Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

448873The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: 1996
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: High Fantasy


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.


Oh, thank gods, I thought. They’re going to leave me. All I want to do was lie in a dry prickly grass with my feet in a ditch forever. I could be a convenient sort of milemarker, I thought. Get to the thief and you know you are halfway to Methana. Wherever Methana might be.

The Thief is a high fantasy with, like any other high fantasy on this planet, a journey the characters undertake. Gen, the main character was a pleasant surprise. While I first thought he was a feminine character, I was proved wrong quite early in the story. Oops! That’s because many have compared this to Graceling and, as we know, that book’s lead character is a girl.

But I loved male Gen. I was enchanted by his quick-witted personality and humour. He wasn’t boring or tedious but instead full of surprises and… skills! I liked how he never listened to anyone telling him how worthless he was and how he was someone who would open up to others who earned his trust.

His looks were never widely described, which leaved place to some imagination digging, heh! As for the plot itself, it was long, slow and eventless. The only things that really saved it were the ending, which held many secrets and Gen himself… because he was that charming. Now I remember why I don’t read tons of high fantasy books. Oh well.

I feel like the author wanted to create a special world building filled with history and linked to the background of the characters, but it failed miserably. It’s all about the GODS people believed or did not believe in… Who they were… How they became gods… But I wanted to know more about the people themselves, the places and the kings and queens.

On a side and possibly spoiler-ish note…

I’ll have to admit I was really disappointed when I discovered that Gen was not gay… because there were TONS of signs throughout the story! Clearly, I thought he would end up with Sophos. Every time Sophos blushed… Every time Gen touched him… THERE WAS A CONNECTION BETWEEN THOSE TWO.


5 thoughts on “Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

  1. I loved this book, I too thought Gen was female for a large portion of the book. I did love this book and although I loved the second book I struggled to finish it, because once I out it down, there wasn’t enough draw to pick it back up again. Great review 😉


  2. That’s so weird but I also assumed Gen was a girl! WHY? It never even mentions gender in the synopsis. I guess because it’s so common in YA? I’ve had this book on my TBR for absolutely ages. I have to admit however that I’m quite bothered if I can’t figure out how the main character looks… Great review!


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