Retro Friday Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Retro Friday Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen TurnerThe Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Series: The Queen's Thief #1
Published by HarperCollins on 1996-10-31
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Legends, Myths, Fables, Young Adult
Pages: 224
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

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.

Retro Friday Reviews is a meme started by Angie over at Angieville where you review older books. It is awesome.


I’ve noticed in my time blogging about books that YA bloggers tend to go nuts over The Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner. Being one to fit in, I decided to give the series a whirl. My expectations were relatively high, as bloggers I totally respect are really, really crazily into this series. The Thief is the very first book in the series.  Sidebar: I am paranoid I keep spelling thief wrong. Anyways.

The Thief is basically about this guy named Eugenides who is arrested for bragging about stealing something. Then the king hires him to steal this item from the Queen of Attolia. There’s some intrigue. And ancient legends. And a spirit guide. Well, maybe not a spirit guide, but totally something like a spirit journey. And there are adventures to be had.

I enjoyed The Thief for the most part, except it took me forever to get into. I guess never felt a sense or urgency or anything when beginning the book, and was frankly, bored. Please don’t hate me for saying that, because well, I just couldn’t sink my teeth in. However, once we got to know more of Gen and dove into the ancient legends of the gods, I started liking the story. And really, the ending is what made this book not feel like a waste of time, and more like it belonged in awesome territory. Seriously, it’s one of those holy shit how did I not catch this or realize this while reading. It’s an M Night S before he started sucking type of an ending. And yes, I did LOVE the end.

So? Moral of the story? When YA Bloggers go apeshit over something, chances are it is pretty good and won’t suck. Now, I feel as though I should go read Jellicoe Road or The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, etc. OH and I did find The Queen of Attolia to be a much more pleasant reading experience than The Thief.

Other Reviews:

Books From Blah To Basically Amazing
Chachic’s Book Nook
The Crooked Shelf
Presenting Lenore
Fyrefly’s Book Blog

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Sometimes I really feel “ehhh” about reading something once it’s been crazy hyped. Loses some of the fun for me because I’m so scared it won’t live up to expectations. Definitely agree that this series lags a bit, but once you’re invested in Gen and things move along a bit, I think it’s a really captivating read!

  2. I liked this book, but I like the series better and better as I read. I haven’t read the 4th book yet, but The King of Attolia rocked!

    Oh, and Jellicoe Road and The Disreputable History are two of my favorite books this year, and I definitely think you should read them!!

  3. Thanks for the link! I’m one of about three people in the universe that didn’t really like this book much (and I actually had a worse time with Queen of Attolia), so I can totally sympathize with you feeling bored for the bulk of this book!

    I do think The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is really good, though. 🙂

  4. I’ve been meaning to read this one… it’s definitely on my list for the new year.

  5. Don’t feel bad about not liking this one as much as other people did because I felt the same way when I first read it! It got better when I finished reading the other books and I went back to reread this one. And now it’s my favorite YA series (which is obvious because I keep bringing it up on my blog). Can’t wait to see what you think of Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia.

    Oh and yes, you should definitely read Jellicoe Road.

  6. I am reading this series very slowly to savor it. I loved Queen of Attolia and am very excited about reading King next year. And maybe the 4th the year after that – ha!

  7. I was so bored by all the journeying in this book that even though the ending was cool, I didn’t pick up QUEEN until several months later. But then it made reading THIEF totally worth it. Now I’m one of those gushy bloggers. :p

  8. I must admit, I like The Disreputable History, but don’t love it, which makes me feel like a bad blogger.

    I adore MWT, however.


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