An Odd1's Reviews > The Thief

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
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's review
Oct 31, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, fan
Read from September 01 to 21, 2011

"The Thief" (#1 series) by Megan Turner is Eugenides, named for the God of Thieves in a Greece-inspired realm of guns and swords. He is arrogant, expert, forthright, tactless, smart in mouth and brain, almost unlikable; as are everyone, nearly forgivable considering he narrates all. He whines repeatedly of hunger and fatigue. The style is smooth, flowing, clever, almost supercilious. We admire from safe afar, smile amused, yet soldiers chase only footsteps behind without our hearts pounding in sympathy. Sudden deaths out of sight blunts emotion.
Ambiguous wording initially allowed the possibility of a girl protagonist, until he scrubbed publicly. Although cliché was avoided, I was regretful. Kept secrets were conveyed in sense yet not betrayed in fact. I sympathized with Gen's dislike of horses and awkward seat. (I scraped my inner legs bloody, imbedded denim, discovering I preferred piano to Western gallop over English trot as a hobby.)
Clues are easy: a traitor hides a costly comb; an expert analyzes novice swordplay; an elite captain guards a VIP; hair braids over treasure; food vanishes. The finale still surprises. Myths of world creation by gods still powerful invoke deus ex machina indeed.
Gen boasted in Sounis that he could steal anything, even the king's seal. After flaunting his prize in a tavern "wineshop", he was jailed from spring to late summer in bleak dark solitary. The royal advisor, the never-named magus, frees Gen to steal a magic stone that conveys the power to rule Eddis, the country between Attolia and theirs, to consolidate all three against a coming invasion. His students and the younger's bodyguard complete the company. They quest through wild territory, to hallowed temple, past mortal and celestial barriers.
I dislike unnecessary made-up words. Etesians are late-summer winds (easterly?). "Red shank and green shank bushes" are mentioned twice. Supererogatory. But I want to read more, so 5* her for the series, for how Turner makes me care about people and place, want to solve her mysteries. I must like something.
After hours correcting my formats from ebooks and audio to normal paper, I am more careful to look past the matching cover. I tried one each audio and ebook; I have not the patience for either, till blindness forces me. My editorial eye (some call hyperlexia) finds typos and questions, so version matters. For instance, in this edition, why does Gen say "lower my arm" on the top of p236, when he never raised his limb in the first place?
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Reading Progress

100.0% "Gen is smart in mouth & brain, whiny, cool. He narrates the quest: everyone sounds as arrogant as him. I still like the Greek-myth inspired theft & suprise ending."

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