Rummanah Aasi
  I'm really enjoying the ecclectic titles featured in the Rebecca Caudill list this year. You can find the book list at the Illinois School Library Media Association. This list is basically a reader's choice book award for Grades 4 to 8, which are selected by teachers, librarians, and of course, students. I recently finished The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas.

Description: Conn's life is forever changed when he tries to pick the pocket of the wizard Nevery. Instead of being hit with a strong jolt of magic from attempting to steal the wizard's locus magicalicus (all wizards have to have one that specifically belongs to them), Conn feels nothing. Instead of punishing the boy, Nevery takes Conn under his wing, teaches him magic, and enlists his help in finding the person responsible for stealing the city's dwindling magic supply.

Review: The Magic Thief is an enjoyable, fast paced, fantasy read that is sure to be enjoyed by younger and older elementary students. The book opens with Conn narrating his failed pick pocketing attempt with the wizard Nevery. This one encounter has altered his life for good, especially when Nevery realizes that his locus magicalicus (a stone that represents the wizards power and is only controlled by the rightful owner) doesn't harm Conn like it should. The curious wizard takes pity on the poor thief and employs the Conn as his servant, but the boy’s inquisitiveness and talents move him to apprentice status. Nevery can use all the help that he can get as he Nevery has recently returned to Willmet to save the city-state, which is faltering as its magic seeps away.
  What may seem like an ordinary fantasy book seem new is the smart alek voice of Conn and his amusing relationship with Nevery. We learn very early on that Conn doesn't have a great life as an orphaned, poor, street kid but definitely has the desire, drive, and smarts to rise above his destiny. He is able to view magic with a fresh pair of eyes and use his thieving skills as a way to understand how the magic is used. He is continually surprising his master, who seems to always be a few steps behind. As Conn becomes more enmeshed in his new life, he navigates through the intricate dealings of both the wizarding world and the political machinations of the Underlord.
  Besides Conn, the other wonderful character is Nevery. He is a renowed wizard who is grumpy and has a very dry sense of humor. His voice comes alive with his supplemental journals that alternate between Conn's narration. These journals are Nevery's observations as well as a testament as how he perceives Conn.
  While some of the plot is a bit predictable and a fantasy world that doesn't seem as lively as some of the high fantasy books targeted to the middle grade audience, the voices of the characters stand out and make the book enjoyable and I'm sure they will look forward to reading more of this series as new plot twists are revealed.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 4 to 8.

If you like this book try: Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey, The Magic Thief: Lost by Sarah Prineas (The Magic Thief Book 2)
3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Sounds like a really cute story! I don't mind when the plot isn't anything special and a bit predictable if the characters are really enjoyable. Characters are always the most important part for me:)

  2. I don't read MG but this would be a great book for one of my nieces. Thanks for the review :)

  3. Small Review Says:

    I agree with Jenny, I can overlook a so-so plot if there are great characters. I like the way you describe both main characters and their relationship. I'll be adding this to my TBR. Thanks!

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