An oldie but a goodie, highly lauded by young adult authors like Leigh Bardugo and Cassandra Clare, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner is the first book in the Queen’s Thief series. It follows Gen, a thief who claims he can steal “anything.” This boast lands him in the king of Sounis’ prison, where he would spend his years wasting away if not for the king’s advisor, the Magus, and a secret mission to recover a lost relic of the gods known as Hamiathes’ Gift. In exchange for stealing this politically powerfully artifact, Gen would be freed. Gen, his professional interest piqued, agrees. So begins the journey across Sounis and into the neighboring mountains of Eddis to uncover the Gift. Along for the ride are the Magus, his two apprentices, Ambiades and Sophos, and a guard named Pol. But nothing is what it seems for Gen, his traveling companions, or the Gift—not if the gods themselves have anything to say about it.
Every time I read this Newbery Honor book, I am drawn to some new facet, some aspect I had noticed but never fully appreciated: the world-building inspired by ancient Greece and its mythology; the carefully crafted plot points; Turner's precise use of language; and the small details that tell you everything you need to know before you even know you need to know it.
The series is one of my all-time favorites, but it is impossible to explain the best parts of this book without spoiling it. If what I’ve said so far sounds intriguing, I can only encourage you to pick up The Thief and experience it for yourself! I eagerly await the sixth and final installment of the series, Return of the Thief, coming March 2019.
The Thief is available in print and Overdrive eBook.
Don’t miss the rest of the Queen’s Thief series, also available in print and Overdrive eBook: The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, A Conspiracy of Kings, and Thick as Thieves. (Spoiler alert: if you haven’t read The Thief, don’t read the summaries of the sequels!)
--Rachel, Teen Library Assistant II