REVIEW: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief by Megan Whalen TurnerThis Newbery Award Winner–The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner was a very good  read told through the narrative voice of Eugenides. After an initial slow start, the story picks up pace and I couldn’t put it down.

The Thief opens with Eugenides or “Gen” as he is called in the King’s prison in Sounis. The King’s scholar, magus, comes to him with an alternative to his stay in prison: help steal Hamiathes’s Gift.  Hamiathes Gift confers power of rule when the gift is given to the  bearer and this has allowed countries to change rule peacefully.

The previous King of Eddis had hidden the stone  and died without revealing it’s location. Based on documents magus found, he feels that he knows where the stone is hidden and thus he needs Eugenides skill and cunning to steal it to give to the current King of Sounis.

Our narrator, Gen, is not all that he seems and is viewed by his companions as nothing more than a worthless thief but a useful tool. Gen is annoyed at their view of him and proves time and again during their journey that he is far from a worthless thief.  Gen’s father wanted him to be a soldier but Gen hated killing so instead he became a thief in Eddis.

As the story proceeds, Gen shows his skill with sword when faced with death, surprising magus and the others. Throughout the story, Gen and the Magus take turns sharing stories of Eddisian gods and their adventures. The men eventually develop a friendship.

I found The Thief initially slow to start but after a couple of chapters I was hooked. This is a story filled with political intrigue, myth, adventure and suspense. There’s some humor too. The author does an excellent job with the plot twists and turns and added a surprise ending.

The Thief was a thoroughly engaging and entertaining novel for the young and old alike. After closing the last page, I didn’t want to leave this world that Turner created and was happy that I had the forethought to have the next two books on my shelf. I enjoyed Eugenides’ story and wanted to continue reading his adventures. My grade would be an A. This book was a keeper and I can see rereading this book in future.

[tags]Megan Whalen Turner, YA Fantasy Historical, The Thief[/tags]


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Grade A Reviews, Teen Fiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to REVIEW: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

  1. jmc says:

    Wasn’t Gen a fascinating character? Thank you again for mentioning this book back when it was still TBR — it is on my “Best of” for the year.

  2. Avid Reader says:

    I liked Gen a lot and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Thank you for reviewing it.

  3. LFL says:

    I’ve been really wanting to read this series since it was first recommended to me on the Kinsale Yahoo group. Now that you’ve given it an A as well, Keishon, it’s even more of a priority.

  4. Kailana says:

    I think that this book looks interesting. I have never heard of it before. I will have to add it to my list. 🙂

  5. Avid Reader says:

    I forgot to mention in the review that the author does an excellent job of describing Greece– the valleys, the mountains, the river, the temple of the gods. This was an excellent book and hope you all will read it and tell me what you think.

  6. Shesawriter says:

    Welcome to the pimp partay! 🙂

  7. Jason says:

    Correct me if i’m wrong, but the magnus’ plan was to give the stone to the qween of attolia’s admirer, who was king of an entirely other country. by doing this it would give him the pass through the mountains into attolia so he could invade, and through doing that bring togeather all three of the countries, so they could fend off the moores.

  8. Avid Reader says:

    Your right, Jason. I made the correction.

  9. Jason says:

    wow that was quick.
    I have probably read this book more than anyone else. this one is my favorite.
    thank you.

  10. Thief Admirer says:

    I have read The Thief at least seven or eight times. Each time, I find another clue to Gen’s past, or his plan (spoiler!!!) to steal the Gift. I think to truly appreciate the book, you have to read it more than once.

  11. Jen says:


    I love this book too. I just finished reading it over.

    Have you read the sequel “The Queen of Attolia”? It’s amazing (and so is the third book in the series).

  12. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Jen, yes, I’ve read and reviewed all three books in the series. Do you have some info for me…Like is Ms. Turner working on another adventure for Eugenides? I keep periodically checking for more info but alas, nothing. I just signed up for author alert.

  13. Jenn says:

    [quote comment=”7781″]Hi Jen, yes, I’ve read and reviewed all three books in the series. Do you have some info for me…Like is Ms. Turner working on another adventure for Eugenides? I keep periodically checking for more info but alas, nothing. I just signed up for author alert.[/quote]

    Hi Avid Reader. 🙂

    There is a fansite, Sounis, that Megan Whalen Turner sometimes visits. I’ve found the postings to be very helpful, especially from people who have met the author at booksigning and such. This is a quote from that source (who heard it from Ms. Turner):

    Yes there are more books in the series ^_____^, but she’s not sure if the next one she writes will be one of them, or if she is going to try writing something different before coming back to them. But she promises she’ll finish them eventually!

    What a relief! I’m just hoping the next book is soon. As in really soon. :w00t:

  14. Paige Turner says:

    WHAT? HOW DARE SHE DO THAT! Megan T better get on the next book right now. >:-/
    I can’t stop reading those three books, and I was already worried that it would be 5 or 6 years before the next book came out.

  15. Pingback: Megan Whalen Turner - The Thief « Fyrefly’s Book Blog

  16. YLK says:

    She released the three book in two years’ time between each of them. So I think the next book will come out next year in 2009.

  17. jjr says:

    I read the book but I don’t really understand what happens towards the end of the journey and after the journey. Can you help me? In other words, can you tell me what happens from like Chapter 7 and on? Just sum it up please. If you can tell me everything and be detailed that would be the greatest!

  18. No Offence But This Wasn’t Very Much Help To Me At All. It’s Giving Me The Same Info Three Other Sites Has Given Me. Thanks Though! 🙂

  19. j says:

    i have to read this for school and its soooooo boring and i dont want to read it! im on like page 2

  20. Headdesk says:


    With grammer like that, I can tell why you’re bored with the awesome Thief series.

  21. Gerri R. says:

    @jjr: hmm… I’ve read the book a couple of times and I really enjoyed it. The ending, from what I remember, shows Gen wounded and prisoner to the queen of Attolia. Gen, the Magus and Sophos ( I think that’s the younger boy’s name) manage to escape but since Gen is wounded, they don’t get a very good headstart. Gen leads them on a different path that enters into Eddis. The last chapters reveal him to be someone a lot different than what the Magus and Sophos thought him to be….I think that’s kind of detailed :S Hope it could help you though…

  22. Gemma says:

    hey i loved this series and was just doing a research for a history project.
    i was wondering if Sejanus (from ‘the king of attloia) is supposed to represent Lucius Aelius Sejanus from roman history. he was a kings guard for Tiberius. look it up and see if u agree!

  23. @Headdesk:
    With spelling like that I’m surprised you dared to comment on his “grammar”.

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