are really the only two recognizable characters from Norse mythology, but it is implied at one point that Odin is on hi
Janni Lee Simner takes us into a world like none you can imagine. Thief Eyes starts many generations ago with a young girl being forced to marry the first guy who asks for her hand. She creates a curse that affects her daughter's daughters and travels down the line until it finds Haley.

The main character, Haley, is a fierce and determined young women. She is heart-broken over her mothers disappearance and wants some answers from her silent and resistant father. This part of Thief Eyes greatly u
Icelandic lore and mystery collide with a very-modern day girl for an epic adventure. Haley travels to Iceland with her father to see the last place her mother was seen before she disappeared last year. Innocently picking up a coin on the side of the path throws Haley's life into total chaos. Luckily handsome Ari is there to save the day, or at least try to.
This was a good book, not my favorite, but worth reading. The Icelandic legends were intriguing. The characters were a bit annoying. Overall
Tabitha Olson
The retelling of Icelandic sagas and Scandinavian mythology is what drew me to this story. There are hardly any of these retellings, which is a shame because there’s so much great material there. So I eagerly awaited my copy of Thief Eyes.

Overall, it was interesting. The author’s spin on Hallgerd’s story is clever and intriguing, and shows Hallgerd as more than the evil, selfish girl painted by history/lore. The magical aspect of the story, however, is a bit too confusing. I couldn’t figure out
Christina (Reading Extensively)
I've always enjoyed fairy tale retellings. In this case Thief Eyes is a modern take on Njal's Saga, one of the Icelandic sagas. I know nothing about Icelandic myth and very little about Norse mythology but neither does the narrator, Haley. She is descended from Hallgerd, a real character in Njal's Saga, on her mother's side. The story starts out with Hallgerd casting a spell so that she won't have to marry someone she doesn't love. The results of this spell echo through the book and affect Haley ...more
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From the author: I use Goodreads to keep track of books I've read. I don't use it to troll reviews of books I've written. Know that you can talk about my books safely here. Love them or hate them, I won't show up in comments to take issue or take offense. I'm honored you're engaging with my work (thank you!) and believe the best way I can express my gratitude is by staying out of the way so that y ...more
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