Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, 2005

After Gen's bragging lands him in the king's prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king's scholar, the magus, needs the thief's skill for a seemingly impossible task -- to steal a hidden treasure from another land. To the magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.

This is what I wrote two years ago after my first time reading it. As you can tell, I wasn't a great fan. I was also a bit annoyed because my mother said it had to be good because it was a Newberry award winner:

"I'm not sure I should even write a review for this book, because my response to it is so different from all the other responses I've seen.

Gen is the classic witty, clever orphan. He goes on an adventure to get something, and is bullied into doing it. This book won a Newberry. That seems, to me, just about all you need to know to make your decision about whether to read it, and even whether to like it. Maybe it's because I had just read the fantastic False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen that I had such trouble getting into this book, because they share enough aspects that it felt really blase. Guy forcing main character to do things he doesn't want to? Got it. Some sort of sidekicks that turn out to be different than how they originally seem? Nice, but seen it! A twist ending? Sorry, but it wasn't handled very well. I had to read it through twice to figure out what the big surprise was, and I'm still confused exactly what "that" entails.

I'm not saying this is a bad book, I just personally didn't connect with it. I have been told that "it's a Newberry. It's good. End of story," but I don't really accept that as the instant makings of a classic."

Now, it's a few years later. I've lived, I've learned, and I've perhaps acquired some patience. Plus, I really liked the sequelSo, approaching the book with an open mind, I did realize that it wasn't as dry and uninteresting as I first found it to be. The rest of the books in the series gave me a lot of serious respect for Gen, so when he was all whiny in this first book (honestly though, there is a lot of whining going on in this book!) I took it with a grain of salt. It's all part of the plan, right?

I really can't go into any more detail about the book, because practically everything holds a second meaning after you finish the book. I am still a bigger fan of the the Ascendance trilogy,  and I always will be, but the Thief series is no longer cast aside in my regard. I will never be the biggest fan of The Thief, because it really isn't my cup of tea. But I can respect good writing, and I know when to pass it on to those who will enjoy it more than me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Join the conversation!