Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

This book was recommended to me by a friend who said it was so good, she read it out loud to her husband who actually requested that they stay up late to finish it (I guess that never happens). Perhaps because of this glowing review, I was expecting something great (and the fact that it's a Newbury Honor book), but I was a little disappointed.

The story is set in a made up version of ancient Greece, so the names are Grecian sounding and they have a pantheon of gods similar to the Greek gods. It follows a professional thief who steals things for the various kings and queens on the island. It's interesting and exciting and I read the other two books in the series (The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia) which I thought were much, much better than the first.

Here's the problem, I think the author's mind eye works differently than mine. For example, in the last book, she describes a scene that takes place on a rooftop and I couldn't figure out how the characters were standing in relation to each other or what the geography of the roof looked like. I had to re-read the section to understand what was happening. I thought this confusion was just a product of my mind turning to applesauce from watching too many episodes of Handy Manny, but my friend Bridget, who, I think, is much smarter than I am, read them as well, and she had the same problem.

So, to sum up: the story is great and interesting and worth your time, but the writing is a little confusing, especially for juvenile fiction.

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