Book Rec.

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Nov 19 19:08:28 EST 2001


On Mon, 19 Nov 2001 22:07:47 +0000, Hallie O'Donovan wrote:

>Ok then, "book rave" might be more honest. :)  I picked up _The 
>Thief_ by Megan Whalen Turner, without ever having heard of it, just 
>because it sounded interesting.  Two pages in, I was sure we'd like 
>it, so read it to Becca.  We both really loved it, enough so that we 
>had to buy the next one, _The Queen of Attolia_ in hardback, as we 
>couldn't even wait until January for the pb to come out.  It was only 
>when I was ordering that one that I found out that _The Thief_ was a 
>Newbery Honor book.
>
>I haven't read any books I've liked as much in ages.  Really engaging 
>characters, unpredictable plot, surprises, for which the hints are 
>given very cleverly, (but never arrogant "I'm smarter than the 
>reader" seeming cleverness).  Just one warning though - TQoA is 
>recommended for ages 10 and up, but is *much* more disturbing than 
>TT.  So much so that when Becca went off to bed after I'd read 
>Chapter 3 to her (it's a shocker!), she insisted that I read the end 
>to be sure it was going to be ok.  Something she's never done, and 
>she's read plenty of "adult books".  But even having read it all 
>skew-wise like that, I still read and reread it happily night after 
>night.  And then turned around and started _The Thief_ again. :) 
>Becca says to add that she even dreamed about TQoA three nights in a 
>row!  Only downside is that we've nothing to read now that comes 
>close.

I totally agree with Hallie's recommendation (and the caveat about _The
Queen of Attolia_).  And the thing about obsessing about it--I must have
read them two or three times in a row.  Very compelling story, especially
the second, which has a powerful love story of the kind I like best.  Good
descriptions, interesting world (based on, but not identical with, ancient
Greece), great characters.  I got that second one from the Amazon rec
newsletter, without realizing it was the sequel to _The Thief_, read the
first few chapters, then went back and read them in the proper order.

BUT....

m
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...Turner TOTALLY cheats with _The Thief_.  The book is told from the 1st
person point of view of the title character, but the author withholds
information that technically we should have known, because not only did our
POV character know about it, he DID IT HIMSELF.  Because I read the first
couple of chapters of _The Queen of Attolia_, I already knew what the big
secret was, and I was less annoyed than I would have been had I read _The
Thief_ first.  However, to be perfectly honest, I think this kind of
technique is unfairly deceptive, and when I recommend this book (which I do)
I warn people about it beforehand.

I'm not sure why she chose the 1st person POV for the first book, because
the second is told in 3rd person and is, I think, stronger for it.  I'm
interested to see what she comes up with next, though I'd be surprised if
it's another book in this series, unless it's a prequel.

My only real disappointment is that I can't afford to buy the books, and I
have to get them from the library far too often.  Gone are the days when I
checked out the same books every two weeks....

Melissa Proffitt
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