Title: The Thief
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
My Rating: 4/5 Stars!
The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.
What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.
Just a little preamble before I get into my thoughts, this book follows our main character Gen, who is being held at the prison for his crimes of thievery. When the king’s scholar hears the rumours surrounding Gen’s impeccable thievery skills, he takes it upon himself to chose Gen as the thief for their quest to find this treasure that will ensure the kingdom’s prosperity.
Gen was such a fun character to read about, especially because he didn’t take crap from anyone. He spoke his mind as loudly and as freely as he wanted to, not caring if people liked him or not. While his character was still mysterious to us readers and to the other character’s as well, it was still really refreshing to read from his point of view.
The setting in this book was great. This book mainly focused on the world-building, and some of it was pretty heavy material to process, but it didn’t have that straining quality that some books tend to have. It made you want to learn more about the political disputes going on within the different kingdoms.
One of my favorite parts of this book, (and the reason I gave it 4 stars) were the side stories that are told throughout this novel. As our characters are travelling, it’s an opportunity for them to learn about each other, and a chance for the characters to understand the reasoning behind their mission told through mythological tales.
They were about the Earth, Sun and their children, and it was so interesting to read about. Where the story was lacking in some areas, these tales definitely made up for it in the long run.
The problem I had with this book, was the lack of connection I had with the characters. A probable solution to this, is of course the fact that it is the first book in a fantasy series, and there is definitely a long span of time for the characters to develop and grow, but I still felt very detached to the characters because I didn’t know them that well. It’s also a slow moving book, and there isn’t much action or suspense until the last half of the book, but because it’s such a quick read, it didn’t feel “boring” to me.
I strongly believe that this was a great set-up to a long series, and I cannot wait to dive into the second book this month. I highly recommend this to all you fantasy lovers out there, especially since the tone of this book is different to many of the current YA fantasy books out there, (probably because this book was written quite some time ago).
Thank you so much for reading! Let me know if you have some underrated fantasy book recommendations below!