Turner, Megan Whalen. The Thief. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
“I saw you at your trial,” he said finally.
I didn’t say that I’d noticed him there as well.
“Tell me,” said the magus, “have you found yourself reluctant to leave our hospitality? You said at your trial that not even the king’s prison could hold you, and I rather expected you to be gone by now.” He was enjoying himself.
I crossed my legs and settled deeper into the chair. He winced.
I said, “Some things take time.”
“How true,” said the magus. “How much time do you think it’s going to take?”
Another half an hour, I thought, but I didn’t say that either.
Gen was imprisoned after stealing the king’s seal and flaunting it. But now the king needs him. The magus believes he knows the location of an ancient artifact, but only the greatest of thieves could steal it. And Gen, despite his lack of manners and big mouth, is the greatest thief that they have ever seen.
Wow. That was my reaction after closing the book. Just…wow.
Let me tell you something. I usually skim or completely skip over talk of politics and geography in books. In most stories, it’s only important if you’re trying to draw a map. And I generally just don’t care enough.
Big mistake. If I can give you any advice when reading this book, it’s PAY ATTENTION TO EVERY DETAIL. It matters in the end, it really does. When I hit the twist at the end (which Shannon Hale called “the greatest twist in all of young adult literature”) I just about went into shock. Having heard what Shannon Hale said about it before, I knew a twist was coming. I predicted a few. I thought I was seeing all kinds of foreshadowing for a bunch of different endings.
I WAS SO WRONG.
And yet I didn’t feel cheated. The signs were all there. Foreshadowing was solid. It was just all stuff that I didn’t pay attention to, because I didn’t realize what they were leading up to. It’s definitely one of those books that you need to buy, because you have to read it more than once.
In short, if you haven’t read this book yet, you need to. Gen is fun and witty, the kind of person that you just love to cheer for. The plot is made up of mystery, adventure, action, history, and just a touch of fantasy. It’s everything that anyone could want.
And if you’ve already read the whole series, then you’ll be happy to hear that the fourth book, A Conspiracy of Kings, comes out March 23rd. *squeal*