The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Few of you know that my real name is Arianna (Emily is a nickname I had since I was in high school), it’s a greek name, the original version being Ariadne (you can check the myth here, I am not sure what my parents had in mind when they named me but it’s quite  an interesting legend).

It goes without saying that I have a thing for greek’s mythology and imagine my surprise when I started reading The Thief.

I had no idea that this story was  a “mythological fantasy” that took place in a natural landscape so dear to me (here it’s a pic from my last vacation, I was reading the book while camping in an olive grove):

Olive Grove

A well written fairy tale is a true gem and while reading The Thief I found myself smiling and dreaming because this is the sort of adventure that makes you think about magical lands, impossible missions, forgotten legends. Turner’s style is superb.

I am thrilled to have  discovered this (thanks Angie!), it’s been said  the it’s the greatest twist in all of young adult literature (Shannon Hale), I couldn’t agree more.

Gen (short for Eugenides) is an imprisoned thief who claims the impossible: he can steal everything.

He is recruited by the King’s Magus of Sounis to steal a legendary stone that mythology claims to be hidden in a temple in the kingdom of Eddis:

“The reign of Eddis supposedly arose out of one of the stories in which Hephestia rewarded a king named Hamiathes with a stone dipped in the water of immortality. The stone freed its bearer from death, but at the end of his natural life span the king passed the stone to his son and died. The son eventually passed it to his son, and the possession of it became synonymous with the right to rule the country. When a usurper stole the stone and soon thereafter died, it was understood that the power of the stone was lost unless it was given to the bearer, and so a tradition grew up that allowed the throne of Eddis to change hands peacefully when another country might have had a civil war. One person stole the stone and then gave it to his chosen candidate for the throne, in that way making him rightful king”

Gen is supposed to steal the stone for the Magus so that the Magus can give it to his King, this way the reluctant queen of Eddis will be obliged to accept a wedding proposal from the King of Sounis.

An expedition is arranged by the Magus and off they go, Gen, the Magus, the Magus’ assistants, Ambiades and Sophos ( Useless the Elder and Useless the Younger), plus Pol, an unfriendly soldier appointed by Sophos’ father to protect his son.

Not too much happens, it’s a very simple plot but it’s an utterly enjoyable fast read with a PERFECTLY CRAFTED ENDING and great characters.

Gen, Oh Eugenides, what a refreshing character you are.

Gen has it all but his biggest quality is his cheekyness, here it’s a character that has none of the stuffiness that usually comes with his position, he would rather be a thief than a soldier, he is uber smart and likes his hair long.

I liked Gen from page one but by the end of the book I was completely fascinated, under-a-spell, enchanted. Plus imagine my surprise when I found out that I wasn’t giving him half the credit he deserved.

If you enjoy fantasy than this is a must read, there is more to come in the next two book (my reviews are coming soon).

Other reviews:


The Reading Zone  (have a look!)

Presenting Lenore

The crooked shelf

The Coccinelle put it among her top ten picks

If you want to browse inside, here it’s the link for you.

My grade: 4.5/5


11 responses to “The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

  1. Arianna is a beautiful name! I had no idea that was your real name and that Emily is just a nickname (Chachic is my nickname also). I’m so glad you picked this up and that you liked it! Megan Whalen Turner’s books are pretty high up in my list of favorites. I’ve been trying to convince anyone who’d care to listen to read her books. Can’t wait to see what you think of the other books in the series. :)

  2. I am so incredibly happy that you loved this book!! Angie is such a book pusher for this series right? it’s through her undying love for this book that i read it myself and i can’t thank her enough.

    i love the world building and the descriptions and how you never really can trust what your thinking through the whole book because the answers just seem to be out of reach. loved it! fabulous review as always.

  3. Hey Em! I haven’t read this book, but your enthusiasm is driving me to the bookstore right now. I absolutely love your reviews! I can’t wait to read this!

  4. What a lovely name :) and how wonderful you enjoyed The Thief! Yes Yes this incorrigible little thief only gets better can’t wait to hear your reviews of the other books.

  5. I have to agree. Arianna is a gorgeous name and I love the mythology behind it. I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology as well and so that aspect of the series came as a delightful surprise for me as well.

    I’m utterly chuffed that you enjoyed this one so much and really can’t wait to read your reviews of the subsequent books.

  6. I sort of dallied over the first few chapters for AGES, then knuckled down to it and was completely in love with Gen by the last page.

    Queen is possibly my favourite of the series, though I adore King as well. Err yes, love these books.


  7. Thanks, I go by “Ari” , it took me only three days to read “The Thief”, yesterday I started “The Kind of Attolia” but I just realized (a few minutues ago) that there is a fourth book “A conspiracy of Kings”… Turner is now becoming my favorite “bedtime story”

  8. Lol. I was going to type “Ari” because I always shorten names, but didn’t want to be presumptuous.

    I can never decide between QUEEN and KING for my favorite. They’re both such incredibly strong novels.

    • Oh no Ari it is then :) The Queen of Attolia is extraordinary good, I loved it, I don’t think it’s better than The Thief but it’s probably better suited to my age or maybe it’s the fact that Gen wormed his way into my heart and now I can’t get him out of my head

  9. I liked this one too! Gen is just so convincing, and the end took me entirely by surprise. And then, of course, I had to re-read to chuckle over all the references anew.

  10. Pingback: I Just Can’t Get Enough of Megan Whalen Turner | Emily and Her Little Pink Notes

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