Monday, March 27, 2006

The Thief

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner.

I'm hearing a lot of good buzz about The King of Attolia. It's the third in a series, and I haven't read the first two, The Thief and The Queen of Attolia. So, in order to read TKOA, I took home The Thief.

I'm in love. I've fallen in love with characters before -- I think Will Stanton was my first book boyfriend. And there have been others, like Mr. Darcy. But it's been a while.... until I met Gen.

Oh, yeah, the plot.

The Plot: Gen is a master thief -- in prison because while he may be a master thief, successfully stealing the King's seal, he then boasted about it. In public. Including showing the King's seal to one and all. And thanks to the boasting, he is now in prison. He's lost track of time, until the King's Magus comes to him with a deal: Gen will be let out of prison. Provided he helps Magus steal Hamiathes's Gift. Gen says yes -- hello, it's getting him out of prison, of course he's going to say yes -- all the while plotting, wondering how he can make this situation work for him. Top on the list, of course, is not returning to prison.

The Good: Did I mention Gen is my new book boyfriend? While this is a YA book, Gen's age isn't given; he's probably in his late teens. He is snarky, funny, overly dramatic about things, smart, charming. He tries to keep his secrets, but sometimes he can't help boasting about his talent or his knowledge.

When it comes time to steal -- Gen puts his money where his mouth is. He does have what it takes; he's boasting about real talent. Not making it up.

This is also a good adventure yarn; once Gen is out of prison, there's a journey to find the location of the Hamiathes's Gift, so Road Trip! Road Trips are fun, and this one includes the Magus, who doesn't trust Gen; two young apprentices of the Magus, nicknamed Useless the Younger and Useless the Older by Gen (and yes, he does share this with the two young men); and a seasoned soldier, Pol, who is keeping an eye on Gen.

Turner has created three kingdoms with a complex history. It's important to the plot -- the King wants the Gift for political reasons.

Turner has reveals that left me breathless. And I won't say any more than that, because if you are one of the few people who haven't read the book yet -- well, I'm not going to give it away. (We can talk about it in the comments, tho!) She did it note-perfect; with the reveals making perfect sense, yet being a surprise.


Anonymous said...

Liz, I loved The Thief. I think we discussed it soon after i joined Adbooks. As usual it was Jonathan who insisted we needed to read it. Queen of Attolia was good but didn't grab me quite like the first one. I'm looking forward to finally reading the conclusion.

Kelly said...

Oooh! Thanks for the review, Liz. This one sounds good.

Anonymous said...

I love the term "book boyfriend" (or "girlfriend"). I haven't actively had one in some time, but I did have quite a crush on Lemony Snicket for a while. I mean, he's smart, he's funny, his ex is out of the picture...

(hey, the first three letters of the prove-you're-a-human thing below are v, f, and d - very important letters in Snicket. :))

Grow up please said...

Can I add a link to your blog on my blog?

Liz B said...

Clare, thanks for the tip! I went thru the adbooks archives and it was very interesting to see what everyone had to say.
Kelly, definately take time for this one.
Jill, I am so behind in Lemony Snicket, it's just sad. And its also odd that I have to do word verification for my own blog. Doesn't blogger know it's me?
Kim, of course you can!