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Book Review: The Thief – Megan Whalen Turner


Title: The Thief
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Adventure, Mythology

If you enjoy reading mythology and have an interest in Greek or Roman architecture, chances are you’ll enjoy The Thief. The mythology that Turner has created in this book is beautifully written. Be warned though, this is not your typical type of book that features thieves. If you’re anticipating fast paced action from the get-go you may be disappointed. The first three chapters can feel extremely slow and aggravating for a few reasons. The main reason being that we don’t know any of the character’s goals and motives until chapter 4. Also, usually after you return home from traveling,you tell your friends about the destination and skip over the long hours spent in the vehicle and hotel. Unfortunately, this book includes the traveling portion of the trip with excruciating detail and tops it off with constant complaints by the protagonist.

That being said, things improve dramatically after this point. Chapter 5 kicks off with some beautiful storytelling with well written mythology. The traveling continues but the focus shifts from the traveling itself to events and interactions between the characters. Things start to get personal and you start to see a very complex relationship emerge. You expect a coming-of-age story and are left wondering how much was growth and how much was elusively there from the beginning. The Thief is one of those books that make you turn back to the first page when you are finished. In fact, it is one of the few books where the re-read is more astonishing than the initial read. So if you’re tired of the fast-food-reads in the market, pick up this series and give it a try.

As a side note, this book has built itself a reputation for being the book you grit your teeth through in order to read the next books in the series. There is some truth to this idea. I personally enjoyed The Queen of Attolia & The King of Attolia far more than I enjoyed The Thief. However, the groundwork is all in The Thief. Skim through chapter 2 and 3 if you must, but don’t give up on the series if you find the beginning to The Thief too slow. I don’t doubt for a second that the next books in the series were powerful because they had a strong base created in The Thief.

 Favorite Quotes

“I am a master of foolhardy plans”

“I spent hours dreaming of the sunshine, the way it soaked into the city walls and made the yellow stones hot to lean on hours after the day had ended, the way it dried out water spills and the rare libations to the gods still occasionally poured into the dust outside the wineshops.”

“My blood rushed around like wine sloshing in a jar”

“I set my heels in and resisted. If I was going to climb onto an animal eight times my size, I wanted to plan the attempt first.”

“Be blessed in your endeavors.”

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