Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication date: February 28th, 2017 (First published in 1996)
Page Count: 279
Series: The Queen’s Thief #1
Eugenides, the queen’s thief, can steal anything—or so he says. When his boasting lands him in prison and the king’s magus invites him on a quest to steal a legendary object, he’s in no position to refuse. The magus thinks he has the right tool for the job, but Gen has plans of his own.
The Thief is my book for #TheReadingQuest Challenge: First Book in a Series
No doubt the Queen’s Thief series caught my eyes when the new covers started appearing out of nowhere in every major bookstore in Malaysia in early 2017. Ever since then I’ve been researching about the series and asking fellow bookworms just how great this series is.
And almost every response I got was claiming this is one heck of a series and I should definitely give it a try. And on a whim, I bought all 5 books at MPH in 2 weekends because I had a feeling I was going to love this series.
And boy was I right.
This book was simplistic in a way that there isn’t much plot to it, but rather the book highlights the captivating writing and eccentric characters in it. And I personally think this is such a wonderful way to start a series. With a slow incline before plunging for the drop, much like an anticipated roller coaster ride.
The story starts of with a thief named Gen, called upon the King of Sounis to steal a valuable item in a neighboring country miles away from Sounis. With Gen are the magus (whose name I still curious about), 2 of his apprentices, Ambiades and Sophos, and a companion guard, Pol. Half the book is about these 5 men trying to get along without cutting each other throats before they reach their destination.
Gen is such a wonderful character to read about. His monologues in The Thief are just amazing and often times I’ve found myself laughing out loud.
“No friend had I made there, but I wasn’t with this group to make friends, and besides, he sneered too much. I’ve found that people who sneer are almost always sneering at me.” – Gen
You wouldn’t think that the point of view of a thief would amount to much, but you’ve never met Gen. He’s egocentric, confident with a healthy dose of cockiness, and smart beyond his wits. You’ll find yourself no doubt rooting for him throughout the book even as you’re figuring out his motives.
I found this to be the greatest element of the book. That we can read about such a confident character, whose past wasn’t talked about much, who carries himself so well despite being a thief.
“I didn’t really care much about anything, so I guess I felt fine.” – Gen
Reading The Thief made me realise that adult fantasy are more of my genre. I love strong, bold characters and while YA Fantasy have an abundance of those, they’re more likely to link their past and insecurities (such as sexuality, the desire to fit in with society, etc) with their character development. And while I don’t deny YA Fantasy’s important range of characters to better suit their younger readers, being an adult myself, it’s nice to read fantasy with a more in depth content in terms of world building and characters who are more at ease with themselves.
Turner’s writing is so amazing in this one that I didn’t care that there isn’t much plot in the first half of the book. All they did was traverse the forest and dystopia to get to an ancient river. But not once did I feel bored or thought the story’s pace was slow. Because we got to see how each character is acted out and how they eventually play a role in the ending.
And that ending was spectacular, I kid you not. I had a sense there was something fishy going on 3 quarters into the book but when the ending came about, it made so much sense to see Gen in that light. That plot twist at the end blew me away and you know how great a book is when it’s unexpected ending surprises you.
And mind you, this book was publsihed in 1996. And I survived a good 21 years not being spoiled for that ending.
Now that’s something special.
Overall, I truly loved this book. It’s pretty short with less than 300 pages. But the stories build up as you progress in the series and I can’t wait to read Queen of Attolia next!
Have you read The Queen’s Thief series? What did you think about it?