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The Thief > The sequels

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message 1: by Cliff, Moderator (last edited Jul 25, 2014 04:20PM) (new)

Cliff | 43 comments Mod
So, I didn't post, but I actually found the answer to my unasked question when I found an interview with Megan Whalen Turner. My question being whether or not she had planned the entire scope of her series before she wrote The Thief.

As it turns out, she did not. She had written The Thief and was going to leave it as is, until she received a fan letter from a librarian (thought you'd get a kick out of that, Jim) who pleaded for her to write a sequel.

So, the reason for my question was this, during The Thief, we are teased with mentions of the other cities in Sounis and that there's far larger events happening. In fact, if you noted, the entire purpose behind the search for Hamiathes' Gift was that the magus wanted to strengthen the entire region by uniting the kingdoms of Sounis and Eddis in order to prepare for what he believed to be an inevitable invasion from an empire that lay across the sea.

The subsequent books start to build upon this notion of this invading force as we learn about some of their carefully laid plans and their sorties. But the information is treated as somewhat secondary to the primary plotlines of the next novels. But when you read them, you clearly start to get the picture that Turner intends to tell the entire story behind the invasion. She has stated that she expects the entire series to be about 6 books in total and has hinted that in Book 5, that Eugenides will likely make a trip across the sea.

For those interested...while the sequels may not be as "twisty" as The Thief, all of them are very much in the same spirit of the complex "heist" story.

message 2: by library_jim, Creator & Organizer (new)

library_jim | 112 comments Mod
That is fascinating, Cliff. I would have thought she had at least doped out the bones for a trilogy and then decided to add on more after that. I'll be interested to read more of the Attolia books some time.

And yes, librarians are awesome!

message 3: by Beth, Moderator (new)

Beth | 73 comments Mod
Also, the sequels are at an older maturity level. The Thief is a fun read for elementary and up, but pretty much a kidlit book. I read it to my sons when the youngest was about six, and they loved it, and they still reread it sometimes. The sequel is more of a young YA book, and the King even more so; kids still like can like them, but the themes are more apt to interest older ones.

So I figure she was thinking about different things when she wrote them. King of Attolia (book 3) is another good intro to the story -- it has a completely different feel for people who haven't read the first ones but in a good way.

message 4: by library_jim, Creator & Organizer (new)

library_jim | 112 comments Mod
I know you already found the answer but I thought you guys might get a kick out of the fact that she finally wrote me back:

"Dear Jim,

I recently found a batch of unanswered emails and I am afraid that yours was one
of them. I am sorry to have taken so long to get back to you.

No, I hadn't plotted out the whole series. I expected THE THIEF to be a standalone.
When it won the Newbery Honor, though, my editor handed the phone to a nearby
librarian, Barbara Barstow who asked me where the sequel was. That was all it
took for me to see just how the rest of the story would go. I only wish that I could
write as quickly as I can imagine.


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