Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief Book Cover The Thief
Megan Whalen Turner

“I can steal anything.”

After Gen’s bragging lands him in the king’s prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king 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.


It never fails to amaze me how a great ending can redeem an otherwise subpar book. For the majority of The Thief, my main reaction was disappointment; I had been expecting a clever adventure, and Turner hadn’t delivered. There was very little action, the plot dragged, and Gen seemed more your garden-variety pickpocket than the cunning scamp I’d hoped for.

Much to my relief, the pace picked up drastically in the last few chapters, and new sides of the characters began to be revealed. Things got much more interesting, and I finally saw why so many people have praised this book.

I still think the novel could have used more examples of Gen in action – he’s supposedly the best thief in the land, but there are only a couple of scenes in which his talent is on display – and I wish I wouldn’t have had to sit through so many tedious pages of travel in order to reach the reward that is the book’s conclusion. Still, I would certainly recommend The Thief.