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The Magic Thief [Hardcover]

Sarah Prineas
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Sep 2008

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 decides to take 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. Meanwhile Conn is hiding his own secret - his connection to the sinister Underlord, Crowe . . . The first in a compelling, beautifully written trilogy, with wonderful characters you'll want to read more and more about.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (4 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847244327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847244321
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 14.4 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 808,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A stunning debut from new author Sarah Prineas … The novel is spellbinding in plot, characters, location and dialogue … a wonderful book which I recommend unreservedly - Bookbag



This a pleasingly fresh and pacy take on some much-visited themes, which will leave many readers eager to know what happens next. The aptly named Conn surely has many more tricks up his sleeve - Guardian.

From the Inside Flap

Never steal from a wizard! Connwaer is a thief of the Twilight, a desolate part of the city of Wellmet, built up of factories and shadowy streets and teeming with pickpockets. On the run from the city's Underlord, Conn steals a banished wizard's locus stone. The wizard, Nevery, takes Conn on as his apprentice, and the boy becomes embroiled in his master's plan to save the city, whose magic is slowly dying. Meanwhile, Nevery is secretly beginning to question Conn's past: Why did the thief survive in the Twilight for so long and why is he immune to illness and injury? But Conn is hiding a much darker secret… The first book in a thrilling trilogy.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By ELH Browning VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Conn is a street urchin who pick-pockets something of immense magical strength and yet seems unaffected. Intrigued, Nevery the Magician from whom he had tried to steal the stone (or locus magicalicus) takes him on as an unorthodox apprentice.
Prineas, and her main character Conn, has a unique and imaginative take on the essence of magic: its vitality. With dwindling magic in the city, Conn has an unnerving instinct about what is wrong and why, going against city institutions and wizard elders in order to set things straight.
With a dark and Dickensian flavour, this is a gentle introduction to dark fantasy for confident junior readers upwards. The story is lean and linear and has only a fairly sparse cast of characters, making it a real page turner, its gripping nature belying its simplicity. The physical book has a good feel to it too, a neat hardback with a map of the city, interspersed entries from Nevery's journal, and atmospheric illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.
And if you enjoy this, I recommend you try The Toymaker by de Quidt for a darker twistier tale at the same reading level.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 4 Jun 2008
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Conn was just hoping for a few coins to buy food when he picked the pocket of the wizard who passed his alleyway. What he gets is an adventure far bigger than he could have imagined. The wizard, Nevery, takes an interest in Conn, and takes him in as a servant and then an apprentice. With regular meals, blankets to sleep under, and enough magical objects and lessons to keep Conn's eager mind occupied, the once-homeless boy couldn't be happier.

Unfortunately for Conn, nothing is as simple as it seems. Before he can truly become an apprentice, he must find his locus magicalicus (the stone which will focus his magical power) in a most unlikely place, convince Nevery that one of his fellow wizards is consorting with the city's cruel Underlord, and figure out why the city's magic is fading away--and how to save it--before the city dies from the lack of it. It's a terribly large task for a boy who has only just started learning his letters, but Conn is nothing if not resourceful.

THE MAGIC THIEF will pull readers in so completely that they'll have trouble setting the book aside. The details of the Victorian-esque world are so vividly drawn that readers will feel the chill of the icy winds and taste the buttery goodness of Conn's favorite biscuits. What makes the book particularly special is Conn himself. His voice is lively, with exactly the sort of street-smart practicality and frankness you'd expect from a boy who has spent most of his life on the streets. Despite his criminal background, Conn is good-hearted, and simply longs for a place where he can make something of himself.

Readers will sympathize with his struggle to prove himself to Nevery and the city's authorities, and appreciate his clear-headed thinking amid all the secrecy and scheming of the adults around him.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read if you persevere. 19 May 2011
By Jack M
Format:Paperback
I have wanted to read this book for a while but just didn't get around to it, but having done so I am glad I did. In truth I found the written style a little jarring at first but having kept going it does settle down, or perhaps I just stopped noticing. The story is good; it is well paced and not overly complicated so you get carried along with the adventure. There are no great surprises in the story, but it is still enjoyable. For a fantasy writer I do not think that the author has created a particularly vivid or creative backdrop for the story, the world she has created is not imaginative. But I liked the characters, they are not complex but they are likeable and help facilitate the story.

This was sufficiently good that I immediately read the second in the series, "Magic Thief - Lost", and enjoyed that as well. So this has been a good discovery and worth reading. I will certainly also read the third part in the series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, fast-paced magic read 12 Oct 2010
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
On a cold, wet night in Wellmet, Conn is hungry and on the run from the Underlord (who controls part of the city) when he sees an old man walking by. Picking his pocket, Conn finds that he's stolen a locus magicalicus - a stone that wizard's use to focus their magic. It should instantly kill Conn but doesn't and its owner, Nevery, is intrigued enough to take on Conn as his apprentice.

Nevery's investigating why the magic in the city is disappearing and he's not going to let the fact that he's been banished by its duchess and the other wizards stop him. Conn however has new problems of his own. He's begun studying at the Magisters Hall where he has 30 days to find his own locus magicalicus or he'll be kicked out, but Nevery's too busy to help him find it.

If Conn wants to continue leading a life of magic, then he'll have to rely on his skills as a thief and trust his friends Benet (Nevery's bodyguard, who likes cooking and knitting in his spare time) and Rowan (a fellow magic student) to achieve it.

Sarah Prineas's debut novel, the first in a series, is a delightful adventure packed with magic and populated with entertaining characters. Conn is wonderfully self-reliant - pragmatic and curious he's a born survivor who's been given the chance of an alternative future. Although his dark secret is a little too easy to guess, his determined search for his locus magicalicus has you rooting for him.

Nevery is very much the traditional grumpy wizard. His journal entries, with their casual attitude to his new apprentice and musings as to when he will kick him out give the story much of its humour.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very engaging
I read this to my 6 yr old daughter who begged me to keep on reading.
The truth be told I really enjoyed it myself!
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic Thef
This is a book by an author that I have never heard of before, but found by chance whilst looking for other books on Amazon. Read more
Published 9 months ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing series! Definitely worth a read.
This is one of the best written books I have read in quite a while. Great plot, good relateable characters and gripping writing style. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Anika85
4.0 out of 5 stars Magic Thief review
Great delivery at a great price and a very happy boy with his magical book. We new Amazon would not let us down. RESULT!!
Published on 4 Jan 2012 by Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars A exciting read
I have not read this book myself but i bought it for our young lad. He loves the book and say's it's very exciting and at some points he does not want to put the book down.
Published on 10 April 2011 by island dweller
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Simply magic!
I stumbled across this series on Amazon, and bought the first one for my Kindle. I was hooked before I had finished the first page, and ordered the next two books half way through... Read more
Published on 17 Feb 2011 by BBCjunkie
5.0 out of 5 stars The magic thief
This book I got for xmas and didn't know what it was.Now I finished it a week ago and love it,I'm getting the next one now! Read more
Published on 1 May 2010
4.0 out of 5 stars the magis thief
It took a while to get into the book but once I did I enjoyed it.
Published on 28 Mar 2010 by est
2.0 out of 5 stars Quite disappointing
This book isn't very well written and doesn't really draw you in. It's not descriptive at all an the story is quite confusing. Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2009
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic Thief
Good story about a boy who was on the streets with no prospects in life other than to survive, when suddenly his life is totally turned around. Great book for all ages.
Published on 10 Sep 2009 by John Sales
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