by Megan Whalen Turner
This Newberry Honor Book is the first in a series featuring a thief named
Gen and the remarkable world he belongs in. It is a world based, in
part, on ancient Greece but there are details that belong to other
eras of history, as recent as the 1500s, and many of the geographical
locations, gods, and heroes referenced in this story are the authors
own creation. Nevertheless, those who enjoy medievalism, orientalism,
ancient myths and legends, and just plain awesome stories, take note:
this is not a series you should miss.
In The Thief, Gens boast that he can steal anything lands him in the
prison of the King of Sounis. But then it gets him out again; for the
kings magus (not an actual magic-worker, just a scholarly adviser)
wants Gen to help him steal something very important to the king. If he
succeeds, Gen will be set free and rewarded richly. If he fails, he will
Gen accepts the commission, and joins the magus and his strange party on
a perilous and mysterious journey. Together with two apprentices and a
hardened soldier, the pair venture into the territory of the hostile
Queen of Attolia. But what theyre really after is an ancient talisman
whose bearer, by divine right, rules the strategic kingdom of Eddis, in
the mountain pass between Sounis and Attolia. Many people have gone in
search of this stone, known as the Gift of Hamiathes. None of the
seekers have returned.
Gens quest to steal the stone surpasses all expectations, growing from
a caper by a socially irreverent, yet religiously devout thief, into a
spiritual journey, a heartbreaking battle, a desperate escape, and
surprise upon deeply-moving surprise. This turns out to be one of those
virtually perfect books, whose clever set-up and satisfying pay-off
inspire my utmost admiration. But besides that, its awfully fun to
read. After finishing it, I couldnt sit still until I had read the
sequel, titled The Queen of Attolia. The third book, The King of
Attolia, comes out in hardcover on June 1, 2007.
Recommended Age: 13+
If you would like to contact Robbie, you may do so here.