The Thief - Megan Whalen Turner This book was okay. On one hand, I can't deny that Megan Whalen Turner is a great writer. Her command of the English language, especially her rich descriptions of a pseudo-Greek landscape, is superb. On the other hand, I found the story very slow up until the very hasty end, and the ending felt a bit off.

I should have known to not let my expectations get out of hand. Reviewers did offer cautionary notes that the next book in the series, Queen of Attolia, was much better. From the book synopsis and the author's writing style, this seemed like a blend of The Lies of Locke Lamora and partially Finnikin of the Rock. An arrogant thief caught up in a larger power game between empires, forced into performing an impossible task, and coming to terms with his own limitations. What's not to love?

To be fair, the story was less a swashbuckling adventure with extroverted plot twists, and more a contemplative and slow-moving character study. Most of the book read like a dysfunctional road trip with grouchy and unrelenting dads, uncles, and sullen cousins. The main focus was on the dynamics among Gen, the magus, Pol, Sophos, and Ambiades, with each revealing surprising complexities and individual quirks. Good thing too because once the journey begins all they do is travel, travel, eat, sleep, travel, get the gist.

It’s not until the party reaches the temple that things start to speed up and the plot actually starts to unfold. Secrets are revealed, some more surprising than others, and the book takes twists and turns to end up in a place that I'd never expected.

It just takes a while for them to get there.

Overall, the book wasn't bad. In fact, for the type of story it was, I'd like to give it more stars for being able to keep my attention for so long. I appreciate the effort put into developing the characters, but the beginning dragged on way too much. Plus, considering how the book progressed, I found the twists and turns at the end erratic.

A solid three stars, and recommended for those who like meandering, journeying plot lines. I was, however, impressed with the writing and will be picking up Queen of Attolia soon.