Megan Whalen Turner, the author of the acclaimed Queen’s Thief series, wrote a short prequel Thief! for the Disney Adventures Magazine in 2000. The first book in this series was first published in 1996 and then re-released in 2005 by Eos. This short story came out between the second and third book in the series.
M.W. Turner’s fans are ardent and near-stalkerish (join the club here) but they are also suffering from a long draught between Turner’s last release and the well-anticipated fifth book. So this particular prequel is especially valuable to us, because it gives a tiny glimpse into Gen’s childhood and reconnects us with our favourite boy thief.
About this short story.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Megan Whalen Turner made this short story available online for us to read. Go HERE to read little Gen’s story before he became The Queen’s Thief.
If you haven’t read The Queen’s Thief series then treat this illustrated short story as a major spoiler (MAJOR), and avoid reading it if you can till you’ve at least finished the first book (The Thief).
If you have read the series (or at least The Thief), then you’ll understand the undertone and sweetness of this story very well.
On it’s own this story might get a highest of 3 stars at best, because it makes too many references to a world the reader wouldn’t know much about unless they’re familiar with the series. But if you do know the worlds of Eddis, Sounis and Attolia the way I do, if you know Gen…then this story becomes a gift from Turner to her fans. It’s a little glimpse into Gen’s childhood and to us this is very valuable.
So from an emotional and totally biased stand point, this is a great short. And also because Turner has a way with words. I loved the illustrations but her descriptions were really enough for me.
[The below spoiler is for people who’ve read Book One at least. Trust me and don’t read it till you have. Skip to the part AFTER the spoiler ends.]
SPOILER (be strong, don’t cheat!)
Gen often alluded to his adversarial relationship with most of his cousins, and it’s odd to read of them here when we know that years later they would all go to war to avenge him and not all of them would come back.
We also know that his mother died when Gen was ten years old, falling off the roof of the castle during a party, and I don’t think it had happened yet at the time of this tale.
Gen’s father wanted him to become a soldier like himself and let the title of King’s Thief (pretty much honorary by now) die out with Gen’s mother’s father. But Gen had other ideas and we can hear his brain whirring here.
We know of Gen’s habit of leaving stolen earrings at the God of Thieves, Eugenide’s alter and here we see how that started.
END SPOILER (Bravo!)
For the uninitiated, (and if you’re determined to read this short before committing to reading the series), this tale is more like a snippet from the life of a small boy who’d already begun to hone the thieving skills necessary to someday be a great Thief.
A group of boys chase Gen down the corridor of a castle; and just when he thinks he’s safely out of their reach his older brother catches up with him. Gen had stolen his cousin Breia’s golden earrings and her brothers were out to get them back. But what they didn’t know was why he’d stolen something of Breia’s. See, other members of his family might quarrel, might start feuds or decide to forever hold a grudge, but when someone wronged Gen, he got even quickly and effectively.
Anyway, I just want to thank M.W. Turner for letting me spend a few extra minutes with my favourite male character in all of modern fiction to tide me over till Book Five releases.
(Which if the Publishing Gods and Ms Turner please should surely happen before this decade ends at least.)