The Queen’s Thief series – Megan Whalen Turner


Time for a speedy book review!

In my opinion, this is one of the best YA fantasy series out there. I hunted down the first book in the series, The Thief, as soon as I heard the premise.

The most powerful advisor to the King of Sounis is the magus. He’s not a wizard, he’s a scholar, an aging soldier, not a thief. When he needs something stolen, he pulls a young thief from the King’s prison to do the job for him.

Gen is a thief and proud of it. When his bragging lands him behind bars he has one chance to win his freedom– journey to a neighboring kingdom with the magus, find a legendary stone called Hamiathes’s Gift and steal it.

The magus has plans for his King and his country. Gen has plans of his own.

The things that set these novels apart, for me, are:

  • The pseudo-Byzantine atmosphere of Gen’s world, and the Greek-inspired mythology. The names are evocative of a classic period: Sounis, Sophos, Ambiades, Attolia, Hamaithes, Hephestia.
  • Turner’s restrained and elegant style of writing. She uses point of view and omission very craftily, and constantly keeps the reader guessing as to characters’ true motives. I felt that she was conveying so much through the spaces, the silences, and the words that weren’t said. I enjoyed her writing a lot.
  • The characters. They say the characters make a story work, so if you’re looking for a tale with thought-out characters that will fascinate you and make you believe they really existed, in some other world, in some other time…then look no further.
  • The beautiful cover art. So pretty.

Turner writes patiently and with attention to detail. Some have complained that the first book takes a long time to get going, and if you prefer faster-paced books, you may struggle through the first half of The Thief. But I encourage you to persevere, because it’s worth it. The second  book, The Queen of Attolia, is probably the most popular book and has somewhat faster pacing.

The Queen’s Thief series creates a unique world that you can really get lost in. These books had me hopping in bed early every night, excited to find out what would happen next. The plot is both subtle and thrilling, with adventures through the wilderness, fights and capers, political intrigue, wit, inventive myths and even a bit of romance. What more could you ask for?



  1. What’s YA fantasy ? I’m not as much a fantasy addict as I used to be but you’ve got me intrigued ! I might pick this up for reading on the plane !


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