Series: The Queen's Thief #1
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Pages: 220 (Hardcover)
Release Date: October 31, 1996
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
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.
The Thief was really disappointing, even though I knew going in that it would be slow, and apparently the worst of the series. But I decided to give it a fair chance, and was let down anyway. Gen is a thief and is being held in prison. Needless to say, he’s miserable, especially when the guards mock him since he did say he’d be able to escape. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. But then the magus appears and says that the king needs him to retrieve something in exchange for his freedom.
The first half of The Thief is extremely boring. It’s just Gen, the magus, and their entourage traveling. Gen complains about being dirty and hungry. They stop for food and rest. Gen complains some more. They stop again. More complaining. More camping. Can they just get to wherever it is that they’re going already?! At least it was broken up a few times with stories about the gods. I liked this bit of world-building, even if it didn’t really add anything to the story except a reprieve from the monotony. Although I didn’t appreciate the story where the demigod gets burnt and his skin is compared to the naturally dark skinned people.
As for the second half of The Thief, it was better but by then my mind had mostly checked out. Gen and everyone finally arrive. Gen is sent into some weird maze to retrieve their treasure. It’s much too easy (even though he almost drowns) and is over in a few pages. Then things happen to cause trouble since that quest was far too easy. There’s a twist that I didn’t seen coming, but probably should if I had been paying closer attention. Then it ends.
The Thief simply didn’t hold my attention or engage me. The characters all lacked personality and I wasn’t given a reason to care about them. I also think I started reading too much into Gen and Sophos’ interactions, and wanted to get a romance out of it. Oops.