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The Thief (The Queen's Thief #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  28,996 ratings  ·  3,593 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 236 pages
Published 1996 by Harper Collins Publishers Ltd
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingThe Thief by Megan Whalen TurnerThe Crow by Alison CroggonHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Hidden and Secret
2nd out of 56 books — 8 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanFarsighted by Emlyn ChandEragon by Christopher PaoliniBeautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
Books Told From The Male Point of View
114th out of 465 books — 153 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 12, 2011 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Kristin Cashore
Update 6/2011. Let me just say, if you feel so-so about this book (like I did), please give its sequel - The Queen of Attolia - a try. It made me forever and ever a dedicated fan of the series.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it, but I think I spoiled the experience for myself a little bit.

The reviewers like to point to a huge twist at the end of the story as the biggest reason for enjoying this book. But if you know in advance that you should expect something, it is very easy
Emily May

My main reason for reading The Thief was so I could read the sequel - The Queen of Attolia - that I've heard is superb and far better than this first installment. I actually set myself up for quite an underwhelming experience with this book based on reviews and the fact that I'm not the biggest fan of more traditional fantasy with magical realms and such (I never could stand The Lord of the Rings). However, the story was interesting, the writing excellent and the protagonist was a witty, deviou
This was another book my wife insisted that I read. It was our before-bed read aloud book last month.

Reading 10-15 pages a night, the first half of the book was enjoyable, but unfolded rather slowly. I was a bit puzzled about why my wife was so enthusiastic about the book. Then, about half way through, the excitement and tempo increased a few notches, and it become a real page-turner.

This is a fantasy novel, but it is not your typical swords and sorcery adventure. There are swords, and even a co
Oct 04, 2007 Amber rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA history/fantisy buffs
Over the years I have become a bit of a book snob, especially when it comes to YA lit. Such was my attitude whrn I started this first book in a seies. However, by the time I reached the end of the book, I was a gibbering mess. The author has managed to make a simple action/adventure book into a wonderful lesson about assumptions. And boy did I make a you know what out of myself.

Fun, funny, and deep, this book is a must read for anyone who needs an attitude adjustment concerning a "kids book"

A thief sprung from jail to help a Magnus steal an ancient treasure, warring kingdoms, political intrigue, sword fights, narrow escapes,a mythology invented especially for this fictional place, and a quest--everything, it would seem, to keep me reading. So I am wondering why I so disliked this book that I had to force myself to keep reading to the end. I think I hit upon the answer spoken by one of Turner's characters near the last weary lap of the book: "Oh, fine," I told him...but I didn't rea ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Sep 21, 2010 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) by: Beanbag Love
What do you do when you want to gain possession of something that's nearly impossible to obtain? You hire a thief who can steal just about anything.

Gen has no disillusions about his abilities as a thief. He's actually named after the god of thieves, Eugenides, as a matter of fact. While his father wanted him to be a soldier, he knew that was not the life for him. Instead, he honed his skills at stealing, until he was one of the best in the land. Too bad he did a little too much bragging about st
Lois Bujold
Jul 18, 2013 Lois Bujold rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Lois by: e-mail correspondent years ago who loved it so much she mailed me a copy
Having dutifully tried a few new things to my lack of satisfaction this past week, I turned instead to an old favorite that I knew would be a pleasurable read. This is a book that re-repays a re-re-read, not only soon, but after finishing its sequels once they widen one's view of its world and characters.

There is not too much one can say about The Thief that is not a spoiler, and this is a book that should NOT be read with preconceptions. Set in an alternate fantasy world loosely inspired by Gre
I've been told by so many people that this series is amazing, but that the first book is kinda lackluster. I didn't know much more than that going into The Thief, and perhaps that's why I enjoyed it more than others seem to. Importantly, I didn't know there was a twist at the end and so I didn't see it coming and also didn't spend my time trying to figure out what it was. I just enjoyed the ride.

The Thief follows Gen, the eponymous trickster, as he is forced to journey through multiple countries
This book was okay. On one hand, I can't deny that Megan Whalen Turner is a great writer. Her command of the English language, especially her rich descriptions of a pseudo-Greek landscape, is superb. On the other hand, I found the story very slow up until the very hasty end, and the ending felt a bit off.

