Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Love of The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

This book is a must-read for anyone who loves to read or write fantasy. I have read so many interviews where the author goes on an on about how inspiring The Thief and Megan Whalen Turner’s other books are. 


Series: The Queen’s Thief, Book 1

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure

Rating: 5 stars


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.



This book is a must-read for anyone who loves to read or write fantasy. I have read so many interviews where the author goes on an on about how inspiring The Thief and Megan Whalen Turner’s other books are.

I read this book a special way. My friend Lydia and I went to a local used book store together and both choose a book we thought the other would like. I choose The Thief, and she choose Looking for Alaska by John Green. Then we each took our own choice home and began to read… with a pen on hand. Lydia had a wonderful idea on her Tumblr a few months ago, and we finally decided to take action. Her idea was to annotate a book while reading in it, making random notes with pen in the margins, commenting on anything at all. Then you trade the book with another reader, passing it along, and the following readers not only get to read the book, but the previous reader’s comments as well! This new method (which I would have hesitated to do on anything but a old and beat-up $3 paperback) made me read the book in an entirely different way, analyzing the plot, characters, setting, word choice, etc., much more than I normally would.

And this book is even more amazing when closely analyzed. Not only is the plot, world building, and character development wonderfully planned out and executed, the writing style is very well done. The writing grabs your attention, and creatively describes the scene and characters in it. Each sentence is descriptive and succinct at the same time, saying no more than is necessary. The dialogue is filled with clever comments that often made me laugh out loud, and were definitely awarded a note in the margins. What really amazed me was how, although the book is written in first person point of view, the main character still manages to keep many secrets from the reader, and reveal them one at a time, blowing their mind at each revelation.

I was quite pleased by the lack of romance in The Thief. Although I do love to read romance in books, when it is combined with another genre, it is nice to see that a young adult fantasy book can stand without it. I also enjoyed the many creation myths worked into the story. They fit the style of a myth while still being creative and interesting. However, the lack of a map in this book was quite annoying. The constant travels of Gen and his companions, through fantasy lands loosely based off the ancient Mediterranean area, really would have been better understood with the help of a sketch of the landscape.

I would recommend this book for lovers of the False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen for its similar humor, main character, non-romantic plot, and setting, and Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith for its similar genre, setting, writing style, and excitement. I’m highly looking forward to reading and reviewing the rest of this series!


One comment on “Gwen’s Love of The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

  1. Pingback: Gwen’s Summer Challenge: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Middle Grade) | Gwen & Kate's Library

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This entry was posted on April 28, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Favorites, Review, Young Adult and tagged , .
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