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The Magic Thief Paperback – April 21, 2009
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“What works wonderfully well here is the boy’s irresistible voice” (starred review) (ALA Booklist)
“This is the first in an anticipated trilogy, and since Conn has a lot yet to learn, he is sure to draw avid fans back for more” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
From the Inside Flap
In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery's pocket and touched the wizard's locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who--or what--is stealing the city of Wellmet's magic.--ALA Booklist
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I'm always checking out books for my grandkids. They must be good, age appropriate and CLEAN. If I love them, then so much the better.
This book was recommended and I'm so glad. It sucked me right in.
I like the way it's written; quirky words, repeating words, just what kids like. I guess just what this Grammy likes, too.
Had to order the whole series after the first book.
Grandkids will get sucked in, too.
The hero, Conn the street thief, is destined for great things as a wizard. Nevery the wizard senses this and takes him on as an apprentice. Adventure and excitement follow.
Conn is the primary narrator, and his wonderful voice carries the book. He is street smart, but not a wise guy. He is made of true-blue hero stuff, being loyal, honest, conscientious, brave and shrewd. He is also subject to youthful error, exaggeration and false hope, so he presents a well-rounded, age appropriate protagonist. Nevery is a classic fair-but-firm, grumpy/softy master. Benet, Nevery's "muscle" is an effective soft-hearted tough guy. Rounding out the gang is Rowan, the ruling Duchess's daughter. She is smart, sassy, adventurous, and an excellent partner for Conn. She also provides a nice counterpoint to Conn, (in a Hermione Granger kind of way).
This book is not frantic, and there are no monsters. It's about how Conn grows up to be a wizard, and how he and his companions use magic and their own pluck to solve problems and help their city. There is "political intrigue", but it is simple enough to not confuse the story, (i.e. some bad wizards, a criminal kingpin, some spies and sneaks - that kind of thing).
I'm a big fan of Delaney's Spook's Apprentice series, which covers similar ground, but for an older reader. (More violence, more complexity, more depth.) But, this Magic Thief series is a wonderful way to introduce a reader to fantasy, and would be a great stepping stone to the Spook's Apprentice series. Then, as your reader gets older, you could move on to F.E. Higgins' Black Book of Secrets, (yet a more advanced and deliciously well-written apprentice type book), and beyond.
So, well worth serious consideration.
This tale is action-packed, and full of interesting characters, among them the grumpy but kindhearted wizard Nevery, who has just returned to Wellmet after a 20-year exile, and whose journal entries and letters are effectively interspersed throughout the story as a sort of counterpoint to Conn's narrative; Benet, Nevery's big, burly, thuggish-looking servant/bodyguard, who bakes delicious biscuits and knits Conn a warm black sweater; and Rowan, daughter of the Duchess of Wellmet, who is interested in swordcraft and becomes Conn's mentor at the school for wizards and teaches him to read. I'd recommend this suspenseful, well-written story to anyone who enjoys a good middle-grade fantasy, and especially to those who liked Angie Sage's "Septimus Heap" series.
Top international reviews
Am glad I found her, and downloaded this wonderful little story onto my Kindle, after reading other reviews about it. It really is a
fascinating read from start to finish, so much so, that I have now purchased the following two of the trilogy. Although
aimed at the younger reader, it is trilogy that will appeal to all ages, if you like this kind of genre. I say that, and I have 3 grandchildrem!
All I can say is buy the Trilogy, it is cheap, at half the price. and enjoy.
Will write further reviews regarding the following 2, when I have read them which will not be in the too distant future.
The plot revolves around basic ideas of honesty, good work, not grumbling about every little thing, taking things as they are and always remembering that one is not alone in this world and that we should cherish and take care of our friendships and honour those who we care about. And lastly, never forgetting where you came from and striving to do your best on the path laid out ahead.
It is such a lovely story to read with one's children and on your own. Entertaining and enticing and definitely worth a read!
The truth be told I really enjoyed it myself!
Conn, the boy thief, tries to steal from a wizard and becomes his apprentice despite the wizard's misgivings.
In research for his own locus magicalicus, Conn discovers a real reason behinds the city's dwindling supply of magic and tries his best to recover the magic for the city.