The Thief

The Thief

Book - 1996
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Discover the world of the Queen's Thief

New York Times-bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner's entrancing and award-winning Queen's Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.

Eugenides, the queen's thief, can steal anything--or so he says. When his boasting lands him in prison and the king's magus invites him on a quest to steal a legendary object, he's in no position to refuse. The magus thinks he has the right tool for the job, but Gen has plans of his own. The Queen's Thief novels have been praised by writers, critics, reviewers, and fans, and have been honored with glowing reviews, "best of" citations, and numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Newbery Honor, the Andre Norton Award shortlist, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Discover and rediscover the stand-alone companions, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings, all epic novels set in the world of the Queen's Thief.

A Newbery Honor Book

An ALA Notable Book

A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults

A Horn Book Fanfare Book

A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"The Queen's Thief books awe and inspire me. They have the feel of a secret, discovered history of real but forgotten lands. The plot-craft is peerless, the revelations stunning, and the characters flawed, cunning, heartbreaking, exceptional. Megan Whalen Turner's books have a permanent spot on my favorites shelf, with space waiting for more books to come."--Laini Taylor, New York Times-bestselling author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone novels and Strange the Dreamer

"Unforgettable characters, plot twists that will make your head spin, a world rendered in elegant detail--you will fall in love with every page of these stories. Megan Whalen Turner writes vivid, immersive, heartbreaking fantasy that will leave you desperate to return to Attolia again and again."--Leigh Bardugo, New York Times-bestselling author of the The Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows

"Trust me. Just read it. Then read it again, because it will not be the same river twice."--Lois McMaster Bujold, acclaimed and Hugo Award-winning author of the Vorkosigan Saga, the Chalion Series, and the Sharing Knife series

"In addition to its charismatic hero, this story possesses one of the most valuable treasures of all--a twinkling jewel of a surprise ending." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"To miss this thief's story would be a crime."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

"A literary journey that enriches both its characters and readers before it is over."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A tantalizing, suspenseful, exceptionally clever novel."--The Horn Book (starred review)

Publisher: New York : Greenwillow Books, c1996.
ISBN: 9780060824976
Branch Call Number: TURNE
Characteristics: 219 p. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

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IndyPL_SteveB Mar 04, 2019

Clever, exciting, funny, with several plot twists that will keep you turning pages almost too fast to also absorb the excellent characterization. First book in a series of uniformly terrific stories.

In Turner’s fictional medieval world, the focus is on three neighboring rival countries, bound together by the necessities of trade, but which are always on the verge of war. Eddis is a mountainous country which controls the pass that allows trade between Attolia and Sounis. Gen, short for “Eugenides,” is a professional thief. In this first book, he is hired by a wizard and a soldier from Sounis to help them find a sacred relic which may hold the key to power in this medieval-like world. They don’t know that Gen is from Eddis and has his own agenda to protect his country. The book is classified as a children's novel but the series becomes more teen and adult-like with succeeding volumes. It's impossible to put down, and you will want to quickly jump on to #2, *The Queen of Attolia.*

As a page who works in this library system and sees so much content coming in all of the time, I can say that this is one of the most different YA books I have ever read (in the best way possible). Megan Whelan Turner is incredibly witty, suspenseful, and creative, and I am pleased to say that these characteristics hold true throughout the rest of the series as well (a very hard thing to maintain). This is definitely a must-read, and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I did.

Natashags Jun 22, 2018

ebook and audio CD for 12 years and up

coffeebookie May 29, 2018

The best part of this story was the interaction between the characters. The main character and thief, Gen, is mischievous, smug, and ever so amusing. Travel with Gen and his companions on a journey filled with risks, challenges, gods and goddesses….with a final twist by the story’s end.

Sep 26, 2017

Great Tween - Young Adult read.
This is a great adventure story that has some surprising twist without becoming unbelievable (well once to suspend disbelief enough to believe in magic!)
Well worth reading.

Very enjoyable. Great plot twists. Clear and easy to read. Happy to find a new Fantasy author who is highly recommend by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Rose in PR

LPL_MiriamW May 25, 2017

The first book in Turner's incredible Queen's Thief series, if you haven't read "The Thief" yet it is definitely time to pick it up! Fast-paced and compelling, in "The Thief" Turner creates an engaging fantasy world and a rich mythology that drives the plot forward. Her fascinating, witty characters will keep you guessing up until the last surprising page and will make you immediately reach for the next book in the series.

Dec 23, 2015

That was fun.

I knew there was more to Gen but I didn't expect the story to do a 180 flip like that. I was pleasantly surprised.

Dec 21, 2015

A fun, intriguing teen fantasy. Gen is delightful, funny, cynical, and genuine - and a trickster. This is the first in a series that only gets better. Very entertaining, well-written, and highly recommended.

Dec 16, 2015

This was so enjoyable. It's funny, innovative and has a delightful protagonist.

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yellow_cat_699 Jun 28, 2017

yellow_cat_699 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 12

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Add a Quote
Sep 18, 2011

Every time he laughed, I spat insults at him. It was not politic, but as always, I couldn't keep an insult in when it wanted to come out.

Sep 18, 2011

Guns weren't as accurate as crossbows, but they were less awkward to transport, and to have one would have been a comfort.

Sep 18, 2011

His eyes narrowed, and the hair on the back of my neck started to rise. I've seen envy before, and I know the damage it can do.

Sep 18, 2011

Saying things I shouldn't has been the origin of most of the painful episodes in my past, and it would certainly be an improvement in my character if I had a little more control over my own tongue.

Sep 18, 2011

I am a master of foolhardy plans, I thought. I have so much practice I consider them professional risks.


Add a Summary
Sep 21, 2012

From the website of Megan Whalen Turner:

The most powerful advisor to the King of Sounis is the magus. He's not a wizard, he's a scholar, an aging solider, not a thief. When he needs something stolen, he pulls a young thief from the King's prison to do the job for him.

Gen is a thief and proud of it. When his bragging lands him behind bars he has one chance to win his freedom-- journey to a neighboring kingdom with the magus, find a legendary stone called Hamiathes's Gift and steal it.

The magus has plans for his King and his country. Gen has plans of his own.


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