This book has been stalking me. Every few weeks I’d see it (or its sequels) referenced on blogs, GoodReads, reviews, Facebook. It was everywhere and I couldn’t be sure it wasn’t following me. Considering it was originally released in 1998, its sudden ever-presence did seem rather strange. But then I realized that the fourth book of the series, A Conspiracy of Kings, was just released. Ok, so the book wasn’t following me. But the buzz was so enthusiastic that I was already hooked.
Though its not technically YA fantasy, it is a sort of historical YA with some great mythology and a touch of the fantastical. The world is slowly and beautifully revealed, and the landscape is both foreign and familiar.
The story starts with Gen, a thief who claims he can steal anything. He’s currently locked in the King’s dungeon in Sunis for stealing his signet ring, but is released by the King’s scholar, the magus, to go on a quest he’s told very little about. As the story unravels, we find that there is much more to all of the characters than meets the eye, and that Gen, though apparently a tool for people more powerful than he, has several tricks up his own sleeve.
This story is a delightful blend of mystery, twists, adventure, quest, and mythology. I loved every moment of it. Rating: A. Expect to hear of the other books in the series. I will certainly be ordering them soon.