Alyssa Udall's Reviews > The Thief

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
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's review
Oct 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, male-protagonist, best-of-list

Originally posted at the Redhead Heroines blog!

The Thief is fantasy at its most successful!

One of the most difficult tasks of reading and writing fantasy is world building. Include too much detail and the reader will get bored and confused, while the plot will come to a screeching halt. Include too little detail and the reader will be frustrated with their growing list of questions, while their reading experience will become sterile.

The world building in The Thief is flawless! The reader is immediately catapulted into a familiar fantasy landscape that changes as Turner includes little details about past wars and other kingdoms. Because the first half of the novel takes place on a journey, this allows Turner to build a rich world around the characters, complete with a rich belief system of creation stories and human-like gods.

However, where The Thief lacks is in its pacing. When Gen and company first begin their journey, it is not clear that this journey will be the bulk of the novel. As a result, the reader continues to flip pages (20, 40, 90) with the hopes of reaching some kind of destination, only to find that they've begun a Tolkien-like adventure that, unfortunately, has no dragons, orcs, or Smeagol along the way to keep things interesting.

While the novel is still very readable, the writing is fresh and Gen is an irreverent, stubborn protagonist, the middle portion of the novel reaches an extreme trough.

However, the ascent from this trough is breathtaking. Turner soon takes Gen and company through a series of unexpected adventures where the stakes are high as high, leaving the reader no choice but to tear through the remaining quarter of the novel with fierce abandon.

In the end, The Thief succeeds in drawing readers into a rich new world with a protagonist they would follow anywhere. They will simply have no choice but to pick up the sequels, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia as soon as possible!
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Reading Progress

October 1, 2011 – Shelved
January 24, 2012 – Started Reading
January 24, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy
January 24, 2012 – Shelved as: male-protagonist
January 24, 2012 –
page 38
January 26, 2012 – Shelved as: best-of-list
January 26, 2012 – Finished Reading

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