Guys, I’m finally making progress on my Top 100 Books list! Although I am still behind in my monthly goal, I am still knocking them out right and left. When I first picked up The Thief (never having heard of it), I was not too enthusiastic about reading it. I mean, come on, look at the cover of my copy from the library. . .
And no, that hand on the cover is not my shadow, it is actually part of the picture. And in my completion of the book and my research on the author, I remain frustrated that the cover has most likely turned away young readers, when what is inside is a real treat. The Thief is the first in a series of books on the kingdom of Attolia, in what I believe to be ancient Greece. The story begins with Gen, dubbed The King’s Thief, being released from prison and then taken into a different kind of captivity, to be used as a tool to find and steal a treasured piece of the kingdom’s ancient history. We follow Gen and his travel companions on their journey to find the treasure, and learn about the kingdom of Attolia and its neighboring enemies along the way. I don’t want to contribute much more to the synopsis for fear of ruining the end, but I will say that the book is full of adventure, mystery and stories of ancient history and gods.
About half way into the novel, I realized that all the characters are men. Except for the introduction to the queen in the end, all of the characters are men. And the men are such well-written characters, I found myself flipping to the front of the cover and making sure that, yes, the author’s name is Megan. Not a man. Megan Whalen Turner has done a fabulous job of writing male characters. There is plenty of sarcasm, a need for bravery and accomplishment, as well as a lack of showing emotions. I don’t mean to stereotype men, but it is the honest truth that men fall into these categories a majority of the time. I can’t wait to read the next books in the series, to find out if she’s just as good at writing female characters as she is male. And, for the record, I do prefer the cover below over the cover of my copy.
by Megan Whalen Turner
Originally published in 1996
Be sure to check out the full cover line-up at a Fuse #8 Production’s original post on The Thief.