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The Magic Thief

(Magic Thief #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  17,521 ratings  ·  1,230 reviews
In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery's pocket and touched the wizard's locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the prov ...more
Hardcover, 419 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by HarperCollins
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Keerthana Yes, they are definitely good, but in my opinion, the first one was the best in the series. The other books have a much more complicated plot however,…moreYes, they are definitely good, but in my opinion, the first one was the best in the series. The other books have a much more complicated plot however, so if that's what you're into, then you should really read them(less)
Ara Roxas I would say it's not the best but good. The character development wasn't that good but I did like some of the characters at the end. I didn't feel any…moreI would say it's not the best but good. The character development wasn't that good but I did like some of the characters at the end. I didn't feel any attachment to the characters at all except for the protagonist. But I really really enjoyed reading this and it is very humorous. It's still a good book.(less)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,521 ratings  ·  1,230 reviews

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Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who loves fantasy
This book made me absurdly and enormously happy.

The Magic Thief has a number of familiar fantasy motifs and character types. But in Sarah Prineas's hands a story that could have been predictable instead has a wonderful freshness and vitality about it. The invented world in which Conn moves has a Dickensian flair without being merely alt-Victoriana, and its magical system is both well imagined and intriguing.

The characters in The Magic Thief are realistically flawed and fallible, yet they never
Darth J
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Hmm. It's a fun, fluffy book for MG readers who enjoyed the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books. The illustrations on the inside are reminiscent of Mary GrandPré's Potter artwork, yet it does get repetitive as the same pictures are shown over and over again instead of individual designs for each chapter.

The wizards in this universe must let a magical object choose them in order to access their powers, but instead of a wand it's a stone called the magilicus locus (which just so happens to work e
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with the heart of a child.
Recommended to Dustin by: Nigel

Well Connwaer, it has been a pleasure and an honor, but you and I must be parting ways for now. It won't be long before I revisit the initial leg of your epic journey, for my review and the second installment, aptly titled, Lost, beckons. Rowan, Nevery, yourself and the gang beckon loud and clear. Until then, I wish you well and good luck as your education continues...and many adventures along the way.:)
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
A pure joy to read. It was such a fun little adventure about a boy trying to find his magic. Perfect for younger readers, and it has a fun code that you can translate using a key in the back of the book. I'll definitely be continuing with the series whenever I get the next book. ...more
May 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kimberly by: Jason Paulios
Shelves: fantasy
Conn just wanted some money to pay for his meal when he picked a wizard, Nevery's, pocket. Taking Nevery's locus magicalicus (a stone that helps wizards to focus when using magic) should have caused Conn to die. But he didn't. Nevery finds this interesting, and takes Conn in as his apprentice (more of a servant, though.)
Life is still difficult for Conn even though he gets fed, has a roof over his head, and he even learns how to read. There is contempt for him since he is a known thief and lock
Jun 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
Okay, I guess I'm the first to give this book a review after its official publication date (June 3 or thereabouts).

To begin I think a bit of background is in order, because the 3-star rating I gave is deceptively low. The rating only reflects the book and its success stacked against myself as a reader with particular tastes and preferences. This book is definitely for the kiddies. It isn't designed to thrust itself among the greatest epic fantasy stories ever told, and in the darkness category
Prabhjot Kaur
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Conn is a lock pick and a thief in Wellmet and he is very good at it. One day he picks a wizard's pocket and steals locus magicalicus, an object that every wizard has and if someone else touches it they can get hurt or worse die. But the locus magicalicus doesn't kill Conn and the wizard, Nevery finds it intriguing and ends up taking him as a servant.

Nevery was banished twenty years ago from Wellmet by the Duchess and he has returned to investigate why the magic of Wellmet is dissipating faster
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to lovers of fantasy, both children and adults
Recommended to Ivonne by: Bill Wolfe
Shelves: favorites
Like L.M. Boston's Green Knowe series, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Sarah Prineas' The Magic Thief represents a children's book that's bound to be devoured by thousands of adults.

