Natalie's Reviews > The Thief

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
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's review
Oct 11, 2012

really liked it
Read on October 28, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

This is another one of those books that I probably never would've found without Goodreads, so let me just take a moment to send a shout out to all my friends on there who posted rave reviews about this series, even if this one wasn't your favorite. *cheers* *claps*

Now that that's done, on to the review.

I guess I'll start by saying that I have been a bit book depressed lately, because I've been in the mood for a series that would basically consume my life a la The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, and I haven't been able to find one. Seriously, check out my status updates on Goodreads if you don't believe me. It was bordering on pathetic. And while I've read some good books in the meantime, I am so glad that I started this one, because even though it has its weaknesses, I can already tell the series as a whole is just what I've been looking for.

The story starts with Gen, our narrator, being pulled out of his prison cell to go talk to the king and his magus about whether or not he really can steal anything. They are skeptical, you see, because while Gen did manage to steal something valuable, he didn't manage to keep his mouth shut long enough to get away with it. Hence his inmate status. Much snark and hilarity ensues, and before we know it, Gen, the magus, a guard, and two Uselesses (the Elder and the Younger) hit the road, off on a quest to steal an object unknown. Their journey is long, and Gen certainly sleeps a lot, but through his wry humor and their stories about the gods, the story keeps moving at a good pace, and it becomes obvious that not all is as it seems.

I feel like the best word to describe this book is fun. Gen's narration and the banter between the characters are the perfect balance between serious and light, and it makes the story flow so well. I know that some people had problems with their stories about the gods, but I didn't. I've always been interested in mythology, and I feel like it's important to have myths and legends established in fantasy series. It makes them feel more real and storied. And I love that most of the stories told focused on the Thief God. It just made things feel so mischievous. And that ending? Such a great twist! Everything falls into place, and it's like a major aha moment. I knew something was up, but I was still surprised when I got there, and that made all the difference.

Positive aspects aside, I do want to take a moment to talk about the negative ones. For me, it was really all about one thing: the first person narration. (Here's to you, Gaby, for putting my feelings about it into words.). The whole time I was reading, something felt just a little bit off, and it wasn't until I started book two and also had a conversation with Gaby that I realized the problem is with the focus of the narration. I found myself forgetting that it was supposed to be in first person, because it felt like it should be in third, so whenever I'd see an 'I' in the narration, it threw me off and I got confused. I don't know why, exactly, but I've found that for the most part, fantasy books work better for me when they are in the third person. I think it's partly because it seems like most of the time in fantasy, the story is really more about the world as a whole, and how the main characters are important to it, instead of the other way around. I'm about a third of the way into book two now, which is written in third person, and already I feel like it's moving much faster and the tone is a better fit for the story.

Still, that one negative, although it is a problem, shouldn't stop you from reading this series. I mean, really. It's so much fun, people! And I can already tell you that book two is so worth getting through book one, even if you don't like the stories of the gods and all that jazz. You've gotta start at the beginning, and this one is well worth it. It's a series you don't want to miss.
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Gabriela Milanes This review pretty much sums up everything I felt about this book! I can't wait for you to review book two :)

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