The Thief (Turner novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Thief
Cover of a later U.S. edition (Eos ppb, 2006), artwork by Vince Natale[1]
Author Megan Whalen Turner
Cover artist Walter Gaffney-Kessell[1]
Country United States
Series Queen's Thief[1]
Genre Young-adult fantasy
Publisher Greenwillow Books[1][2]
Publication date
October 1, 1996
Media type Print (hardcover), audiobook
Pages 219 pp.[1]
ISBN 0-688-14627-9
OCLC 33209215
LC Class PZ7.T85565 Th 1996[2]
Followed by The Queen of Attolia

The Thief is a young adult fantasy novel by Megan Whalen Turner published in 1996 by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of William Morrow (later, of HarperCollins). It is the first in the Queen's Thief series, the fifth book of which was published in 2017.[1][3]

It was a runner-up for the 1997 Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor Book.[4]

In 2012, The Thief was ranked number 13 among the Top 100 Chapter Books in a survey published by School Library Journal, a monthly with a primarily U.S. audience.[5]

Plot summary[edit]

The main character, Gen, is released from prison by the magus of the King of Sounis. Gen had been imprisoned for stealing the King's seal. The magus, whose name is not revealed, finds Gen to be filthy, uncouth, and insolent, but he values Gen's skills as a thief. Without telling Gen where they are going, he takes him out of the city. They are joined by the magus's two apprentices, Sophos and Ambiades, and by a soldier, Pol.

The journey isn't dangerous, but the travellers get on each other's nerves. The magus reveals that the object he wants Gen to steal is a precious stone called Hamaithes's Gift in the country of Attolia. The magus' plan is to use the long lost tradition embedded within the stone in order to claim the country of Eddis for his king. In exchange, the magus offers Gen fame and threatens him with a bounty on his head if he tries to escape. Agreeing, Gen risks death in a daring attempt to steal the stone from an almost inaccessible temple, while the entire party is pursued by the Guard of Attolia. After Gen steals the stone, the temple is washed away by a river. While traveling back, the party is captured by the Attolian guard. Ambiades turns out to be a traitor, but is later killed by Pol, who pushes him off a cliff and then jumps after him holding two Attolian soldiers, killing them, but dying himself. After being questioned by the queen of Attolia, Gen, Sophos and the Magus escape and go to Eddis. There they are taken to the palace and Gen gives the stone to the queen. It is revealed that Gen is Eugenides, the Queen's Thief, and Sophos is the heir to the kingdom of Sounis.


  1. ^ a b c d e f The Thief title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2015-11-01. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. ^ a b The thief" (first edition). LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress ( Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  3. ^ Megan Whalen turner at Fantastic Fiction.
  4. ^ ALSC: Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present.
  5. ^ Bird, Elizabeth (July 7, 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal ( Retrieved 2015-11-01.

External links[edit]