The eponymous thief Conn meets his future magical mentor, wizard Nevery Flinglass, while trying to pick his pocket. Nevery's locus magicalicus, a sort of magical stone that gives a wizard his power, should have killed Conn on the spot
Nov 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those seeking good middle-grade fantasy
Conn is a young thief in the Twilight, managing to stay alive and well when so many others have fared far worse in the cold and threadbare conditions. But, when he tries to steal a wizard's locus magicalius stone (a source of connection with the source of magic) he ends up winning a new life for himself as an apprentice to the wizard Nevery. For Nevery sees what others never bothered to see in the lowly pick-pocket; a good-hearted boy with an uncanny aptitude for magic. But even in Nevery's home ...more
Jan 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
This book, the first in a trilogy, is a great example of how children’s book publishers are putting out way too many series and lots of bad fantasy in an attempt to make money. Connwaer has lots of street smarts and a skilled pick-pocketing hand. At the start of the story he steals the locus magicalicus of the Wizard Nevery Flinglas. This magical device should kill Conn, but doesn’t. And so, Conn is taken in with interest and some apprehension by the wizard Nevery. Magic abounds in their city of ...more
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a fun book about a magical world.Conn con is a boy living on the streets until he meets a wizard who sees magic in him. He takes it upon himself as the chosen wizard apprentice to save the magic from being depleted from his world.he is a very likable character and you truly are cheering for him. I found the use of magic interesting in this book, and I definitely plan on reading some more books in the series.
Ann Rees
As I was perusing the shelves in my local library, I came upon this book, looking deceptively innocent with its nice blue and gold cover. Since I like fantasy, I decided I'd give it a go. Little did I know what horrors awaited me. The plot, (if you can call it that), centers around a young thief oh so appropriately named Conn, who attempts to steal a locus magilawhatsit from the wizard Nevery, which should have killed him. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen. Instead, Nevery decides to take Conn ...more
Conn is a common thief, living on the streets of Twilight and stealing what he can to survive. Until he tries to steal something very important from a wizard. But what catches the wizard's interest isn't so much that Conn tried to steal his precious magical stone, but that the stone didn't kill Conn when he tried to.

Twilight is part of a city separated into three sections (basically the good side, the bad side, and the in between), and the city's magic fading - fast. Why? To what effect? And how
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

A pretty decent story, if a little typical - orphan boy steals a wizard's locus magicalicus, which should kill him but doesn't. The wizard, intrigued, takes the boy in and the boy just happens to turn out to be a sort of chosen one figure.

The characters were ok, though, again, fairly typical, but my biggest issue was the way Conn, raised poor and uneducated, was naturally good at everything. He learns to read in about a day, and can memorize complicated spells after hearing them twice.

As for
Picked this book up last year during a trip to Chicago. My kid had dragged along four thick hard-backed novels for our our five-day stay, and had them all read by day two and needed something to read on the trip back. (I've since bought her a used Kindle so we don't have to pay overweight fees for our luggage!) We hit a book store, and picked up several books, including this one.

She insisted she wasn't going to read it, so I said fine, I'll read it. Turns out, she got to it out of boredom befor
Mar 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Charming, with hidden depths. It puzzled me a bit at first - the characters almost appeared superficial, but I suspected there was more, and there was. Loved the way the protagonist's POV interacts with the diary of another main character. Can't wait to read the next in the series. ...more
Kathy Davie
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
First in the Magic Thief fantasy series for middle-grade readers and revolving around a young pickpocket with potential.

In 2011, The Magic Thief was nominated for the Iowa Teen Award and also in 2009 for the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award.…

My Take
…This reminds me of Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series, right down to the book size. Prineas, however, does have a different take on how magic works and who her major protagonist is. I enjoyed her dual first-person protagonist point-of-view with Conn, as it
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Andrew and I enjoyed reading this book together. Unfortunately, there are a lot of sentence fragments which I felt the need to expand and fill in so that it made sense while I read it out loud. I felt like this was done so excessively that it took some pleasure away from reading the book.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read. Actually interesting.
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-2012
Plot Summary:
The city of Wellmet is losing its magic and no one can seem to figure out why. It is up to a previously exiled wizard named Nevery and a young thief named Connwaer, to save the town from its untimely demise. The story tells of Connwaer’s search for his locus magicalicus, or the stone that allows wizards to harness magic’s power and how he enters into apprenticeship with the older wizard. He also helps Nevery solve the mystery behind the lost magic.

