By Megan Whalen Turner
Gen is a thief and a good one, with the small exception of getting caught and landing in the King’s prison for stealing and, bragging about, the King’s official seal. When the Magus, the King’s scholar, brings him out of the dungeon to his office he does it with the intention of extracting a promise. Gen can leave the prison and not return as along as he agrees to steal a mythical stone for the King. With no choice, he sets out with the Magus and a small group of travelers who make their way through the neighboring country into Attolia to steal the ancient treasure protected by the gods.
This book moved a little slow for me at first, but then, for whatever reason, I couldn’t put it down. Gen — who is annoying, complains often, and is constantly surly — is hiding something and you want to know what his secret is. He’s over confident but somehow you know he’s more than capable of stealing the stone. One thing I did enjoy were the stories and tales of the gods that Gen and the Magus tell the other travelers along the way. They offer history and ground the story while providing a few hints as to what’s to come.
The Thief is a good quick read and once I got into the story, I kept going without putting the book down. This is the first in a series and luckily my library has the next two: The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. A fourth book, A Conspiracy of Kings, comes out later this year. I can see myself reading the entire series.