Bette's Reviews > The Magic Thief

The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
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's review
Feb 19, 11

bookshelves: children-s
Read in February, 2011

I liked this book a lot. It's a bit derivative of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. There is a wizard school, for instance, but the focus of the book on schooling isn't nearly as prominent as in Harry Potter. But overall, Prineas succeeds in creating a unique alternative fantasy world with an engaging protagonist. The main character, Conn, is a clever pickpocket and lock picker. He is "nosy," according to the wizard, Nevery, but it's his curiosity that leads him to solve the mystery of why the ambient magic in Wellmet is disappearing. Benet, the "muscle," reminds me a little of Butler in "Artemis Fowl"; Benet seems to be just muscle at first, but he turns out to have a good heart, as does Nevery. The relationship among the 3 grows as the story progresses.

The story-telling technique is inventive. It consists of Conn's first-person narrative interrupted periodically by Nevery's diary entries. This allows for humor since Conn at first thinks he's Nevery's apprentice, while Nevery keeps calling him a servant in his diary. There is actually quite a bit of humor in the book. Conn keeps eating Nevery out of house and home, i.e.

My only objection to the book is that I found the magical language awkward. I kept having to stop to figure out how to pronounce the words for spells and magical objects, and they didn't seem to have a rhyme or reason, unlike Rowling's, which are Latin-based. Plus the spells themselves are very unwieldy. They are just a lot of letters strung together.

But overall, I enjoyed the book a lot and would read the rest of the trilogy. It's a good addition to the fantasy of childre's fantasy lit.
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