By Megan Whalen Turner
We gave this whole series an A. This is book one and it's a fabulous read. We wrote:
The first volume in the series, The Thief, begins with the first-person narrator, the thief Gen, stuck in the prison of the king of Sounis. He got there for boasting he could steal the king’s signet and for being caught after succeeding in doing so. The guards now taunt him with his failure to escape, but Gen is offered a way out: The king’s magus (a scholar, not a magician) requires his help in a secret expedition. Gen is not told what he is to do, but as the alternative is rotting in prison, he agrees to go on the trip. The magus and Gen are accompanied only by the magus’s two young apprentices and a single bodyguard. I won’t divulge any more of the plot here, except to assure you it’s wonderfully intricate. Gen is an exceptional character. He is clever and sharp-tongued, a past master at the art of manipulation, and he loves acting the brat – whining, full of self-pity, pushing the limits. He behaves so badly that half of the time you want to shake him, and the rest of the time you wish you had his audaciousness (think Crawford of Lymond - The Lymond Chronicles - as an adolescent). The other characters start off two-dimensional, but as Gen develops a relationship with them and gets to know them better, they become fascinating in their own right. Interspersed in the narrative are tales of the ancient gods, which the magus and Gen tell the apprentices. They are beautifully written, and it is only at the end of the book that their true relevance is revealed.
Buy it at A/iB/BN/K

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