Kay's Reviews > The Thief

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
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Jul 25, 2012

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bookshelves: fantasy, kings-queens-n-fools, teens-tweens-and-ya, journey-not-destination
Recommended for: road trip!
Read from July 20 to 24, 2012 , read count: 1

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 and the author's writing style, this seemed like a blend of The Lies of Locke Lamora and partially Finnikin of the Rock. An arrogant thief caught up in a larger power game between empires, forced into performing an impossible task, and coming to terms with his own limitations. What's not to love?

To be fair, the story was less a swashbuckling adventure with extroverted plot twists, and more a contemplative and slow-moving character study. Most of the book read like a dysfunctional road trip with grouchy and unrelenting dads, uncles, and sullen cousins. The main focus was on the dynamics among Gen, the magus, Pol, Sophos, and Ambiades, with each revealing surprising complexities and individual quirks. Good thing too because once the journey begins all they do is travel, travel, eat, sleep, travel, travel...you get the gist.

It’s not until the party reaches the temple that things start to speed up and the plot actually starts to unfold. Secrets are revealed, some more surprising than others, and the book takes twists and turns to end up in a place that I'd never expected.

It just takes a while for them to get there.

Overall, the book wasn't bad. In fact, for the type of story it was, I'd like to give it more stars for being able to keep my attention for so long. I appreciate the effort put into developing the characters, but the beginning dragged on way too much. Plus, considering how the book progressed, I found the twists and turns at the end erratic.

A solid three stars, and recommended for those who like meandering, journeying plot lines. I was, however, impressed with the writing and will be picking up Queen of Attolia soon.
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Reading Progress

07/23/2012 page 120
43.0% "Still moseying along.."
04/04/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Cassy (new) - added it

Cassy Just three stars? Maybe I should reconsider reading this one.


message 2: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay The writing was good, but the story did drag a bit. I've heard the sequel was excellent, though.


Alyssa I feel the same about this. It was an OK reading experience for me, but nothing amazing to gush over. For some reason, I got the impression that Gen was quite immature, as if he's still a prankster adolescent (I forgot how old he was supposed to be in the book). I didn't find book 2 to be any better, but then again, maybe it's just not for me.


message 4: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay Alyssa wrote: "I feel the same about this. It was an OK reading experience for me, but nothing amazing to gush over. For some reason, I got the impression that Gen was quite immature, as if he's still a prankster..."

I agree--I don't think the author made Gen as clever or cunning as he was made out to be. I feel like the book had a lot of potential, but it fell short somehow.


Reena I think it was hard to appreciate because of the traveling dragging on and on. I definitely liked the story telling that developed the world but it was a little overkill. You never know how brilliant he is until the end because she tells the story almost in a 3rd person kind of way to make you surprised at the ending. Second book is definitely more fast paced.


Pooja Oh yeah, the first book dragged a bit, but things definitely pick up in the Queen. The third one is definitely my favorite, though, because Gen's wit and cunning become much more evident. I can't wait to read your reviews for the rest of the series. :)


message 7: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay Reena wrote: "I think it was hard to appreciate because of the traveling dragging on and on. I definitely liked the story telling that developed the world but it was a little overkill. You never know how brillia..."

I agree, Reena. I didn't get the sense that Gen was cunning or smart until the very end. Hopefully the second book will be better!


message 8: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay Ducky wrote: "Oh yeah, the first book dragged a bit, but things definitely pick up in the Queen. The third one is definitely my favorite, though, because Gen's wit and cunning become much more evident. I can't w..."

Thanks, Ducky! I'll have to read the next two books asap!


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