The Thief the first book in The Queen’s Thief series by Meghan Whalen Turner, published 27 December 2005. TheLadyDuckOfDoom and myself had this book on our #SeptreSummer reading lists and we accidentally on purpose read it at the same time; or rather we listened to it (see below).
Gen is a thief, currently in prison for stealing from the royal court and then unwisely boasting about it in a tavern.
The king’s magus needs something found, a trinket from the gods, and he needs a master thief to help him find it. So he dregs Gen out of prison and onto a horse and the quest begins.
Like all good quests to find hidden treasure this is a journey through enemy territory, dangerous terrain and with travelling companions who can’t stand each other. It could be very boring, if it wasn’t for the stories of the old gods and goddesses they tell each other to while away the time on the road.
Although the stories might be inspired by the myths, stories and the countryside around the Mediterranean, this series is not a retelling of any myths, it is set in its own fantasy world and has its own unique voice and plot.
Some reviewers classify this novel and series as Young Adult. I’m not so sure about this. The protagonist might be on the younger side and is often described as a boy and not a grown man yet, though the story reads far more mature than your average YA fantasy. Probably because the usual tropes, like chosen one, love triangle, etc, are missing.
The narration by Steve West is excellent and was the main reason for me to pick this book up as an audiobook. In fact, it was so good that I hopped from book 1, to book 2 The Queen of Attolia, book 3 The Kind of Attolia, and books 4 and 5, A Conspiracy of Kings and Thick as Thieves.
4/5 Harpy Eagles