The Thief- Megan Whalen Turner

Synopsis: The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skilful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses



A knife is used to open and clean infected sores. Gen is treated roughly, being pushed, shoved, tied to the extent of cutting off blood circulation and beaten with a crop. Characters fight in battles with swords, as well as amongst themselves. One is pierced, others fall to their death. They are shot at. The boys practice with their swords, and a rock is thrown at another’s head.

Mentions of burning at the stake and beheadings. Stories of the gods’ destruction.



One king seeks to marry a foreign queen. Mentions of faithless gods and goddesses, and an affirmation that Gen’s parents had been faithful. He pretends to have a sweetheart.



Characters drink wine. Mentions of drugging people and drunks.



Gen is a thief and has no problem stealing or lying. He steals horses, food and an object from the gods and goddesses.



Include gods d*mn, d*nm it, and hell. ‘Gods’ is paired with bless-, oh- and my-. Gen ‘swore to every god I know



The book is steeped in a fictional mythology; temples, oaths, prayers and tales. There are priests and sacrifices. Stories are told of the gods, and Gen actually meets them. Prayers are answered. There are two sets of gods; the old and the new.


Overall feel: A tale of a thief; a cunning, able thief who stole from the gods themselves. That is if you are inclined to believe in the mythology of Gen’s world. Steeped in a religion that closely resembles the ancient Greek and Roman mythologies, there isn’t a hint of Christian faith in the book. It is exciting, a novel that will engage your mind and excite your sense of adventure. But if you are averse to some language, and a lot of gods and goddesses, then this book is definitely not for you.

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