Main Characters:
Connwaer: He is a
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, middlegrade
Conn is a thief--a pickpocket, lockpick and gutterboy. Living in the Twilight, the seedy district of the magical city of Wellmet, there's not much else he could be. But when he picks the pocket of the wizard Nevery and comes out with Nevery's locus magicalicus, he's stolen more than he expected.

Nevery expects Conn to be dead--and fast--but when Conn doesn't die, Nevery decides to keep him around--just for a little while. Just until he figures out why not.

While Nevery may think that Conn is his s
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
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 a ...more
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Hallie by: Dorian
Shelves: childrens, fantasy
This one just felt right from the beginning and continued to hit me the right way throughout. It's a bit younger than I normally read, but the fact that I never felt the least bit less enjoyment from it says a lot.

It's extraordinary because if you set up the plot it sounds very, very old. Young boy, underdog of the first order (orphan, "gutterboy", pick-pocket), taken up, reluctantly, by an older wizard - a grumpy and often distracted one who ultimately comes to care for the boy. (I almost could
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gr. 4 and up
The story is told in first person by Conn, the thief; through the journal of Mevery, the wizard; and in correspondence to and from him. Conn has forever been a thief, but when he steals a wizard's magic stone and nothing happens, the wizard takes an interest in the boy. Conn becomes Nevery's apprentice, an uneasy assignment for both the boy and his master. To be an apprentice and accepted by the council of wizards, Conn must first find his own magic stone, not an easy task. When Nevery is asked ...more
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, fantasy
What i really appreciate in this book is "Very less Characters", compared to some other fantasy books. Conn, who lives on the streets and is a thief accidentally steals from a wizard. A wizard, who is the best among his profession. And Conn begins his journey to be a wizard.
Magic thief tells a tale of a thief who wants to be a wizard and who catches another thief who wants to steal magic from the city.. Magic lives in the city u see!!
First in the series, this book somewhat resembles the InkWorld
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it
One of my friends received this book as a gift from a friend years ago but no one ever read it. When my 9-year-old was sick this summer (and his siblings were out of town) I wanted to read aloud to him and decided to give this one a try. We were both delightfully surprised. The story is fun and compelling and the writing is decent (I was occasionally annoyed by the clunky style, but that may have been mostly because I was reading it aloud). It is a bit of a Harry Potter rip off, but that's OK... ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
first a thank you to the anonymous human being who donated this in its PERFECT,seems to be not read, new condition in my local used-books store....a million thanks for that, though I wonder why you gave such brilliant book away....
I have this idea that every book YA, or middle grade had the word "THIEF" in its title, it an amazing adventure ,and mostly am NOT disappointed, it is funny how many books I have with that word in...
and this one also did NOT disappoint, my heart and mind
Devin Ames
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
In the fantasy story The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas, the city of Wellmet is losing it’s magic. Conn is a young pick-pocket and a thief, who is growing up alone on the streets of Twilight, dirty, in thread-bare clothes, just trying to stay alive. He picks the pocket of a wizard named Nevery and takes his locus magicalicus, a stone that focuses the magic of wizards. Each wizard has their own, unique locus magicalicus. Surprisingly, he lives after touching the stone. Nevery is fascinated, and de ...more
Christa Schönmann Abbühl
Apr 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-audio, own-ebook
I read the German translation of this book to my son when he was little. Now I listened to the audio book, and it is just as good as I remember. There is a warmth to it, hard to explain. And Conn is such a free spirit.

The narrator did an excellent job, but I did not love his voice for Conn. Still, I highly recommend. If my memory serves me right there were some illustrations in the book.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very engaging opening to a series about a 'gutterboy', Conn, who becomes an apprentice to a Wizard in a city where the magic is fading.

There isn't a whole lot that's original here--Conn is the underestimated poor kid seemingly playing out of his league, Nevery is a grumpy old wizard ostracized by his peers, and the Duchess's daughter shows up to play tutor and get in on the action, but The Magic Thief is a fun ride.

Highly recommended.
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Other books in the series

Magic Thief (4 books)
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