Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Magic Thief Stole My Heart

Since I shy away from fantasy (I have to admit I was one of the few people not avidly awaiting each new Harry Potter book), I'm not sure I would have picked up The Magic Thief, if the author and I hadn't been at the same bookstore on the same day. I was at Cover to Cover children's bookstore with some blogging friends to kickstart the 48 Hour Challenge. Sarah Prineas was in town because her book had just been released last week, and she was doing some promotional tours. After hearing her talk about the book (more on that later), I just had to get it!

It truly didn't disappoint. The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas was a perfect fantasy for me. It was perfect for a variety of reasons. First of all, it was 411 pages in length, but the hardback book is a smaller size and the font and spacing on each page is a little larger, so 411 pages isn't the difficult task you might think. Second, as a teacher, I love that since this text and vocabulary are not quite as strenous as a Harry Potter might be, it will much more accessible to students of a variety of reading abilities. They will be able to enjoy the elements of fantasy -- magic, wizards, spells, good battling evil, dark and scary places -- and not feel overwhelmed. Another bonus for me was all the extras added to the book that helped with my understanding of the story -- the map in the front of the book was particularly helpful, and I also referred to the back of the book where there is a list of main characters and settings accompanied with descriptions of each. Something else that was just pure fun was all the times Sarah Prineas included coded messages within the book (the decoder in the back helped me with this). In fact, Sarah actually autographed my book, and the message to me was in code -- I was very impressed with her ability to have the code memorized! Finally, I enjoyed the characters she developed.

In her sharing, and then question/answer time, Sarah Prineas shared that The Magic Thief is actually going to be at least a trilogy. Book 2 is done, and will come out sometime next year, and she is currently revising Book 3. I really look forward to spending more time with the characters, especially the main, main character, Conn.

The story is mostly told in first person, with Conn being the narrator. But every once in a while, Prineas would include letters from other people (mostly Nevery, the wizard Conn becomes an apprentice for) that helps further the story line. The descriptions of people and places in the book are both fun and detailed -- easy to get a picture in your head of what you are reading about.

Definitely a book to share with children -- The Magic Thief stole my heart!


  1. I agree! I just finished the book yesterday and loved it too. I don't usually buy books for the library before I read them, but Sarah was so friendly and interesting I made the exception. I'm glad I did and the kids will be too.

  2. OK enough about this book. I went out and purchased it today. It is on my list to read this summer although not autographed like the two of you! maria

  3. You got me convinced too! Now...I am going to get my copy. Thanks for the useful review as a reader and a teacher as well. Enjoy the rest of the week!

  4. And I'll jump on the bandwagon too, and add it to my list!

  5. This book sounds amazing i cant wait too read it im excited now. Im going too buy it tommorrow thanx for all the talk about it.I love magical fantasy books this sounds amazing.