I should have known to not let my expectations get out of hand. Reviewers did offer cautionary notes that the next book in the series, Queen of Attolia, was much better. From the book synopsis
This book has a very slow pace, but I think that’s intentional. The slowly building suspense adds a lot to the big reveal at the end. This is going to be the weirdest comparison ever, but this book actually reminds me of the beginning of American Psycho. Reading the beginning of that book is like, “boring…boring…boring...wait a minute, did he just say that he was going to disembowel someone?!” This book has the same feel of repetitive setting and story progression, sprinkled with little tantaliz ...more
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It is safe to say that I spend most of my free time reading. I read three to four books every week, sometimes more. I am very careful with what I choose to read which means that most of the books I read, I end up enjoying at least to some degree. But it is rare, extremely rare, to read a book that falls in that category of Books for Life. You know the ones: those that take over your heart and your mind, that even when you are reading you know that you are experiencing something u
Steph Su
Every time I think of this series, I kick myself for not having started it when I was younger. Not exactly because I’d enjoy it more as a younger reader, but because I would have had more years to crush on Eugenides and the masterful storytelling that Megan Whalen Turner is capable of.

To be honest, in the beginning I wasn’t very impressed with THE THIEF. The story starts in prison, and Gen is sick and scrawny and cranky. Not quite the most endearing character at this point. Even when Gen, the ma
I'm giving up on this one. It's not BAD, just...excruciatingly BORING. To me, anyway. I found the main character obnoxious and all the other characters underdeveloped and uninteresting, and over half way through the book, nothing's really happened--they've started their journey, and then traveled, and traveled, and traveled, and traveled, and traveled, get the picture. I've heard really good things about this series, and maybe at some point in the future I'll give it another try. But I ...more
Anne Osterlund
Gen is a thief. And a prisoner with a sense of humor, which is rather remarkable for someone chained to the wall in the king’s prison. And when the king assigns Gen to steal for him, well, that’s when the story gets going.

All you need to know about a Megan Whalen Turner book is that you don’t know. You don’t have a clue what is happening. Until she, and Gen, choose to tell you. So strap yourself in. This book has one of the longest climaxes you will ever read. And this is only the beginning.
Marla Mei
One of the reasons why I read The Thief is because I still haven't gotten over my new-found addiction for fantasy novels ever since I finished reading the Lumatere Chronicles. So while I was scrolling through GR and found a highly acclaimed fantasy book called the Queen of Attolia, I knew I had to read it. And then I found out it is the second book in a series. Just imagine how giddy I was when I found out about that. A series! More books! Yay!

Reading more reviews finally convinced me that this
Jan 24, 2011 Vinaya rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vinaya by: Tatiana
I think this review may be SPOILER-ISH, so read on at your own peril.

First off, I HAVE to know... Was Gen's identity supposed to be a big secret? Because I knew exactly who he was about one-third into the book, about the time they reached Eddis. So if the whole thing was supposed to have been mysterious up until the end, when the grand revelation took place, I might have to drop a star, and pat myself on the back for my own cleverness. But since I really, really liked The Thief, I will give Mega
Dec 02, 2008 Shaya rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shaya by: Rebecca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"The Thief" or how twist an impossibly boring plot to a great book in twenty pages.
I kept asking myself throughout all of the 200 something pages WHY WHY people were giving high ratings to this book i was almost dying of boredom. In fact, i read two other books while reading this one.
Then, a good three quarters into the book, the action picks up and from a totally mummified position on my couch i sit up. i'd rather not tell anything about the plot not to spoil it in anyway, but be sure that at
I really wanted to love this more than I did. However, I could appreciate the talent and genius within this book ...

The writing feels tight and confident. The world building is flawlessly minimal yet fully realised. I really liked that. I also enjoyed the occasional flash of wry humour. And Gen himself is an enigmatic (and charismatic in a rough kind of way) character <3

The story starts off at an intriguing point, yet I found myself waiting for the action/revelations to appear throughout most
This book has been sitting on my shelf for several (we won't go into how many exactly) years. I even *gasp* had both sequels sitting on the shelf next to it. And in the interest of full disclosure, I even started The Thief a couple of years ago, got 25 pages in, and stopped. For reasons I no longer recall. The fault, whatever it was, was clearly mine because this book is the beginning of something truly special. I completely understand why it won the Newbery Honor and am very glad it did.

Gen is
The main character of this story is mesmerizing. Turner has fleshed him out so fully, he's stepped right off the pages to join the ranks of characters the likes of Uriah Heep and Bertie Wooster. Gen is more likeable than either of them, though.

This is fantasy that doesn't feel like fantasy. From the moment you meet him in the king's prison, Gen effortlessly holds your attention as he slowly reveals himself without ever giving himself entirely away. He tells his own story and his observations of
I read this book when it was recommended to me when I was researching fantasy series books. It was remarkably compelling, especially since the POV is rather distant. Sometimes I get the feeling the author doesn't let us into Eugenides's head because she's keeping secrets. But she definitely "shows" us what Eugenides is made of. Delightful, suspenseful, tricky.
Crystal Starr Light
"A little danger adds spice to life"

Gen is roused from his prison cell, where he was locked up after stealing the king's ring, to meet the magus. The magus gives him an offer: find something the king wants and be free or die. Gen reluctantly agrees, and with Ambiades, Sophos, and Pol, the team strikes out to hunt for Hamiathes' Gift.

If I could only use one word to describe this book, it would probably be "supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus". This book is absolutely amazing! The characters are gre
Beanbag Love
This is one of my favorite book series. It was one of those odd things where a book cover just grabs you and you just have to buy it. I'm so glad I did.

I read The Thief a couple of years ago and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I always leave all three books in this trilogy out and accessible for a quick fix. They sit on my desk and they don't get moved unless I pick them up to read them. I'm so thrilled they've come out in e-book form because I miss them when I travel.

It's actually kind of
missEvi [can't commit to a book]
Oh Eugenides, what a conniving little bastard you are...

The narrator of the story is Gen, a thief from the prison of Sounis that has a task to steal something of high importance in order to gain his freedom. He describes his journey in great detail, with a sharp eye but at the same time holds back many information. He tries to judge everything objectively without reviling to much about himself.

There is a huge twist at the end, but if you pay close attention to the things that are said, or those
Bipasha{is eviscerated by fiction}
Oct 20, 2014 Bipasha{is eviscerated by fiction} rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Recommended to Bipasha{is eviscerated by fiction} by: Her awesome self. Hehe.
Buddy read with Rukman! :D

3.5 stars solely for Gen Eugenides. (Just added this name to my tab's personal dictionary, and you should too because it is badass yo.)
Review(rambling, tbh) to come very soon.
I'm off to read the Queen of Attolia because literally everyone's raving on the drastic and amazing turn the series takes from the second volume. Let's see. (I repeat, RTC, in case you forgot.)
Jaime Arkin
I have heard amazing things about this book series and when The Book Outlet had these on their shelves, I grabbed them! The Thief tells the story of Gen… a thief. He’s trapped in the king’s prison for bragging about stealing something thought to be impossible to steal. The Magus has plans for the boy who can “steal anything” and so they set off on a journey to a hidden temple to steal an artifact that no one has even seen. Of course the journey is not an easy one, and he’s traveling with several ...more
For some reason, I’ve always been partial to YA fantasy that features a protagonist who is a thief. It’s kinda funny though – if some kid were to pickpocket me in real life, I’d probably be more inclined to kick the little punk’s ass than to root for him in his adventures.

This ended up being a quick read for me and I really enjoyed it. There definitely were a bunch of slow parts, but it never bothered me too much. Although I’ve sort of discovered something about myself – I’m generally a pretty i
I have very mixed feelings about The Thief, which was recommended to me years ago by another fan of Tamora Pierce. It wasn't a bad read, but it wasn't amazing either. The strongest aspects were the writing and characterization. Gen's voice came across clearly through the text because he takes the same arrogant attitude with the reader that he does with the other characters. Turner also manages to keep the reader at arms length despite writing in first person, which is a testament to her skill as ...more
Peep (Pop! Pop!)
I have to admit that I started out with low ratings for this book. I had no idea what is was about and had no idea where it was going. I have to say that the author did an excellent job with this book. Gen has got to be one of the most likable lead characters that I have ever come across. He has some of the best comebacks and mostly says whatever is on his mind. He's stubborn most of the time too. I found myself laughing a few times when he displayed how stubborn he can be.

The supporting charact
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For those of you who have to write reports for school, I will say that I was born in 1965 and I have siblings, all of them older, which makes me the baby of the family. We had a pet cat when I was growing up. He died a long time ago, but I think he is living his next life with the author of Tithe, Holly Black. I have seen pictures and her White Cat appears too similar for mere coincidence. I moved ...more
More about Megan Whalen Turner...

Other Books in the Series

The Queen's Thief (6 books)
  • The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2)
  • The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3)
  • A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4)
  • Untitled (The Queen's Thief, #5)
  • Untitled (The Queen's Thief, #6)
The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3) The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2) A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4) Thief! (The Queen's Thief, #0.5) Instead of Three Wishes: Magical Short Stories

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“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.” 171 likes
“You learn something new everyday."
"What are you learning?" Sophos asked.
"To keep my mouth shut, I hope.”
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