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Book Report: The Thief

I don’t remember now if I picked up The Thief at the local public library or if my Best Reader did. I had never heard of it, or of Megan Whalen Turner, but, you know, Newbery Honor Book, blah blah blah. Right? Worth a shot, anyway.

I found that there were a bunch of things I really liked about the book, and a bunch of things that got straight up my nose. I did not see the plot twists coming, or at least I didn’t see all of them coming, so that was nice. And there were some really good bits in the middle. But the big set pieces somehow felt bland and underdone, and there were other oddities that I found irritating along the way. I did think to myself at the end of it that I would be willing to pick up another of hers at some point. And lo, there are three more in the series. So that’s all right.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


And if you thought this one had twists (which it does), well. I haven't read the fourth yet, though I have it on a friend's authority that it is good. I quite like the sequels I've read so far.

Hmm. I read this one maybe 6 years ago now, so I don't know if my reaction would be the same on a reread at present, but I went gaga for this. It shared some things with Swordspoint that made me gaga for that as well. I am curious about the irritating oddities you found in The Thief, but I'll maybe wait till I've read it more recently. (The last book is yet to come out, I think? So I've read the first two or three and am waiting to re-read the whole set till it's finished, at risk of overdosing. Tamora Pierce does this to me, too, only this long recent delay was apparently due to an accident and rehab, so I can certainly cut her some readerly slack.)

Sometimes I find my negative impressions are shared by wide swaths of my friends; sometimes we strongly disagree--either on the negativity or the specific problems with a given book. I had a heated disagreement with one friend over American Gods in an independent bookstore in Shepherdstown, WV, once, and the owner came over to say if we'd summarize our positions in writing, she'd post them next to the book on the shelf--apparently that kind of attention draws sales. (Pity we never did.) I think my oddest negative reaction ever was to Snow Falling on Cedars, which I found to be well plotted, well charactered, well written--I just found the occasional word which the author seemed to have used to show how smart he was, and it made me stumble over the text and scowl. Now I'm reasonably convinced that I wouldn't like David Guterson if I met him in person, a dreadful sad outcome.

I think _Thief_ is good but 2 and 3 are *phenomenal*. I've heard there may be as many as six in the end... at five years between books and 4 just out this spring, that's a ways to wait...

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