Sunday, September 21, 2014
Thief Lord review
Book talk: Is there somewhere you've always wanted to go? For Prosper and Bo, that place is Venice. Their mother always told them stories of this magical city and after they become orphans and are forced to run away from their cruel aunt it's where they decide to hide. But life as a runaway is not as glamorous as they thought. Things are looking pretty grim until they meet Hornet, another runaway who introduces them to The Thief Lord and takes them to live in the abandoned cinema she calls home. Life still isn't easy, but at least they have a roof over their head. Their problems only get worse though as their aunt and uncle hire a private detective to track them down and The Thief Lord takes on a dangerous job.
Rocks my socks: As with any heist story the plot is tense as the young thieves plan their strategy and avoid getting caught. The lure of the magical carousel that can turn adults into children and vice versa is potent. The real attraction of this novel though is the characters. From the private eye with the mustache collection to the self-styled thief lord himself the book is full of memorable individuals. This isn't your typical thief with a heart of gold story though and as identities are revealed and characters become more complex the plot takes multiple twists and turns.
Rocks in my socks: I wasn't entirely happy with the ending and as delightful as the magical age-changing carousel is, it isn't introduced until fairly late in the novel. It seemed a bit odd tacking this in at the end of a book that was otherwise realistic. I wish more of the fantastic elements were introduced earlier on and woven throughout the narrative.
Every book its reader: I'd give this to 3rd to 5th graders looking for an adventure story with a hint of magic. Especially for anyone with an interest in Venice.
The author has a website that is too fancy for me to have the patience to navigate it but you can explore it to find unknown wonders if you so wish: http://www.corneliafunke.com/
There's a page for the novel on the Cornelia Funke wiki: http://corneliafunke.wikia.com/wiki/The_Thief_Lord
The book was made into a movie, the trailer can be seen here:
Source: Oxfam Books in Aberdeen, Scotland
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke