Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. Greenwillow Books, 2005. Ebook. 280 pages.

I had a hard time with this one. On the one hand, the story itself is interesting and has complex characters that add great dimension, but on the other hand... it felt really dry.

The Thief begins with Gen, a thief, currently living his days as a prisoner in the King's prison when he is approached by a magus - the king's scholar. The Magus wants to enlist Gen's skills as a thief to unearth an ancient treasure, which Gen eventually agrees to. Thus, they embark on a long journey in an attempt to discover said treasure.

Gen was a fun character, albeit a stubborn one. I appreciated his wit and dry humor even when other characters did not; it made Gen feel like a real person with a distinct personality. Now, I sometimes become annoyed with overly stubborn characters in books, but I actually enjoyed Gen's actions and how he didn't suddenly become some willing and obedient participant in the Magus' plan, but instead maintained his own strong-willed nature and wasn't afraid to say whatever he thought.

Turner's writing style itself is wonderfully descriptive and clearly the work of a talented writer. She somehow makes a seemingly endless journey on horseback into something more important and beautiful to read. Despite the flowing language, The Thief still requires immense amounts of patience, as the plot appears fairly event-less throughout a good chunk of the book. Details are not overlooked, and although they do add some deeper dimension to the journey, overall they seem to merely make the book denser and harder to get through.

I don't want to say much about the ending other than the fact that it truly saved this book. If the ending had not been as good as it was, I would have more than likely put this book down and not even considered continuing the series. However, the endings shows great promise for the rest of the series and makes me realize that, as an author, Turner certainly knows what she's doing.

Overall, I'm giving The Thief three stars. I really wanted to like it, and part of me did. But I also felt like nothing happened and half the time I was slogging through it. As mentioned, I've heard that The Thief is not the best compared to the other books int he series, so I made give the second book a try. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys high fantasy 'journey' books with thoughtful characters and storytelling. If you're into fast-paced books with lots of actions, well, this might not be the best choice.

You might also like:
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman 

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